“I See Him The Way I See Nas”

“I See Him The Way I See Nas”

[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 Chet Haze rolled out his fave five picks, Cash Money Content author Muhammad Bashir blings out his top choices.]

  • Chuck D of Public EnemyChuck D. When Public Enemy was hot, you had a lot of cats talking positive lyrics. But Chuck’s stuff was so hot that he couldn’t get air play. When you’re talking about “Fight the Power,” you don’t get air play. I thought he could handle his own with any rapper that was out there.

  • whodini.jpgWhodini. Whodini were smooth. Back in the days, you had to be smooth. I come from the block and we always thought we were cool. When they used to do their little “One love, you’re lucky just to have, one love,” we were all over that. So we thought we were cool, they were cool and so I could identify with that.

  • p-kool-moe-dee.jpgKool Moe Dee. I grew up on Moe Dee and loved the battle that he and LL Cool J used to have. I used to love that. That battle [between] him and LL back in the day was a classic. It was really hot. And remember, “Kool as a cucumber,” the glasses, the black leather hat, Kool Moe Dee was a good name for him because he was just cool.

  • p-ll-cool-j.jpgLL Cool J. With LL, if you remember Krush Groove, when he rips up “My Radio,” in that movie, after he ripped that up I was like, “OK. I’m sold on LL.” There are a number of songs but there are just some of them that are classics. No matter where you go, you’re popping your fingers and know it’s an LL joint.

  • p-lupe-fiasco.jpgLupe Fiasco. I think Lupe is stepping over the line and he’s making my kind of music. So I have to add him too. Creativity. I think he’s diverse, I think he’s not afraid to speak his mind. I see him the way I see Nas, as a lyricist. And then you’ll see him do songs with Jill Scott and it’s almost like jazz versus hip-hop. I see a lot of versatility in his music and I see that he’s not afraid to say some things that are not being said.

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