Tareau’s 10 favorite Hip hop artists of all time

  • Dam Gina. 2pac was killed 20 years ago. I’m only 33, but it feels like an eternity ago. Hip hop music believe it or not was not my favorite musical genre. It’s always R&B. The first time I listened to rap, I was 4 years old (1987) and it was Erik B & Rakim’s “I ain’t no joke” I was hooked on it for about 28 years. Hip hop and myself have not spoken in over 2 years. I’m very upset with it and as I get older it becomes harder to listen too. I miss the lyrics, the melodies, the unity, the groups, the music videos, going to various record shops, (tower records or the warehouse, or Sam goody, or virgin, or amoeba records, or circuit city, or mo musik frisco hats and tapes on hayes st, or even the local cd man.) We had a plethora of head nodding, sing along, deep thinking, outlandish, music. This next list is my 10 favorite rappers. And it’s not what you think. No biggie, Jay-Z, Common, Eminem, E-40, or ICE Cube on my list. Why? Because it’s my list. That’s the beautiful thing here at thecouchsports.com. We are not going to tell you what you want to see or hear. We want you to disagree with us. Why? We are human. So with that out of the way here is Tareau Barron’s 10 favorite rappers.

    10. Jadakiss

    Jadakiss to me is probably the best featured MC of all time. On remixes, features, and Freestyles he is the best. Unfortunately his albums were Never that great. Hell of a lyricist and all I know about him from about 20 years of listening to him is that he’s the best cocaine dealer in Yonkers. I like to hear some pain and sorrow in my artists. But Jada’s flow and voice is hard to deny. He had potential  (I think) to be really “Top 5 dead or alive.”

    9. Krayzie Bone.

    Now you want to hear hardcore and warbled rhymes in one song? Listen the Lethaface. Krayzie Bone held down the Bone Thugs N Harmony sound for 2 plus decades. Literally worked with every artist in the industry. Krayzie Bone is slept on because he rhymes to fast for some people. However he will always be a favorite of mine. Check out “Hard time Hustlinf. Sade. One of the most slept on songs in rap history. 

    8. Fabolous.

    Honestly, I dont like the gangsta Fabolous, I like the smooth talking Fabolous you listen too with ya lady. Great mixtapes and decent albums but his sound took to long to mature for me. His soul tapes anthology are probably the most underrated project I’ve ever heard. Fab can spit and flow with the best of them and has nice punch lines (You can’t touch me/ I’m delicate like china/ you see the SF you think the fella with the 9ers) 

    7. Andre 3000 from Outkast.

    3Stacks is a beast. When hip hop went a certain way, he remained himself. Whether it was wigs, suspenders, bow ties, fedora, nerd glasses, he kept his style dapper. His flow is the best too. I love 3 stacks eclectic side to him. Some folks think when you choose to go rogue against normality that something is wrong with you, I say the opposite.

    6. $tack Bundles

    Rest in Peace. RRS. SQQQQUUUUAAADD UP. $tack Bundles was on the verge of breaking through in mainstream rap in the mid 2o00s. Whether it was rapping on the desert storm mix tapes, making dope tracks with Joe Buddens and Ransom, being signed to Jim Jones record label, $tack was a star in the making. Street Cred, flow, look, lyrics, rhymes, ladies, ad libs (g). Stack Bundles was murdered in 2007. Named my youngest son after him (Rayquan). Hear Send him our love” by Joe Buddens.

    5. Big Pun

    Pun doesn’t get enough credit in hip hop lore. Ladies love pun, had the best flow, would murder any beat and his music is still better than anything out today. 1st Boriqua to go platinum, he did his people justice. As we know Pun suffered a massive heart attack in 2000. What’s even more sad is his hit song “It’s so hard” f. Donell Jones off of his 2nd Album, Pun proclaimed he just lost 100 lbs and he’s just tryna live. Tragic. Rest in peace Pun.

    4. Mac Dre 

    Yes Yes and Hell Yes. The first time I heard Mac Dre, I was at my cousin’s Terrell’s house. He had the Rompalation volume 1 in 1996. I know I know, I was a late bloomer to Mac Dre. But I loved his style. Then my God brother, Chris really put me on with Stupid Doo Doo Dumb, and Rapper Gone Bad. I honestly had a love hate relationship with the hyphy Mac Dre because I thought he was way better than just clowning around. Nonetheless he did inspire a cult following and breathed life into a dead bay area rap scene. Sadly Mac Dre was murdered in 2004 in Kansas City. RIP MAC DRE “Sharpe like Shannon/ Rich like Gannon”

    3. 2pac

    2pac is the definition of a true rap artist. He would of been #1 but he’s everyone’s number 1, right? So for that reason alone I put him at number 3. 2pac was a great actor that alot of people did not give him props for. Poetic Justice, Juice, Gang Related, Above The Rim etc. But I honestly got tired of Pacific in the mid 99s because every morning when I stayed in the Potrero Hill Projects, my neighbor (fine ass kathleen) would play all eyes on me non-stop. Like she didn’t even want to play Makaveli or Me against the world. RIP Pac.


    2. Joe Buddens 

    Yes that’s who. The first time I heard Buddens, I was a little dissapointed. The reason you ask? The hype surrounded him. At that time the source, Vivek, murder dog, and XXL is how you got your snippets and co-sign. I wasn’t that impressed but I heard pain in his voice. 10 mins was what got me hooked. When I was a die hard hip hop head, many or barbershop arguments started because I would say that he is better than Jay-Z. Man how I would get crowned. But I stand by my opinion. 

     Drumroll please for #1

    1. Nas

    No explanation needed

    Named my oldest son after this wordsmith. Nuff said.



    1. I must say that I am shocked that JayZ is not on this list. Although Jay is not one of my faves, he seems to make it on almost everyone’s top 10. I have to cosign 3K, Fab & of course 2pac. I like Budden as a person not so much as an artist. Have you checked out his podcast on Youtube? It’s hilarious to listen to the banter between him & friends. Called I’ll Name This Podcast Later…lol. typical Joe

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course I’ve heard his podcast. Hahahahahaha. Jay-Z is overrated to me. And that’s what makes me unique as a black man. The audacity to hate Jay-Z. Hahahahhaha. This was a hard list honestly. I would put in people like Talib Kweli (is actually have Life is a beautiful struggle tattooed on my back) but I just went with my heart. My godfather was telling me that some of our topics on thecouchsports.com are too real or too much to take at times. So I said “ohhh well you’ll find somebody to cater to your every needs as a blogger” lmfao.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Good post! I applaud your taste in hip hop artistry, and the way you did not put the typical brand-names on the list: Jay-Z, Biggie, etc.

      2pac and Nas are my favorite rappers. I used to worship 2pac lol. My favorite Nas album is either “It Was Written” or “Untitled”. Honorable mention to “Stillmatic”.

      Jay-Z is all about swag. His lyrics are just okay to me. I do not doubt that he creates great music – but it doesn’t have a visceral impact for me.

      I am honestly a little taken aback by Joe Budden being on the list. But then again, I haven’t listened to anything except “Pump It Up”.

      Do you watch battle rap?

      Liked by 1 person

      • My favorite Nas album is Stillmatic. And “NIGGER” was an immaculate concept. I agree with Jay-Z. I don’t like him as an MC. Joe Buddens grew on me over the yeats. The pain in his voice, his unadulterated filter, his bars, delivery etc. I don’t listen to too much rap music anymore. When I do, I stick with my comfort zones. The Nas’s, The Common’s, The Talib’s, The 2pac’s etc

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Interesting list of top 10 rappers. I’m gonna have to check out some of these cats, I’ve never heard of. Hip Hop is really diverse as a genre, so it’s hard for me to compare some rappers unless we narrow the attributes under consideration. If we are talking about revolutionizing the genre of rap, I’d have to throw Rakim in as #1 (I’m older, so Ra’s style begot Nas’s style IMHO) – the imagery, the flow, storytelling. But don’t get me wrong, I’m so tempted to put Nas in the #1 slot because he definitely revolutionized hip hop too. I’ll name a few songs to illustrate it and not simply lean on the Illmatic name. “I Gave You Power”, “Rewind”, “One Love,” etc. In the #3 slot, I’d have to drop in Redman. He has influenced so many rappers from Em to Luda, etc. You can see Red’s mark on their style. #4. KRSONE – He has left a giant sized imprint on hip hop and really carried on the legacy from the early Mellie Mel, Afrika, days. #5. Common – He re-lit the spark on conscious rap. “I USED to Love H.E.R” is a hip hop anthem and classic. #6 Dre and NWA. – Rappers didn’t really curse or talk about gang life until these dudes came on the scene and popularized it. #7. Buckshot and Blackmoon – These dudes really kicked off “backpack” rap as it’s labeled today. #8 MC Lyte – Before Lyte female rappers weren’t thought of on the same level bars-wise as male MCs. #9 Guru / A Tribe Called Quest (Damn! Bonita Applebum, gotta put me on) – Toss up on these two because they branched rap music out into jazz and instead of the typical James Brown beats and R&B spins. If I gave it more thought I could probably add more to the list and round it out to a top 10 innovators in Hip Hop list. But from a pure bars perspective, I love your list – Jada, Nas, Budden, Pun, 2Pac, Fab. I would add Ra, Red, Common, Black Thought (The Roots), Big Krit, Crooked I, Em, Elzhi, Mobb Deep. I’m already over 10, staring with the ones you named. I can probably name more, but honestly, when I hear these dudes rap, I have to lean in and ask myself, “What did he just say?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for checking out our site. I started to follow you as well. Yes you’re right about the revolutionary part. However I purposely did not choose alot of the cats you spoke of because I’m different. Those guys are great. (Hell I have “life is a beautiful struggle” tattooed” on me) I just didn’t want to do that type of list. Which is why biggie and jayz and rakim are not on that list. Redman almost made it so did common. The site is to give love to underrated things. Jay-Z gets all the awards and baubles, so that doesn’t represent who I am as a person. Ludacris almost made my list so did Rakim’s so did mc late. This was a hard list but I went with who I consistently look forward to hearing. Talib Kweli dissapointed me on his last album, mos def ditto, Eminem is a Hella of a lyricist but everyone likes him, NWA same thing. I really appreciate the love though. Method man, bun b, killer mike, etc.. so many. Who would be your 10 favorite rappers of all time? Not for revolutionizing the game, not for popularity, not for records sold or awards??

        Liked by 1 person

        • I get what you mean by staying away from the common names. I didn’t throw up Jay, well, because he hasn’t innovated the art of rapping, he’s a good business guy. And he doesn’t really spit bars. He admitted this as well. I put Em on and then took him off and then I put him back on because I do lean in to hear what he says when he’s on a track, popular or not, I gotta give it up to him. Like I said. I like your list. Everyone has a list. There is no definitive list, but I like to see lists to see where listeners are coming from. No doubt you are a hip hop head, even if you aren’t listening to today’s radio spins. It’s hard to listening to most of these dudes today. Kendrick and Cole get my ears, but not too many others.

          Liked by 1 person

        • 100% agree with everything. Side note the only reason why Eminem didn’t make my list is because of who he defeated in battles. Pop stars, benzino, Ja Rule, vanilla ice etc. It would be like using the incredible hulk to smash ants. I wished Eminem and Nas battled or Eminem and Redman (off the wall track was dope)

          Liked by 1 person

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