Earlier this month a list of the top 50 MC’s went viral and sparked quite a bit of controversy. There were artists who some believe shouldn’t have made the list. There were also some MCs who have made a huge impact but were omitted. Instead of combing through the list and picking it apart, I decided to do something different. So here is my list of the 5 most underrated MCs:
Ab- Soul has been in the game for a decade now. With 3 mixtapes and 4 studio albums, Soulo has paid his dues. But most importantly, he is in my opinion one of the most clever lyricists of our time. So why hasn’t he blown up?
Perhaps he’s overlooked because TDE also has Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay- Rock and Reason. Or maybe his lyrical style and content are too far left for the average consumer. Do his metaphors go over the heads of the listener?
I’m no genius and I understand everything he says. To be fair, I have decades of listening to hip hop under my belt. I came up during a time where lyrics were more important than beats or hooks. Picking apart lyrics has become second nature. A dope beat is the cherry on top.
That’s not to say production on Ab-Soul projects is wack. In fact, the production is quite good. But maybe the beats he picks don’t have enough slap for most fans. Or perhaps it’s his image or lack thereof.
I don’t know how many more years I’ll spend trying to figure this out. But Soulo is dope, and arguably the dopest MC on TDE. No shade to Kendrick or the others, but Ab-Soul is the artist who introduced me to TDE.
In my opinion, he embodies the true essence of hip hop. This is why he’s in my 5 most underrated MCs.
Royce Da 5’9
I don’t really have much to say about Royce. His catalogue speaks for itself. Royce is another MC who can spit circles around most of the artists getting radio play. Not only is the wordplay impeccable, but Royce is versatile.
He can rip a raw boom bap esque track, a slowed down bass heavy beat and everthing in between. Royce is the consummate MC. He’s clever with the wordplay, his delivery is superb, and he’s consistent. What else could you ask for?
I don’t understand why Royce doesn’t get his props. Is he overshadowed by his mentor Eminem? Does he not have the “commercial appeal” young kids expect? Or perhaps he’s too grown to attract the demographic that actually buys records.
I know I’m not the only “real grown” fan who still buys music and attends shows. But there’s obviously not enough of us. Or maybe listeners of this time are too complacent to actually look for hip-hop.
Radio and TV aren’t credible plugs for good hip-hop. Only a few dope MCs make it to that level of stardom. If you’re not willing to search for dope unknown artists can you really call yourself a head?
Every one of Royce’s projects are solid. But my favorite is Layers. That had to be one of the most slept on projects of 2016. And while Royce enjoys enough success to live quite comfortably, I think he shoud have more. More people should support him, and he should be getting more money. Period.
So this is why Royce made my 5 most underrated MCs.
KRIT belongs to a fraternity of southern MCs who still believe in lyricism. Though he’s known to rhyme over a trap beat, he doesn’t do trap music. And he’s not a mumble rapper.
If you doubt what I’m saying, just check out some of the lyrics from Mt. Olympus”
I know you lame when you was in school
The little fame you ain’t used to
And it was easy for you to move through
English class put you off these swords
Like one of these days I’m gonna be a rapper
But all my verses gonna be borrowed
So I’ma take from all these Southern artists
That mainstream never heard of
Recycle all of they lingo
And make sure I screw my words up
Bravo for your swagger-jackin’
I’m overwhelmed by your dedication
You actually fooled these people into thinkin’
That your music was innovative
Rap battlin’ never got me out of no public housin’
You tellin’ me I can be King of Hip-Hop
And they wouldn’t give it to Andre 3000?
Nigga please, this award ain’t got shit to do with us
God could physically come down and say “he the greatest
My favorite, y’all should listen, he have potential
To outlive the heatwave I’ma send through this motherfucker
And rebuild for a whole ‘nother other culture”
And that wouldn’t be enough
So fuck these haters and fuck these hoes
Damn right I still mean that
Enough said. This is why KRIT makes the list of my 5 most underrated MCs.
Alot of people probably wont agree with this one. Wale is a polarizing figure. You either love him or hate him. But anyone who says Wale aint dope probably hasn’t really listened.
After he signed to MMG and released Ambition I thought to myself “Wale is about to start making some real money”. I’m sure he has. I just don’t think he receives the critial acclaim he deserves.
I admit, he can be hit or miss. He’s released projects that I could play uninterrupted from beginning to end. But he’s also released projects that didn’t appeal to me.
What’s remained consistent across his body of work are the lyrics and flow. Wale’s no slacker on the mic. Maybe he goes over peoples heads. Perhaps it’s the production.
It could also be the fact that he has a reputation of being somewhat of a whiner. He’s been known to vent on social media and in interviews about not getting his just due in the industry. Even he thinks he’s underrated. Go figure.
That can definitely be a turn off to the average hip hop fan. But is it enough to discourage one from actually listening to his music? I’m not sure, but Wale is a dope MC. It’s not always my style, but his lyrics are always on point. Yet he’s only enjoyed moderate succcess.
And this is why Wale made my 5 most underrated MCs.
Rapsody has worked with Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, GZA, JCole, Ab-Soul and many others. She could arguably be described as a rappers rapper. The fact that she’s been spitting fire for years and is still unknown to many just doesnt sit right in my spirit.
However her new release Eve cant be denied. It’s probably the dopest thing I’ve heard this year. And I’ve heard some dope shit. I don’t think she’ll remain on the list much longer.
Who are your most underrated?