Lists are innately designed for debate. Especially hip-hop lists. Last week VIBE said eff it and debuted one we knew from jump would get opinions flickering—The Greatest Rapper Alive (Under 30!). So far our top fiver, J. Cole has A’Ok’d the inclusions, but not everyone’s dapping the final cut. Peep what some of the web’s most important hip-hop bloggers had to say. Don’t worry our skin’s Nigerian tough!
“If this is the ‘Best Rapper Alive, Under 30’ crop, then hip-hop is in trouble. While some on the list are straight spitters and I co-sign, a bulk on here are just what’s ‘hot now’ and not people I can put my faith in right now, much less the future. They hardly have the catalog to be considered a good rapper. The OG’s need to step it up and coach these youngn’s because this is who they’re passing the torch to. Someone send an S.O.S. for the next generation of hip-hop. Code red. Big L, Biggie and 2pac are probably rolling in their graves as we speak.”
“About 3 of these artists can be mentioned in the same sentence as GREAT. That’s not a knock against anyone’s skill set because they’re always room to grow. But other than the 3 I’m eyeing, great is a bit of a stretch for these names right now. Top 30 Under 30 suits this list a bit better [because] what’s the basis of the list? Albums? Media coverage? Grassroots campaign? Why the fuck is Lil B even on this list?
Its pretty unfair to even put Wayne in this group because of the machine that’s already behind him. Mixtapes are cool, but unless you got albums and yes i used in the plural context, this list will always be fucked. Wayne has HOW many albums? Plus mixtapes? Plus features? Plus unreleased material? But that’s what im saying, Wayne has the jump. Its no contest. Which is why I think he should be excluded.
And I don’t know, some of these rappers are inconsistent: Cassidy, Juelz, Young Chris, Soulja Boy. Another handful isn’t experienced enough: Meek Mill, Freddie Gibbs, Vado, Diggy, Tyler and others are there because of that name they have backing them, which isn’t a bad thing either. I have too many side eyes a this list. Im going to remove myself from the discussion because I know I’m going to offend someone and everyone is just TOOOOOOOOO damn sensitive nowadays.”
“I don’t really got beef with the selections execpt for Lil B and Soulja Boy. The only lists these two should to be on are Schindler’s. They should be excluded. Although their names are more recognizable, Its almost insulting for them to be listed higher than rappers like Freddie Gibbs or Nipsey Hussle. As far as Lil Wayne over Lupe, I’m all for it. Weezys still spitting hard these days.”
“Alright, before I begin, I want to make it clear that I’m presuming this to be an Under 30 list for the “The Greatest Rapper Alive” and not “The Hottest Rapper In The Game.” Moving on, I have some major issues with this list.
1. I understand that Bow Wow hasn’t really caught the attention of Hip-Hop lovers since past couple of years but how are you placing a rapper with 3 Platinum and 2 Gold albums on the same position as someone like Diggy Simmons? Plain wrong! And while I’m defending Bow Wow, I also strongly object to placing someone like Lil B 11 positions better than him.
2. Did you just put Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. & Naledge over Juelz Santana? I always believe that the whole process of releasing a studio album(s) & being successful with it translates to a huge feather in the cap and none of the above named rappers have accomplished that more than Juelz.
3. Although I have great praise for J. Cole, I would not put him as high as No.5 for the above mentioned similar reasons. Let us please not get over hyped and at least wait for his debut LP. There’s a huge difference of fan following and sales between Nicki and J. Cole so the two being placed at only 1 position apart (4 & 5) doesn’t make sense to me one bit.
4. No offence, I have equal love for both but Cory at 13 and Asher Roth at 22? On what basis? Cash Money Records is a better label than Schoolboy/SRC?
5. Where the hell is Black Milk? Last time I checked, he was 27.”
JOHN GOTTY, THESMOKINGSECTION.COM
“Part of me disagrees with furthering the idea of a generational gap in rap, even though I understand the purpose here. Other than that, most of these guys should earn stripes before any accolades, especially considering most haven’t dropped an album or “street album” (aka mixtape) whose buzz lasted over a month. Hell, people forgot the release before the file expired on the filesharing site it originated from. I’ll act like I didn’t even see the has-been’s (Banks, Bow Wow, Cassidy) who got listed. The top 4 can’t be argued against, even though I’d have to swap B.o.B (#6) for Cole (#5). Dom and Gibbs should’ve cracked that top 10 too, but that could be bias peeking through my pen.”
JAVID LOUIS, THELIFEFILES.COM
“Bow Wow being tied with Diggy Simmons is crazy. Bow Wow practically invented kiddie bop thug life and even though he hasn’t managed to stay as relevant now, don’t think he should be in the same sentence as a new artist with no hits.
Waka Flaka Flame should be higher, he doesn’t have stand out lyrics, but lyrics don’t pay the bills. And how’s he going to go hard in the paint from way out there?
Soulja Boy being tied with Lil B is very appropriate, thought Lil B was Soulja Boy’s new moniker when I first heard him.
If we’re just talking about putting together words that rhyme and incredible metaphors and wordplay, Cassidy has to be higher on this list. Now if we’re talking about making hit songs consistently that’s another thing.
Wiz Khalifa is so overrated, surprised he’s not #1 on this list. But he has the best looking girlfriend!
J. Cole above Lloyd Banks and Juelz Santana, no way J.ose!
Even though they share love for a similar style of punchline rap, Nicki Minaj may actually be more relevant than Drake right now. Before seeing who the #1 pick was would have definitely have given them the top two spots.
Lil Wayne has put in so much work I wouldn’t consider him in the same league as 80% of these guys. Weezy First Baby.”