There are a few rappers from the history of hip hop that simply do not get the credit they deserve. One of the foremost names on that list is Ice-T. The ‘Cop Killer’ rapper is one of the pioneers of modern rap and his view on issues surrounding censorship and freedom of speech are as valid today as they were when he fought for them decades ago. It means Ice T’s opinion on the finer details of the genre are always welcome.
So, when the icon is given one of the hardest questions in hip hop, we can forgive him for bending the rules a little. For most, picking out a ‘Top 5’ favourite rappers of all time is a fun pastime. For Ice-T, it was a supremely difficult task and he chose instead to reel of a list of his favourite lyricists and performers. It makes for a who’s who in the world of hip hop.
Sitting down with the Art of Dialogue for an in-depth discussion, Ice-T couldn’t settle on a top five and instead powered through 14 different stars including Jay-Z, KRS-1 and Biggie. “Top 5, that’s hard man,” says Ice Cube. “I’ve got Top 15. I go back to guys who set the bar.”
First things first, Ice T paid his dues: “One of my first greatest is Melle Mel. Another great emcee, I believe who taught everybody to bring more style to their rhymes, KRS-1. Another guy that is my favourite of all time, who introduced consciousness on another level into rap, Chuck D.”
The rapper also found a spot on the list for someone a little closer: “Another one is another trendsetter, one of my OGs, who helped the west coast get on the map, that’s Ice-T.”
The legend continued to let loose with his list, paying homage to some of the modern scene’s own favourites: “I mean Snoop is one of my favourite rappers of all time, and so is Biggie, so is Jay Z, so is Nas. We got rappers like Ras Kass on the west coast, that’s crazy. Eminem, one of the best to ever touch the mic. Lil Wayne goddamn, Lil Wayne is nasty. Oh, Black Thought, monster. I’m gonna say, Slick Rick. I’m gonna leave the last one blank [Laughs].”
Below you can find a full list of Ice-T’s favourite rappers of all time.
Ice-T’s favourite rappers of all time:
- Melle Mel
- Chuck D
- Snoop Dogg
- Biggie Smalls
- Jay Z
- Ras Kass
- Lil Wayne
- Black Thought
- Slick Rick