[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 E-40’s son Droop-E unloaded his top picks, SOHH Top 5 Dead or Alive Hall of Famer Kool G. Rap delivers his fave five.]
Canibus. That boy is lyrically a beast. He’s a beast. He’s proven that over and over, repeatedly. He was a contender with [LL Cool J], somebody that’s considered one of the greats.
Chino XL. Chino has been in the game for a long time. I knew Chino before the world started knowing Chino XL. He was already showing high levels of knowledge back then. This was back when I was first starting out when I met Chino. That’s going back to when I first got into the game. Dude has progressed, matured and developed his style over the decades. He’s really a contender with the heavyweights out there. He can stand on his own two and nobody’s going to run circles around him. No one’s going to make him look ridiculous. As far as the underground and pure skill, if you go and listen to the majority of things he’s appeared on, you’ll see he’s for real.
Joell Ortiz. Joell is just like a monster. He’s one of the best new artists. I think more than any other Hispanic rapper after Big Pun, he has the ability not to necessarily fill the void for Pun but to be the next sensation for the history of Hispanic-Black artists. This is our hip-hop’s representative.
Ice Cube. He belongs in there hands down. He does not need an explanation.
Melle Mel. Melle is in there because he was like the first hip-hop artist, to me, who brought street life issues to the table. He brought political issues to the table and broke it down. He was about being more than just a rapper and keeping his music to the dance floor. He took it beyond those realms. He made hip-hop a vice where you could talk about anything in the music.