[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 Freeway went through his top choices last week, rap legend Masta Ace brings out his fave five.]
Mobb Deep. Mobb Deep is probably one of the most physically real street groups that’s ever come out. They’re like the perfect combination of producer, rapper and they’re even both the same height. They’re perfect. They’ve done it as such a high level for a long time. The coined a lot of stuff. Being a dude from Brooklyn giving props to their sound, that’s really saying something.
EPMD. This is another history hall of fame duo. Is goes back to them working together and pushing their stuff. They have similar stuff, styles. They never had to step outside of their own box. I don’t know if they get enough credit but they deserve it.
Public Enemy. It’s the longevity, the magnitude of some of the records they put out. “Fight the Power” and their songs became street anthems for black kids all around the world.
Cypress Hill. They were super influential to me. My Slaughtahouse record was pretty much based on how they did their thing. The whole group aspect of it and the cover. They influenced a lot of what I was doing. Even the voice I was using was influenced by them. They had a formula. For those Hispanic brothers to come out with the music that they were dropping at that time was suprising.
Boogie Down Productions. Boogie down has to be down there. It not only influenced me but a lot of rappers out there. KRS-One and the things that he did, he forced us to kind of look at ourselves. They always put it down.