Self-proclaimed "greatest rapper alive" Lil Wayne performs Sunday at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise. That boast had serious clout when Tha Carter III dropped last year. But with Weezy's ruinous rock album Rebirth in delay hell -- latest news has it coming out in November -- it's time to reassess the "greatest rapper alive" title. By that, we mean the best rapper right now, and offer a top ten tally (in no particular order) after the jump.
Lil' Wayne, with Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy, and Pleasure P. Sunday, September 6. BankAtlantic Center, One Panther Pkwy, Sunrise. Show starts at 7 p.m., tickets cost $39.75 to $125.75. Livenation.com
1. Boots Riley
Riley doesn't rhyme about bubbly and bitches, he spits revolution -- with an awesomely sly sense of humor. Whether with The Coup, or his sadly underappreciated new project with Tom Morello, Street Sweeper Social Club, the Oakland MC fires off witty, often hilarious, verbal assaults -- his self-assured flow forcing listeners to take notice. SSSC's "100 Little Curses" off the group's 2009 self-titled debut.
2. Lil Wayne
Weezy's rock move has been a disaster but there's still not a more singular voice in hip hop -- no one as wonderfully weird as this Crescent City rhyme slinger. Here's "Got Money" off Tha Carter III.
The one-time CEO reminded any doubters of his greatness with 2007's American Gangster and continues his near 15-year winning streak with the soon-to-be-released-already-leaked The Blueprint Vol. 3. (Listen here: mtv.com/music/the_leak/jay_z/the_blueprint_3/) The album features the killer diss track "D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)."
After two decades in the game the South's greatest rapper keeps making fierce albums like last year's Emeritus, which features the sizzling street report "High Powered."
No one -- not even Eminem -- will make records as awesomely sick and inventive as The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP. Had a no-name rapper issued Relapse this year, he'd be hailed as a genius. Here's Em, somber and reflective, on the single "Beautiful."
6. Andre 3000
Outkast's main man -- sorry Big Boi -- easily ranks as the Dirty South's most dazzling rapper, not to mention best overall musician, actor, and fashion plate. Here's to hoping the solo album he's reportedly working on arrives sooner than later and features him spitting as much as singing. From Outkast's classic 1996 album ATliens, here's "Two Dope Boyz (in a Cadillac)."
This underground king has been issuing highly literate rhymes since the early '90s, his quality control largely unfettered by success. Here's the title track from 2008 album Universal Mind Control.
Seriously smart and self-righteous -- often to the point of annoyance -- Nas is another vet whose every album is an event worth attending. What he lacks in mellifluousness he makes up for with sagacity. Here's "Hero" off his latest self-titled disc.
9. Snoop Dogg
The smoked-out honey vocals of everybody's favorite gangsta still sound fresh, even if Snoop doesn't have all that much to say these days. Here's the hreatest party song ever -- and always a treat in concert -- "Gin and Juice."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
10. Chuck D
Public Enemy peaked 20 years ago, but chief MC Chuck D can still bring it in the studio (when not boring people with his campus lectures). Proof? The 2007 album How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul? Still, here's Public Enemy's 1989 masterful riot anthem "Fight the Power."