If you watched the video above you will have seen my order for the current top 3 BEST rappers. Drake #1 / Kendrick #2 / Cole #3.
To reiterate what’s in the aforementioned video, there is a concrete difference between Hottest and Best. With that in mind, the three kings have all dropped projects within 6 months of each other. It is now appropriate to do an assessment of their careers and adjust the rankings accordingly.
Cole’s latest project “4 Your Eyez Only” did good first week numbers. The project although respectable, didn’t have much staying power. This album by far was Cole’s most forgettable. When Cole gets in his bag, I would say he’s the most lyrically superior rapper of the 3. I would also lay claim to him having the most rabid and loyal fan base of his counterparts; evidence being his 2015 sold out show at MSG. While Cole’s top 3 status’ cannot be questioned, it seems he’s gotten comfortable. He’s come a long way from having to question if his mom Kay will have to work at the post office again. He’s now married with a child, and enjoying the fruits of his labor, he’s earned it. But now that Young Simba has become Mufasa does he still has the eye of the tiger to grab that #1 spot?
Kendrick on the other hand is sitting on top of the world. With every song on “Damn.” charting, having the #1 album and #1 song in the country; Kendrick is making a strong push for the throne. An already certified classic under his belt in GKMC, strengthens Kendrick’s claim for the #1 seat. He’s proven he can make hits, headline festivals, deliver timeless work, lyrically go off, and impact the culture.
So why hasn’t he stolen the #1 spot from Drake? No one can hand you the belt you’ve got to take it. “To be the champ you’ve got to beat the champ”. Drake’s run in hip-hop has been one of the most unprecedented in the history of the culture. What Lebron is doing to the NBA, Drake has done in rap. Delivering hit after hit, summer after summer, breaking record after record; he’s earned the belt. Yes, for the first time Kendrick has outperformed Drake in sales, and cultural impact. That fact cannot be ignored and is why we’re having this conversation.
“I’d probably self destruct if I ever lose, but I never do” Drake raps on the outro of More Life. If he hasn’t lost, he’s certainly been outperformed this go round. Although the projects are completely different and hard to compare its: Damn > More Life. I think it’s safe to say Drake makes better songs than Kendrick, but Kendrick makes better albums. This is the closest we’ve seen anyone come to challenging the throne. What will it take for Kendrick to grab that #1 spot? Consistency! I’m interested to see how things shake up for the rest of 2017. Right now, Drake & Kendrick are playing cultural musical chairs with one seat left. When the music stops who will be sitting?
What do you think? Who’s your top 3 best?
Amendment** Kendrick Lamar sold 603k copies of “Damn.” first week.
-Thanks Rapradar for keeping us updated on who’s HOT.