Kendrick Lamar recently chopped it up with Wild 94.9’s Nessa, running down his top five rappers dead or alive. During the interview, he named Tupac Shakur as his favorite rapper, also including The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem on his list.
“My top five, dead or alive. Tupac, definitely. Tupac because the emotion that he put in and how much he related to the people, and how much he connected. That’s what music is about,” he said. “Music is supposed to move, whether you’re saying the most intricate stuff or the most simple, dumbed down. You gotta make some type of connection, and I feel like he did that the best.”
He flipped his attention to the East Coast, naming The Notorious B.I.G. as another of his choice emcees. “Biggie, because of his wit. Biggie’s wit was incredible. His wit and his character, his personality and his flow and most of all, his confidence. Anybody that can talk about themselves on a record and still have screaming women at the front of the stage, unless you know it goes a long way with your confidence in being an artist.
“Jay-Z, it’s an incredible thing where you can listen to his music and feel like you’re having a sit-down with him,” he continued. “Nas, the art of storytelling, I think Hip Hop is really based on that and getting your point across. Nas does that incredibly. Eminem, just being a wordsmith, an amazing wordsmith.”
Watch the full interview below.