Nas’ Surprising Top Lyricists List

Written by jGerson

Monday, November 29th, 2010 at 4:19 pm
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For the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, the longstanding publication selected 50 artists and gave them categories to create a playlist of ten songs around.  For instance, Cee-Lo Green was asked to list the Best Dirty  South Hip Hop and Yoko Ono was asked to list the Best John Lennon songs.  Staying along the same lines, Rolling Stone chose Nas to name Hip Hop’s Best Lyricists.  While the playlist has yet to be published on RS’ official website, HipHopDX’s report is somewhat shocking.  I expected Nasir’s list to be less mainstream and even more old-school than what was drafted.  Personally, I think the second half isn’t spectacular in the lyrical department, but then again, I’m not Nas (who is definitely on my list).  Here’s how it went down:

When I said ‘hip-hop is dead’ a few years ago, I felt we’d gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling,” says Nas. “There’s a place for the party sh*t and a place for the gangster sh*t. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward.”

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 B*tch” – Lil’ Kim, 1996

At the time, females rappers didn’t appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster sh*t.

  • miami brown

    WTF?This list is mediocre…lol. HE shoulda put HIMSELF on there!!! Remember “Favor for a favor” with him andKool G Rap??? Shit the nigga Nas humble as fuck!!!!!

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