The Goodie Mob rapper shared his candid feelings about Hov in an interview with The Art of Dialogue after the Brooklyn-bred billionaire was ranked No. 1 on Billboard and VIBE’s Top 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time list.
Gipp said that JAY-Z’s music simply “stopped playing” when 50 Cent broke through with Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2003 and claimed that the G-Unit general — who was ranked No. 17 on the list — gets overlooked by New York publications because of his ties to the West Coast.
“When 50 came out, I ain’t hear no JAY-Z music — it just stopped playing,” he said. “Come on, bruh! I was there When 50 came out, he shut everything down. And the reason why they didn’t give it to 50, you know why? Because the West Coast did his music. New York has never crowned 50 Cent because the West Coast did his music: Dr. Dre.”
The Atlanta native then made similar comments about DMX, claiming his emergence in 1998 with It’s Dark and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood — which made him the first living rapper to drop two No. 1 albums in the same calendar year — eclipsed JAY-Z’s own success with Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life.
“To me, DMX was bigger than shawty all day,” he continued. “Shawty put out two albums in one year that smoked anything he put out! And you still said he was the best? Fuck this industry, man, ’cause y’all still want who y’all want to be the best, but the numbers say DMX is the biggest thing walking round here. And when it wasn’t no DMX, it was 50 Cent. It was still somebody else.”
He added: “The movement that Ruff Ryders had was totally different than all of the shit that ever came through New York. It was just totally street. Nobody had seen a dude from New York sleep on bitches with dogs roof-roofing at the camera, ride motorcycles and shit, and then pray on stage and cry. DMX was a muthafucking true artist because he never cared about money.”
“I still think Murder Inc. was bigger than Roc-A-Fella,” he said. “When you go back and look at them numbers, Ja Rule was nothing but on the radio, [Ashanti] was nothing but on the radio. If you go back and look at the Roc-A-Fella roster, it was Beanie Sigel and them; it wasn’t Ashanti.”
While Gipp acknowledged Hov’s “genius” and pedigree as “one of the best technical and baddest rappers that has ever come from New York,” he believes his lack of crossover appeal in other regions makes him unworthy of the G.O.A.T. title, and that the only reason he’s propped up as the greatest of all time is because of New York bias.
“JAY-Z ain’t never been on the radio here hella crazy. No!” he said. “He has big records, but all the records that people probably heard in New York, they never heard them records down here. Same goes out West. They probably heard the big records with Beyoncé, ‘Big Pimpin,’ but if you go back, they never heard a lot of shit that people love Jay for in New York.
“Out here on the West Coast, they love Eazy-E and Cube. In Texas, they love [Scarface], the Geto Boys. In the South, they love who they love. My thing with Hip Hop is: stop all this ‘who’s the best?’ Ain’t nobody the best! You just the best in your region.”
As for who he believes is the greatest rapper of all time, Big Gipp gave the crown to 2Pac.
“To me, 2Pac number one. I don’t care what nobody say,” he declared. “Nobody did what that man did. That man had more albums in death than most people have living.
“That man had a transitional time of coming out a revolutionary rapper to turning into a certified movie star then coming back and dropping Me Against the World and then coming back and dropping the double album [All Eyez On Me]. Come on, man!”
“Half the people that y’all say is number one took songs from him to make them popular after he was gone,” he added, taking another dig at JAY-Z, whose 2002 hit “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” sampled ‘Pac’s 1996 song “Me and My Girlfriend.”
“When half yo raps were another man’s raps — it’s great that you can take it and use it, but at the same time, you gotta look at Biggie, Pac and all that as the Top 5 because they set the standards. You got two dead superstars that you could sit back and listen to their music, look at what they doing, how they doing it to formulate your own.