Hip-Hop’s greatest 50 rappers of all time has been a hot topic for the year 2019. The debate would continue when T.I. appeared on the Breakfast Club. This time the discussion came down to two artist. Jay-Z and Tupac.
Earlier in October, T.I. shared his list during an episode on his ExpediTIously podcast. His top list had Tupac as number one, Jay-Z as number two followed by Biggie as number three, and Snoop Dogg at number four.
One can disagree or agree with T.I.’s list, but then again could there ever be a list that is the “right one”. T.I. recalls the time he spoke to Jay-Z on the phone, and was questioned by Hov regarding the Top 50 list. “Hov called. We was talking about something else. Something completely non related, and then he says ‘Oh, and by the way, you really believe that?’, I said yeah.”
Explaining his reason why on the Breakfast Club, T.I. says it comes down to one thing, “When it comes to impact.” Not to take anything away from Jay-Z who is still at number two on T.I.’s list. “I think hov, is the greatest rapper alive,” says T.I.
Charlamagne, on the hand, disagrees with the list. Known for being a huge supporter of Jay-Z, Charlamagne feels Hov deserves the top spot. “I think he’s number one now. Only reason I say that is, one thing about ‘Pac, ‘Pac didn’t get a chance to.. like his influence i seen everywhere. He didn’t get a chance to actually put on a J. Cole, put on, you know, a Kanye.”
What are the rules for the Top 50 list?
In Tupac’s defense, T.I. explains further what he feels Tupac meant to Hip-Hop. “Listen, you know, ‘Pac is like the Hip-Hop Michael Jackson, you know that right. You can go anywhere, any part of the globe, and say Tupac, and they gon sing a Tupac song. They gon sing ‘How Do U Want It’, ‘Hit ‘Em Up’. They gon sing ‘California Love’, they gon sing something,” says T.I.
T.I. feels that when making such a list as Top 50 greatest rappers of all time, it’s not strictly based on skill set, but also impact has to be considered. Writing your own lyrics should also be part of the equation, says T.I. For those who have admittedly said they don’t write all their lyrics, T.I. says that automatically moves you down the list. “I thought Kanye should come down. Because, I don’t think, if you don’t write your own lyrics, I don’t think you should be high on the list.”
Fast forward to hear the Tupac Vs. Jay-Z discussion @ 5:10.