The Greatest Rapper Of All Time Part 1Posted: March 27, 2015
Andre 3000 is my favorite rap artist today.
I totally lose my mind when he gives us long verses that paint pictures and bounce around in cadence and the words twist and lean on each other. Every bar segues into another effortlessly and he becomes one with the music. Andre Benjamin shined during his time with Outkast so much that his solo effort The Love Below overshadowed Big Boi’s release even though he rapped on less than half of it. He murders verses, he makes sense, and he has social commentary without preaching. The 3000 at the end of his name fits perfectly. His dexterity is incomparable. He jumped on corny remixes like “Walk it Out” and then brightened up a John Legend single without trying. Mr. Benjamin finds a way to blend in with Rick Ross, T.I., and anyone that calls on him. And he manages to say something introspective in a way that is always new. He sings without making us feel like he’s singing and he raps with a tenacity and intelligence that can reach all demographics and regions. He is possibly the greatest of all time.
This is probably the easiest argument of all. Dre has to drop a solo LP. We loved The Love Below but it was 89% crooning and 100% love. Even Drake has the scales tipping on the rap side on his sappy albums (we’ll discuss him later).
Andre has to do one small yet grand gesture and he can put to rest any question that he’s Neo. A solo hip-hop album with concepts and flows and his own ideas and maybe even some features. But until then it’s unfair to say he’s the best to ever do it. The fact that Big and Pac ran out of time, Eminem recorded during and after drug use and Jay dropped every year faithfully whether you liked the project or not, we had something tangible to judge them on. They released sole bodies of work that represented them outside of any group. We need that. Not to mention his Baduism that put him on another planet for a short time…3000 became a bit of an ATLien for real when his strange garments went over the top, he didn’t want to do tours and all of a sudden he’s telling girls to shake it like a Polaroid picture. He’s different. He’s not all the way hip-hop. We’ve given the crown to guys that could stop the car on any corner, join a neighborhood cipher, then go to the boardroom of some major brand and push a song on them that would make them go crazy…then sell out a crowd full of young people, mature listeners, Browns, Whites, Beiges, and ladies included all whilst moving units. Dre isn’t quite that guy…but he could be.
Next Up: The new guys.