[Each week, SOHH asks two entertainment personalities to name their Top 5 hip-hop artists 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 Jay Shells unloaded his top picks, Young Jeezy protégé Tone Trump reveals his fave five.]
Beanie Sigel. I’m going to put Beans in my Top 5. Obviously I have him on here for what he did for my city. He brought gangsta rap back. People know the Roots were doing their thing but it was something different. Beans brought back gangsta rap and made it cool. He made rapping cool in Philadelphia with the whole State Property movement and the Roc-A-Fella sh*t. So I’ve got Beans for that.
Raekwon. I’m going to put Raekwon the Chef in there. I have him on there because of the Purple Tape. You can’t talk about hip-hop without talking about the Purple Tape. One thing I’ve got to give it up to Rae for is that he’s always shown love to n*ggas on the come-up. He didn’t forget about the n*ggas on the come-up. He’s a n*ggas that’s always watching what’s going on and showing love. He’s legendary.
LL Cool J. I’m going to pick LL Cool J. His longevity is one thing but also his battles were classic. He battled with everyone and then went on to host the f*cking Grammys. You look and see he’s the first n*gga on Def Jam and look at where he’s come to now. Salute to LL.
Black Thought. He’s one of the ultimate emcees. He’s an emcee’s emcee. I remember hearing that record he did off of Big Pun’s [Capital Punishment] album, they go back-and-forth. Coming from Philly, you know we learned a lot by just watching Black Thought hold it down. The legendary Roots crew, you can’t talk Philly without speaking of Thought. So big salute to him.
Young Jeezy. I’m going with the “King of the Trap.” I definitely have to pick the “Snowman.” He signed Tone Trump, so you gotta love him for that. You have to give a lot of credit to T.I. for what he did with Trap Rap but he helped take it to another level. He brought so much credibility to hip-hop. He was so authentic and raised the bar.