[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 Styles P named his top spitters, “Washington Heights” cast member Audubon lays out his fave five.]
The LOX. I definitely have to put the LOX in there. All of them are crazy with the way they write but just listening to them, especially Jada, he’e so in-tune with the streets. He’s still putting out new lingo. He talks to you almost like he’s your boy. That’s crazy. It’s hard to do that. Styles is the same way, talking about Africa and the state of mind stuff. Sheek just keeps it real hood. He’s just a mix of everything and that’s why I loved listening to them.
Andre 3000. Three Stacks, first of all he doesn’t even write, he’s like an artist but an improv genius. It’s hard to explain him. It’s almost like he’s acting everything out because he can do it on the spot. His sh*t is serious. The whole OutKast is great, but especialy with him when he went out and did his own thing, he’s always been about doing his own thing. He’s always dressed differently. OutKast came into hip-hop dressing mad weird and didn’t really care what people thought. I respect that.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. I was just listening to a song from Tupac and Bone Thugs and thinking, “God d*mn this sh*t is hard.” I like anything that’s different. In the time they were out, there was nobody spitting like them. They were the only ones really embracing the mold and spitting hard and they were also singing. That, to me, was blowing my mind. They were really singing on songs and still thugged out. There were times where I wanted to sing and thought, “D*mn, that’s not gangsta.” But then I saw them do it and was like, “H*ll nah, I can do this sh*t.” They even had Biggie rapping fast. They made Biggie come out of his comfort zone to rap with them. That’s amazing.
Snoop Dogg. Snoop Dogg is the godfather, I don’t care what nobody say. He’s like the godfather of the West Coast. He’s still there, he’s done it, he can still write new songs. That’s the one right there.
Common. I got Common on there because I fell in love with Be, that album he made with Kanye West. I feel that was a perfect album, just ten songs and straight to the point. That made me see him in a different light. The sh*t he was talking? Incredible. He’s conscience but he can still make a track to scoop up a shorty. He makes people think he’s conscience but then he’ll hurt you. People see Common as the fist up in the air type of dude but his first albums and all of that, he was hood as h*ll. I like how I was able to see that growth in him.