News: Mos Def Questions Jay-Z's "Greatest Rapper Alive" Title, "You're Better Than Rakim?"

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 12:33PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Mos Def recently clarified the lyrical battle challenge he issued to Lil Wayne and Jay-Z and questioned Jigga's "Greatest Rapper Alive" title.

Speaking with radio personality Angie Martinez, Mos addressed a recent video which landed online showing him calling out various rap stars.

"My response was to me seeing an article where [Jay-Z] was referred to, with trade marks following it, as the 'Greatest Rapper Alive,'" Mos explained in an interview. "Now that don't have nothin' to do with me, but if you saying that, that's a trade claim...If you saying that, you saying you better than Slick Rick, whose still very alive and well? You saying you better than Rakim? You saying you better than Black Thought? People making that claim have never been in a position to defend that in an open forumn. I'm not talking about making a diss record or trying to go in on somebody's girl...When people start coming out and making claims they're gonna have to defend, like, who have you had to defend them against? It's certainly been with people not on your level." (The Angie Martinez Show)

The footage, which appeared online in April, showed Mos with a small entourage in Detroit.

"You really think that Jay and Weezy can beat me," Mos asked in a video. "It will never happen. None of them. Whoever. Listen, n*ggas I like, I love Freeway, but come get the money if you think you can. [Beanie Sigel], I love him....[Andre 3000] ,whatever, I'm taking the money back to Brooklyn. I'm taking the money back to Brooklyn. Jay is the best out. I'm taking the ring and I'm taking the belt right back." (World Star Hip Hop)

Rappers such as Weezy, who also calls himself "The Greatest," have encountered negative feedback in the past for their titles including T.I.'s "King of the South" proclamation.

"Basically the origins of this ain't beef, it's filet mignon to me," T.I. said in 2004 about his issues with Lil Flip. "He poses no threat to my health. Anytime he wants to see me, I have an open invitation. When I was gone, he made some comments. He saw fit to take shots at me while I was down. At his shows in Atlanta, he would ask people who was the king of the South. When my name was brought up...rightfully so...he said, 'OK, well tell T.I. I said game over.'" (MTV)

Mos' new album The Ecstatic was released yesterday (June 10).

"The name of the album is The Ecstatic. I titled it after one of my favorite novels by Victor LaValle and I'm really excited about's a lot shorter than some of my previous work but it's still really full. [Guests include] Slick Rick, Jay Electronica, Black Thought and working with Madlib." (Zune Insider)

[For more on your favorite rappers from the Big Apple peep SOHH NYC]

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