Billboard and VIBE have ranked JAY-Z the best rapper of all time, and as is customary with Hip Hop rankings, this has generated quite a commotion.
The 50th anniversary of Hip Hop is being celebrated this year, and the newspapers started releasing their list of the Top 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time last month.
Billboard and VIBE released their top 10 picks on Wednesday after highlighting artists like Kanye West, André 3000, Lauryn Hill, Ice Cube, Rakim, LL COOL J, and Black Thought from No. 50 to No. 11. (February 8).
Eminem, 2Pac, Nas, and Kendrick Lamar were ranked Nos. 10 to 6, while Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Drake, Lil Wayne, and The Notorious B.I.G. were placed Nos. 10 to 6.
The top spot on the list, however, went to an MC who has frequently been praised as the greatest rapper of all time: JAY-Z.
Hov’s financial success, critical acclaim, cultural effect, and business excellence were cited by Billboard as supporting evidence, coupled with his “regal-scented rhymes that speak to the struggle.”
Jigga’s “longevity, the breadth of his accomplishments, and what he’s meant to Hip Hop from a musical, cultural, and financial standpoint for the last three decades” are what make him the G.O.A.T., according to the publication, in addition to his 24 Grammy Awards, 14 No. 1 albums, and 140 million record sales.
The list generated a lot of discussion on social media and was, predictably, warmly received by JAY-army Z’s of devoted followers.
“Absolutely. Nobody has as many consistently amazing hip hop records as HOV,” one fan reacted on Twitter, while another noted: “Wayne himself says jay is the GOAT I don’t know why yall pressed [crying face emojis].”
However, not everyone concurred with the rating.
“Em is the most decorated Rapper in history. Em is the best selling rapper of all time. Em as achieved EGOT status. Has achieved the biggest sold out shows in rap history. Lose yourself is the most successful song of all time. Em is the only top selling rapper in top 10 music history,” one Slim Shady stan countered.
Many Tupac Shakur supporters were also incensed that the late rap artist was not voted the greatest of all time, with one declaring: “Pac died two decades ago but still relevant [sic], to me that’s a goat.”
The news that the Grammy Awards last weekend had yet another lackluster night may be lessened by JAY-most Z’s recent accolade (in terms of awards, anyway).
The Brooklyn-born millionaire went into the 65th Grammy Awards with three nods for his standout stanza on DJ Khaled’s “God Did,” which was nominated for Song of the Year, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance but fell short in all three categories.
Nevertheless, Hov still got the last word (literally) as he finished the event with a performance of “God Did” with Khaled, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, John Legend, and Fridayy, which was inspired by the Last Supper.
Jay subsequently admitted that he felt forced to freestyle his four-minute stanza at the Grammys because he “owed” it to Hip Hop, despite his tense relationship with the Recording Academy.
“I thought about it, I was in my head and I just broke down and said, ‘You know, it’s a four-minute verse.’ Again, for the culture, for Hip Hop, we got to do that,” he said in a rare interview with TIDAL.
“This ain’t your traditional song. … It’s not your traditional structure of what you think a song that would be nominated for Song of the Year would sound like. It’s not what you expect. And for the culture and for Hip Hop, we got to do that.”
He continued: “We owe that. This thing that changed our lives. We got to do that. A four-minute verse performed at the Grammys. We owe it to the culture, and it ain’t even a burden. It’s a blessing. It’s easy and fun.”