Sometimes listening to rap can be a challenge when you don't understand the euphemisms most rappers use in their rhymes. However, every once in a while fans are treated with a rapper who has mastered the art of creating expertly skilled rhymes everyone can relate to. According to CNN on Saturday, Jan. 5 Nas may be the greatest lyricist of all time as he turns 40 this year.
Nas has had a successful career as a rapper so far with nine albums released since his first album “Life is Good” in 1994. Out of the nine albums, Nas has had seven of them reach platinum status.
That puts Nas as one of the second platinum selling rappers of all time trailing behind Jay-Z who now leads all rappers with a total of 11. However, there are five others who tie Nas for second place which includes Snoop Dogg (Now going by Snoop Lion), Eminem, Too Short, OutKast and LL Cool J.
It appears though, out of the top seven selling rappers, Nas is considered the most lyrically in-depth rapper of all time.
Those words were carefully chosen: "lyricist" over "rapper" or "hip-hop artist;" "greatest" instead of "most successful;" "all time" rather than "today."
Nas does not share CNN's opinion that he is the greatest lyricist of all time. According to Nas he feels that as time changes so does a person's view of what is considered great. Although, he admits it's good to put a list together, the results ultimately changes throughout the years.
"It's wayyyyyy, way, way too early in our lives," he said when asked where he fits among history's best MCs. "It's great to put a list together, but don't take it too seriously because your list won't matter 10 years from now or 15 years from now. It'll be a different list."
If you were to ask Nas who he thought the greatest rapper is of all time, he definitely wouldn't give you his name. He would actually tell you Tupac and Biggie are the greatest two who've ever rapped.
"I'd probably be better if they were still around," he said. "I think I'd be a lot better. To leave us with that kind of music at that young age is exceptional. There's no other word to say," he said.
"They were bigger than all of us, even today -- their music, their sound, their topics. The way the world listened to them was a lot bigger than I would even say myself and the rest of us ... I don't think today we've made an official impact that those guys were just starting to make."
After the beef between Nas and Jay-Z had been squashed between the two, even Jay-Z referred to Nas as the best lyricist ever.
As Hova put it in a 2006 interview with MTV, "I didn't sign Nas; I partnered with Nas. You can't sign an artist of Nas' stature. You can only partner with him. ... Like I said, it's always been a level of respect there. I, for not one second, ever said I don't believe that he's one of the best lyricists ever."
Although Nas is considered to be the greatest lyricist he has still been involved in quite a bit of controversy. Recently Nas was sued by a music promoter for $10 million.
Nas also had his earnings garnished last year for a tour he did with Lauryn Hill for Live Nation.
Time for you to be the judge, who do you consider the greatest lyricist of all time?
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