January 7th, 2013
01:46 PM ET

A case for Nas, hip-hop's finest MC

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

(CNN) - Let's begin with a disclaimer: Nas doesn't endorse the following sentence.

But he's the greatest lyricist of all time.

Those words were carefully chosen: "lyricist" over "rapper" or "hip-hop artist;" "greatest" instead of "most successful;" "all time" rather than "today."

Those distinctions are important. Still, Nas isn't buying it.

"It's wayyyyyy, way, way too early in our lives," he said when asked where he fits among history's best MCs. "It's great to put a list together, but don't take it too seriously because your list won't matter 10 years from now or 15 years from now. It'll be a different list."

OK, no lists then; just a strong case for Nas being the best rhymesmith ever, the GOAT, numero uno, and a humble concession that this is but one man's opinion and yours are enthusiastically welcomed below.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. db

    Nas IS and HAS BEEN rap/hip-hop's undisputed master! His reign spans hip-hop's golden age through the present and from counter culture to mainstream, his lyrical content remains relevant. Much thanks to Nas for the style and content he generously shares and mostly for protecting the proof of the industry!

    January 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hamsta

    Rap is not music, that can be proven with basic math. Since it isn't music it should be called crap. How can a crapper be cosidered a good lyrisist when his voice doesn't even make a musical note and his track doesn't even make a scale? Just putting three notes togethor doesn't make a scale, if played at the same time a scale is called a chord. This is why rap is crap.

    January 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon C. Wilson

      Seeing that every genre of music has had some taste of rap in their respective circles, rap must be something massively powerful. You really should think before you speak. Also, music is not stuck in traditionalist forms, this is not the gregorian chant, baroque, or classical eras. Music evolves as generations do.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |