Continuing with the greatest hip-hop mcs countdown.
5. Notorious B.I.G.
I'm not exactly passionate about this pick, as I don't listen to much Biggie, but there's no way that I can deny his god-like powers on the mic. Straining my brain, I can't think of a single bad verse I've ever heard from B.I.G. Therein, however, lies the main thing holding him back from being higher on my list, possibly 2nd or 3rd. Simply put, the volume of this guys work is relatively meager, and I'm not saying that's his fault. He just happened to get aced 2 albums into a stunning career. But maybe, in some twisted way, it's all for the better. Biggie didn't have the chance to turn into a Nas, DMX, Ludacris, etc., i.e. someone who emerges with a stunning debut, then proceeds to put out variations of the same thing, only with diminishing quality. Then again, maybe he would have been a Jay-Z type, who knows? The point is, what this guy did release was virtually untouchable in terms of technique, delivery, and of course, those brilliant lyrics. The second main line of attack I have on the legacy of Notorious B.I.G. is his limited subject matter: sex, drug-dealing, and gang violence. Nonetheless, he did these things, at least the latter two, better than anyone else ever has, or maybe ever will. Given that mainstream rap has been obsessing over these topics for the last 10 years or so, that's quite a lofty statement. I think that Biggie Smalls should stand as a shining beacon to all of the rappers today who think that they can go into a recording studio without writing down their raps and create ill shit (cough, Kanye). Sure, a few like Jay and Wayne do it well, but everyone else should sit down and take notes on how Biggie spits one precise, literate, funny, compelling, frightening, riveting verse after another. Damn, I think I need to listen to more Notorious B.I.G.