Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dart’s Top 50 G.O.A.T Emcees List (As Of February 7th, 2008)

Hip Hop is a living breathing artform. That means that this list is subject to change based on the recent activities of the emcees on this list and the upcoming projects/common sense to stay out of the game and not sully their spots in Hip Hop history and the recent output from the emcees that sit between 51-60 (some of which have moved into the Top 50 over the last few years). Here it is beginning with the Holy Microphone Trinity (based on mine it's clear I was born in the 70's):

1. Rakim Allah

2. KRS One

3. Kool G Rap

4. Nas
5. Jay-Z
6. Big Daddy Kane
7. Notorious B.I.G.
8. Slick Rick
9. Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MC's)
10. Ghostface Killah (Wu Tang Clan)
11. Chuck D (Public Enemy)
12. Grandmaster Caz (Cold Crush Brothers)
13. Run (Run DMC)
14. Eminem
15. Grandmaster Melle Mel (Furious Five)
16. GZA (Wu Tang Clan)
17. Treach (Naughty By Nature)
18. Masta Ace
19. Kool Moe Dee (Treacherous Three)
20. Scarface (Geto Boys)
21. Pharoahe Monch (Organized Konfusion)
22. Redman
23. Schooly D
24. Posndous (De La Soul)
25. MF Doom
26. Aceyalone (Freestyle Fellowship/Haiku D'Etat/Project Blowed)/Grand Puba (Brand Nubian) (tie)
27. Del The Funkee Homosapien (Hieroglyphics)
28. Black Thought (The Roots)
29. Andre 3000 (OutKast)
30. Common
31. Big L/LL Cool J (tie)
32. Buckshot (Black Moon)
33. Raekwon (Wu Tang Clan)
34. Method Man (Wu Tang Clan)
35. Ras Kass/Lauryn Hill (Fugees) (tie)
36. AZ
37. Big Punisher/Kurupt (Dogg Pound) (tie)
38. Q-Tip/Kamaal (A Tribe Called Quest)
39. MC Ren (N.W.A.)/Erick Sermon (EPMD) (tie)
40. Prodigy (Mobb Deep)/Busta Rhymes (tie)
41. Ice Cube
42. Mos Def
43. Lord Finesse
44. Canibus/Tash AKA Catashtrophe (Alkaholiks) (tie)
45. The D.O.C./Guru (GangStarr (tie)
46. Talib Kweli/Ice T (tie)
47. Jadakiss (The L.O.X.)/O.C. (tie)
48. El-P (Company Flow)/Sadat X (Brand Nubian) (tie)
49. Sean Price (Heltah Skeltah)/MC Lyte (tie)
50. Tame One (Artifacts)/2Pac (tie)

This list is solely based on the full careers of each artist and longevity, relevance, influence, creativity and lyrically skill are all factored in. For instance, Ice Cube, Ice T and LL Cool J’s latest career freefalls and the decline of the quality of their latest material has resulted in them tumbling down the rankings while stalwarts like Sadat X, AZ, Master Ace and the like maintain their spots in the Top 50. Eminem was once Top 5 before making an absolutely terrible final album. He's had the good sense to lay low since...too bad he hasn't utilized his Stairmaster or Soloflex machines any.

Keep in mind that this list is based on my own personal opinion and includes many of my favorites emcees that have been arouns for a while. I wish I could put more of my favorite emcees like Vakill, Royce Da 5’9”, Elzhi, Scaramanga, Godfather Don, Jay Electronica, Joell Ortiz, Percee P, Sticky Fingaz, Jean Grae, Bahamadia, Murs, Lupe Fiasco, etc. on the list, but realistically they haven’t been recording long enough and/or had enough classic material to warrant being Top 50 dead or alive as of yet.

Feel free to post your own opinions about my Top 50 G.O.A.T Emcee list or my positioning/omissions in the comments section ( I can just see it now: Where’s E-40 and Too Short? Del and no Tajai/Pep Love or Casual? Why do you hate the Bay, potna? Suck thizz and die!). Tomorrow, I do the new What New In Dart’s iPod post where I review the #40 emcee on my list's new album. If you're in Boston tonight, check out his show courtesy of Leedz Edutainment:



Mike Dikk said...

Dart, can I cut out the dead guy (Biggie) and use this as your entry for the Greatest Rappers Alive thing?

writous said...

how did treach score so high?

prodigy was ridiculoid tonight.

Dart Adams said...

@ writous:

Treah was without a doubt THE male emcee of the entire 90's. Not only did he have some of the greatest verses of the Golden Era consistently but whenever Kay Gee produced a track for someone Treach did the ghostwriting. Treach wrote mad Queen Latifah jams that people loved (Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here), Da Youngsta's (Crews Pop), Run DMC (Hit Em Hard), Miilkbone (Keep It Real) and sitload of other joints I don't have space for.

All you gotta do is go back through Naughty By Nature discography album by album and check Treach's influence in the game from 1991-2001 and it's undeniable. Plus, he NEVER fell off.

@ Mike Dikk:

This whole entry is your fault, by the way. This was my list to figure out who I'd pick for your Group Mentality thing.


JC said...

YO, What about TUPAC? - This list aint right w/o TUPAC in the top 5.

Dart Adams said...

@ JC:

Tupac Shakur was only good enough skillwise, thematically and realistically to be in the top 50. He sold 75% of his albums after he was dead. Think about that and how many posthumous album he made. Was he REALLY that good an emcee or do people just blindly worship him for whatever reason?


floodwatch said...

Other than Eminem, this is probably the closest Top 50 list to my own, which is extraordinarily rare (few have the love for G Rap like us, fam).

Did you end up going to that Prodigy show?

floodwatch said...

Oh, and props for giving some shine to Treach. I always felt dude was underrated.

Michael said...

I'd love to the logic behind Mos' rank. (compared to like Em...)

Dart Adams said...

@ Michael:

Had Mos Def actually "rhymed" on either "The New Danger" or "Tru3 Magic" like he used to back in the "Black On Both Sides" days he'd be mad higher. As far as Eminem goes, if I posted up a list of the songs that he absolutely killed between 1996-2004 I'd get carpal tunnel syndrome. He was easily cemented as one of the elite emcees of the past 10 years...don't be fooled by the singles. Check Discogs if you have to cuz he murdered mad verses on the underground as well...FOR YEARS.


Michael said...


Aight. I will check him out more, admittedly I only have heard his mainstream albums. BUT, I really dug both the Mos albums, even if it was "spoken word" or whatever. I mean, I understand a lot of his fans weren't feeling it but, there are insane verses on both albums. Even if they were played out in his live shows way before the album dropped. Thanks for the response though.


Michael said...

How bout a list for the ladies? mc lyte, roxanne shante...?

Dart Adams said...

@ Michael:

One's coming for female emcees me.


Mad Static said...

Yo Dart, I did my own list based on yours. A little bit of the same, with a couple current emcees. Check it out.

cliffw said...

This list has to be the most accurate, but Ren above Cube?

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