[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 late rapper Big L’s brother Donald Phinazee named his fave five, West Coast icon DJ Quik whips out his top picks.]
Mixmaster Spade. He was the first rapper in the neighborhood that I liked. The West Coast music scene wasn’t big enough for him. He had the best voice. He used to sing and rap. That was his thing. He used to sing and rap. He inspired Dr. Dre and me. Everyone had a little bit of Mixmaster Spade in them.
EPMD. Erick and Parrish ushered in the swag of hip-hop. That was the first time I heard swag on a record.
Chuck D. I have Chuck D because he was so enlightened that you had to make music that said something for it to be successful. I have Chuck D on there for going against the grain and turning it into platinum and giving us lyrics that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.
Schooly D. I have to put Schooly D on my list.
Slick Rick. I got Slick Rick on there just off the strength that whenever you got a Slick Rick record, it didn’t even sound like you were listening to a record. His voice was so smooth and then you add in the British accent, it made for raw entertainment.