Or at least was in his prime. I don’t know any other rapper, ever, who could do 300 bars without stopping and have each one be powerful, crisp, unique, and surprising.
I know this is an old song, but it came up on my shuffle the other day and I still love it.
So is Game top 5? I mean, who’s really that much better?
- Nas? Nah. He’s had fewer albums that can go track-for-track against Game’s albums, and he’s had some really unlistenable albums. Of all Game’s official and mixtape releases have at least five songs worth keeping.
- Snoop? I kinda rate him like I rate Nas, only Snoop has some really great hits. Nas doesn’t. But Nas has a couple brilliant–I mean game changing–albums. Snoop doesn’t.
- Tupac? Pac’s real genius was that he created a whole movement, Thug Life, and was a political rapper in California rap, which pretty much was just about crack, money and women. He’s definitely one of the top 5 most important rappers, but if you’re looking at pure skill–technique, creativity, etc.–I don’t put him as top 5. Top ten, sure. Not top 5.
- Biggie? Probably. But his portfolio is so small–hard to tell if he would have been able to maintain like Game.
- Ice Cube or Dre? Scarface? Anyone from Wu Tang? They were pioneers, made some great stuff, but they’re definitely not top 5.
- Kanye West? Come on. Even before he completely lost his mind he wasn’t a top 10 rapper. Great producer, solid performer. Top 20 yes. But not top 10. He’s just not at that level.
- MF DOOM? I love Doom, but his work is extremely uneven–especially lately. Again–he was a pioneer for alt-rap and has exceptional skill both behind the mic and the mixer, but he’s not top 5. I don’t even think he’s top 10 anymore.
So who is better?
1. Jay-Z sold a lot more records and can speak on a lot more than just hood raps so, yeah, he’s better. He’s the best.
2. Eminem. Same as Hova: Better sales, more versatility. And he’s been around longer. And his message is much more unique. Em’s number two.
3. Pusha-T. I don’t know if you looked at sales if Pusha beats Game. I expect it’s close. But Pusha-T has a voice that can’t compare and a much broader vocabulary. Plus, he has an incredible sense of humor that’s lacking from all of Game’s cuts–except his dis tracks. Pusha’s my personal #3.
Two slots left. There’s a lot of guys who can compete hard for this spot: Lupe Fiasco. Masta Ace. Chuck D. But there’s one who clearly rises above them.
4. Kendrick Lamar. Right now, nobody is producing more creative work than Kendrick–and he’s got a staple of associates who are pushing the envelope as well. Most notably Jay Rock. Lamar is doing more for rap than anyone else today, and his rhymes can stand up to all the GOATs.
So, slot #5….
5. The Game.
Yeah, I said it.
Rounding out my top ten would be Biggie, Tupac, Chuck D, Rakim and probably Andre 3000–at least when performing with OutKast. Although I might give that tenth spot to Ice Cube, Lupe, or Masta Ace, depending on the day and my mood.
Guys to watch right now: Joey Bada$$, Cousin Stizz, Maxo Kream, and Freddie Gibbs.