First off, allow me to say that I love to write...I really do. However, the world is always pulling at me from all angles with the many things that I'm involved in and writing is unfortunately the thing that is most easy to become neglected. I hate writing when I feel in a rush (although sometimes I've writing my best stuff that way). With that in mind, I just came from one of the craziest and busiest times of life in a long time. My life was consumed with Scribble Jam Tour, Scribble Jam Main Event, Various projects at Rhymesayers, producing/hosting Redefinition Radio, having my daughter for our annual Summer visitation, a variety of vacations, some time on bed rest being sick, and various other commitments and/or stresses... Mind you, some of these things were fun and amazing experiences (though none really profitable..ha) they did dictate all of my time.
As you may have already guessed that is my "excuse" for not writing in this blog for a few months. Well, I'm back and I'm going to try, once again, to be consistent. Only time will tell I suppose :). Here's a lil something I wrote a while back that I never did anything with, as far as I can remember...
HIP HOP's Top Lyricists Of All Time (one mans theory)
Talk about a love-hate relationship...that perfectly describes my feelings on “lists”. I think that’s probably the feeling of most people on “best of” lists. It’s because we all “know” it’s based on opinion but we just can’t let it go...ha. I’m guilty...probably more than most and it goes far beyond rap, ask my ex-girlfriends..ha. The ironic thing I suppose that every where I go there are two things that I’m generally guaranteed to have in possession, a pen (usually two, that I ridiculously sometimes refer to as my “twin glocks”...you can blame Freddie Foxxx for that one...) and a pocket-sized notepad. Why? Generally to write lists. Granted it’s not “best of” lists or “my favorite” lists, but lists none-the-less. They are addicting. Yet whenever I’m being interviewed I can usually answer any question quickly and intelligently until someone ask me to list my “favorite”....anything*. Of course, none of that stops me from constantly making my own “Top” lists in Hip Hop. Whether it be the “Best of the Year” or the “Best of All-Time”, I’m more than likely making those lists a few times a year for one reason or another. I’ve convinced myself, not by ego (or so I tell myself), that my lists, unlike most others, are not based purely on opinion and/or personal preference, but also rely heavily on logic and theory. Whether or not this is true I admit I’m not the best candidate to decide. Instead I’ll leave that up to you, however I prefer you keep your opinions on it to yourself... Just kidding.
More often than not my subject of choice is the MC. I have developed a formula of criteria that I spend an immense, some might say nerd-surpassing, amount of time cross referencing thru out the process. This is that criteria (particularly for “Best Of All Time Lists”):
5)Content-Visual Imagery, Wit, Vocabulary, etc...
6)Delivery-Style, Rhythm, Breath Control, etc..
12)Style-Cadence, Rhyme Scheme, etc...
Believe or not that’s just the basics. My formula has even more angles and evaluations. The longer the list the harder it gets to determine a clear answer. The most common list is the “Top 10" and that does generally end up the same for me when applying this process. For example, the list I developed for Redefinition Radio’s 9-2-06 “Hip Hop’s Top Lyricist” show varies very little from one I did in the late 90s on my “Time Travel” radio show in Chicago.*
Here’s the list I had for my Redefinition Radio show (in no particular order):
-Top 12 Hip Hop Lyricists Of All Time
6)Kool G Rap
8)LL Cool J
10)Kool Moe Dee
-Honorable Mention: Big Daddy Kane, Kool Keith, Notorious B.I.G, Nas, etc...
-*1: The only other question equally or more complex is “define Hip Hop”...
-*2: “The Time Travel” All Time Best Mcs List
1)KOOL MOE D
4)KOOL G RAP
6)THE GENIUS (GZA)
9)POS DNUOS Of DE LA SOUL
10)L.L. COOL J
This was actually a top 100 list that was really difficult to do. I don’t even know how much I agree with it anymore once I get past this point. Some of the “omissions” here that people might have been upset about I covered above...all in all I think it’s still a pretty solid list.
In any event, despite those who agree or disagree. Even with I disagree with myself, it is inevitable that I, as well as many others, well continue on with “the lists”....always the lists. :)