It is nearly impossible to get a bunch of passionate hip hop fans to agree on anything. But I tried anyhow, starting with a series of polls on Facebook that aimed to figure out which emcee or group was the best in the game as driven by the letters of the alphabet. No specific rubric or criteria was given; just a simple request for answers to the question, "Who is the best emcee or hip hop group beginning with the letter 'A'?; 'B'?; 'C'?; 'D'?..." and so on. The responses were immediate and spurred some pretty spirited discussions. A general consensus was ultimately reached for each and per the request of Music Editor Leilani Polk, I'm bringing the poll results to Ear Buds. Each week, I'll reveal a letter and its "winning" artist, and then I'll re-open the question for further debate. Once we finish the first 26, we'll start it all over again fresh. Check out previous winners HERE.
The Hip Hop ABCs pits the mainstream against the underground, solo artists versus super groups — in sum, if it is hip hop it is open season. The letter E is a good example of this. Both EPMD and Eazy E got heavy votes, but so did Eyedea. E-40, one of the most underrated emcees in hip hop history received support just like Eric B. & Rakim. But the competition for this letter was never in doubt.
Eminem is frequently mentioned in many hip hop fans’ top 5 lists so there really wasn’t much doubt that the king of shock rap would hold the crown for the letter 'E' as well. On a personal level, my music collection includes 10 different projects that features Slim Shady prominently, including the Marshall Mathers LP. 2, Relapse, and Recovery, which are currently in rotation on my iPhone.
This lyrically gifted jester doesn’t just poke fun at boy bands and pop stars. He owns Shade 45, a satellite radio station station, and Shady Records. He won the bidding war for 50 Cent and signed Slaughterhouse, which'll be at State Theatre this April. His business acumen is good, but I’m not telling you anything when I say his bars are GREAT. His business acumen is good, but I’m not telling you anything when I say his bars are GREAT. For those of you who are late to the party and don't know it already, I leave you with this: Eminem is a rap god.
Did we get it right? Who gets your vote for this letter? Cast your vote in the poll below...
Infinite Skillz is a Hip Hop fan and emcee. Click here to find out more about his music.