MTV-2 list of 22 Greatest MCs:

posted June 24, 2003 12:00:00 AM CDT | 14 comments

This past weekend, MTV-2, the more musically-inclined version of cable giant MTV aired a 2-hour special titled 22 Greatest MCs. When they first announced this program a few weeks back, I had no plans of actually seeing it because I assumed it was going to be an all-out pop affair. But, I found myself home on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and it was either seeing this list or the Buick Golf open, and with Tiger screwing up so hard lately (I think its the new blonde babe hes rolling with shes killing his focus), I decided to watch this so-called list they had worked on. To my surprise, it wasnt the big fiasco I thought it would be - they actually did most of their homework with this one. The whole set was hosted by hip-hop luminary Fab-5-Freedy, and featured soundbites from hip-hop artists and DJs like Doug E. Fresh, Method Man, Mista Cee, Kid Capri, and well-known hip-hop journalists like Kevin Powell (for those who dont remember, Mr. Powell played the role of angry black man in MTVs first ever Real World), Tour (Rolling Stone), and Elliot Wilson (Editor in Chief of XXL). Okay you guys are probably thinking, Is this fool going to give us the damn list or just go on forever with this commentary? Hold on people, Im getting to it let me just say one more thing: MTV2 claimed that this list was voted by the fans so if people out there (like me) had any beef with it, they should blame the fans not the station. I decided to blame them anyway.

Okay, are you ready? This is how the list went: (remember to read on after the list for some objective feedback)

MTV2s 22 Greatest MCs of all time:
#22 Chuck-D
#21 Method Man
#20 Queen Latifah
#19 LL. Cool J.
#18 Foxy
#17 Common
#16 Snoop
#15 KRS-One
#14 Run DMC
#13 DMX
#12 Nelly
#11 Big Pun
#10 Missy Elliot
#9 Beastie Boys
#8 Lil Kim
#7 Dre
#6 Rakim
#5 Jay-Z
#4 Nas
#3 Eminem
#2 Biggie
#1 TuPac

Alright, take a few minutes to go back over it and then get back to me Okay you took it all in? Lets proceed then First of all its not the worst list I got to give the folks at MTV-2 props for that. They represented the old school (Beastie and Run-DMC), the new school (Eminem), the ladies (Latifah, Kim), the Latinos (Big Pun), the conscious brothers (Chuck-D and Common), the live show specialists (KRS-One, Method), the lyrical technicians (Jay-Z, Pun), the god (Rakim), and the poets (Nas and Pac). In all fairness, one cant argue with the starting five they came up with either (Jay, Nas, Em, Big and Pac) - they are all great in their own right, and most true heads can probably agree that these cats, maybe not in that particular pecking order, deserve to be in the top five of all time.

So enough with the superlatives its time for some criticisms. My biggest beef is how does Nelly get on the list and a true MC like Big Daddy Kane get left out? Have people forgotten classic Kane records like No Half Steppin and Smooth Operator? Some of you might answer that Nelly put St.Louis on the map, and has sold Britney Spears-type numbers with both his albums so he deserves to be on the list. Alright, what about Busta Rhymes then? Hes only one of the most creative, lyrical cats in the game; hes been in the game doing his thing for more than a decade; and has gone platinum or better on all his solo records. How does Busta not get on the list, and Nelly get a spot on there? Lets not forget that Nelly is the cat who spat the following lines, Youre not from Russia / so why you rushing on one of the songs from his Nellyville album if thats what these guys are calling an MC, then they better put some coins in theyre a$$, because theyre playing themselves (thats a Kane quote for those of you who didnt catch it).

There are some other gross omissions on the list like Outkast (trailblazers in the rap game who have broken new ground in hip-hop with each of their albums), EPMD (leaders of the NYC hardcore underground scene), and Wu-clansmen like Ghost and Gza. But the Nelly addition is still what gave me the biggest headache. So to yall MTV-2 dudes, you got some of it right, but next time, you need to study the hip-hop manuscripts a little harder.

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