Outlawz member Young Noble does not agree as Tupac is listed at number 4 on Billboard and Vibe’s top 50 greatest rappers of all time.
Celebrating 50 years of hip hop, Billboard and Vibe have teamed up for their 50 greatest rappers of all time list. Over the past weeks the list had been slowly revealed starting with number 50 in Rick Ross. The editorial giants opted first to limit the rap arena to North America, reason as to why British rapper Slick Rick isn’t on this list.
According to Billboard and Vibe, rappers were held to the following criteria:
- Body of work/achievements (charted singles/albums, gold/platinum certifications)
- Cultural impact/influence (how the artist’s work fostered the genre’s evolution)
- Longevity (years at the mic)
- Lyrics (storytelling skills)
- Flow (vocal prowess)
With that being said, on Wednesday night, the top 10 were revealed. Concluding the list were Nicki Minaj (10), Snoop Dogg (9), Drake (8), Lil Wayne (7), Biggie (6), Eminem (5) and Tupac Shakur at number 4. Nas topped the list at number three, falling behind Kendrick Lamar at number two and Jay-Z as the number one rapper of all time.
As expected many within the hip hop community have chimed in, many displaying their displeasure over the list. Outlawz member, Young Noble, did not hold back as he took to Instagram explaining why Tupac is hip hop’s G.O.A.T.
“I never really pay these list no mind but @billboard & @vibemagazine just dropped they list of the 50 greatest rappers of all time and they got THE GOAT at #4 🙈,” Noble wrote on Instagram. “Music is based on personal taste & opinion it’s not fact based but salute to everyone on the list they all earned they spot I’m a fan of all of them I just love hip-hop an music overall but call me bias all you want I was there in real time and NONE of these rappers was seein my guy in real life he was just too versatile an his passion for this music was so serious.”
Noble continued, “Pac had the streets in a absolute choke hold before he left us the only reason it’s even a debate is because he passed away at 25yrs old but he still left so much dope music behind. His energy & work ethic was unmatched I literally used to watch this dude write & record HIT records in 30 minutes on a daily!”
Young Noble, who was the last Outlawz member to join the group, recorded many classics with Tupac in a short period of time. Noble is heard on ‘Hail Mary‘ and the opening track to Tupac’s iconic “Makaveli” album, ‘Bomb First.’
“His impact across the world to this day is second to none not because he had the catchy word play or was extra lyrical it’s because he wrote his songs an delivered them in a way that reached an grabbed your heart an soul an that is a skill to this day I haven’t heard a rapper make a song that can grab you emotionally how he did,” added Noble. “He made music with deep feeling an substance an talked about things that actually matter in this world that real people could relate to that’s why people say he was the best because he was the most felt!! That’s a skill that he mastered!! He will always be Number 1 to me!!”
Billboard’s contribution comes 8 years after they released their own controversial greatest of all time list. Back in 2015, Billboard named their top 10 rappers of all time. A list which was topped by Biggie Smalls at number one and also included Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Ghostface Killah, Lauryn Hill, Andre 3000, Nas, Rakim, Eminem and Jay-Z.
Appearing on Power 99, Jeezy disagreed with Tupac being left out of the list. “Think about all those artists that came out in his generation that you don’t even hear anymore. And people still have love for Tupac like if he’s still walking around somewhere in L.A,” Jeezy said in Tupac’s defense.