[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 production duo Finatik N Zac’s Zac new lets loose on his fave five, Brooklyn’s Fresh Daily dishes out his fave five.]
Andre 3000. It feels so f*cked up saying Andre 3000 and not Big Boi. But it is what it is. It’s like that for me. I have Andre 3000 on there because he’s multi-faceted. He sings, he produces, he’s got a really signature style. I love his writing. I’m a big rap nerd.
MF Doom. I have MF Doom on there because I’m a rap nerd and I love the writing. His writing really puts him in the Top 5 of all time for me. Personally. It’s also about taking the ‘I’m on a deserted island’ approach too where I could only bring a few albums with me because his instrumentals are incredible. He’s just dope.
Mos Def. Mos Def might be one of the most influential emcees on me, personally. Just because he’s Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn all day and also it’s his charisma. There’s so much he’s influenced on me that I had to mention him.
Drake. This is going to smack people up against the wall with me naming Drake but he’s in there. I think without being too sacrilegious he’s the closest thing to a male hip-hop version of Sade just because he’s able to invoke a mood that’s very laid back. There were times on Thank Me Later that were just so Sade and I think a lot of that he owes to [producer] 40. But it’s the way he’s able to invoke those feelings and how he’s able to write about it. He’s a great songwriter, I think he’s a good singer and a really dope rapper. Say what you want about him, but you can’t take away from his bar work. The Phonte influence is heavy there especially if you study emcees the way I study emcees. But his bar work is undeniable.
Sean Price. I have Sean Price because of his longevity. He reinvents himself without having to reinvent himself. He was part of Helter Skelter with Rock but then came back as Sean Price and he’s still maintaining the same level of rawness but he has such a sense of humor to his sh*t that’s terrifying and f*cking hilarious. I think he’s just one of the funniest motherf*ckers in rap. He’s just like a commercially grumpy, hood uncle too. He’s an older dude. People like him, Ghostface Killah and MF Doom are like my hip-hop uncles.