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 Bands A-Z: Notorious B.I.G.
 News Archive: Notorious B.I.G.



 10. LL Cool J



 9. Eminem


 8. Ice Cube



 7. Big Daddy Kane



 6. KRS-One



 5. Nas



 4. Rakim



 3. Notorious B.I.G.



 2. Tupac



 1. Jay-Z



  50 Cent, Nas, Mary J. Give Their 'Greatest MCs'



  MTV Hip-Hop Brain Trust 2006



  Honorable Mentions



  Back to Intro


Have a problem with our choices? Got a better list? Let us know, and check back later for our readers' hip-hop top 10 lists.

Kanye, 50, Diddy, Jay-Z, Tupac? Think your list is better than ours? Make your voice heard in our Greatest MCs poll.




  The Greatest Hip-Hop Albums Of All Time



  The MTV Hip-Hop Brain Trust 2005




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Rank: 4

estimonial
If Eric B. & Rakim put out their first album yesterday, "The God" still would have made this list. Back in the golden age of hip-hop (the late '80s, youngsters), Rakim took lyricism to unfathomable heights, helping to usher in the wave of lethal MCs like Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap, who would go on to become icons. Two decades later, some of Ra's rhymes from '86 are still over people's heads: His wordplay remains a hip-hop measuring stick.

Co-Signer: 50 Cent
"I remember hearing his music way back, on Paid in Full. Rakim was way ahead of his time when he came out. To me, him and KRS-One were the best rappers. He was able to stay street-orientated while being intelligent. He seemed more intelligent than the rest of the other artists out there that were just rapping. Everything about him, his whole swagger, him as a person, is what made that work, and he made other MCs come up behind him and follow in his footsteps so hard. He gave birth to Nas, damn near. Nas is dope, though. Style-wise, Rakim influenced that."

100 Percent Proof
"Imagine me wit' the heat that's made by solar/ It gets stronger every time I hold a/ Microphone, check the tone to get started/ The line for the microphone is departed/ So leave it up to me, my DJ is mixing/ Everyone is moving or eager to listen/ Your hands in the air, your mouth shut/ 'Cause I'm on the mic and Eric B. is on the cut."

— from "Move the Crowd" (from Paid in Full, 1987)

Selected Catalog
(With Eric B. & Rakim:) *Paid in Full (1987), *Follow the Leader (1988), *Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em (1990), Don't Sweat the Technique (1992); (Solo:) The 18th Letter (1997), The Master (1999).

* = undeniable classic

You Tell Us
Have a problem with our choices? Got a better list? Let us know, and check back later for our readers' hip-hop top 10 lists.





Are you FURIOUS that your favorite MC isn't in the Top 10? Look at the 'Honorable Mention' list, then You Tell Us ...
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