I saw lots of buzz on Twitter and Facebook about last night’s Rakim show at Audie’s Olympic. How was it? As good as people are saying?
Back when he was beefing with LL Cool J, Canibus spit a rap line that made me shake my head: “Cuz the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th.”
He was speaking, of course, about Notorious B.I.G., and anointing Biggie Smalls as the best rap ever as a way to slight LL, who considers himself the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time).
Over time, Canibus’ claim is something that a large percentage of hip-hop fans have grown to believe. Well, except 2Pac fans. I’m sure earning a biopic helped cement Biggie’s “greatest” status.
So here we are — March 9. Because of that Canibus line I’ll never forgot what day Biggie died. It was 12 years ago today. Currently I’m bumping “Life After Death” (which I still say is a vastly overrated album, it’s hardly five-mic worthy) and pondering Biggie’s place among hip-hop’s elite.
Is Notorious B.I.G. the Greatest Rapper of All Time? I don’t think so. He was great, sure. But the greatest? I’ll take Rakim, Ice Cube and 2Pac first. I’d also say Jay-Z — even though he built much of his career on B.I.G.’s death — ranks higher.