Top 5 Dead Or Alive: "Without Him, Texas Rap Probably Would've Never Got On The Map"
Friday, Jul 13, 2012 12:05AM
[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 Kovas dished out his top picks earlier this week, Texas rapper Richie Branson unleashes his fave five.]
Rudy Ray Moore. A lot of people don't know who he is, but he's probably the reason why hip-hop music evolved to what it was. People used to stop him in the street and ask him to tell these stories. Free-styled, completely off the top of the head. He definitely had that whole hip-hop thing.
Gil Scott-Heron. I think that goes without question. Dude had a sort of poetic, politic element that Rudy Ray Moore had and put it behind his music. The revolution will not be televised. That was a very good step toward hip-hop music as it was. Making music was the message. That's really where the roots of hip-hop are.
Common. I really want to go ahead and say Common. That whole socially-conscious rap, he was really at the forefront of that. I think he's one of the reasons Chicago was able to elevate itself as one of the major influencers to hip-hop culture.
DJ Screw. I'd have to go ahead and put another legend in here because I'm from Texas. Without him, Texas rap probably would have never got on the map. If you look at most of the people who blew up from Texas, they likely worked with DJ Screw. If not, they made music that was influenced by DJ Screw with the whole Screw & Chopped sound.
Uncle Luke. I'm going with the Southern rap legend. I'm not even really a big Uncle Luke fan but what I respect him for is making music that he wanted. He'd say, "F*ck it, I want to make music about whatever." Parentally explicit or not, he'd make music about it.