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Old 10-16-2009, 10:50 PM   #391 (permalink)
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No. A Tribe Called Quest should definitely be in the list, without doubt. They may not have played a part in influencing anything that has ever been hugely mainstream, but they certainly don't sound dated the way Rakim does to me now. Rakim did a lot for influencing mainstream rap that came after him, and is a clear influence in an unbelievable amount of rappers. But ATCQ developed a completely unique jazz rap sound, and along with De La Soul (who I don't consider to be as unique or influential) completely paved the way for alternative hip-hop. And while rap was starting to turn to darker themes and violence, ATCQ made jazzy songs with incredible beats, fantastic samples, and often nonsensical, fun, intelligent lyrics. I'd put them in top 5 for sure, over the Jungle Brothers, who had a much more focused influence and didn't truly open up the new genre like ATCQ.

Just my take. And I don't listen to that much rap, so I could be wrong.
Yes, a LOT of rap rips off A Tribe Called Quest. Maybe they can be in a top 10, but I wouldn't say "without a doubt." I realize that they're very influential, but De La Soul comes first. Yes, I know, Rakim is dated. I said this; I agree. Rakim didn't only influence mainstream rap, man. Like I said, he basically invented modern lyrical technique.

De La Soul comes first because they did it first. A Tribe Called Quest is heavily influenced by them. De La Soul NOT unique? No, man. De La Soul was incredibly innovational. During their time, no one like that existed; rap was in a hardcore state of mind with acts like Public Enemy, etc. De La Soul flipped the game upside down with their jazzy and silly samples, goofiness and intelligent / colorful rhymes. They were one of the most, like, eclectic hip hop groups ever, they expanded heavily (especially on samples and style) - lots of people took after them. Including A Tribe Called Quest. De La Soul are the ones responsible for alternative rap, not ATCQ.

I really, REALLY like A Tribe Called Quest, and I'd put them in like... My top 15, man. They just don't surpass Rakim's influence (but they are MUCH more interesting and lasting), and De La Soul is miles ahead of them.
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:08 AM   #392 (permalink)
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Rakim didn't only influence mainstream rap, man. Like I said, he basically invented modern lyrical technique.
.


i'll reiterate

"Big daddy kane was stringing together multiple syllable rhymes, alliteration, metaphors, assonance rhyming ect just as early if not earlier than rakim was. "

Rakim isn't the sole creater of "modern lyrical technique". If i had to choose i'd say big daddy kane gets that title. (although it isn't based solely on either of them, sure rakim influenced it and was one of the big players in lyricism, influencing rappers to become more lyrical but he definitley wasn't the biggest and he definitley didn't do it by himself)
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:54 AM   #393 (permalink)
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Top Ten Rappers/Hip Hop Artists - In no particular order

Sage Francis (rapper? not a rapper? call him what you will the man's sick)

Canibus (a lyrical monster who proved fans care more about production than talent)

Aesop Rock (The best flow I've ever heard...ever)

Eminem (his earlier work especially the bootleg stuff was brilliant)

Talib Kweli (punchline for punchline who's better?)

Mos Def (the man's just talented)

Ghostface Killah (only member of the Wu still holding it down on a regular basis and the best storyteller since Slick Rick)

Papoose (I just wish he'd put out a damn album already)

Styles P

Jay Z (no explanation necessary)
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:24 AM   #394 (permalink)
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i'll reiterate

"Big daddy kane was stringing together multiple syllable rhymes, alliteration, metaphors, assonance rhyming ect just as early if not earlier than rakim was. "

Rakim isn't the sole creater of "modern lyrical technique". If i had to choose i'd say big daddy kane gets that title. (although it isn't based solely on either of them, sure rakim influenced it and was one of the big players in lyricism, influencing rappers to become more lyrical but he definitley wasn't the biggest and he definitley didn't do it by himself)
I get that, man. I know that Big Daddy Kane was also experimenting with new techniques, and there were more than just Kane and Rakim. Chuck D was doing it, and no one seems to remember Kool Keith, but he was huge innovator, too. What about a few years later? Pharoahe Monch kicked lyrical technique and flow in the face harder than anyone.

The reason that Kane doesn't come in ahead of Rakim is because Rakim did it first (just a bit, but still), and he was more diverse of an MC. Now, you can say that Rakim didn't exist long enough before Kane to be an influence on him, but by the time Kane had come along, the techniques and ideas were already out there.

Big Daddy Kane is another artist I'd put in a high spot on a bigger list of influential hip hop artists, but I can't see him in a top 10 or higher than Rakim. There's just really no reason that Big Daddy Kane is better than Rakim.
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:23 PM   #395 (permalink)
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1. Lupe Fiasco
2. Andre 3000
3. Jay Z
4. Eminem
5. Black Thought
6. Nas
7. Common
8. AZ
9. Big Pun
10. Kanye West
Regardless of who he is, he still has a great concept with most songs he makes.
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:36 PM   #396 (permalink)
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I get that, man. I know that Big Daddy Kane was also experimenting with new techniques, and there were more than just Kane and Rakim. Chuck D was doing it, and no one seems to remember Kool Keith, but he was huge innovator, too. What about a few years later? Pharoahe Monch kicked lyrical technique and flow in the face harder than anyone.

The reason that Kane doesn't come in ahead of Rakim is because Rakim did it first (just a bit, but still), and he was more diverse of an MC. Now, you can say that Rakim didn't exist long enough before Kane to be an influence on him, but by the time Kane had come along, the techniques and ideas were already out there.

Big Daddy Kane is another artist I'd put in a high spot on a bigger list of influential hip hop artists, but I can't see him in a top 10 or higher than Rakim. There's just really no reason that Big Daddy Kane is better than Rakim.
I don't think Rakim released anything spectacular or influencial before Kane did. I could be wrong but i'm pretty sure rakims first majorly lyrical and influential song was in 1987 shortly AFTER kanes underground hit Raw. That's not even considering kanes time spent with the Juice Crew before that. I doubt either rapper influenced the other because they were both evolving their styles at the same time.

Also i'm being extremely biased because although i respect rakim had a lot of lyrical ability and was a talented rapper i just found him incredibly boring. I enjoyed kanes music much more and i still think he's a better lyricist lol.

Anyway, like i said earlier when i made list number 1 i wasn't cosndiering lyrical ability i was considering the artists impact on rap and the hiphop culture. Even if i was to make a list of the top 10 lyricists of all time i don't think rakim would make it in. Despite the fact that he (along with 5 or 6 other rappers at the time) pushed forward the complex lyricism and variety of techniques that has helped progress rap to the next level.

btw did you psot a list? lol
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:19 PM   #397 (permalink)
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I don't think Rakim released anything spectacular or influencial before Kane did. I could be wrong but i'm pretty sure rakims first majorly lyrical and influential song was in 1987 shortly AFTER kanes underground hit Raw. That's not even considering kanes time spent with the Juice Crew before that. I doubt either rapper influenced the other because they were both evolving their styles at the same time.

Also i'm being extremely biased because although i respect rakim had a lot of lyrical ability and was a talented rapper i just found him incredibly boring. I enjoyed kanes music much more and i still think he's a better lyricist lol.

Anyway, like i said earlier when i made list number 1 i wasn't cosndiering lyrical ability i was considering the artists impact on rap and the hiphop culture. Even if i was to make a list of the top 10 lyricists of all time i don't think rakim would make it in. Despite the fact that he (along with 5 or 6 other rappers at the time) pushed forward the complex lyricism and variety of techniques that has helped progress rap to the next level.

btw did you psot a list? lol
I think my wording about the influence between Rakim / Kane was poor, sorry for that. I wasn't saying that Rakim was influential to Kane, I was just saying that even though he wasn't, he was doing it before Kane, so the style was already established. Sometimes it's just a race to who gets out there first, even if they both had the same ideas without each other's help.

Actually, Raw was a hit in 1987, and the Eric B. Is President / My Melody single was released in 1986. I don't think Kane had released anything before that. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Oh, man, I agree - Kane is more fun and entertaining, and I actually do find Rakim boring.

Well, lyrical ability is part of pushing hip hop to where it is. Rakim had a huge impact on rap. He's more acclaimed as an innovator than Kane, (I do think that Kane is underrated), so he's more famed with moving hip hop forward. There's no way he couldn't make it on top 10 lyricists, it just wouldn't be fair.

Really, I think Big Daddy Kane and Rakim could easily be interchangeable on a top 10 list, but I'd say Rakim SHOULD take it because he did it first and he was more diverse.

Yeah, I made a list. I don't even fully agree with it yet, (I'm working on trying to make it perfect), it's about two pages back.

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I'm trying to make this the most objective list possible. This is probably going to change over time, but here's what I've got so far.

1. Aesop Rock
~ He's demonstrated his diversity over the years, and his lyrical content is virtually untouchable. If you go from No Regrets, where he shows off storytelling skill, then to Tugboat Complex Part 3, where the content is too much to digest in one lesson, it's impossible to miss his technical range of talent. His rhyme scheme is incredibly creative and complex, he's like a walking dictionary, and he's been one of the most consistent hip hop artists there's been. He displays a lot of intelligent wordplay and has an interesting voice and flow to match.

2. Chuck D
~ As the head of Public Enemy, Chuck D was one of the earliest to experiment with rhyming schemes, and Public Enemy is important in the fact that they pioneered a new take on hardcore rap that was revolutionary - musically and lyrically. Chuck D's lyrics turned rap into a socially conscious, political, and pro-black forefront. Not to mention, he has the most powerful voice in hip hop.

3. Rakim
~ I don't really like listening to him, I just get bored. However, if you listen to Paid in Full, you'll see that Rakim is responsible for basically inventing modern lyrical technique.

4. KRS-One
~ He took the state of hip hop by the throat and changed it all - he's essentially the godfather of hardcore rap. (Criminal Minded is the foundation of it.) Of course, like many musical innovations, the ideas and pieces existed, but KRS-One encompassed these ideas to truly create it. Not to mention, the grittiness of his older work stands against the test of time. He was also one of the earliest socially conscious rappers.

5. El-P
~ Incredibly adventurous and creative, El-Producto has made room for a lot of innovation in hip hop. His work with Company Flow, Cannibal Ox, and his solo work are all quality. He's the perfect balance between old school and new school, and as the frontman of Company Flow and Def Jux, El-P has basically called the shots and laid the groundwork for all modern day, backpacker rap. Company Flow was dense and abstract, while still being spacious. There was no similar hip hop at the time. It also seems that El-P's production only gets better and better - I'll Sleep When You're Dead sounds like nothing else, and is his best production yet. He's one of those few people who's great as a producer and a rapper.

6. Pharoahe Monch
~ Another innovator of modern lyrical technique, Pharoahe Monch is known for his complex delivery and intricate internal multi-syllabic rhyming. Organized Konfusion's debut album also showcases his perfect, perfect flow. The album was also quite ahead of its time; the flows and topics were progressive.

7. The Beastie Boys
~ The original white boy rap group, and the first white rappers that were of any importance, the Beastie Boys were able to widen what hip hop would be in the future. They fused a lot of their rapping with rock influences, made a lot of catchy tunes, and they were unbelievably smart - see Sounds of Science.

8. Aceyalone
~ People who relate Aceyalone to Aesop Rock are usually the ones who get him right. He lives in an irregular and interesting world, demonstrated by his lyrics. His voice works perfectly with his delivery - exciting and jumpy. His work with Freestyle Fellowship and on All Balls Don't Bounce are enough to put him near the top. He's also a leader in Project Blowed (hip hop collective).

9. Wu-Tang Clan / Gravediggaz
~ I really can't break this down to specific members, so this will have to do. Every Wu-Tang member has absolutely fantastic consistency, and they all have really interesting voices! Over Rza's eerie piano pieces and hypnotic, crunchy beats, every Wu member has a lot of character in their voices, and the lyrics are balanced between hilarious and hardcore rap-esque seriousness. Their sound is very, very recognizable. Gza is intricate, cool and literate, Ghostface Killah has a great voice for rapping, Ol' Dirty Bastard was fun with his unstable, menacing attitude and also played a comic relief with a recognizable part-sung part-rapped delivery. All the artists also went on to create lots of great solo albums.

10. Prefuse 73
~ This one might be a bit unexpected, but I think Prefuse deserves to be recognized as one of the greatest hip hop artists there has been. His glitch hop sound is incredibly original, and he's great at fucking with emotions, some reason. A lot of glitch hop stuff seems novelty - but Prefuse 73 isn't. When you first hear it, it's like, "Oh, that's neat stuff." But it takes a while to really appreciate him and take him for more than something that sounds cool.


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Old 10-23-2009, 08:58 AM   #398 (permalink)
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Does anyone remember Ja-Rule? I remember my brother buying his album was back when we were little kiddies and it was called Venni Vetti Vecci, and it had a really good track on it called Race Against Time. I always thought it was a pretty good album myself, but am I the only one who thinks this?
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:01 AM   #399 (permalink)
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Does anyone remember Ja-Rule? I remember my brother buying his album was back when we were little kiddies and it was called Venni Vetti Vecci, and it had a really good track on it called Race Against Time. I always thought it was a pretty good album myself, but am I the only one who thinks this?
I remember him, he has some really catchy tracks when I was growing up and was really popular over here. I think that album was one of his best, and the song you mention was used in one of the Fast and Furious films I believe! I think he tried his hand at acting, no idea what he's doing now, but I guess in the years he was rapping he was popular, especially for his summery tracks with Ashanti in every one! Ahh, childhood days. Seems like more a relic of the past now though.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:01 PM   #400 (permalink)
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I remember him, he has some really catchy tracks when I was growing up and was really popular over here. I think that album was one of his best, and the song you mention was used in one of the Fast and Furious films I believe! I think he tried his hand at acting, no idea what he's doing now, but I guess in the years he was rapping he was popular, especially for his summery tracks with Ashanti in every one! Ahh, childhood days. Seems like more a relic of the past now though.
I'm glad someone else remembers him! I didn't realize that song was on a Fast and the Furious film. If that was the case, I figured having a song in that film would have made him all sorts of fame, as remember Fast and the Furious being a massive deal. But I completely agree with you, Ja-Rule is such a relic of the past that just came and went with the times. Shame is, he was big during the Dr. Dre Snoop Dog era when there was a lot of good rappers and competition and he really got edged out. Now his music would top any of the raps on the radio now.
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