Recently a video has surfaced online featuring Mos Def challenging Lil' Wayne and Jay-Z to a Pay Per View rap battle just because he feels he's that nice. A short time later via Twitter, AZ (@quietAZmoney) (who's new LP "Legendary" is forthcoming") left a message stating: lets be honest ! im better than 99% percent of these nigaazz!! ima start saying names shortly!!. Of course the internet was buzzing about the Mos Def video thinking that it was ridiculous for Mos Def to stay on video that he would battle any of the most famous emcees in the game. Of course, those of us that remember the old days know that every emcee worth their salt thought they was the best and would battle at the drop of a dime.
Mos Def came up in the game when the protocols, guidelines and the rules were mad different. You could be an ill emcee and your boy could be nice as well and you could say something to the effect of "I'm the nicest cat out here, bring me ANYONE and I'll roast their ass! Name anyone!". If called said his boy's name he'd respond "Him too!". His boy wouldn't think twice because if you're willing to put yourself out there to battle all comers you'll NEED to think that you're the greatest emcee in the world to be effective. Nowadays, a rapper wouldn't normally think of saying that! It's because we currently exist in an age where cats pride not being emcees and saying they're not rappers. That being the case, put the fuckin' mic down and go sell some crack in the trap.
Nas thought he was the illest. AZ thought he was the nicest. Every single member of the Wu Tang Clan thought they were the king of the mountain. Biggie thought he was the King Of New York. Jay-Z thought the city was his. D.O.C. once thought that he was the king of kings. Ice Cube thought he was Amerikka's most wanted. Big Punisher thought he was the first Latin rapper to ever baffle your skull. Black Thought thought that he was the ultimate Illadelph emcee. If you asked ANY of these cats if they thought anyone could fuck with them on the mic they'd say "Hell no!".
Imagine asking Ras Kass that question? Remember the scene in "The Show" when Kurupt was talking about how if anyone tried to say he wasn't ill what he'd do? "I'll serve 'em". The essence of the art of emceeing is competition just like any other discipline or sport. In order to survive in the face of top competition you have believe you're the nicest cat to ever step into a vocal booth or you won't be able convince anyone else of it. Keep that in mind next time someone says that no one can fuck with them on the mic. Do you think Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Paul Pierce don't think that same thing whenever they step on the court? So why wouldn't an emcee think the same way? In order to be great you must first envision or project greatness. Without belief in yourself the battle is lost before it ever even began.