Criteria for Selection
The following MCs were chosen mainly for their lyrical ability. The list does not reflect sales or mainstream success. Artists were evaluated on a 25-point scale based on but not: originality, longevity, lyricism, social impact, flavor, battle skills, consistency, charisma, poetic value, substance, versatility, vocal presence, live performance, flow and delivery, among other factors.
To be eligible, artists must have:
- a) attained a longevity time frame of 7 years or more
- b) i) released 2 solo albums or ii)1 solo album and 2 group albums or iii) 4 group albums
- c) been musically active between 1987 and 2007
50. Del the Funky Homosapien
Innovative and creative, Del made his mark as a key member of the Hieroglyphics crew and as a successful solo artist. The best part: he did without riding his cousin (Ice Cube)'s coattail.
Best Album: I Wish My Brother George Was Here
As Mobb Deep's lead-MC, P's knack for ear-grabbing lyrics earned him a rep as one of the most memorable MCs of the mid-90s. That was before the G-Unit tattoos.
Best Album: The Infamous (w/ Mobb Deep)
46. Chino XL
Though more likely to be mentioned among the most underrated than among the greatest, Chino XL is one of the smartest lyricists hip-hop has ever had. His blend of sharp wit and self-deprecating humor always makes for a delightful listening experience.
Best Album: Here to Save You All