I put Grand Puba in the Top 5 list because he’s a trend-setter. He’s set a lot of trends for the fashion, Tommy Hilfiger.
He’s got classic records, he’s got conscious records, he’s got party records.
He helped bring Mary J. Blige out with What’s The 411? and all of that. He was in a legendary group, went solo and had a successful career. He’s just one of the most influential guys out there.
I put Busta Rhymes in here as well because he transcends so many generations.
He’s got classic verses and classic albums. He kind of revolutionized the music video game with how he would do videos and putting all those characters in it. Missy Elliott‘s whole look came from Busta. What she was doing in her videos, it was inspired by Busta.
I think he’s just one of the best lyricists, one of the best performers, so he’s in there.
LL Cool J is another one. He’s a guy who transcends mad generations.
He was a teenager with some of the illest battles. He also shut down a lot of careers; that’s a good thing, it’s a part of hip-hop. He was one of the first artists that was killing careers as far as on the battle scene.
He had the ladies, he had the hardcore hip-hop fans loving him with “I’m Bad” and “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
You just can’t keep him down. You know he’s always going to come with a hot record to kill it. He’s a dope artist and he had a hell of a run. You gotta give him his props. Over 20 years in this game is long. Most artists’ careers don’t last three albums.
First of all, with Ice Cube, he was one of the first writers of the whole N.W.A.. He was writing all of Eazy-E‘s sh*t, he was writing his own sh*t, writing Dr. Dre‘s sh*t. And he was young, like 17-years-old putting it down like that. And then he left a very successful group in their prime and went ahead and had a very successful solo career.
Aside from the acting, he put out solid albums. That Amerikkka’s Most Wanted is a classic. Most artists can’t get one classic off, this dude has four or five classic records. He pretty much brought gangster rap to the forefront along with N.W.A. but he was the lead vocalist in that group. So you gotta give him props.
People don’t give Fat Joe his respect. He might not be the most lyrical but for him to keep creating himself for 15 years, being relevant, that’s not an easy thing to do. He’s always been able to have a song working and a look. He did bring out Big Pun and he did a lot of big things.