Grammy-winning rapper Nelly has named his favorite rappers of all-time ranging from the late Tupac Shakur to multi-platinum selling rapper Lil Wayne.
When asked to tally his Top 5, Nelly explained why hip-hop has too many greats to craft a single-digit list.
“I’m tell you why it’s hard…where I come from [St. Louis], we’re surrounded by everybody. It’s easier for someone on the East Coast to give his Top 5. It’s easy for someone on the West Coast to give his Top 5. But with us being in the middle like that, we’re influenced by all over. It’s not like we want to alienate one side or the next…But don’t get it twisted, obviously we’re going to start with Tupac and Biggie. I’ma throw LL [Cool J] in there – how can you not? How can not throw in the G.O.A.T.? I think he gets overlooked so much from that standpoint. Further on down the line, I’d like to get into like Scarface. I’m a huge Rap-A-Lot fan. I think Ice Cube. I think he gets overlooked. But then again, I could come back and I could say Rakim. You know what I’m saying? I’ma definitely say KRS…as much as you do that, he’s the teacher.” (All Hip Hop)
The St. Lunatic also mentioned hip-hop icons E-40 and Jay-Z as his favorites.
“That’s why I say it kinda gets blinded. ‘Cause if you move on now, I mean you’re gonna say Jay-Z. Whether you want to recognize or not, you’ve gotta say Lil Wayne, because it’s a never-ending cycle. That’s why I say I get f*cked up on that question. I mean, I love E-40!” (All Hip Hop)
Outside of his upcoming 5.0 solo album, Nelly is currently preparing a St. Lunatics reunion album.
“A lot of y’all been following us,” Nelly said in an interview. “You know the history. Our first album was called Free City, in honor of my little brother [City Spud] who was locked up right before we dropped Country Grammar. He wasn’t with us, and we dropped the first Lunatic album. We didn’t want to do another Lunatic album until he came out. We kinda got crossed up with that, ’cause we were hoping almost every year it would be the year he got out. Had we known he wouldn’t get out till nine years later, obviously, we would have done another Lunatic album. But my brother is free now.” (MTV)
Free City dropped in 2001 and debuted at No. 3 on the Top 200 chart.
Free City is the debut studio album by hip-hop group St. Lunatics. It was released on June 5, 2001, almost a full year after the release of group member Nelly’s debut, Country Grammar. The album was successful, eventually going platinum. (Wikipedia)
Check out a recent Nelly interview below: