Top 5 Dead Or Alive: "His Longevity Is F*cking Amazing, It's Like He Sold His Soul To The Devil"
Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 12:15AM
[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 Dres dropped his fave five last week, rapper-turned-author Sha Stimuli gives his top picks.]
Andre 3000. I'm going to start it off with him. He influenced the h*ll out of me. I think that his music is the only music I'd go out and walk to the record store to buy. Dude is serious.
LL Cool J. His longevity is f*cking amazing. It's like he sold his soul to the devil. How do you stay this relevant for this long? This guy was in Krush Groove in 1985. There's no way in the world kids should know who you are today and be able to put out a record that's going to have deejays and radio stations spinning it, blogs posting it. That's just crazy. I don't know if he had ghostwriters, I don't know if he had Botox, whatever he did, that's just unheard of. I've got to give him props for that.
Slick Rick. It was the storytelling. He was underrated. People don't even speak on how great of a storyteller he really was. Of course when people talk about him, they'll mention how good of a storyteller he was but I just think that there's a lot of people in later generations that don't get how so many rappers got their storytelling from Rick. That's what he did. He set sh*t up and made it like a movie.
Ice Cube. I like Ice Cube. I'm focused on his solo career. With his solo career, he really took a chance. When he put out Amerikkka's Most Wanted, that was definitely a risk. I don't think he was the most witty with the pen when it came to wordplay but he nailed it when he rapped. It was kind of like Scarface in a way when I think about it. The topics that Cube would touch were big. He was one of the first to talk about the influence of the white man on the community and he touched on so many different things like alcohol, STDs and other stuff. We're missing that today.
Kanye West. I know this sounds crazy but I have to give it to him. I don't agree with everything that he does outside of the music; his fashion is crazy and wild, but when you look at the influence on the generation starting in 2003, this man has put out consistent music that has been from the heart and real. He's got clones out there. When you've got clones, that's when you know you've reached a certain level. People are trying to sound like you when you were trying to sound like nobody. They took his style, image and the man's done a lot.