Top 5 Dead Or Alive: "There's Nobody That Can Go Bar-For-Bar With..."
Friday, Dec 30, 2011 12:00AM
[Each week, SOHH asks two entertainment personalities to name their Top 5 rappers of all-time. To make things tricky, we've created a "Hall of Fame" of emcees (see right) who are universally respected and therefore may not be mentioned. After The Pharcyde's SlimKid3 named his top spitters, West Coast rapper Ras Kass unveils his fave five.]
The LOX. The evolution of Run-DMC, Smif-N-Wessun and all of those groups, that lyrical and grimey, street sh*t, blazing on records is found in them. They have skills. Period. Ill by themselves. They're an ill group.
Andre 3000. He's getting named for the obvious. He's very introspective and a stand-up dude. I always like people who aren't afraid to go outside the box. In hip-hop, we like to stay in a box. Dre actually had success by not fitting in but fitting out and showing you can have success with who you are.
Twista. Twista is a beast. He's lyrically a beast. It's the balance of how he can say socio-political sh*t because he'll say it and he can make a record. What he does in the studio, he can deliver on the stage. He's a stand-up guy and a real n*gga. He used to always say "Snap!" and he would say, "Ras Kass, you should snap." That's translating who you really are in your music as opposed to what people want you to be or what's successful at the time.
Slaughterhouse/Four Horsemen. Slaughterhouse, all four of them, are just incredible. And the same goes for the Horsemen too. Sometimes you have to show the strength in numbers. Slaugterhouse is the vision that Horsemen had. Them solo had a limited amount of success but coming together, they formed as a unit and got more accomplished and now as they do their individual projects, they have a foundation they created and can go to. There's always strength in numbers. That's why 50 Cent has G-Unit. Everybody has a clique. It's that number and presence that people want to follow.
Ras Kass. I'm putting myself in there, f*ck it, because I'm the sh*t. I would always say if you go to the beginning of my career, with all of the bars and the mixtapes, there's nobody that can go bar-for-bar with me. If we're talking about socio-political history, every mixtape, and technically I don't do mixtapes because I like to do original stuff, and looking at how I don't have a group and really had to do this all by myself, I've done that more than anyone in my opinion. Some people got taken away from us but if we're talking about the people who are still alive and did it, my catalogue will speak for itself.