On the heels of my latest post, Another ENCORE, Please, I came across an article on Yahoo’s featured news page, written by their Hip-Hop writer, Billy Johnson Jr.,  that reported, Last week Vibe magazine announced that Eminem had won its Best Rapper Alive competition.” Although I am a fan of Em’s, I don’t agree with the ruling. There was a catch though, the self proclaimed, “voice of urban culture” didn’t choose the person who would own the title of this highly argued topic, but they polled their readers using a bracket system similar to those used during playoff time in different sports. In the first round of a basketball playoff scenario, eight teams are ranked by their record in their respective conferences, East and West. Out of the eight teams the #1 team plays the #8 team, the #2 team plays the #7 team, and so on and so forth. That way the “best” teams, in terms of standings in their conferences, are the most “likely” to move on to later rounds. VIBE had four different brackets (conferences),  and it seemed, for the most part, that the 15-year-old publication attempted to do the same with the whole ranking system, bringing the victor from each bracket together to determine the overall winner. Amidst my browsing, I caught, what I consider, a few slip ups in different areas and have listed them below for your to openly scrutinize, if you’d like. 

Lil’ Kim (#9) vs. Lauryn Hill #8Lauren Hill is, without a doubt, one of the top female lyricists of ALL TIME. There should be no discussion concerning this matchup. Fortunately, the best woman did win. 

Nelly’s ranking – Nelly was ranked #5 in his bracket above Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Beanie Sigel, and even Joe Budden. I think a recount is in order. As a matter of fact, I DEMAND A RECOUNT!!!

A few of the slip ups, VIBE had nothing to do with. They were all a result of the uninformed voters. Here they are…

Ludacris(#3) beats T.I.(#2) with 58% of the votes– I agree with the rankings in their bracket but this race shouldn’t have been this close. The title of “King of the South” was rightfully bestowed upon Mr. T.I. long, long ago, Luda. Sorry…

The Game(#3) wins over Andre 3000(#1) – Most people can’t really get with Mr. 3G’s style but his creativity is what stands out for me. He is a genius at story telling, his quirky choice of words, and the mind churning metaphors he spits, all give him the “W” in this head-to-head, in my mind anyway.

In the fourth round of voting the M.C. that I think is the Best Rapper Alive, suffered a close defeat by Eminem, the eventual winner of it all. Who, you say? Mr. Nasir Jones. The voting was extremely close though, Slim Shady taking the victory with 57% of the votes compared to Nas’s 43%. Now, I was going to dedicate a much deserved post solely to Nas and explain why he is the Best Rapper Alive, but since I’m already gracing the subject here, I will calm you all’s wondering hearts with an abridged version of what is soon to come. 

Nas came into the game of Hip-Hop at a time where it was basically being dominated by the West Coast, Gangster Rap scene. The likes of Wu Tang Clan, The Notorious BIG, and Mobb Deep, all undeniably great in their own right, entered mainstream hip-hop at around the same time as Nas and collectively, helped put East Coast Hip-Hop back on the proverbial map. From his street anthem album, Illmatic to his politically driven latest release, Untitled, he has touched on a plethora of subjects, all with a naturally effortless flow. He can talk about the street life that he lived, (Life’s A Bitch)  and on the flip side he can speak on the problems facing our community (Black Girl Lost, Second Childhood, I Can).  The commercial crossover song is also a part of his repertoire (You Owe Me, Hate Me Now). The creativity he possesses is unbelievable and he can rattle off a narrative with ease. For example, on Stillmatic, Rewind, is a story told totally in reverse. Now that is one-of-a-kind thinking. Rather than talking about money, hoes and clothes throughout his whole career, Nas, unlike many other rappers, grows with every release. He is not afraid of  alienating his fans when he tackles socially conscious issues. Neither is he fearful of dedicating a whole album to one word, creating amazingly thought provoking tracks that take absolutely nothing away from his credibility (Untitled). Oh yeah, I’m sure all the Jay-Z fans out there know that Mr. Jones is indeed a heavyweight when it comes to battles, poisoning opponents with his lyrical venom and dismissing them with the verbal jabs that bruise their sub-par rhymes.

“Ask me if I’m tryin’ to kick knowledge. Nah, I’m trying to kick that sh*t you need the learn though, that Ether, that sh*t that make ya soul burn slow…” – Ether, Stillmatic

In parting, I would like to quote the man of the hour with this…

“I got this locked since nine-one I am the truest, name a rapper that I aint influence…” – Ether, Stillmatic.

I couldn’t have said it better………


  1. PGallen says:

    How can they put black thought against Common in the first round? Its absurd. Black Though is one of the finest lyricists around, but sadly people don’t know enough about the Roots to make an educated guess. Common has gotten a broader audience lately due to his mainstream success, but his earlier stuff “Resurrection” and “One Day it’ll all Make Sense” were art forms. As for the Roots, any true hip-hop fan should be dedicated to “Things Fall Apart”, “Do You Want More” and “Illdelph Halflife”…cause Philly’s where its at.

  2. Sister says:

    I’ve read this BLOG a few times and now I’m ready to comments………….. You all know who I think is the best, but for arguments sake let’s entertain Nasir Jones. I give it to him, he was HOT when he came out. I was down with the “Firm” and all that, but to me Nas’ career has lasted the test of time because if the battles/ beefs he’s been linked to. Being on the tip of everyone’s tongue is never a bad thing. The last CD, I think— honestly I did, but it did nothing for me. I can say that if I had to compile a list; Nasir Jones would be in MY FAV 5. Not to be confused with my FAV 1.

    The views expressed in this comments aren’t ones of Jazmere. I like Nasir Jones, But I LOVE SHAWN CARTER
    I am Chenier and I approve this message———- LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

  3. valsEagelve says:

    Maaaan, you know there is such thing in the web like search engine, http://google.com if you don’t, go there to understand why this post is bullshit

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