Best Rapper Alive – the Debate Continues

Hip-hop and rap music have been a part of our society for over 50 years and have firmly put their mark on American history in a powerful way.

It’s impossible to walk through the hallways of an American high school without seeing at least one student with ear buds plugged in, listening to a hip-hop song.  Most can agree that hip-hop is definitely popular and is certainly here to stay for many years to come. However, traditionally, within the hip-hop music subculture there stands a timeless controversy that never seems to be resolved: who is the best rapper alive?

In the 80’s and 90’s, fans debated who was releasing the hottest hits, who spit the best verses, and who the best overall artist was.  Answers to these questions ranged from acts such as Run DMC and Public Enemy to Nwa, Ice-T, and Ice Cube.  Since then, the only thing that has changed about this debate is the new artists who have emerged through the decades.

Jump to the year 2013 and the rap game has completely flipped and a new legion of rappers have stepped up to the plate.  Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Tyler the Creator, Meek Mill, Wale, A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, and Wiz Khalifa are only a few names that have contributed to a huge renaissance of rap’s popularity since the mid-2000’s.  Each artist has his own personal style, and there is no clear cut answer to who the best rapper is.

However, the one thing that each of these rappers possesses is a sense of introspection in how each of them looks at life and their world. Hip-hop is indeed music, and music is an art form that should always be taken seriously. Drake makes relationship-oriented music and prides himself in grabbing hold of emotions. Artists such as J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Big Krit, and Wale are products of their underprivileged environments, surviving through struggles ranging from poverty and hopelessness to violence and death. There is also an ongoing collection of “braggadocio” rappers such as A$Ap Rocky and Wiz Khalifa, who like to brag about their money and style. The rare cases  – acts like Tyler the Creator, and Kid Cudi – stray away from the norm and create dark, unorthodox music from the deepest recesses of their souls.

Ultimately, though, Kendrick Lamar has distanced himself from the other rappers that are hot right now. His lyricism is unmatched, and he has been able to stay consistent even through his newfound popularity. He spits realism, and creates vivid pictures of his Compton upbringing in his works Good Kid Madd City and Section 80.

Ultimately, there will never be a clear answer as to who is the best rapper alive is as we all have our favorite, but that is what makes the debate an eternal affair.