[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 Rossy named his picks, former Bad Boy Records rapper Aasim dishes out his fave five.]
LL Cool J. LL was so dope because he could come out with the smoothest girl record and then come right behind you with a crazy, hard joint.
Andre 3000. Everybody says now is the time of down South rappers and ATL, but for me, I remember that one OutKast album and hearing Andre 3000 when he was in regular clothes. When you heard him rhyme, he had such clever lines, even now. And then his flows, to be able to switch them up in an instant, it was so crazy. For him to be a down South cat, he was just ill to me.
Jadakiss. He says very clever things, he’s very witty. I would love to get in the studio and do some music for Jada right now. He’s so relevant and unique. He’s a New York cat and everybody knows he can rhyme his a** off and he never really changes so for somebody who keeps the same cadence and the same delivery for pretty much everything and still be able to capitalize and capture your attention, I think that’s phenomenal.
Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill, much like LL, is very diverse. As a female, there’s a lot that don’t get their just due. Going back, she was on the Apollo and got booed off the stage. To come back and be a part of the Fugees, their first album flopping, and then coming back and being on top of her game and releasing her own solo joint, she crushed it all across the board. She’s definitely a legend just based off of that.
Big L/Big Pun. Big L was just nice. I remember being in the studio around all of them and I came up with Lord Finesse and all of them. I just always remember L and he could freestyle and whatever. He was taken too soon. I think if he was around now, he would definitely be somebody controlling the game or being right up there with the great ones. Not just because he passed but just because he’s nice. Pun was my man, he was my brother. He was just ill. To put the words together that he put together and be that big and be able to rhyme, that was crazy.