Lowkey, co-host of Rap Life Review, is not happy with Billboard and Vibe’s top 50 list, claiming that Tupac is “not a good rapper,” is too high on the list.
After releasing their top 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time list, Billboard and Vibe have accomplished one thing – debate amongst the hip hop community. On Apple Music‘s Rap Life Review, it was no different. During a recent episode co-hosts Ebro, Nedeska, and Lowkey discussed the top 50 list.
The episode quickly turned into a heated discussion when Lowkey declared Tupac as “not a good rapper.” According to Lowkey, Tupac was placed too high on the top 50 list at number four and would have preferred to swap Shakur with Lil Wayne’s number seven spot on the list.
“I never thought he was a good rapper,” said Lowkey when asked to explain. “He has a good flow. I just never thought he could actually really piece s*** together. He’s a good entertainer.” Ebro was clearly shocked by Lowkey’s statement, but according to Lowkey he isn’t alone in thinking Tupac was not a good rapper.
“Bro wrote Dear Mama and Keep Ya Head Up and Brenda’s Got A Baby, like full stories,” Ebro said in Tupac’s defense. “One song is one story. It didn’t deviate from the topic at all, which is something that many of the greats have never been able to do in one song. They deviate for a punch line or they don’t stay on topic for the sake of swag or whatever they are trying to do. ‘Pac would do a whole song on one topic.”
The Hot 97 host also cited that Tupac’s influence and impact alone might be far greater than any other rapper to ever grab a mic, a criteria which was used by Billboard and Vibe to curate their top 50 list. Body of work/achievements (charted singles/albums, gold/platinum certifications), Longevity (years at the mic), Lyrics (storytelling skills) and Flow (vocal prowess) were also part of the equation.
With that being said, completing 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.
“I was triggered by you saying he’s not a good rapper. And it didn’t even trigger me as much, but me thinking about what ‘Pac has done in the game. The fact that people that weren’t even born revere Tupac as one of the greatest of all time,” said Ebro. “‘Pac’s impact far supersedes the music that I like from him. There is a lot of ‘Pac music that is not good. Like I don’t like his beat selection in a lot of places. But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a good rapper. I think he is a great rapper.”