Ja Rule, Ice Cube, and many others do not think Billboard and Vibe’s top 50 rappers list accurately reflects the culture. In honor of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, Billboard and Vibe teamed up to rank the best 50 rappers of all time. However, they revealed each tier in increments. First, they dropped the top 50-41, which included Rick Ross, Rev Run, Melle Mel, Jadakiss, Ice-T, and more. Each week, they followed up with their next 10 rankings until they reached 10-1, which saw Jay-Z at the top of the list.
The top 5 as rounded out by Kendrick Lamar (#2), Nas (#3), Tupac (#4), and Eminem (#5). That alone stirred up enough conversation for debate. However, the remainder of the top 10 appeared quite safe. The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, Drake, Snoop Dogg, and Nicki Minaj round out the top 10. Though you can argue all you want about Big ranking lower than Ja Rule’s eternal nemesis, Eminem, or Drake’s standing in the top 10, each artist listed had an everlasting impact on hip-hop that can’t be replicated.
Let’s See What Ja Rule’s Thoughts Are On The Top 50 List
Ja Rule was nowhere to be found on the list and it’s quite clear that he feels snubbed by the exclusion. The rapper took to social media this week where he determined that he’s the greatest rapper of all time among the dead, alive, and the unborn. He congratulated all those who made the list but made it clear Billboard snubbed him. “There ain’t 50 rappers dead, alive or waiting to be born better than me,” he tweeted on Thursday. “@billboard congrats to everyone on the list well deserved but check my resume…”
As you’d expect with any list, there was no possible way to determine a list of top 50 rappers without excluding a few. Unfortunately for Ja, this meant that his epic run in the late 90s and 2000s didn’t make the cut. Billboard and Vibe determined their list through creative output (i.e. bars and flows), commercial success (RIAA certifications and Billboard charting offerings), influence on the genre, and longevity. Ja basically checks off the majority of criteria but it seems like Billboard and Vibe felt there were artists who were more deserving of the recognition.