Hip-hop turns 50 this year, so in honor of the milestone anniversary, Billboard/Vibe has created a list of their picks for the 50 greatest rappers of all time. They unveiled the first 10 rappers on Wednesday, starting with #50: Rick Ross, who was followed by Run-DMC‘s Rev. Run, Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, MC Lyte and Jadakiss, respectively.
Ice-T occupies the 45th spot, Queen Latifah is #44 and #43 through #41, listed in their respective order, went to Bun B, Redman and E-40.
According to Billboard/Vibe, their GOAT list was based on the following criteria: “body of work/achievements (charted singles/albums, gold/platinum certifications), cultural impact/influence (how the artist’s work fostered the genre’s evolution), longevity (years at the mic), lyrics (storytelling skills) and flow (vocal prowess).”
The list also only ranked rappers in North America, and excluded reggaeton and dancehall MCs.
Each week, the outlets will reveal 10 more rappers from the list until all of them are announced. The final 10 will be unveiled during the week of February 6.
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