I noticed a few threads where people are looking for artists recommendations in the hip hop genre. Thought id be cool for people who listen to hip hop to list of their top 5 artist of all time and why.. in no specific order. Just remember everyone hears music differently so one persons list will vary from another.
Ill start it off...
The easiest way for me to explain why Nas is on my top five is to just say listen to the Illmatic album. For the album to be released within a year of Wu-Tang's: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), The Notorious B.I.G: Ready to Die, and A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders it was make or break for the 18 year old. Still today the album is ground breaking with tracks such as "The World is Your's" and "It Ain't Hard to Tell". Also although it didn't get the recognition it deserved, Distant Relatives by Nas & Damian Marley was a very very warm album that stuck to it's roots and didn't fall for the radio friendly bass drops and auto tune we hear in every other song these days.
A Tribe Called Quest
I think one of the biggest reasons I have ATCQ on this list is due to the way they fused jazz and hip hop together for the first time. The jazz was so ground breaking for the industry and production to this day whether it be original or sampling. Also.. the flow is prime.
Class, flow, rhythm. Biggie just had a way with words everything he did just brings you in and forces your head to bounce. I really don't think I need much explaining for this one.
I don't know many rappers who can paint a picture of life from hustling in the Marcy Projects to being one of Forbes top CEO's as well as he does. It doesn't matter who you are or where your from you feel like a million dollars listening to his tracks.
There are so many reasons why Lauryn deserves to be on this list... everything from her work as a member of the Fugees to her ability to look past money and fame to do what she feels is right. Talking about the music industry, "I was being way too compromised. I felt uncomfortable about having to smile in someone's face when I really didn't like them or even know them well enough to like them." In 1996 she released the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill which to this day is one of my favorite albums of all time.
To truly understand what Lauryn Hill has done you need to learn the history of her and her lyrics. As an example look at the song Zion. After being told by movie producers and record labels to have an abortion with her first son (Zion) Lauryn released the following song...
"When some women are pregnant, their hair and their nails grow, but for me it was my mind and ability to create. I had the desire to write in a capacity that I hadn't done in a while. I don't know if it's a hormonal or emotional thing [...] I was very in touch with my feelings at the time."
I know its really hard to pick but I'm interested in who other people have on theirs.
Edited by ptownjungle - 12/27/10 at 2:14pm