So we here at Mean Kids feel like the mainstreaming of hip-hop has caused people to not realize who the great rappers in the game really are. We live in a time where the most popular rappers are really just the most pop and hip-hop isn't about that mess. We're going to help you out though and tell you the rappers you should really be listening to. So without anymore delay here is the Mean Kids Top 10 in no particular order:
1. Lupe Fiasco- Quite possibly the most creative rapper in the game ever. "The Cool" may have been one of the best concept albums off all time and most people don't even realize it. Refusing to "Dumb it Down" Lupes amazing lyricism and originality solidify him as one of the best. Lupe was disappointed with his last album but I expect him to come back big on "Food and Liquor 2."
2. J. Cole- Granted he only released his debut less then a year ago but his three mixtapes before that are all he needs to belong on this list. He is one of the deepest rappers out, able to paint a picture of the pain and struggles of life in the inner-city. With no end in sight I don't think J. Cole will have any problems filling the shoes of Jay-Z.
3. Kanye West- You can call him an asshole but the truth is the man is a musical genius. Not only is he one of the best rappers but he is also in my opinion the best producer...ever. Every album Kanye drops has a completely different sound from the one before and they all are equally amazing. I would feel comfortable saying there isn't a more versatile artist.
4. Jay-Z- Besides the fact he discovered two of the artists on this list. Jay- Z has also put out his fair share of Platinum albums. After debuting in 1996 Jay-Z has done nothing but put out hits and sell records. Amazingly when he first started off no record label would give him a deal so in true Jay-Z fashion he started his own label and has since cemented himself as one of the greatest rappers of all time.
5. Nas- One of the last true MC's. His storytelling ability is unmatched by just about everybody and his lyrical abilities are that of legend. Never concerned about whats popular on the radio or selling the most records Nas puts out albums that our the epitome of whats right in hip-hop.
6. Wale- The second of three rappers on this list that have made most of their impact with their mixtapes. However Wale still has two albums to date and could go down as the best pure lyricist of all three. Wale fits the mold of a poetic rapper able to fuse the two genres seamlessly. My only worry is that signing with Rick Ross will commercialize his sound too much.
7. Kendrick Lamar- The last of my mixtape rappers. Straight outta Compton Kendrick is constantly being compared to Tupac and although their sound is very different I can see why. Much like Tupac Kendrick is not just interested in making music but impacting the world. He may be the most unknown on this list but its only a matter of time before hes on everyone elses list.
8. Andre 3000- Although he has spent a large amount of his career as part of a duo I don't think you can argue his placement here. Dre has shown his lyrical ability time and time again, not only on his own songs but also in his features, killing other rappers on their own tracks. All that being said Dre created swag before people even knew what swag meant.
9. Common- Dont be confused with his poetic style Common is one of hip-hops biggest rebels. Considered by most a conscious rapper Common uses his talent to not only make great music but change the way you think. His track list consists of numerous songs most would consider revolutionary in hip-hop.
10. Eminem- Last on the list but definitely not the least Eminem is not only considered the best lyricist to bless a mic but also the most controversial. Never afraid to say anything Eminem has made a career not only poking fun of everyone from celebrities to politicians but also putting his heart out on the mic. No other rapper is really able to match the amount of raw emotion and energy that Em is able to put in his music and it is one of the biggest reasons he belongs on this list.
Honorable Mention- T.I., Kid Cudi, B.o.B, Joe Budden, Talib Kweli
Well thats our list. Is there somebody you felt should have made it?