Wow. That was way harder than I thought.
That was the hardest column or list I’ve ever put together. The circumstances don’t help either; you may have noticed that tumbleweeds blew through the site for a couple months. I am in back in school and that didn’t help.
It was logistical nightmare that took months and strained Tom and my friendship. I started with a pool of between 1100 – 1200 only to find out daily that I had left something out. Every day, I get more convinced that I underrated Busta Rhymes and overstated my disappointment with Jay-Z, and I have a friend that is utterly convinced I overrated Slick Rick.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t a list of my favorite rappers. I would have Kool G Rap, R.A. the Rugged Man, Lupe Fiasco, Styles P, AZ, Ice T, Corey Gunz and at the summit would be Chuck D. I have Black Thought and Rakim very highly rated when I personally find their delivery dull.
To keep this thing under control I created a methodology that changed several times. Everytime it changed the results varied wildly, which was another cause for concern. Were the right people at the top?
Writing the articles wasn’t easy either. I rewrote every except for the KRS-1 entry which was due to sheer exhaustion. They were boring. They read like any general magazine. I also decided that I needed to include each artist’s lyrics.
The inherent problem became content. I’ve always tried to make this a site that you could read at work. (or else there would be boobs everywhere!) So I had to censor lyrics…which I didn’t feel great about. It’s like the worst of both worlds. The offensive word is still there. It’s obvious what it is, so its impact isn’t lessened. Its window dressing at its finest, and something about playing the position of the editor was nauseating.
In the end, I was mostly aided by Tom, R-Son the Voice of Reason, and my man, RA, although I got a lot of opinions. And it’s a list, and a fine one at that.