Nas Names "Hip-Hop's Best Lyricists" For Rolling Stone Playlist

Nas creates a playlist of some of Hip Hop's finest lyricist for a Rolling Stone's feature

The new issue of RollingStone features themed playlists from 50 different artists. Among those are Cee-Lo with a selection of the best of the Dirty South, Drake provides a Jimi Hendrix list and Nas provides his list of "Hip-Hop's Best Lyricists." Below is what Nas had to say.

"When I said 'hip-hop is dead' a few years ago, I felt we'd gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling," says Nas. "There's a place for the party shit and a place for the gangster shit. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward."

1. "My Downfall" - Notorious B.I.G., 1997

The lyrics are about how he's acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he's giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.

2. "If My Homie Calls" - 2pac, 1991

He's just saying to his boys that he's going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.

3. "Road To The Riches" - Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989

The way we're rhyming now? He was already doing it then .

4. "A Bird In The Hand" - Ice Cube, 1991

5. "Paid In Full" - Eric B. & Rakim, 1987

6. "I'm Single" - Lil Wayne, 2010

I'm recently divorced, so I feel what he's saying.

7. "Tears of Joy" - Rick Ross, 2010

Ross is at the pulpit here.

8 "The Moment I Feared" - Slick Rick, 1988

It's cinematic. He's at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he's in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.

9. "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z, 2009

This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It's New York's modern anthem.

10. "Queen Bitch" - Lil' Kim, 1996

At the time, females rappers didn't appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster shit.


  • Eli Kirk

    Why would nas put Iil Wayne and Rick Ross in there?

  • Anonymous

    wayne is da real deal here!

  • Daniel

    Way to put nothing but top 10 artists on your list. This is pretty pathetic for someone who claims to be all about hip-hop.

  • Jonel 'Shaq Deisel' Howard

    Nas doesn't have to put himself on the list, we all know as well as he does that he's a legend in the game. He doesn't need to put himself on his list of top lyricists. And I am perfectly okay with this list.

  • toonah

    lol you guy are madd oblivious, you guys are coming at NaS cuz hes not on the list... NaS wrote this list, obviously hes not going to narcissistically put himself on it.

  • anthony

    Wayne and Ross don't belong on a list titles weakest pop-rap whores. No hate for lil Kim but it's crazy for her to be on this list... especially when Nas worked with Foxy and she has way more class.

  • Anonymous

    Nas is still king of the biggest fall offs and overrated musicians ever. Him and his overrated queen Lauryn Hill. two of th most overrated musicians ever.


    Biggie is a faggot. That's all. So what if he was gay. Leave him alone. You have to listen to his lyrics to understand that that didn't matter. Leave him alone!

  • sweab

    Seems like Nas's list as opposed to "Hip-Hop's best lyricist" This list is terrible, this is how you know Nas fell off



    • beastmode

      and i guess yall niggaz think gucci is da best... stupid azz muthafukkerz

  • scarter

    went from top 10 to not mentioned at all

  • amer

    nas is a good lyricist...or used to be but everyone from NY knows that he's a sucker..he talks real stuff but then does the exact oppisite..he let his homeboys rot..never helping them out at all "Kelis said her milkshake brings boys to the yard, then nas went and tatood the bitch on his arm, i mean way out in cali niggas know u cuz..first thing they say bout u is u a sucka for love" coming from a not so lyrical rapper...but at least he lives a real life...something nas only writes about..

    • daunknowniscumin

      @pmoney thx for da rep @amer fool,yo Nas is a gallery,sry to big he didnt live to giv us more.mow talkin bout this list,first u need to recognize whts lyrical,u think dont know that Talib is a better lyricist than Jay is,this doesnt means Jay is wack,but music is abt moment and how it makes one feels at the time the music is heard.everybody here got some corny track he does listen to,not cuz lyricism or shit but just 4 the feel,i love nas 4 his boldness to say what he says,4 the man is,none is perfect and all of em don have ups n downs,but he stand still,NaS i ride wit U,God Son,Peace.

    • dmize-one

      yall both are crazy.. nas did nothin but help out Az and Jungle till they got into some personal beef.. and he was a real ass dude (biggie wrote kick-in-the-door bout nas).. and nas spits shit bout real life problems.. and pmoney your fuckin nuts too.. even people who 50 has beef with talk about how back in the day 50 was for real doin the shit he raps about.. and what if he still aint on the corner slangin and robbin folks?? when you got a 100 million plus you dont gotta do that shit no more.. there aint no problem with him rappin bout the life he used to live..

    • pmoney

      yeah u right, 50 really lives a real life. he's out there bangin on the corners right now and doin what he raps about...fuck outta here. 50 is the fakest motherfucker in the industry. nas spits the realest shit i've ever heard. you must like nas since you bringin all that shit up based off a list they asked him to make on rolling stones. that bullshit you tried to say has nothing to do with this article


    What the fuck are y'all talkin about? First off, this is Nas's list, he can put whatever he wants to put. He's clearly not making a list of the greatest Hip Hop songs of all-time or anything like that, he's putting songs that he can relate to and identified with at certain points in his life. Is Lil Wayne "Single" a great song? No, but what Weezy was saying in there clearly resonated with Nas because of the divorce he went through. I'm sure all of us have listened to/liked songs that normally would be considered whack, but because they spoke to what we were going through, thought they were dope. Secondly, it looks to me like Nas hit on all the legends in the game---Biggie, Pac, Jay-Z, even Lil Kim---who is one the best female MC's of all-time, Slick Rick, Ice Cube, Kool G. Rap, Rakim. And he added some newer cats like Wayne and Rick Ross, who have made some good music over the past few years. Stop taking shit so personally people, this list doesn't mean Nas said Weezy and Ross are Top 10 rappers all-time, it's just a list of songs he can relate to from some dope MC's.


      @LT Yesssir, folks is dumb as hell these days @Gregg WTF are you talkin about? What did I say in that paragraph that made you think I said Nas isn't Top 10 all-time dummy?! I said Ross and Wayne, learn how to read. Nas ain't Top 10 all-time, HE'S TOP 5...shit, he's TOP 3 actually

    • Gregg

      are you saying nas isnt top 10 all time?!?

    • LT The People Choice

      Yo I agree with KG thats whats wrong with folks today they read the question then come back with stupid answers without really understanding what the question is saying.

  • ballzonyahead

    keep in mind folks this is for rolling stone, so it's meant for that shitty audience, plus nas probably didn't spend too much time thinking about it. my favorite song lyrically Edan-'Beauty' best line: "I use pens like hallucinagens so who could pretend my music ain't a beatiful thing" this dude can really paint a picture with his words, he gets slept on hard

  • Cogna

    Nas is on fucking crack its confirmed

  • war22

    Nas...u use to be a real dude...guess money changes people

  • Cory

    Sad that he didn't mention AZ, Cormega and Priest etc.

  • hiphop

    How is Nas gonna put Jay-z on his list? Im sick of these fake niggas im goin go listen to some horseshoe gang

  • guest

    Nas is a retard, he forgot AZ- Suga Hill, or 8ball - black america, N.O.R.E "banned from TV", or better yet Ghostface Killah "yolanda house" off the big doe rehab album, that was story telling to the max. smh, Nas must been smoking that dirt weed. really Ghostface should have won this award.

  • herewegoyo

    I don't know about most of that list but "The Moment I Feared" is my SHIT. Old nigga speakin'.

  • Newby4sho

    I don't know who this guy is... some unknown underground rapper I guess... oh well... I'm better than him. Thru good times and bad, I know you always got my back. When I'm high or low we will overcome it girl our love is destine to grow. I know you'll never let me go. Life has its ups and downs like a rollercoaster up and down baby I know you'll always be by my side. If im high to the ground, I know you'll always be aroun. we'v been thru so much I know were gona last, we looking for our future and i dont look at the past. I know if im wrong or right people will be hatin but i know we'll always put up a fight we can tell eachother everything, anythoing ill be with you i know everything with you.

  • ym$


  • london

    the white boyz are crying cuz big man nas didnt pick EM....i told ya hoez EM is not in the book of hip hop.Tearz of pick.

  • KingzLife

    "When I said 'hip-hop is dead' a few years ago, I felt we'd gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling," says Nas. "There's a place for the party shit and a place for the gangster shit. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward." With that said Nas is one of the best if not the BEST EVER. Stop Hating on Rick Ross - TEARS of Joy --- classic and epic. Lil Wayne I'm Single joint in modern Slick persona lyrically and Swag wise. I'm single is crazy ill. I think Esco was relating to himself as he reference his opinion as it relates to his life and what he's feels is pushing the bars of creativity.

  • ghost

    if u dont think these 3 are good lyricists then listen to them first joe budden recently dropped a mixtape called mood muzik 4 its fire and eminem is commonly known as lil wayne is too

  • ghost

    these are very good lyrical songs good article BUT in my opinion the best lyricists in the game RITE NOW would be joe budden, eminem, and lil wayne fallin off after the c2

  • Blaqrhythm

    First Nas has a right to his opinion... and can you wait to you read the article before you judge... maybe he chose songs that were lyrical to his life... before you knock Rick Ross.. have you ever heard Tears of Joy? If not go listen to it. You ever heard Moment I Feared by Slick Rick or go check the joints before you wild out.. ever Pacs if my Homies Call if not go check Ya'll dudes need to chill just because he aint choose who you think he shouldve, he obviously chose songs that he thinks pushed the envelope at the time it came out Plus you dont know the parameters they gave him.. maybe they asked him to have 2 popular artists, a female artist etc.

  • RC

    I thought Prodigy from Mobb Deep was crazy when he accused Nas of being a member of the Illuminati... but after this list Nas put out, P might be right. Lil Wayne's "Single"??? Is he kidding me????

    • Anonymous

      i can read bitch oh wow he got divorced but that song still garbage

    • YOLA

      What does I'm Me or Sky is The Limit have to do with his divorce tho? He put them tracks on there cuz he went through a divorce and related to what Weezy was sayin....dumbass. Learn how to read

    • Anonymous

      yea lil waynes single shouldnt be up there just cuz he got divorced too thats wack i rather have prodigy of mobb deep or a different weezy song like im me or sky is da limit but im single? nooooo



  • dylon

    who are the 5 greatest rappers of all time? dylon, dylon, dylon, dylon, and dylon. because i spit hot fire.

  • MPistol

    for something that made print, I don't see much intense thought in this "list" I tweet better hip-hop titles than this! LoL no disrespect really to what Nas likes if thats what its all about, but damn, you would have had to lock me up in a room for a while so I didn't miss a single influence before my list went to press



  • so list, Nas

    - M&M has got some sick flow...sometimes, but I'm usually not able to listen to the elementary lyrics. - Lil Wayne...I just don't get the appeal AT ALL with this guy. - Kool G. Rap: couldn't have said it better myself. That dude was on another plane, just didn't have enough A-side music. Rakim - love all of his shit, but I'll take that "Juice" track all day. Sip the JUICE...I got enough to go around!!!

    • MPistol so list, Nas: the song by Rakim is called "Know the Ledge" not "Juice", Juice was the movie

    • dockevoc

      eminem's features for the past several years have been weak, you gotta listen to his entire (good) albums (1-3, relapse) to see his point...relapse has few songs that stand on their own but they work great in sequence... I agree completely with everything else you said...Standin on shaky ground too close to the edge, let's see if I know the ledge!

  • 2pac

    Nas can never be the goat because of shit like this 2pac woulda said fuck these wack niggas but instead u have nas praising ross and drake, wayne was on distant relatives like wtf he ruined a classic nas is a house nigger he does what hes told

  • Deedrick Marvel'nJayz Harris

    No eminem?

  • curbstompa

    that list made me gag


    "First ever crown court BANNED u.k rap artist & poet" (2009-2014) Facebook ian donhonki dunne

  • Andres R.

    Is a good list, but please Lil Wayne and Ross next to 2 Pac, Biggie, Rakim, in a list that calls "Hip-Hop's Best Lyricists", I wonder if this is Nas real musical taste or if he is just being... "politically correct" whit the "hotest" rappers of today. 1. Eric B. & Rakim - "Paid In Full" 2. Eminem - "Remember Me?" Ft. RBX & Sticky Fingaz 3. The Notorious B.I.G. - "Hypnotize" 4. 2 Pac - "Hit 'Em Up" Ft. Outlawz 5. Snoop Dogg - "Buck 'Em" Ft. Sticky Fingaz 6. Dr. Dre - "The Watcher" 7. Nas - "One Love" 8. Game - "Westside Story" Ft. 50 Cent 9. Eminem - "Drug Ballad" 10. Devin The Dude - "Lacville '79" The last ones, maybe are my personal favorites but c'mon, "Barely runnin' and rippin', but still I'm flippin' on Vogues Hoes be trippin' on Devin, Devin don't be trippin' on hoes".

  • yo

    Nas is trippin, most of this list sucks. You say HipHop is dead nas but you put Wayne and ross in it? wtf

  • Aaron Axel Foley Bryant

    Its Nas's list... STFU if your that mad his opinion is not the same as yours make your own list. You ppl are retarded it and are in desperate need of help.

  • tha truth oh you mad now who gives a shit?!!!

    Elzhi is better than Nas #stacks Ras Kass Casual(hiero)Black thought Kweli Better than Nas

  • rap

    nas list sucksss reall hard

  • HRH

    Eminem is a junked out junkie pookie. Probably snorts MDMA and Pepsi. Thinks about death burning out. Kill yourself already. "You're only a Customer"

    • Anonymous

      this site is made by Jews the way it erases certain replies and comments. Gas Israel til there's nothing but Muslims

  • HRH

    Weezy, Ross, HOV, and Kim are not my idea of Nas' taste. He seems to have made some friends backstage/ over time. Nas your too good to these ppl. 2Pac is our lord a savior. Straight love.

  • mr718


  • Nico 3

    OC- Time's Up Rakim- Know The Ledge Kool G Rap- Ill Street Blues DMX- Get At Me Dogg Mobb Deep- Shook One's Snoop & Dre- Deep Cover 2pac- Trapped

  • J s-o-t

    Gotta' disagree with the 'no decent album in over 10 years comment. Gods Son Stillmatic HHID - was/is a great album for me Lost Tapes? if that counts I was surprised by the list, i at least expected Black Thought, a 'lyricist' list without him is instantly questionable.

  • Dustin6595

    Nas, Lupe Fiasco, (early) Eminem, Canibus, Royce Da 5'9, Big Pun, Big L, Immortal Technique, and Redman

  • Robert Douglas Kaplinger

    I see people are pissed at Nas because his list has Wayne.Im not his biggest fan,but he can comes out with some decent material every once and awhile.Lemme ask you guys this,is Nas releasing garbage for music?No.So back off

  • hossnasty

    I wouldnt even consider one of these songs hip hop or lyrical. hip hop consists of actual substance not just abunch of nonsense.

    • RC

      Hossnasty never complained about whether the songs were "conscious" or not. The best hip hop songs have substance - whether they're party songs or serious songs. Cappadonna's ONE VERSE on "Winter Warz" has more substance than Rick Ross' entire career.

    • miles2g

      Well said sensaye

    • Sensaye25

      Since when does something have to be conscious in order to be Hip-Hop? Hip-Hop can be conscious but it can also be about having fun, it can be about a girl, it can be about shooting someone, it can be whatever you want it to be. This new idea that somehow you're not 'hip-hop' unless you're preaching to motherfuckers is assanine.

  • dockevoc

    Kane, Pun, Big L, Scarface, G Rap, Pac, Rakim, BIG, Cube, Dre3000, Slick Rick, Ghost/Rae, Em, Nas. Done.

  • DoneGotIt

    No Crooked I either? His Hip-Hop Weekly's should be considered a series classic.

  • YouGuysCantRead

    Obviously Nas posted lyrical songs he can relate too. Songs that tell a story and mean something. He didn't name his top lyricist of all time. Besides, Eminem sucks, rapping fast and rhyming words don't completely make a lyrical song, his content makes him look like a psychopath if you don't already know he's crazy.

  • Darius Norman

    I agree with Nas best lyricist list completely!!!!

  • Anonymous

    What a fucking faggot...Nas is and has always been overrated and wack as fuck. How you gonna put Rick Ross on a list of lyricists but skip over Eminem, Slick Rick, etc. Stupid motherfucker is irrelevant as shit and is name droppin' so they'll throw him a bone and give him a guest feature. SMH Kelis must be takin all this clowns money for him to be suckin Wayne/Ross' dicks so hard haha

  • pixLctrl

    This list can't be real. Nas is one of the greatest MC's, and real recognize real, so how Rick Ross, Weezy and Lil' Kim made this list is questionable. No Royce? No Elzhi? No Black Thought? No WU!!? No Pharoahe?... Lil' Wayne? F*ck outta here... that dude can't even rap. How much did they pay NAS to use his name? I'm sure that dude needs the money, cuz he hasn't put out anything decent in 10 years... must be hurtin' for that dough.

    • cholera

      Umm Stillmatic is a classic, 5 Mics

    • pixLctrl

      Qualify: to make (a statement or assertion) less absolute; add reservations to. LOL! Did I say I was a lyricist? I am just a lover of hiphop and good music bewildered by this article post.

    • jadah0602

      you mean "clarify" not qualify

    • dockevoc

      ^ "I Am" is a very well done album.

    • pixLctrl

      LOL! okay, got me there. Perhaps I should qualify that statement by saying, 'Illmatic' was one of the greatest hiphop records of all-time, defining 'street poetry' and making NAS a pioneer in the game. He's dropped heavy records (singles) demonstrating his lyrical prowess, however, he hasn't dropped a solid album in 10 years... not since 'It Was Written' (in my humble opinion). He's still one of the greatest because his wordplay and flow on 'Illmatic' is unmatched. All records after that, were held up against it. So, it’s disappointing to see that this is his list when it comes to lyricists... we're talking rhymes, content and delivery, right?

    • The MG

      Haha, first you said "Nas is one of the greatest MCs" then you said "he hasn't put out anything decent in 10 years." You wouldn't have said that if you thought he's a great MC.

  • Martin310


  • fever

    Hmm... I like nas, but not this list so much. No Gza? Black Thought?...

  • SuperGucciRap

    Yo the only good songs was Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Lil Kim. top lyrically song... 1. It's Gucci Time- Gucci Mane 2. Lemonade- Gucci Mane 3. Make The Trap Say Aye- OJ Da Juiceman/Gucci Mane 4. Hard In The Paint- Waka Flocka Flame 5. Obsessed remix- Mariah Carey/Gucci Mane 6. Baby- Justin Bieber/Ludacris 7. I'm Getting Money- OJ Da Juiceman 8. Yah Trick Yah- Soulja Boy 9. Wuz Hannenin- Soulja Boy 10. Laffy Taffy- D4L Support Real Hip-Hop... GUCCI!-

    • hellrazor


    • Anonymous

      hahaha i cracked up when i read this shit

    • Anonymous

      damn yo 4real...i'm so tired of niggas bein quick ta say u us be from the south like niggas up north n other places dont bang wit gucci n them, n i kno cus be up north...i'm from the south n i can tell most them niggas garbage n plent other niggas like me so kill that noise n quit puttin every south nigga in that bumbass category yo...same wit any1 else sayin that shit readin my comment. yall be trippin jus cus yall aint from down here thinkin yall know betta music n shit, think twice cus its plenty wack niggas up north out west n everywhere else. if u tryna clown sumbody to make yaself feel betta bout ya choice of music atleast show sum respect ta other niggas that kno real hiphop, who cares if he bein real or jokin each his own grow sum nuts n leave'm to his opinion

    • Anonymous

      hahahahahahahaha... You're fuckin' around, right? you gotta be. lol...

    • Anonymous

      dont say stupid shit like that to get niggas hyped

    • Anonymous

      yo he wasnt naming the most ignorant rappers in the game son..but wait u just did tht...u sound like a joke making this list..was this a joke list u did??? u MUST be from the south...smh..lmfaooo..ya crak me up

    • The MG

      I hope that's a joke...

  • The MG

    Weezy and Ross kinda threw me off but overall, a pretty decent list. Much love to Nas, can't wait for the next album.

    • Anonymous

      i like "lil wayne?!" lol n ross hes cool with oficer ricky and they done songs together but still surprised to not see a raekwon,ghostface or even one of his own songs on the list

  • boooooo

    I am so tired of this guy. Who gives a shit what Nas thinks anymore?? put out an album worth listening to

  • Doc

    ... No Black Thought No Elzhi No Canibus No Methodman No Redman No Royce da 5'9 No Respect for this list at all and LMMFAO at Wayne n Rick Ross plus that wack as fuck Empire State joint...

    • Kitty

      Finally someone else that doesn't really care much about the "Empire State of Mind" song, and I'm from NYC. Its a great song, but to call it the next anthem is a bit much. Sinatra's version of "New York New York" still rocks the house.

    • DoneGotIt

      Don't forget Immortal Technique (although he sounds mentally unsound lol), Celph Titled, Apatyh, Vinnie Paz, and MindsOne (they spit some reaaal tight shit, check their bandcamp site and support em). Evel Lupe could of been put up there. But wayne Ross and Kim? idk man

    • X-man

      Lmfao my nig, your right, he had no respect for other people , but he shouts out wayne ross and jay. fuck nas, i never really liked him, i only liked got yourself a gun lmfao.

    • jake

      Oh and Tonedeff, Cunnin Lynguists also

    • jake

      Really like to LOVE all those dudes and Elzhi is UNREAL (and criminally unknown)....If you like those, PLEASE peep Diabolic, Louis Logic, One Be Lo, Juice (Listen2thewordz/tip of the iceberg LPs), to name a few...I'd be shocked if you didn't love all those dudes also

  • steee

    i wonder if you just ran into nas somewhere and asked him this question, if he really would have this list. I think I'm Single is not even one of wayne's best lyrical songs, let alone one of the best lyrical songs ever. I don't think wayne should have any on the list, but if you're gonna have one, it really shouldnt be I'm Single. Jay probably has 100 songs (literally) that are better lyrically than empire state of mind. Queen Bitch was straight... but you cant have a top 10 song in which someone else wrote the lyrics. (btw... if youve never heard the original biggie version of queen bitch... you gotta check it out). So yeah... come on nasty nas... you have 10 tracks on illmatic, just choose those 10 and say its done. (and yeah, the album intro is fuckin better than i'm single and that rick ross song)

  • Doc

    ... No Black Thought No Elzhi No Canibus No Methodman No Redman No Royce da 5'9 No Respect for this list at all and LMMFAO @ Wayne n Rick Ross plus that wack as fuck Empire State joint...

  • Doc

    No Black Thought No Elzhi No Canibus No Methodman No Redman No Royce da 5'9 No Respect for this list at all and LMMFAO @ Wayne n Rick Ross plus that wack as fuck Empire State joint...

  • Doc

    No Black Thought No Elzhi No Methodman No Redman No Royce da 5'9 No Respect for this list at all and LMMFAO @ Wayne n Rick Ross plus that wack as fuck Empire State joint...

  • Atl2Trill

    Rick Ross and Lil Wayne asses shouldn't be on that list.

  • Doc

    No Black Thought No Elzhi No Methodman No Redman No Royce da 5'9 No Respect for this list at all and LMMFAO @ Wayne n Rick Ross plus that wack as fuck Empire State joint

  • hellrazor

    ok i gotta question his choosing of that particular jay-z song...nas' NY state of mind (even part 2) is far superior, lil kim definitely comes hard (eat shit nicki minaj), paid in full is definitely a classic (i love that joint), slick rick had interesting cuts but i dont like that he picked lil wayne and rick ross. by far those 2 really disgust me and i dont consider them lyricists AT ALL. he omitted eminem (stan, the way i am), he should have included beanie sigel for "what your life like" from his debut LP titled the truth. from my standpoint, if you heard that beans track and dont feel an idiot.

    • jake

      That Beanie CD in general was pretty damn tight and i liked him ALOT when he came out (I was a jr/sr in high school i believe) and WHAT'S YA LIFE LIKE is REAL REAL dope...great energy, storytelling, rawness)... How bout Kool G Rap's "A Thug's Love Story" (Chapters I, II, and III) which is a 9:33 second storytelling tour de force, Nas's I gave you Power, Em's Stan/Sing for the Moment/Rock Bottom/Brain Damage, Pharoahe Monch's "The Truth" ft Common/Kweli, Kweli's "The Proud", Common's "I used to Love Her"....So many he could of chosen over wayne/kim/ross at least

  • LJbigbang

    LMAO, he's being so diplomatic. Nas & Lupe Fiasco are the greatest lyricists of all time. Period.

    • The MG

      Lupe's sick, no doubt, but I wouldn't say all-time greatest lyricist. I'd put people like Talib, Andre, Black Thought and Common above him as far as lyrics go.

    • jake

      i LOVE nas and think lupe is the best quasi mainstream emcee to break into the game post 2000, but that's an ignorant comment. It discredits ILL emcees like Big Pun, Big L, Em from 96/97-02), KOOL G RAP, Pharoahe Monch/Masta Ace (both criminally underrated legends in the game for 20+ YEARS, Rakim, Common (from the chi and better than Lupe imo in terms of their top 25 tracks of all time, longevity, features, impact...ppl forget Common was ILL from like 94-2000 than had BE and Finding Forever w/ Kanye production but he's been killin it for 16 years, minus a semi wack experimental album here and there like Universal Mind Control), Talib Kweli, Black Thought (criminally underrated and ill as ish 15+ yrs), Mos Def (moreso late 90's to Black On Both Sides/BlackStar time although Estatic had some nice ish on there), 2pac/BIG (not as lyrical per se as nas/lupe, but pretty influential and great storytellers), Diabolic, Crooked I, ELZHI, One Be Lo, Louis Logic to name a few SUPER DOPE undergrond dudes... Again I love Nas (arguably my GOAT, def top 3) and Lupe is nice (although overrated by ppl who didn't grow up as teenagers in the 90's) and only have post 03 radio rap to compare him to, but saying they're the 2 best period is just dumb. There is no BEST, to many super dope dudes

  • Jan

    wordplay #1 Method Man Story telling #1 Scarface #OldSchool

  • kennyken

    now that's a non-biased list of great songs boss thug

  • Life Accordin' To Dutch


  • Life Accordin' To Dutch

    UMMM THIS IS NAS LIST FIRST OF ALL..why the fuc would he have a JAY ELECTRONICA(AND I FUCS WIT DUDE)song on his all time list..that man got all of 4 tracks..EMINEM IS not everybody's favorite rapper..only internet geeks like white jesus..and he dont have many to choose from..who tha fuc is playin Stan like that..BE REAL WIT YA SELF..and some of yall opinions is just stupid is fuc..this is his own personal opinion..u really thought he wouldnt have a JAY song..DUMMIES..EVERYBODY ON HIS LIST is from his ERA of rap..or before..i came up in his i know what tha fuc he talkin about..MY DOWNFALL IS serious..queen bitch made all chix who rap have to be hard..slick rick dropped a classic album that sound like it was made yesterday..EMINEM IS WACK AS FUCK..AND History gon prove that shit..that boy fizzled out after two albums...and i never defend NAS statements..this one though is real talk

    • Jake

      meant to say *Black album in 2003, not Blueprint (obv)

    • jake

      Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm you do realize NASIR JONES (who i love by the way and is either my GOAT or top 3 at worst) has Em/Slim/Marshall in his personal top 5 right? Or at worst his top 7-8...He told MTV (back in 06 when they made that GOD AWFUL TOP 10 EVER mcs list that had JAY-Z NUMBER 1, nas/em only 5 and 9 and Big Pun, Big L, Kool G rap NOT EVEN IN THE TOP 10 which ruins your cred) that Em was in his top 5 (they were asking ppl for top 5 and he named like 7 or 8 i think and em was the 5th he named and said, "Em is an amazing emcee"). Rakim said in 03, "If Em were black we'd be calling him the Ali of this shit" (or he'd be the next ali, don't remember the exact phrasing)...Kool G Rap (in my personal top 5-7) called him phenomenal, Jay has him in his top 5... Ppl REALLY need to stop this bs on saying em is wack yada yada yada (yes he's not NEARLY as good as a 38 year old after taking a 4 year hiatus b-c he was a SEVERE drug addict for 4 years who almost died from 2 overdoses, and had his best friend of 20 years murdered), but Jay/Nas aren't AS good as they're prime either....Nas's 3 best albums, Illmatic, It Was Written (underrated just b-c it came after Illmatic and had SOME more commercial shit on it, but I GAVE YOU, TAKE IT IN BLOOD, SILENT MURDER, The Message, Shootouts, If I ruled the World/Street Dreams which as RADIO singles are 2 of his best ever) and Stillmatic/God's Son which came out in 01/02). Yes he's had some solid albums since, but nothing approaching those albums in my opinion (don't really count the Lost Tapes which also came out in 2002 and was also ILL) and Distant Relatives, while solid is not a SOLO...FYI Nas is prob my GOAT. Jay, imo, has not put out a truly dope album since Blueprint in 2003 so his 3 best albums (in basically everyones eyes are Reasonable Doubt, BluePrint, The Black Album which ALL CAME OUT from 96-03 AKA his prime). Yes every album since then has some solid tracks on there, but no albums are close to those 3 so he's also "fallen off". My top 15 in no order by the way for those who care (i look at how ILL these dudes were in their prime and overall body of work/impact): NAS, KOOL G RAP, BIG PUN, EM, BIG L, pac/big, Jay, Rakim, Pharoahe Monch, Common, Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Redman, Andre 3000 (94-2000 prime was pretty ill).....Also love Jada (usually), Most of Wu-Tang (too many to put 1 in top 15 like Gza, mm, gfk, rae, INS), AZ, Canibus, Elzhi, Louis Logic, Tonedeff, Diabolic, Crooked I, One Be Lo, most of AOTP, Brother Ali, Slug, Immortal Technique, RA the Rugged Man to name a FEW

  • Really? Wow

    "9. "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z, 2009 This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It's New York's modern anthem." Wow, and that's from Nas. I was pissed off when Jay put this joint out (and I like the song), but because he obviously bit Nas NY State of Mind concept. But whatever. List sucks somewhat too. Whatever.

  • mandddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    at least diz nigga mentioned jay-z!, biggie and lil kim, but why da fuck iz lil gayne on there? no kanye, j cole, kid cudi, wale, jay electronica? those guyz are beastz on da mic. diz nigga iz sleepin 2 fuckin hard 2 miss great lyricistz like those. ROC NATION/G.O.O.D. MUZIK BITCHEZ! FUCK CUM MONEY!

  • Anonymous

    Stop hating on his choices. Nas is obviously one of the best lyricist and you can't deny that. If he didnt pick Eminem, T.I, Snoop Dogg or whoever else you named is for a reason. He obviously thinks they are good lyricist & by the way LIL WAYNE WILL SHIT ON ANY OF YOU. I bet half of you dont even rap so there for just stop hating on his choice & now ima end this with a fuck you and have a nice day ;) !

  • Chupps

    Nas cannot be serious... I feel like alot of those mentioned were purely to satisfy a wider audience of readers - mainstream. This is because we have Lil Wayne.. Rick Ross and Lil Kim in a 'best lyricist' discussion. I didn't realise things were this bad..

    • Mr.Incognito3000

      I agree. That list was for the casual rap listener who really don't know about hip hop like taht and not the hip hop heads who really love the artform.

  • Anonymous

    Glad that overrated Eminem was not here~!

    • Jake

      Yes Em has fallen off from his top 3-5 GOAT type status of 96/97-02/early 03 where dude was nearly untouchable and put out fire 95% of the time, killed the wake up show winning "freestyler" of the year in 97, battle circuit he held his own and lost a classic finals to another legend, Juice in triple overtime in 97 after murdering everyone else, killed the underground scene from 96-late 98 (collabs w/ Royce, Masta Ace, Skam, Outsidaz, Redman in 99, 2 dope verses on Dre's Chronic 2001 especially Forgot about Dre where his verse/chorus are both great, Patiently waiting verse on 50's only solid album since his blowup imo, Stir Crazy joint w/ the Mad Rapper, Don't Approach Me Collab on Xzibit's early 2000s album, Murder Murder on SSEP and later "Next Friday Soundtrack", Anyman on Classic Rawkus Soundbombing II compilation in 99, Arguably 2 of the illest verses on Jay's 2001 Blueprint, Dead Wrong w/ BIG, SSEP, SSLP, MMLP, Eminem Show, his 8 Mile tracks are all classic, classic verses from him on D12's solo debut, Devil's Night in 2001, and LYRICALLY at least Infinite is dope as well. In THAT SENSE he is overrated by non hip hop heads (especially the PRESENT Em) who listen to ONLY MAINSTREAM and say Em is the GOAT when they've never listened to LEGENDS and/or dope lyricists like Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap, Common, Blackstarr, most of wu-tang, Rakim, PE, Gangstarr, AZ, Nas, Redman, Big Pun/L, Diabolic, Elzhi, Crooked I (and the rest of SH), One Be Lo, Louis Logic, Tonedeff, Cunnin Lynguists, Juice, Immortal Tech, JMT/AOTP, Canibus, etc. But there are 2 extremes. Those who say he's sucked and always have are the definition of a hater b-c basically EVERY DOPE and/or legendary all time great MC (known and underground)has said (in so many words) Em in his prime is one of the ILLEST/dopest rhymers to ever pick up the mic. Noone in their right mind can listen to MURDER MURDER, BRAIN DAMAGE, ROCK BOTTOM, STILL DON'T GIVE A FU*K, AS THE WORLD TURNS, Anyman, Bad Influence/Stir Crazy/The Sauce/Nail in the Coffin/Infinite, Hellbound (w/ masta ace), "freestyles" on the wake up show in 97/98, collabs Dope collabs w/ Jay/Redman/Royce/Xzibit/50/Jada/High and Mighty/Dre/BIG, STAN, The Way I am, I'm Back, Marshall Mathers, CRIMNAL, Who Knew, Forgot about Dre, Patiently Waiting, LOSE YOURSELF, SING FOR THE MOMENT, RENEGADE, TIL I COLLAPSE, 8 MILE (road), RUN RABBIT RUN, CLEANING OUT MY CLOSET, Soldier, Saying Goodbye to Hollywood, STIMULATE, White America and ish like this and seriously say, "Yea that Em dude is wack/overrated!" Again by some idiots who don't listen to other dope emcees yes he's overrated, but underrated and hated on by a ton also (while dudes like Rakim, G Rap, Nas, Pharoahe Monch, Common, Jay, Mos Def, Chuck D, all of slaughterhouse, Elzhi, Louis Logic, Juice, Diabolic among others have all mentioned him as ONE OF THE goats)

  • Jon Mendoza

    And no GZA or Wu-Tang anywhere to be found? Come on, Nas Escobar, you say hip hop is dead and yet you put Lil Wayne and Rick Ross among great lyricists?

  • 2dope

    where is Eminem? Stan? are you serious that was one of the greatest rap story ever told. Where is Lupe? both of these should replace lil kim, rick ross, and lil wayne. Those people arent lyrical at all!

    • insanemacbeth

      glad that 'ANONYMOUS' ^^^^^^^^^ mentioned RAKIM, and KOOL G. RAP. they're the two greatest, of all-time. the RAKIM track "FOLLOW THE LEADER" is better than nearly everyone else's career!

    • Anonymous

      I don't believe you need Eminem on this list if you have Kool G Rap and Rakim. And sometimes, you just can't fit all the cliche great artist in one top.

  • Fawaz

    wheres Eminem? lyrics from sing for the moment, loose your self , one day at a time -lyrics that shock the hiphop world? where is 50cent? hate it or love it, patiently waiting, come and get me? i just cant believe that rickross is on that list, sshs NAS I thought you said Hiphop is dead, you just showed your killing it!

    • ccccccccc

      coudnt agree more no mos def no kanye no talib no common no lupe these r way better lyricists.... even nas himself...

  • Walter da Paixão

    Why Eminem, Snoop Dogg and T.I. ain't there????

  • Jeremy Orr

    yea but thats kind of arrogant to put yourself on the list lol...i would def.put "Rewind" "I gave you power" "money is my "bitch" in there Nas is 1 of the best storytellers ever IMO

  • DanK

    um...if you don't have Eminem on that list, it really loses a lot of credibility... And Nas is a bit overrated in a historical context

    • Anonymous

      @ poet its not about who u like its about real talent and if cant admit he should be on there then ur stupid... i cant stand lil wayne but the lyrics on his first to albums were dope and he shouldn't be there with the trash hes making now

    • off yourself

      if you say nas is overrated your comment loses credibilty. get off marshall's dick.

    • Concerned Citizen

      a bit overrated in a historical context?! Are you serious? He put out a classic Album 1994 and then another classic in 2001 and he is about to put another album out and he is still somewhat relevant today. and Illmatic and Stillmatic will still be talked about and listened to and referenced years from do you still think he is still "a bit overrated in a historical context"?

    • the poet

      everybody doesnt have to be the biggest eminem fan bro.....dnt be mad cause he dntlike who you like

  • James Johnson

    man I know Nas tryna be humble, but he know him damn self that he should def. be on dis list..........but whatever its Nas opinion I guess......

    • Anonymous

      never mention yourself on a best of list. thats purely simple, thats why jay-z didnt said he is one of the best rappers of all time a week ago, although certainly he is.

    • Charles ExSavior

      My bad I meant Big Daddy Kane, not Rakim.

    • Charles ExSavior

      I feel you on that! If I was responsible for tracks like "Life's A Bitch" I wouldn't hesitate to put myself on any lyricist's list. It's still a good selection. I'm just surprised he didn't put any Rakim or Jay Electronica on there.

  • wickwickwack

    these are the songs he´s feeling ... Thats a personal list u gonna hate on that its a playlist !!! i m pretty sure your playlist right now wont be the same in 2 weeks

  • Beata

    suprised em isnt on that list

  • Jesus Ruiz

    sleeper list. rick ross. kim? yawn. and pac had way better songs than that. i know. i know. there will never be a top ten list that satisfies everyone.

  • Anonymous

    This is just stupid

  • nas is da goat

    da fuck nas whats with number 6......lil waynes is wacks

  • shyiet

    really nas this is what you could come up with

  • Jake

    Nas is one of the GOATs when it comes to lyricist in the rap game or just SUPER DOPE emcees so I respect his list MINUS LIL WAYNE/LIL KIM...Replace LW/Kim w/ Em's Lose Yourself/STAN/Sing for the Moment/The Way I am or Cleaning out My closet (all GREAT singles by him or even under the radar classics like Rock Bottom/Brain Damage from the SSLP which are amazing lyrically while telling a story so to speak usuing VIVID imagry) and maybe his very own I GAVE YOU POWER/Rewind/NY State of Mind or if he's not tryng to name himself put Pharoahe Monch's THE TRUTH (from his underrated classic solo LP debut, Internal affairs) featuring Common and Talib Kweli

  • Anonymous

    never said himself. what about talib? eminem? cassidy? Tribe called quest?? hmmm all top candidates

  • tha truth don't be mad

    man nas Elzhi better than you i though you was hip hop

  • Nazir

    he forgot to mention himself ! lol Thats humble tho cos everyone knows hes one of the best lyricists ever!

  • Nathan Harvey Malcolm

    time to youtube songs i haven't heard yet.

  • Nazir

    Not surprised that Nas is showing love to B.I.G,Pac,Cube,Kool g rap,Eric B & Slick rick but i wasnt expecting Jay Z or lil wayne or lil kim or rick ross but i like all them dudes so its aite.

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