A few weeks back, I had a couple of my friends over at my apartment to partake in 3 of the universe’s most glorious pastimes: drinking beer, stuffing your face with pizza and engaging in heated debates about who the greatest rapper of all time is.
As the alcohol consumption increased and night turned into the wee hours of the morning, we came to the mutual conclusion that it’s basically impossible to choose just one emcee whos combination of lyrical virtuosity, skill behind the mic, ability to stay spiritually true to the art form and, yes, at least some commercial success towered head and shoulders over the competition. We just couldn’t do it.
Eventually, whiskey replaced beer and we set out to make a Top 10 list of GOAT candidates, trying our best to come to at least a rough agreement on some sort of overall ranking. From the mid-70s birth of the music genre to current standouts like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Drake, we considered everybody we thought even remotely fit the list’s criteria.
You know what happened? We couldn’t agree on that big a field either.
It’s partly out of that experience that this new podcast was born. After successfully devoting most of the past year to dissecting classic hip-hop albums, I was ready to widen the scope of my music analysis and, above all else, start discussions that weren’t just cherry-picking the best that the genre has to offer.
It’s similar to what happens in sports all the time. Lists like these are inherently silly and, at the very least, comparing subjects whose achievement weren’t necessarily measured with any uniformity over time. That said, remember when SI called Kobe Bryant one of the most overrated players in NBA history?? The internet promptly lost its shit and, to be honest, good arguments were made on both sides of the aisle. Actually choosing a side, in the end, wasn’t really the point.
The Notorious B.I.G. 2Pac. Jay-Z. Kanye West. Rakim. Eminem. All amazing rappers, all with wildly different legacies and all were part of that aforementioned conversation about who the best of all time is. Where they fit into the format of a Top 10 list will change depending on who you ask, whether it’s me, a music historian, a producer who’s worked with multiple artists or even just a casual music fan who’s got a massive Spotify library. The joy is in having those conversations and reveling in the unique points of view that inform ranking rappers, songs, albums, beefs, diss tracks, whatever.
I’ve been blessed to make a living doing what I love: creating content about my passions in life and connect with other music junkies who share those obsessions. This new podcast, debuting November 1st, will be my attempt to continue that dialogue and welcome even more opinions to the table, building a community of like-minded hip-hop fanatics who love the process of sharing those ideas.
When I say “even more opinions,” that includes ones that don’t align with my own. You think I missed the boat on a particular list? Did I rank a song, artist, album or another list item too low for your liking? Do you want me to tackle a Top 10 you’ve been debating with your friends on the podcast? Everything is up for conversation, so don’t be afraid to holla at your boy.
Each episode will be an extremely interactive process. Every episode will be recorded that week (no pre-taping anything, unless otherwise specified) to ensure that all hot takes, opinions, and analysis is current and, most importantly, in the moment. One thing I disliked about hosting previous podcasts is just how stale some of it felt, especially after I’d had the chance to stew over the subject matter for an extra few days or weeks. Nothing like that will be going down here.
Also, fans of the show and those who follow me on social media will get the chance to flex their hip-hop ranking muscles before I turn the mics on later that week. Keep your eyes locked on the podcast’s Facebook page as well as my Twitter feed for an announcement of that week’s Top 10 list category and comment away! I’ll keep tabs on everyone’s
trolling typo-free insights and be releasing exclusive bonus episodes featuring nothing but YOUR comments.
Speaking of which, if you’re into the podcast and want to take your fandom a step further, you’ll also be able to call into the show using the Anchor app. It’s available to download and super easy to use – all you need is a smartphone and a pair of headphones with the built-in microphone. Seriously. That’s it. If you thought hearing your
hate mail typed thoughts on the show was cool, just wait until your voicemails start getting incorporated. It’s going to be wild.
How do you, your friends, your parents, your spouse, lover, boss, co-worker, mailman or florist get a hold of that red-hot bonus content? That is also super easy – all you need to do is sign up to become a member of our VIP squad! I’ll be distributing private links to audio content that won’t be available through the regular podcast feed. Some email newsletters might suck but the one for this show definitely won’t. It only takes a few seconds and doesn’t cost you anything so yeah, you should totally sign up.
I’m super excited to roll out the first batch of episodes for this new podcast starting on November 1st, so make sure you subscribe to our email list, follow us on social and keep our website bookmarked (is that still a thing?) so you never miss an update!