There’s nothing like a spirited debate. BET must have learned this by observing the immense feedback MTV receives annually for its Hottest MCs in the Game list, and what Vibe got for its Best Rapper Alive tournament. Next month BET will air its own version with a unique show titled “BET’s Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century.”
The criterion for consideration is that every rapper nominated must not have had their debut album any earlier than 1999. That means normal all-time list stalwarts like Rakim, Jay-Z, Nas, KRS-One, and other legends cannot be selected. The panel included AllHipHop.com co-founder Chuck Creekmur, So So Def founder/producer Jermaine Dupri, Tony Neal of Core DJs, producer Boi 1da, DJ Greg Street, DJ Timbuck2, DJ Vlad and Vibe writer Chloe Hilliard.
The list of nominated artists are 50 Cent, Drake, Eminem, Eve, Fabolous, The Game, Gucci Mane, Jadakiss, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Nelly, Rick Ross, T.I. and Young Jeezy.
The show airs on October 15 at 8PM. Below is the trailer video.
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Even though I normally disagree with the selections, I love these type of shows. It brings the corner, barbershop and message board arguments fans have to the forefront. And it also gives you a better idea of how industry experts view some of your favorite artists.
What I don’t like is that most of the time the debate centers around album sales over quality of work. You can already see that when someone like Lupe Fiasco, who’s released two of the better Hip-Hop LPs this decade (Food & Liquor, The Cool), didn’t even get a nod. But you have guys on the list like Jadakiss and Fabolous, who in my opinion don’t have any standout albums on their resumes.
It’ll be very interesting to watch how this panel makes its decisions. As far as the artists included on this list, my #1 would be Kanye West. Aside from his own catalogue, I give extra points for his production work. On just lyrical ability Eminem would be #1, but Slim Shady shouldn’t even be on the list. Is BET really going to act like his debut album isn’t 1996’s Infinite (which by the way, had some decent tracks)?
Be sure to check this out. I’m positive they’ll be moments where you nod your head in agreement, shake it in disgust, and flat-out laugh at what you hear.
The show debuts Friday October 15 at 8PM ET.