Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
26

11 Dead Rappers, in Order of Greatness, on the 12th Anniversary of Big L's Murder


11. MC Breed


10. Mac Dre


9. Eyedea


8. Pimp C


7. Eazy-E


6. Guru


5. Ol' Dirty Bastard


4. Tupac


3. Big L


2. Big Pun


1. Biggie



Cord Jefferson writes for The Root, Wonkette and The American Prospect.

26 Comments / Post A Comment

Matt (#26)

Pimp C behind Guru, Eazy, and Pun is a travesty.

Dave Bry (#422)

"Dead in the middle of little Italy little did we know we riddled this middle man who didn't do diddly…"

Which is to say, though I love love love Pimp C—and in fact much prefer the music he made in UGK to that of Pun's—as a rapper, as an MC, I think you have to give it to Pun.

I'm leaving the the other two alone. Too much to think about. Hurting my brain.

Matt (#26)

I guess if we are talking just technically, down to just the two of them with a mic each, that is fair. But the UGK records are untouchable in a way that Pun's fully put-together songs just are not.

Matt (#26)

I say "just" a lot.

Dave Bry (#422)

Agreed.

Dave Bry (#422)

About the UGK records. I hadn't noticed your verbal tic.

iantenna (#5,160)

i dunno. i like UGK as much as the next guy but capital punishment is SOLID start to finish. maybe i skip the hit on occassion but the production is tight and pun is stunning. "dream shatterer" knocks my dick into my watch pocket every time.

Hamilton (#122)

I didn't even know MC Breed was dead.

I'm guessing "greatness" doesn't mean "ability to rap," cause Eazy-E… hm.

Matt (#26)

Right. On.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Damn, Gang Starr is dead? How did I miss that one?

Never heard of Big L before, but that is a great track. Classic Nineties New York rap.

gumplr (#66)

Here's a great take on Big L's "Ebonics" if you're looking for another place to start.

matt_t (#4,426)

what, no Ja Rule?

gumplr (#66)

WHERE IS JA!?

Leon (#6,596)

2Pac NOT in second place? THANK FUCKING JEEBUS. I'm so sick of every bullshit hiphop list that puts 2Pac in the 2Spot.

brianvan (#149)

I don't know how you missed all the bullshit hiphop lists that put 2Pac in the FIRST spot. (Though, I admit, "Hit 'Em Up" is the best attack rap song of all time.)

Leon (#6,596)

I just assume any list w 2pac at the one spot is by one of those "I like all music except for country and rap and metal, you know, all real music, and not classical cuz its boring" shitbirds.

Ben Checks (#4,643)

Obviously the difficulty of this list is judging great careers that were stopped short. Also, some like ODB had longer careers and perhaps more of a chance to 'establish' themselves. Great listicle though, I'm always glad to see Big L getting some love. If you want more, check out the his freestyle with Jay-Z, just skip Jay's part.

willystaley (#7,688)

So glad Mac Dre is on here, but WHAT IS THE DEAL with people loving "Not My Job"?? It's good, but christ, Mac Dre has made so many better songs.

njpaNick (#9,885)

Who composed this listicle, Fat Joe? Big Pun at #2 – y'all trippin'.

fairest (#413)

"You can't kill me I was born dead."

pour one out for the dead homies

East Coast Bias.

Walter White (#9,899)

Fat East Coast Rapper Bias. And ODB ahead of Guru?

Leon (#6,596)

ODB is somehow really underrated. As goofy as his shit sounds, its really absurdly hard to sound so completely unhinged and still be decent. Dirty dirt is kind of like Hunter Thomspon – he sounds so much like a drugged out madman (and to be fair, they both were) that the fucking power, talent and discipline behind the seeming inanity gets lost, and the style is remembered over both the substance and the skill required to produce that style.

A.R. Chrisman (#2,964)

Get out of my fucking face about this. Flamboyant for afterlife.

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