[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 Jack Thriller named his top picks, “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” cast member Benzino dishes out his fave five.]
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5. I’m old school, so they definitely have to be in the SOHH Hall of Fame. There’s no question about that. They really paved the way for a lot of artists.
LL Cool J. I would definitely have to say LL. The way he came out was ridiculous and especially his longevity in the game.
Rick Ross. At this point, I would have to say Ross has to get in there. I was just in a club the other night and half the music they played was Ross. I think Ross has earned him a spot in there.
Young Jeezy. I would have to also say Young Jeezy. Jeezy and the new guys have earned their spots in there. I think their influence on the culture is strong.
N.W.A. The original N.W.A. They started the whole gangsta, rebel stuff in the music. Speaking as far as streetwise, they was major in this. They was major. N.W.A., at one point, had the game on lock and then from that, it spawned Dr. Dre and from that spawned Ice Cube and MC Ren will go down in history as one of the greatest to do it. I know all their songs and all their albums. Their influence was super heavy. I think they belong on the list. Granted it was a West Coast thing as far as what they represented, but they represented the streets and gangsta rap to the fullest. To me, they’re responsible for a lot of cats getting put on.