Rap veteran Kool G. Rap might ruffle some feathers amongst diehard hip-hop heads after recently leaving out music moguls Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur from his personal Top 10 all-time favorite lyricists list.
According to reports, Kool G made space for New York veterans like himself, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One and the late Big Pun.
Kool G. Rap spoke with Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds for their Juan Epstein podcast alongside Necro. At one point during their lengthy conversation, the topic turned to whom G. Rap respected as top-tier lyricists. This led to the duo asking the Queens rapper to list off his top ten favorite lyricists. G. Rap naturally picked some obvious candidates, but there were a couple of interesting omissions, such as Tupac and Biggie. According to G. Rap, both were great rappers, but he didn’t feel they were amongst the elite lyricists. G. Rap’s list is below, as is the full hour-long episode of Juan Epstein. Kool G. Rap Big Daddy Kane Rakim KRS-One Eminem Ice Cube Scarface Jay Z Nas Big Pun (Complex)
A few months back, Kool G Rap dished out his SOHH Top 5 Dead or Alive list.
“Canibus. That boy is lyrically a beast. Chino XL. Chino has been in the game for a long time. Joell Ortiz. Joell is just like a monster. Ice Cube. He belongs in there hands down. Melle Mel. Melle is in there because he was like the first hip-hop artist, to me, who brought street life issues to the table.” (SOHH Top 5 Dead or Alive)
A couple years ago, Kool G spoke to SOHH and offered a take on the “greatest of all time” title.
“I definitely agree with Nas that there can never be a greatest of all time. Think back and you’ll see that Melle Mel was the greatest of “his” time. LL Cool J has done a lot for music. Rakim has done a lot and could be deserving of that title. KRS-One has done a lot and could be deserving of that title. There’s just so many dudes [who deserve] to wear that crown. Some people will always say it’s going to be the Notorious B.I.G. and then you have those that will say it’s Tupac Shakur. You’ll have those that think Jay-Z and Nas are deserving of that title as the greatest of all time. I think you also have those who consider myself, Kool G Rap, as one of the G.O.A.T.’s. I can’t count myself out for someone that could be up for that crown.” (SOHH)
Kool G. also told SOHH he considered himself one of hip-hop’s pioneers.
“If there is going to be anybody that could actually wear that crown, I believe there’s got to be a 100 percent certainty that I should be included in that category. Like I said, I’m very modest. I never even pushed rhymes like, I’m the best. I always let my creativity speak for itself. So any title G Rap did create throughout his career wasn’t because I felt like I was trying to tell people I was the best. It’s not because people heard it out of my mouth 50,000 times that they called me one of the best. The people decided to start saying that on their own. And [I’ve received] so much acknowledgement from so many other artists that I’m considered either the greatest or one of the great ones.” (SOHH)
Check out Kool G Rap’s interview: