De facto leader of rap icons, Wu-Tang Clan, RZA is a legend. Known for his unmistakable vocal style and flow, since the group formed in 1992, he, like many of his bandmates, has consistently proved himself to be one of the most exciting figures in all of rap. Not only is he an incredible rapper with brilliant lyricism, but RZA’s offstage persona has also helped to endear him to fans worldwide.
A legendary producer and Five Percenter, RZA is exactly the kind of guy you’d love to have a coffee with. He has opinions on everything and is a truly remarkable character, one set of favourites that holds more weight coming from RZA is his list of five greatest rappers of all time. Below we have that list.
He gives props to some of the greatest MCs to have ever graced the planet, including Jadakiss, about whom RZA said: “Jadakiss rhymes…like his catchphrases even from years ago with the LOX, he rhymes like he has the experience of a father, like a grown man, y’nah mean? He reminds me of somebody that got all the wisdom from all the older cats while he was young, and everything he is spitting is like it has the older cat mentality, like a Grand Puba or something, but at a young age. Jadakiss, he doesn’t play with that mic, yo.”
Another icon from RZA’s native New York is Nas, and the Wu-Tang rapper is an admirer of his work: “The early Nas, the first three albums of Nas yo, y’nah mean. I don’t think too many solo MCs will ever surpass the creativity, ideas and individualisation that he put inside his lyrics and songs.”
If you’re looking for pioneering figures on RZA’s list, then look no further as he picks out Big Daddy Kane as another of his favourites, saying: “”Big Daddy Kane was the one of the first MCs with swagger. In the old days you always used to argue who was better, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim or Kool G Rap. But the reason why Big Daddy Kane, I think you know, was even in that category, and some people would say was [the greatest] is because his swagger was an MCs swagger. This fucking G had the Brooklyn aggressiveness, and yet he still has all the girls on him, and he still had hardcore styles.”
As you might expect, RZA also found room on his list for another leading light; Kool G Rap, about whom RZA spoke very kindly: “G Rap is the father of drug Rap yo. Off course you know I think Raekwon and Ghostface bought it to our generation and took it to a hands-on thing cause that’s where we came from.”
If you know anything about RZA and Wu-Tang clan then the next statement is to be expected as he picks the rap collective to take his fifth and final spot: “Well to me, and this is just my personal opinion, no other MC is better than GZA. Two reasons; first of all look at what he spawned. He spawned some of the other best MCs in the world. So that shows his talent was so strong that he taught all of us.”
Below, find the full list of RZA’s favourite rappers and find the full conversation here.
RZA’s five favourite rappers:
- Big Daddy Kane
- Kool G Rap
- Wu-Tang Clan