Ask anybody who really knows rap, and they will say that Kendrick Lamar is the best pure rapper hip-hop has right now. It didn’t happen overnight: time after time Kendrick has proved that he’s someone who’s studied the greats. So when he names a list of his 10 greatest rappers of all time, you listen.
Interview magazine recently enlisted Erykah Badu, who knows a thing or two about dropping a classic album, to sit down with Kendrick Lamar. It’s a pretty good interview, you should check it out: Badu asked Kendrick some quality questions, ranging from his family life to what his favorite cereal is.
A highlight of the interview came when Badu asked him to name his top five rappers of all time. Kendrick struggled, but he was able to formulate a list:
“BADU: Okay, top five rappers of all time. Who are they?
LAMAR: Oh, man.
BADU: I know, it’s hard. I can never answer that question either. They don’t have to be in order.
LAMAR: Okay . . . Give me Jay-Z.
LAMAR: Give me Nas.
BADU: I’ll give you that.
LAMAR: Give me Tupac.
BADU: I might give you Pac. . .
LAMAR: Please give me Pac. Also give me Snoop.
BADU: Okay, that’s four.
LAMAR: And give me B.I.G.
BADU: I’ll give you B.I.G.”
Kendrick couldn’t just leave it at five, however. There are just too many great rappers, so he continued:
“LAMAR: But that leaves off Eminem and André . . . I’d probably formulate the perfect 10 if I really thought about it for a day.
BADU: You just named seven. You got three more?
LAMAR: Rakim . . . [pauses] Kurupt.
BADU: That’s nine.
LAMAR: Who would the last one be? Give me Method Man.
BADU: I will give you Method Man all day.
LAMAR: But it’s a battle because if I say Method Man . . . Will you give me DMX?
LAMAR: Yeah, give me X. That’s my 10.
BADU: And then Meth would be the alternate. I hope y’all get that into Interview magazine. [Lamar laughs]“
That might be a little confusing, so here’s a clear version of what Kendrick’s top 10 looks like:
- - Jay-Z
- - Nas
- - Tupac
- - Snoop Dogg
- - The Notorious B.I.G.
- - Eminem
- - Andre 3000
- - Rakim
- - Kurupt
- - DMX
- - Method Man (Honorable Mention)
What you do think of K-Dot’s list?