Nas Names His Top 10 Hip-Hop Lyricists

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    Apparently the most recent issue of Rolling Stone features 50 artists providing themed playlists throughout the magazine’s pages. And for his list, Nas chose to name his top 10 hip-hop lyricists along with a song from each to explain their placement. It’s kind of a head-scratcher at times, especially Lil Kim and Rick Ross being on the list at all as well as his choice for a Jay-Z track. But I have to give Nas credit for having Kool G Rap all the way at number three. Too many people, from rappers to critics, have forgotten both G Rap’s skills and his influence.


    Anyway, here’s Nas’s list:

    1. “My Downfall” – Notorious B.I.G., 1997
    -The lyrics are about how he’s acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he’s giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.

    2. “If My Homie Calls” – 2pac, 1991
    -He’s just saying to his boys that he’s going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.

    3. “Road To The Riches” – Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989
    -The way we’re rhyming now? He was already doing it then .

    4. “A Bird In The Hand” – Ice Cube, 1991

    5. “Paid In Full” – Eric B. & Rakim, 1987

    6. “I’m Single” – Lil Wayne, 2010
    -I’m recently divorced, so I feel what he’s saying.

    7. “Tears of Joy” – Rick Ross, 2010
    -Ross is at the pulpit here.

    8. “The Moment I Feared” – Slick Rick, 1988
    -It’s cinematic. He’s at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he’s in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.

    9. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z, 2009
    -This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It’s New York’s modern anthem.

    10. “Queen Bitch” – Lil’ Kim, 1996
    -At the time, females rappers didn’t appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster shit.

    Interesting, to say the least.