Kendrick Lamar the “Greatest Rapper Ever?” 

Is Kendrick Lamar the greatest rapper ever? That’s a good question to initiate a thought-provoking debate. When radio personalities and fans of music give K Dot the “greatest rapper ever” title you have to take a lot into consideration to back up that statement. You have to acknowledge and reflect on the past eras and ask is he better than the best MC’s from each era. 


Let’s start with the groundwork because the 80’s had rappers who set the bar and transcended hip-hop over the years. The pioneers were rappers like: 

  • Kurtis Blow
  • Kool Moe Dee
  • Melle Mel
  • Run-DMC
  • LL Cool J
  • KRS-One
  • Rakim 
  • Big Daddy Kane

As we transition into the 90’s this era had nothing but rappers who can flat-out spit. Here are some notables from the 90’s… This list might get long. 

  • Q-Tip
  • Ice Cube 
  • Scarface 
  • Snoop Dogg
  • 2pac
  • Nas 
  • AZ
  • Biggie 
  • Gang Starr
  • Raekwon
  • Big Pun 
  • Big L
  • Talib Kweli 
  • Method Man 
  • Andre 3000
  • N.O.R.E
  • DMX 
  • Lauryn Hill
  • The LOX 
  • Jay-Z

Onto the 2000’s the list might contain some rappers from previous era’s because of how much they impacted the next era as well. 

  • Eminem 
  • Jay-Z
  • Nas
  • Jadakiss 
  • Styles P
  • DMX
  • Andre 3000
  • N.O.R.E
  • Ghostface Killah
  • 50 Cent
  • Lloyd Banks 
  • Cassidy
  • Fabolous
  • Cam’Ron 
  • Joe Budden
  • T.I. 
  • Young Jeezy 
  • Rick Ross
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Lil’ Wayne
  • Kanye West 

This is when the list begins to diminish. 

  • Rick Ross 
  • Lil’ Wayne
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Drake 
  • J.Cole 
  • Kendrick Lamar 
  • Wale 
  • Fabolous
  • Big Sean
  • Joe Budden


    None. Nah just joking there’s very few left but here they go. 

    • Drake 
    • Kendrick Lamar
    • J.Cole 
    • Wale 
    • Dave East 
    • Fabolous 
    • Don Q
    • Meek Mill
    • Big Sean
    • Chance The Rapper 

    Now those are some of the most notable MC’s from each era, kind of funny how each list decreased as years progressed huh? 

    Back to the subject at hand, after looking at each list is Kendrick the “greatest rapper” ever? K Dot definitely has the potential to be, but I believe that’s a premature statement. Usually when albums are released by a fans favorite artist it’s sort of like a knee jerk reaction, they get the first listen and they immediately claim their favorite artist as “the best ever”, just like last month when Drake dropped ‘More Life’, OVO fans came out and throned Drake the same way. 

    Let’s throw out album sales, commercial success, and everything else and strictly focus on the lyrics and bars. Bar for bar Kendrick is better than Drake, definitely. However, Is Kendrick better than J.Cole? Both rappers are aware and address the issues of what is going on in society, both have the delivery and flow. What about Nas? Is he better than Esco who can spit you a whole story through an entire album, or what about Eminem? 

    Kendrick gives me that Eminem feel, his flow can go 0-100 the similes, metaphors, the vivid imagery that just paints a picture in your head while you’re listening. What about Hov, Jigga, Jay-Z is he better than him? What about Pac? I see a lot of Pac in Kendrick. Basically, I’m just trying to say it’s hard to claim someone as the greatest rapper ever so early in their career, I’m not comparing Kendrick to Memphis Bleek not one bit, but when Bleek came out he was being called the “next”, and the “new and improved” Jay-Z. I say that to say this be careful with the pressure you put on artist. 

    Although I believe that those comments are a little too soon, I appreciate the fact that people are willing to give Kendrick that title because his work isn’t going unnoticed. I’d rather see Kendrick get the praise he deserves than someone else who isn’t spitting the half of what Kendrick is delivering get the recognition. 

    Kendrick is dope and gets busy on the mic, and the fact that he’s socially conscious about what’s going on in today’s society with police brutality and racial profiling makes him stand in a class where very few rappers get to stand. 

    So the question is up to you, is Kendrick the greatest rapper ever? 

    Below is a link to Kendrick Lamar’s new album ‘DAMN’


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