[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 M16 unleashed his top five rappers, Young Money’s Shanell aka SNL reveals her picks.]
Andre 3000. He reminds me of the true artist that I am, doing a little bit of everything. Listening to the old OutKast albums and then just hearing him, they remind me of classic albums. Like how my parents would play their classic albums when I was younger. To hear him even jumping on the new stuff that he’s on now, it’s dope. His voice is dope and he does a little bit of everything but it makes it sound like it’s supposed to be that way.
Salt-N-Pepper. They were just me and my sister growing up. They were just one of the female rap groups that really inspired me growing up. Even the subject matter on “Tramp” and “Push It” is like some of the subject matter I’ve made. It’s like the new age version of what they used to talk about.
Amy Winehouse. That’s my homegirl. She took real subject matter like “Back to Black” and “Rehab” and just talked about real subject matter. Sometimes it’s really hard to write songs that people can relate to without it being about love or sex. But she was just telling these real stories and singing them in such a beautiful way. It was jazz but it was hip-hop and it was R&B. She was just down to Earth. She was just the homie. That would have been my best friend. I think she was able to grab the young people, the old people, the jazz community, the hip-hop community, the R&B community with just one album.
Prince. Prince can play just about any instrument. He can play anything, writes his own music, he’s a full on artist. He does everything and to me, that’s what a real artist is. They sing their own songs, they play their own songs, they perform their own music and for him to be able to do all of that and grab the attention of people through all these years, he’s incredible.
Lauryn Hill. I have her on my list for pretty much the same reasons as Andre 3000. She raps and she sings. It flows and it doesn’t sound like it’s a drastic change. It just sounds like really good music. They both do good music that just sounds good. It doesn’t have to be in one category, which reminds me of myself.