[Each week, SOHH asks two entertainment personalities to name their Top 5 hip-hop artists 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 DJ Kayotik revealed his top five, New York street artist Jay Shells unloads his top picks.]
Big L. I just think he’s one of the best lyricists ever.
Roc Marciano. His flow and rhyme style is unprecedented. He is completely unique. Nobody else raps like him.
OC. Stories. His stories are f*cking sick. Some of his songs that are just straight narratives, I just think he can top Slick Rick when it comes to narrative raps.
Big Pun. Much like Big L, when it comes to lyrics are concerned, he’s incredible. The way he strings words, the way he did string words together, again, just totally unique.
RA the Rugged Man. I think his brutal honesty is very unique. A lot of rappers are slaves to their record labels. He literally has a record called “Every Record Label Sucks D*ck” and that must have been like 1992 or something. It just takes a lot of balls to call out anybody and everybody on bullsh*t. His personality is just f*cking raw. He has a song called “C*nt Renaissance” with B.I.G. from back in the day. He’s just nasty. He’s had a very odd life and he’s always been very honest about talking about his family in his music. His flow has sort of evolved and well-respected by everybody.