[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 D. Chamberz brough out his fave five, rapper Ricky Ruckus fires off his top picks.]
J. Cole. I definitely would put Cole in there. Lyrically and content-wise, he’s great. He makes me want to hear more. Every time I hear one of his songs, it makes me want to hear another one. When he song is over, it makes me want to hear another one. When I’m watching his shows and he’s walking off the stage, I want to see more. His shows are real organic. It’s not like, track one, track two, track three. They’re playing live instruments and make you want to see more. It’s almost like your homeboy is on the stage.
T.I. I got him on there just because he’s the King of the South. He was like 19 when he said it and he showed the world. He showed and proved. Every time there’s a bad situation coming up, he keeps coming back. He’s not letting stuff stop him. It motivates me too. There’s never anything too big for me to not conquer.
OutKast. If you’re doing hip-hop, there’s no way they didn’t influence something you did. Their style and the way they pushed the envelope, they’re like your uncles. It’s cool to be like them. Andre never slacks. Any song he gets on, he has the best verse. Big Boi never stops. What’s crazy about Big Boi is he’s got the same flow on every song. It’s just like Bun B. He’s got the same flow on every song but that’s okay because he still kills it.
Young Jeezy. He came in like 50 Cent. He came in and stopped the game. It was like, “Who is this?” He changed the whole mixtape game, he really got out there and pushed the mixtape, moving as a street artist to a platinum-selling artist. I think that all stems from a mixtape. That’s crazy looking at how far he’s gone from a mixtape.
Kendrck Lamar. If you got Dr. Dre to co-sign you, then you’re definitely doing something. If you’re getting co-signed then that means you’re doing something astronomical. You’ve got to listen. It’s just dope. There’s nothing ordinary with him. Even his style is different, like the “Swimming Pools” record. It’s a different vibe from what you think an artist would have. If you listen to one of Kendrick Lamar’s first joints he came out with and then you listen to “Swimming Pools,” the growth from there to there is scary to make you wonder what he’s going to have next year.