The worst kept secret is that there is no answer to the best rapper of all-time. The “greatest” is inevitably 2Pac, but the best has always constantly shifted. If rap continues to evolve, the future best rapper of all-time could be 12, or he could be Young Thug, or he could be Kendrick, or it could’ve been Biggie, ‘Pac, Jay, Ghost, Nas, Scarface, Myka 9 or Acey, Rakim, Melle Mell. Last night, I was convinced it was E-40 off longevity and consistency. I’m only sure that it has never included Big Sean, regardless of what your favorite multi-media chronicle gets sponsored to tell you.
For a few years in the mid-to-late 90s, Redman and Method Man were legitimate answers to the best of all-time. There has never been another Reggie Noble and there never will be. No one combined funk like manure with psychedelic imagination, a wicked sense of humor with weeded out relatability. All the intangibles are there — from compelling album covers to Cribs episodes. Four classic albums (including the first Blackout) and the originality (remember he was the one who created all that wild shit, that rrraahh rrraaoowww shit, that ready to fuck shit up now shit).
We tend to penalize Method Man for his lack of unequivocal classics, but has anyone ever rapped better on a bar-to-bar basis. Wu-Tang has five of the best rappers, but there was never a doubt who the breakout star was. Meth rapped like the second hand on a Rolex, like that Wiggins 720 dunk that went viral yesterday, like a thief walking into the Louvre and stealing the Mona Lisa without triggering a sensor. No one has ever rapped so smooth and effortless, as though there was nothing else he could’ve been born to do (save for maybe smoke).
Tim Westwood excavated this ’95 Meth and Red freestyle, as part of a community service program to make up for saying the phrase “dripping with swag juice” on his Young Thug interview. You should listen to it, if nothing else for Redman’s extended Jurassic Park metaphor. Peace to Keith Murray.
(via Nah Right)