From Jay Z to Biggie Smalls: Drake lists the 5 greatest rappers of all time
At a time when live music remains off the menu amid the current health crisis, a period of flux which has enforced strict social distancing measures and venue closure, we’re turning to some of the biggest names in the business as part of the Far Out ‘From The Vault’ section. Here, Canadian rapper Drake outlines five rappers who he considers the greatest of all time.
Drake, widely credited as being a pioneering figure in the popularisation of the Toronto sound, has established himself as one of the prominent and influential rappers of his class. That doesn’t mean that he hasn’t, like other hip-hop heads, mulled over his top five GOATs. While many of his selections are pretty standard, there’s one which has piqued our interest.
“Perfection to me is, I walk away from a situation and say, ‘I did everything I could do right there. There was nothing more that I could do’,” Drake once said in a quote that typifies his approach to making music. “I was a hundred percent, like the meter was at the top. There was nothing else I could have done. You know? Like, I worked as hard as I possibly could have. That’s perfection,” he added.
In regards to perfection, there are five rappers who Drake believes are as close to that label as possible. As part of an Instagram comment earlier this year, Drake selected Jay Z, Biggie, Lil Wayne, Andre 3000 and a little known Toronto rapper Young Tony, AKA OVO Hush. He may seem an unusual name among some of the game’s greats but Drake has been a long time admirer of Young Tony and has been tweeting about him since 2010. Hush has been working with Drake for a long time, credited as a writer on songs from his albums Take Care and Nothing Was The Same. It’s clear that he rates him very highly indeed.
That is largely because of the company he is in. Drake has picked some legends of the game, while Biggie is no shock on anyone’s top five list and Hova is always likely to be near the peak of the rap scene he also found room for Andre 3000 and Young Money man Lil Wayne. Drake’s affection for Weezy knows no bounds, on Father’s day he commented on the mogul’s post: “You are my brother but you raised me so Happy Father’s Day I love u g forever.”
There is one common factor in the list that can be easily seen in Drake’s own style — swagger. Style seems to be the over-arching influence of all of his selections. Biggie’s flow and structure has always been dripping with elegance, Jay’s swag is what defines the word, Lil Wayne’s sliding, glittering grit is what turned him into a megastar and Andre 3000 is the most stylish man in music.
If for some reason you’ve never managed to catch the searing rhymes and thumping grooves of the aforementioned legends of the game then we’ve got you covered. Below find an introductory playlist to Drake’s favourite rappers.