Earlier in October, T.I. shared his top 50 list of rappers during an episode on his ExpediTIously podcast. His top list had Tupac Shakur as number one, Jay-Z as number two followed by Biggie as number three, and Snoop Dogg at number four.
Explaining his reason when he featured on the Breakfast Club, T.I. said it comes down to one thing, “When it comes to impact.” Not to take anything away from Jay-Z who is still at number two on T.I.’s list. “I think Hov, is the greatest rapper alive,”
HipHop followers can disagree or agree with T.I.’s list, but then again could there ever be a list that is the “right one”. T.I. recalled the time he spoke to Jay-Z on the phone, and was questioned by Hov regarding the Top 50 list. “Hov called. We was talking about something else. Something completely non related, and then he says ‘Oh, and by the way, you really believe that?’, I said yeah.”
On the other hand The Breakfast Show presenter, Lenard Larry McKelvey, known professionally as Charlamagne tha God, disagreed with the list. Known for being a huge supporter of Jay-Z, Charlamagne felt Hov deserved the top spot. “I think he’s number one now. Only reason I say that is, one thing about ‘Pac, ‘Pac didn’t get a chance to.. like his influence i seen everywhere. He didn’t get a chance to actually put on a J. Cole, put on, you know, a Kanye West.”
In Tupac’s defense, T.I. explained further what he felt Tupac meant to Hip-Hop. “Listen, you know, ‘Pac is like the Hip-Hop Michael Jackson, you know that right. You can go anywhere, any part of the globe, and say Tupac, and they gon sing a Tupac song. They gon sing ‘How Do U Want It’, ‘Hit ‘Em Up’. They gon sing ‘California Love’, they gon sing something,” said T.I.
T.I. felt that when making such a list as Top 50 greatest rappers of all time, it wasn’t strictly based on skill set, but also impact had to be considered. Writing your own lyrics should also be part of the equation, said T.I. For those who have admittedly said they don’t write all their lyrics, T.I. said that automatically moves you down the list. “I thought Kanye should come down. Because, I don’t think, if you don’t write your own lyrics, I don’t think you should be high on the list.”