So, I watched BET’s Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century travesty show.
I’m so appalled.
The initial nominees were based on BET digital followers, bloggers, and other “social influencers.” Blah. Anyway in order to qualify, the rapper had to have “blown up” starting in 1999 i.e. their first album had to have dropped no earlier than 1999. After the initial votes, here is how the nominee list played out:
-Lil Wayne: Great pick. From 2006 to now, no rapper has had more influence or been as popular as Weezy. However, he was not as respected lyrically until he switched his flow up starting with the Squad Up mixtapes.
-50 Cent: 50 Cent, along with Wayne, changed the mixtape game forever by using it as a promotional tool and building a strong following at the grass roots level. In less than 5 years, 50 became one of the top hip hop moguls, and established himself along the likes of Diddy and Jay-Z.
-Ludacris: One word can describe Luda over the last 10 years: consistent. He never fails to deliver a banger although his flow hasn’t switched up much since he first came on the scene.
-Rick Ross: This year has been Ross’ year. That’s the only way I can see him even being on this list.
-Eminem: Based on BET’s criteria, Eminem shouldn’t even be on this list because his first album was Infinite, which dropped in 1996. Besides, Eminem is Biggie/Tupac/Jay-Z/Nas status at this point.
-T.I.: T.I., like Luda, has been consistent since he first came on the scene. Unlike Luda though, T.I. has managed to show more versatility with his flow, along with more crossover success.
-Kanye West: Kanye West is the most popular rapper out today. Period. He changed the game with College Dropout, and has been trailblazing ever since.
-The Game: Good rapper, but not great rapper. He made noise for the West when it seemed they didn’t have a popular, relevant voice, but he has not made a huge impact.
-Jadakiss: Consistent. Great rapper. Impact is questionable. See Game.
-Eve: One of female emcees who ran the first part of the 2000’s. She won Grammy’s, had crossover appeal, and made hits. She could hold her own on a song with any male rapper. Good pick.
-Gucci Mane: Whoever nominated him should be slapped… with baby powder in the hand.
-Fabolous: The 2nd coming of Mase, but went harder. He definitely deserves to be on the list. Fab could drop a hot freestyle, R&B collabo, or street banger, and not miss a beat.
-Young Jeezy: Jeezy deserves to be on the list due to his run from 2005-2008. He’s the precursor for the ATL trapboy/dopeboy rappers we have in the game today… whether good or bad.
-Drake: He hasn’t been out long enough to be nominated. See Gucci Mane.
-Nelly: (sigh)… Even though Nelly isn’t an emcee in the truest sense, he made club bangers, sold tens of millions of records, had cultural impact, and battled KRS-One… and actually won that battle.
Once the nominees were named, the list was cut down to the final 10 based on flow, lyrics, subject matter, cultural impact, money, and digital skills (web presence). Here is how the final 10 played out (in order):
2. Lil Wayne
3. Kanye West
4. 50 Cent
8. Young Jeezy
10. Rick Ross
What are your thoughts on this list? How would you rank it? Was there anyone who was left off the list or from being nominated(*cough Ja Rule *cough)? Who should be removed?