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 Post subject: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Note: This is not a list that is meant to be put on the main site. This is simply the collective opinion of members of the DDD forum. It is not meant in competition to the real artists list. This list is meant as a "collective" list, rather than the "input-and-edit" style of the main list.

Criteria (Equally Weighed):
Acclaim - How much an artist has been praised and/or derided during their full career.
Popularity - Chart performance/Album Sales. Pretty simple.
Impact - How the artist has affected hip hop as a cultural force/how much an artist's "signature sound" stands out.
Influence - How an artist and their "sound" has influenced and changed hip hop.

1. Run-D.M.C.
2. Public Enemy
3. Jay Z
4. 2Pac
5. Eric B. & Rakim
6. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
7. The Notorious B.I.G.
8. Outkast
9. N.W.A
10. Beastie Boys
11. Nas
12. Kanye West
13. A Tribe Called Quest
14. LL Cool J
15. Eminem
16. Wu-Tang Clan
17. De La Soul
18. Dr. Dre
19. Ice Cube
20. Afrika Bambaataa
21. Big Daddy Kane
22. Boogie Down Productions
23. Snoop Dogg
24. Slick Rick
25. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
26. Kurtis Blow
27. Lauryn Hill
28. The Roots
29. Lil Wayne
30. Common
31. Salt 'n' Pepa
32. Missy Elliott
33. Ice-T
34. Queen Latifah
35. Mos Def
36. Gang Starr
37. Scarface
38. MC Lyte
39. Jungle Brothers
40. Fugees
41. Busta Rhymes
42. Ghostface Killah
43. UGK
44. EPMD
45. Kool Moe Dee
46. Cold Crush Brothers
47. Whodini
48. Doug E. Fresh
49. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
50. Ultramagnetic MC's
51. T.I.
52. Sugarhill Gang
53. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
54. Goodie Mob
55. DMX
56. The Treacherous Three
57. The Pharcyde
58. Cypress Hill
59. 50 Cent
60. Nelly
61. Raekwon
62. Digital Underground
63. Fat Boys
64. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
65. Redman
66. MF Doom
67. Lil' Kim
68. Talib Kweli
69. Eazy-E
70. Method Man


Last edited by joe c on Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Kanye for number 1:

Acclaim - 9/10
Basically everyone recognises his importance to hip-hop, and his first three releases have had solid critical acclaim. His second three releases are more polarizing - 808s and Yeezus are hailed as masterpieces by as many people as those who say they're underwhelming. And MBDTF is regarded as a modern classic by pretty much everyone.

Popularity - 9/10
He ruled the airwaves from 2004 to the late '00s, and ever since he has been the most recognisable face of progressive hip-hop amongst the indie-rock/hipster crowd, despite dropping off the pop radar quite a bit.

Impact - 10/10
The man is the Miles Davis of hip-hop. The majority of his albums have been game-changers. He has been at the spearhead of several major trends in hip-hop.

Influence - 10/10
If you want to make hip-hop today that ignores all of the contributions Kanye made, you have to regress way back to the '90s and do something gritty and hard-hitting. If you want to do anything more melodic or ambitous though, you're going to have to tread somewhere Kanye has tread before.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:13 pm 
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joe c wrote:
Acclaim - How much an artist has been praised and/or derided during their full career.


i know people will just assume i'm saying this to help out Eminem (i'm not that much of a fanboy, and honestly i'm pretty much in love with like over half the artists that should be in the top 25 so)... but, the only probably i have with this is that it really favors artists who died young and groups that broke up and/or have a small body of work. its also going to lend itself to us paying more attention to the forgettable or bad albums in an artists' body of work rather than the great ones.

for example, imagine if the main Rock Artists list had this focus. would we end up using Neil Young's 80s output as reason to drop him lower? or Bod Dylan's? wouldn't we end up deciding that Hendrix's body of work was more acclaimed than Dylan's because he wouldn't have the dozen or so forgettable albums in his discography?

it almost penalizes artists who have had long careers, because inevitably artists with long careers will go downhill in critical acclaim, even if they pop back up with some gems late in their career. for one, at a certain point its almost impossible for an older artist to be extremely innovative (Waits and Miles being exceptions). the idea that Jay-Z is going to re-invent rap at 40+ years old is crazy, if only because its expecting him to cast aside two decades of perfecting his craft in order to go a completely different direction (which is rare, even with great artists). and so even if he released The Blueprint tomorrow (or something just as good), it would almost definitely be less acclaimed just because it wouldn't feel new and exciting. and the other problem is that at a certain point the great artists start being compared to themselves more than to the world-at-large. expectations play a huge role in critical acclaim. Kanye could release an excellent album right now, that might be better than any other album in rap this year, but if its a noticeable step below MBDTF, its going to suffer in acclaim.

my biggest issue is that the truly great artists, who take a lot of chances, are going to have huge blunders because of it. maybe because of ambitions that they couldn't quite pull off, or maybe because they had to work through something before they figured it out. or, in some cases, just because they wanted to get out of a record deal that was suffocating them (like Neil or Mos Def).

and i'm worried we will use this to cherry-pick artists' discographies in order to make a case against them. why focus on Crown Royal or Back from Hell when trying to assess Run-D.M.C.'s impact on rap music? will we even be consistent on which artists we use this against? or are we just gonna use it to penalize Jay-Z and Eminem because their "bad" albums were in the mainstream spotlight? are we gonna pull out Revolverlution in discussions too?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:46 pm 
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anyway, fwiw, here is the acclaimedmusic.net rankings for rap artists:

1. Public Enemy
2. Beastie Boys
3. Kanye West
4. OutKast
5. Jay-Z
6. Eminem
7. Run D.M.C.
8. Missy Elliott
9. De La Soul
10. Dr. Dre
11. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
12. A Tribe Called Quest
13. N.W.A.
14. Eric B. & Rakim
15. The Notorious B.I.G.
16. Wu-Tang Clan
17. Lauryn Hill
18. Snoop Dogg
19. LL Cool J
20. The Roots
21. Big Boi
22. Boogie Down Productions
23. 2Pac
24. Ice Cube
25. Nas
26. Ghostface Killah
27. Raekwon
28. Kendrick Lamar
29. Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force
30. Mos Def
31. Madvillain
32. The Sugarhill Gang
33. Clipse
34. Lil Wayne
35. Jungle Brothers
36. 50 Cent
37. Gang Starr
38. Tyler, The Creator
39. N.E.R.D.
40. Common
41. Mobb Deep
42. EPMD
43. Dr. Octagon
44. Ultramagnetic Mcs
45. Shabazz Palaces
46. Digital Underground
47. The Pharcyde
48. Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
49. Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth
50. Naughty by Nature
51. Salt 'n' Pepa
52. Coolio
53. Geto Boys


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:18 am 
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in terms of popularity/commercial success, the top 3 is basically unquestionable: Eminem, Jay Z, Tupac. you might be able to debate the order though.

after that, its a little murky. you've got the main billboard charts, the more specific rap charts, then album sales to consider. it would seem though that the next batch would be: Notorious B.I.G., OutKast, Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Run-D.M.C., Ludacris, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, DMX, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Puff Daddy, Master P, 50 Cent, Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and T.I.... trying to order them is basically impossible. i tried to do some sort of rough order there but there is no sense in actually trying to list them.

the question is: do we adjust for era at all? Nelly and Ludacris' sales kind of crush 99% of the rap artists from the 80s and early 90s. but then again, those 80s/90s artists are gonna get credit for the impact and influence of gaining exposure for the genre, so maybe those two categories are already adjusting or off-setting the popularity boost of post-'95ish artists.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:56 am 
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They are meant to be already adjusted.

Found this about sales: http://bestteneverything.com/top-ten-be ... -all-time/


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:06 am 
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re-doing my own order:
1. Run-D.M.C.
2. 2Pac
3. Public Enemy
4. Jay-Z
5. N.W.A.
6. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
7. Notorious B.I.G.
8. Eric B. & Rakim
9. Nas
10. LL Cool J
11. Beastie Boys
12. OutKast
13. Eminem
14. De La Soul
15. Kanye West
16. Dr. Dre
17. Wu-Tang Clan
18. A Tribe Called Quest
19. Afrika Bambaataa
20. Ice Cube
21. Big Daddy Kane
22. Snoop Dogg
23. Boogie Down Productions
24. Lauryn Hill
25. Lil Wayne
26. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
27. Queen Latifah
28. Common
29. Slick Rick
30. Kurtis Blow
31. The Roots
32. Mos Def
33. MC Lyte
34. Gang Starr
35. Ghostface Killah
36. Missy Elliott
37. The Sugarhill Gang
38. The Jungle Brothers
39. The Fugees
40. Busta Rhymes
41. T.I.
42. The Cold Crush Brothers
43. Ice-T
44. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
45. DMX
46. Kool Moe Dee
47. Salt-n-Pepa
48. Scarface
49. The Pharcyde
50. UGK
51. Redman
52. EPMD
53. Pete Rock & CL Smooth
54. Talib Kweli
55. Goodie Mobb
56. 50 Cent
57. Digital Underground
58. Ludacris
59. Funky Four Plus One
60. Dr. Octagon
61. Naughty by Nature
62. MF Doom
63. Mobb Deep
64. Del the Funkee Homosapien
65. Brand Nubian
66. Nelly

idk i'll stop there i guess


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:21 am 
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Is Nas really top ten artist? I realise he scores high across all criteria but I am not sure if he deserve to be higher than extremely popular artists like Beastie Boys and Outcast who both do well in influence (Outcast less so), impact and acclaim. Even Eminem could be ahead of him because of his popularity and cultural impact. I am probably viewing this from perspective of popular music fan, not hip-hop hardcore fan like you but still.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:45 am 
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Pave, why Eminem and Kanye so low?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:29 pm 
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pave wrote:
joe c wrote:
Acclaim - How much an artist has been praised and/or derided during their full career.


i know people will just assume i'm saying this to help out Eminem (i'm not that much of a fanboy, and honestly i'm pretty much in love with like over half the artists that should be in the top 25 so)... but, the only probably i have with this is that it really favors artists who died young and groups that broke up and/or have a small body of work. its also going to lend itself to us paying more attention to the forgettable or bad albums in an artists' body of work rather than the great ones.


Hmmm...that's not necessarily a problem if we treat acclaim as cumulative, rather than an average. In other words, if an artist puts out a new album which is not well-received, it doesn't lower their overall amount of acclaim. Does that work? I agree that an artist that put out three great albums and breaks up shouldn't be favored over an artist that puts out three great albums and then a bunch of lesser ones.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:46 pm 
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pave wrote:
re-doing my own order:
1. Run-D.M.C.
2. 2Pac
3. Public Enemy
4. Jay-Z
5. N.W.A.
6. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
7. Notorious B.I.G.
8. Eric B. & Rakim
9. Nas
10. LL Cool J
11. Beastie Boys
12. OutKast
13. Eminem
14. De La Soul
15. Kanye West
16. Dr. Dre
17. Wu-Tang Clan
18. A Tribe Called Quest
19. Afrika Bambaataa
20. Ice Cube
21. Big Daddy Kane
22. Snoop Dogg
23. Boogie Down Productions
24. Lauryn Hill
25. Lil Wayne
26. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
27. Queen Latifah
28. Common
29. Slick Rick
30. Kurtis Blow
31. The Roots
32. Mos Def
33. MC Lyte
34. Gang Starr
35. Ghostface Killah
36. Missy Elliott
37. The Sugarhill Gang
38. The Jungle Brothers
39. The Fugees
40. Busta Rhymes
41. T.I.
42. The Cold Crush Brothers
43. Ice-T
44. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
45. DMX
46. Kool Moe Dee
47. Salt-n-Pepa
48. Scarface
49. The Pharcyde
50. UGK
51. Redman
52. EPMD
53. Pete Rock & CL Smooth
54. Talib Kweli
55. Goodie Mobb
56. 50 Cent
57. Digital Underground
58. Ludacris
59. Funky Four Plus One
60. Dr. Octagon
61. Naughty by Nature
62. MF Doom
63. Mobb Deep
64. Del the Funkee Homosapien
65. Brand Nubian
66. Nelly

idk i'll stop there i guess


Personally, I'd flip-flop Nas's and Eminem's spots. Overall, though, I think your Top 25 or so is pretty much spot on.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:34 pm 
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Bruno wrote:
Pave, why Eminem and Kanye so low?


well i have two answers for that. one is that i don't see them as being all that low really, considering the greatness of the artists above. and also, as a general rule i try to place artists that i really love (like both of these two) on the lower end of the range that they fall into, in order to maybe offset some bias i may have for them. i think almost every artist falls more into a "range" than a specific spot, at least after the first few on a list. for example:

Eminem: absolute best case scenario would be 8th. higher than that would be a real stretch. the case for him being as high as 8th would be based mostly on his enormous commercial impact and the cultural buzz that surrounded him during his peak. the only two artists in his realm, commercially, are both in my top 4 (2Pac and Jay-Z). his case is strengthened by the fact that he's also revered within the hip hop community, had a string of 3 classic albums that included one guaranteed top 20 rap album (MMLP), blah blah blah. but those things could be said about anyone in the top 20 here. the only reason they are relevant is to establish that his commercial impact is at least validated by musical impact, as opposed to someone like MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice. the case for him pretty much stands on that one fact: most commercially successful rap artist of all-time (arguably, but pretty hard to argue against). which might be enough for top 10, given what his exposure meant culturally in the early 00s, being talked about on 24 hour news networks, tabloids, political speeches, etc. but on the other hand...

the absolute worst case scenario would probably be around 15th. at this point, i can't see him below Dre given that Dre has released only 2 albums. Wu-Tang would be above him only IF they were also given credit for all the solo albums by each member, but they aren't. Tribe is probably underrated on my list and could possibly be above him. either way, 15th-17th is the lowest, and more realistically its 15th. for all the acclaim that those 3 peak albums get now, its easy to forget that all three were pretty polarizing when they were released (Slim Shady LP got a pretty noticeable critical re-evaluation only after MMLP came out). the opposite thing kind of happened with Encore, where it was treated as a disappointing but average album until Relapse came out and now it shares some of Relapse's terrible reputation. either way, his body of work is nowhere near as consistently acclaimed as OutKast or Kanye, for example. at least not at the time of their respective albums' releases. which is why Eminem does much better on a site like acclaimedmusic than he does on metacritic. but both initial acclaim and lasting acclaim matter, and he suffers in the former. and he doesn't have the musical acclaim of Rakim or Nas nor the influence of Rakim or De La Soul, etc.

so with all that said, i'm leaning towards him being closer to 15th than to 8th. but honestly, you could order those artists in just about any order without raising too many eyebrows. i wouldn't blink if he were behind De La Soul/Kanye or above Beastie Boys/OutKast. the closer i try to put him to 8th, the more i feel like it's just out of personal bias.

---

as for Kanye, again there is a suitable range between about 11th-18th. he doesn't have the overwhelming commercial impact to offset LL Cool J or Rakim's respective importance (like you might be able to argue for Eminem), but he scores high enough in every aspect of the criteria to reasonably be above Em/OutKast/Beastie Boys if you focus too much on what those artists lack, or you have a slightly different opinion on their respective influence. when it comes to influence, so much of it is subjective that even a largely-objective observer is going to come to different conclusions with the same evidence. and its the more subjective parts of the criteria that lead to us seeing artists higher or lower within their respective ranges. so while you may be able to see enough of Eminem's importance to validate a top 10 placement given his commercial impact, if you see his level of importance as considerably less than that, you could very easily see Kanye slipping above him, even if you'd agree that it would be more difficult to see Kanye in the top 10 only because he doesn't stand out as glaringly in one aspect of the criteria as Em does in commercial impact. if that makes any sense at all.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:42 pm 
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i would really like to get more discussion going about each artists' respective influence/innovation/importance. i think i might just start listing things i think each artist did, whether it be secondary influence or true innovation or industry shifts or whatever. anything that could be considered as changing rap in a significant way. might be stylistically, or professionally or culturally, etc.

i'll follow up on this later after i get some time to organize some thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:28 pm 
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Thanks for the explanation, pave.

I have some trouble when it comes to genres list. For example, a list of artists in overall, Eminem can be greater than Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five and here it may be below them?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Hip Hop Artists (DDD Forum Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:03 pm 
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yeah its tricky as hell. on a list like the 100 Greatest Rock Artists, genre-specific innovations sometimes get lost while cultural and commercial impact get elevated. the wider the parameters of a list, the more "big picture" the focus becomes. for example, Eminem is arguably the biggest name/face in pop music since at least Cobain, maybe MJ and Madonna. i say arguably because there is some competition: Mariah, Britney, maybe Jay-Z. but on a genre-specific list like this, i'd rather favor genre-specific innovations/influence like that of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, over big picture pop culture importance.

i think on a list like the 100 Greatest Rock Artists, i'd expect to see the following in the top 100 somewhere (in rough order): Run DMC, Jay-Z, 2Pac, Public Enemy, Eminem, N.W.A.... and only after that would probably come Biggie, Outkast, Kanye and maybe Grandmaster Flash. if you can see the trend, the more commercially successfully and culturally relevant artists like Em, Jay, OutKast and Kanye get a boost on a list like that. while on a list like this, i'm perfectly fine seeing a little boost given to artists like Eric B. & Rakim or Nas or Big Daddy Kane, etc.

it all depends on the focus of the list and the criteria and the general feeling. these things are sooooo subjective. in a perfect world, we would all agree that these rankings are a little bit arbitrary. its why the arguments about "so and so should be ahead of so and so" are annoying to me. because honestly, the debates should be more about which artists should be in which general area. like Scarface being way out of his league on the current list for example.


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