It is nearly impossible to get a bunch of passionate hip hop fans to agree on anything. But I tried anyhow, starting with a series of polls on Facebook that aimed to figure out which emcee or group was the best in the game as driven by the letters of the alphabet. No specific rubric or criteria was given; just a simple request for answers to the question, "Who is the best emcee or hip hop group beginning with the letter 'A'?; 'B'?; 'C'?; 'D'?..." and so on. The responses were immediate and spurred some pretty spirited discussions. A general consensus was ultimately reached for each and per the request of Music Editor Leilani Polk, I'm bringing the poll results to Ear Buds. Each week, I'll reveal a letter and its "winning" artist, and then I'll re-open the question for further debate. Once we finish the first 26, we'll start it all over again fresh.
I have a huge confession to make. I do not enjoy the music of the winner of the Hip Hop ABCs Letter 'T'. I have procrastinated posting this article because I know being honest with you about this will severely damage my reputation. I mean, how can I be respected enough to write about hip hop when I don’t like an artist who is widely considered the best emcee of all time. Maybe I can’t be. The truth, however, is the truth.
Tupac won the Letter 'T' in the Hip Hop ABCs series but I do not own any of his albums. The closest I’ve gotten is the Above the Rim soundtrack. I understand that Tupac Shakur was a legend. He was Hip Hop. Rising from backup dancer to worldwide westside representer, he perfectly embodied every emotion he chose to address on record.
I appreciate the fact that 2Pac is one of the few emcees who can make songs like "Dear Mama" and "Hit Em Up." I love that he was able to have commercial success and maintain street level respect. Unfortunately his main musical foe was Notorious B.I.G. and their beef contributed to the shortened careers of both. Tupac may never get a thumbs up from me, but he is still the winner of the Hip Hop ABCs Letter T.
Did we get it right? Who gets your vote for this letter?
Infinite Skillz is a Hip Hop fan and emcee. Click here to find out more about his music.