Jay-Z and Eminem top Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and Drake
Luther "Luke" Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke declares his greatest rappers alive.
After listening to the new Jay-Z and Kanye West album, Watch the Throne, I was left hungry for more. Ten songs wasn't enough. They are touring together, so I expected them to give their fans more than a quickie. No disrespect to Kanye, but I certainly hope Jay-Z has another solo album in the works. On his own, Jay-Z is the greatest rapper alive.
Hell, Forbes magazine just named Hova the highest-earning rap star. Others on the list include P. Diddy, Kanye, Lil Wayne, and Eminem, another guy I think is right up there with Jay-Z. Eminem raps his ass off on every album he's put out.
In fact, aside from Jay-Z and Eminem, there are very few hip-hop artists who can really claim the title. In the '90s, you knew Tupac and Biggie Smalls were the absolute best in the game. Those guys dropped verse after verse without their buddies rapping on their tracks. Nowadays you have too many hip-hop male performers doing collaborations with guest rappers. A Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, or Drake album will almost always have some other artist showing up to rap every five minutes.
Carol City native Rick Ross has certainly evolved into a helluva lyricist. But he needs to do a song on his own that will stand the test of time like Biggie's "Juicy" or Tupac's "Dear Mama." The same can be said of Lil Wayne and Drake. I'd like to hear those two cats produce an album without a guest appearing on songs.
Don't get me wrong — Lil Wayne's lyrics are out of this world. But you can't just do one verse per song and then call yourself the greatest. That's bullshit. I want to hear an album that is all Weezy, not Lil Wayne & Friends.
Can you imagine if Peter Frampton was constantly doing guest spots with the Steve Miller Band? Or if Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia had done a gazillion duet albums? No, you can't. So why does every rapper today have to drop a line for a DJ Khaled compilation?
If Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and Drake want to take that title from Jay-Z and Eminem, they need to carry albums on their own.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.