he words “Kanye” and “ranking” in the same sentence are enough to trigger fans into hysteria. Take a deep breath though and check out the criteria for how this list was created with the help of Hip Hop statistician Ben Carter.
One week removed from the release of ye, the eighth solo studio album by Kanye West, the (sometimes) misunderstood genius made good on releasing the self-titled debut from Kids See Ghosts, a duo comprised of himself and longtime collaborator Kid Cudi. Sitting at a painfully short seven songs, the project is every bit as good as it should be; this is genuinely the reintroduction to both artists the world deserves.
While Drake and Logic are two artists that often take the lion’s share of criticism because of their split heritage — Drake has one additional “strike” against him: he’s Canadian. Combine that with sitting at the apex of the Hip Hop game and lacking an unspoken street edge and it’s easy to see why he’s a target.
Putting a legacy on your back is no small feat — just ask Brooklyn rapper Radamiz. It was announced roughly a month ago that he would be joining New Orleans native Pell, Yung Fume, Isaiah Dreads and the iconic DJ Premier as the starting lineup of the relaunched and revamped Payday Records.
For those in the know, Black Thought has been one of the most consistent artists for the better part of the past two decades. His Funkmaster Flex freestyle seemed to verify what many have argued for years now: Tariq Trotter is a beast and leaving him out of any top lyricist conversations would equate to blasphemy.
Rapper Joey Cool is far from a new jack; after a string of dope releases — including last year’s Swank Sauce —he finally drops off his first official project with the Strange Music imprint, with which he’s been connected to for years. Joey has amazing energy across the 14-song-effort with few audible missteps, little compromise, and a whole bunch of bars.