A Primer On Everyone Jay Z Listed As His Rap Inspirations Brandon Caldwell June 16, 2017 Features, Music 100+ rappers (and one president) have inspired the Greatest Rapper of All-Time as he enters the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Jay Z spent a Thursday night doing something he rarely does: tweet. The 47-year-old Hov had reason to celebrate though. He was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the first rapper in history to be nominated. With that came arguably the lengthiest tweet storm of Hov’s career that wasn’t a defense of his TIDAL streaming company. Hov went as far to big up Michigan rapper Tee Grizzley who is having arguably the best week ever after cosigns from Hov and LeBron James himself. He started to mention two members of Wu-Tang before championing the entire group and slyly telling the world he beat both GZA and Busta Rhymes in battles back in high school. First, he began by listing the usual suspects around 7:22 PM: 1. Rakim, Godfather emcee who changed how rappers rapped with the 1986 album, Paid In Full. 2. Big Daddy Kane, a stylish precursor to Jay from Brooklyn, most famously known for “Ain’t No Half Steppin'” and “Warm It Up Kane”. 3. KRS-One, leader of Boogie Down Productions. Known as “The Teacher,” he’s known for the song, “Sound Of Da Police” as well as the MC Shan battle in the 1980s. 4. Chuck D, leader of Public Enemy one of the greatest revolutionary, pro-Black rap groups of all-time. Fear Of A Black Planet and It Takes A Nation… are considered two of the greatest hip-hop albums of all-time. 5. Ice Cube, former Best Rapper Alive from 1990 to 1992, wrote the bulk of N.W.A’s lyrics and created a masterpiece merging East Coast beats from The Bomb Squad and his own pen for AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. Should have also been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame purely off the strength of “Straight Outta Compton.” In that cluster, he did name a former rival in 6. Jaz O of “Hawaiian Sophie” fame. When Jay Z used to rap at warped speed, it was Jaz he was most frequently partnered with. Jay & Jaz last teamed up for “N*gga What, N*gga Who” off 1998’s Hard Knock Life, Vol. 2. 7. Eminem, the highest selling rapper of all-time, only rapper to have three albums near diamond status. Was the face of early 2000s rap with shocking, yet technically skilled lyrics from 1999’s The Slim Shady LP to 2002’s The Eminem Show. “Allegedly” murdered Jay on his own shit on “Renegade.” 8. Andre 3000, one half of OutKast, rap’s greatest duo. 9. Nas, former rival, created Illmatic, Stillmatic, “Ether” and seemingly never ages. 10. The Notorious B.I.G., the chief face of East Coast rap from 1994-97, owner of two classic albums in Ready To Die and Life After Death. Arguably the greatest lyricist who ever lived. 11. Tupac, the chief face of West Coast rap from 1995-96, hip-hop’s first true “rock star” who will never be replaced despite being imitated constantly. Considered by many to be the GOAT due to sheer passion, variety and mythology. Jay then began tipping his cap to the new school: 12. J.Cole, North Carolina rap kid signed to Roc Nation, former XXL Freshman, went platinum twice without features and has two possibly classic mixtapes in The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights. 13. Kendrick Lamar, the current Best Rapper Alive. Once went back and forth with Jay on the remix to “Don’t Kill My Vibe” after growing up wanting to rap like Hov. Could possibly have three classic albums back-to-back. 14. Chance The Rapper, face of exuberant rap, can call Beyoncé “Auntie Yoncé”. “Independent” artist who managed to score big with Coloring Book and his breakthrough mixtape, Acid Rap. 15. Jay Electronica, owner of one of rap’s most perfect songs in “Exhibit C,” still hasn’t released Act II after promising it nearly 10 years ago. Five minutes later, How tweeted again: 16. Lauryn Hill, owner of the most lauded rap album from a female in Grammy history (Miseducation of Lauryn Hill), considered an all-time great solely off said album and The Fugees. 17. Nicki Minaj, current big name in regards to rappers who are female. Showed out on her “Monster” verse and hasn’t looked back. 18. MC Lyte, one of the original faces of ladies running hip-hop in the 1980s. “Lyte As A Rock” to “Poor Georgie” to “Ruff Neck“. 19. Queen Latifah, originator from New Jersey. Known for “U.N.I.T.Y” and becoming one of the more successful crossover acts in history. 20. Common, Chicago emcee who could freestyle off the dome better than most. Crafted two and a possible classics from Resurrection to Be and Finding Forever. 21. Kanye West, hailed by many as one of the greatest producer/rappers of all-time. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” is the signature song of the first decade of the 2000s. 22. Drake, the current most popular rapper in the world. Has had at least one song or feature charted on the Billboard charts for the past 9 years and counting. 23. Meek Mill, Philadelphia artist known for “Dreams And Nightmares Intro” and beefing with the guy who was mentioned before him. 24. Run of Run-DMC, Queens rapper who became one of hip-hop’s first superstars as part of Run-DMC. Started the rapper/sneaker collaboration trend with Adidas. 25. Grandmaster Caz, member of the Cold Crush Brothers and ghostwrote Big Bank Hank’s verse on the first big rap song, Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” 26. LL Cool J, rap’s first big solo star after Kurits Blow. The architect of reinvention who could be a lover boy (“I Need Love”), a tough guy (“I’m Bad”) and a fearsome battle rapper (see battles with Canibus, Kool Moe Dee). 27. 2 Chainz, from former DTP guest player to main solo star, Teta Chico comes for blood on guest appearances and more. Who knew he’d be getting better as he got older? 28. Cam’Ron, former foe and proverbial mayor of Harlem who rose from “Horse & Carriage” and ghostwriting records for Lil Kim to being the head of the Dipset mixtape movement in the early-2000s. 29. Q-Tip, leader of A Tribe Called Quest, one of the more successful producer/rappers of all-time. 30. T.I., self-proclaimed King of the South who had an undeniable run from 2003 to 2008. 31. Black Thought, arguably the most underrated rapper of the current era, co-leader of The Roots. 32. Pharaohe Monche, rapper known most notably for “Simon Says,” “The Life” and being one of the faces of Rawkus Records. 33. Scarface, greatest solo rapper from Houston, Texas. Face of the Geto Boys. 34. De La Soul, underrated rap group from Long Island, New York known for “Me Myself and I” and progressive albums such as De La Soul Is Dead, Three Feet High & Rising and more. 35. Ice T, West Coast rapper who found success in two lanes. In the 1980s, a colorful artist who raped about street life on “Six In The Morning” and “Colors”. In the 1990s, the head of Body Count who drew the ire of the federal government with his song, “Cop Killer.” Ten minutes later, Hov tweeted a third set of artists, before wanting to bow out: 36. Kool G Rap, early originator of mafioso rap on the East Coast. 37. Melle Mel, lead rapper and main songwriter of one of hip-hop’s first classic songs, “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. 38. Kurupt, underrated West Coast rapper most known for being part of the Dawg Pound with Daz Dillinger and countless Death Row tracks. 39. The L.O.X (Jadakiss, Styles P & Sheek Louch), Regardless of the name from Bad Boy to Ruff Ryders, all three members found stellar verses (“All About The Benjamins”) to solo work. 40. DMX, once considered the hottest rapper in the game, even with commercial peak Jay Z in 1998. Released five consecutive No. 1 albums and created one of the greatest love songs in “How It’s Goin’ Down“. 41. ScHoolboy Q, part of TDE and one of the more personable artists from the new era. 42. Ab-Soul, the Jay Elect of TDE, only with a larger catalog. 43. Lupe Fiasco, dropped two classics right off the bat with Food & Liquor and The Cool. 44. Mos Def, dropped a classic as a member of Blackstar (Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are… Blackstar) and Black On Both Sides, renaissance man and overall enigma. 45. Foxy Brown, one of the faces of 1990s female hip-hop from sex appeal to hard hitting lyrics. First lead singles featured Jay with “I’ll Be Good” and “Ain’t No N*gga”. 46. Slim Thug, one of the two “bosses” Jay mentioned, Houston stalwart who damn near beckoned Hov to finish out his first retirement on “I Ain’t Heard Of That”, plus Swishahouse tapes and solo work. 47. Rick Ross, Miami’s own who may have more Jay Z verses in the last decade than anyone else beginning from the original “Maybach Music” to “The Devil Is A Lie”. 48. Quavo, considered the “charismatic” one in Migos, routinely pops up as a feature on a track. 49. Future, Atlanta rap overlord who took the autotune concept and found joy through rapping about drugs and pain. “March Madness” and “Mask Off” are his two biggest singles yet real Future fans date back to Astronaut Status. 50. Travis Scott, Houston kid who managed to turn a chance meeting with Kanye West into a career built on melodic chaos from Owl Pharaoh to Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight. Feeling he left people out, Hov went on another impressive run some minutes later. 51. Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, GZA and Raekwon were singled out individually but the entire clan from Staten Island changed hip-hop economics after their first album, Enter The 36 Chambers and created a manual as a way of life. 52. Busta Rhymes, former member of Leaders of the New School who became one of the first en vogue guest features in the mid-1990s from “Flavor In Ya Ear” to “Scenario”. One of the more under-appreciated artists of all-time. 53. Treach, Naughty By Nature frontman and a bona fide lyricist. 54. Young Thug, Atlanta’s outlier in a land full of outliers. Probably the one artist today who has more fun stretching the grounds of how words sound whether jumbled in a rush or enunciated for pure clarity. Feeling the need to keep going because we’re here to go further and farther, Hov brought up another list of names again almost 20 minutes after the first batch. 55. Lil Wayne, the Best Rapper Alive after Jay Z retired the first time and arguable GOAT to many. An unparalleled run of stream of consciousness flows from 2004 to 2009, culminating in classic mixtapes (Dedication and Dedication 2, Da Drought 3) and the last rap album to truly sell one million copies in a single week (Tha Carter III). 56. Juvenile, face of the Hot Boys and Cash Money in the late 90s. “Back That Ass Up” belongs in the Smithsonian along with “Ha”. Hov’s verse on the “Ha” remix is still suspect as he could never catch the beat. 57. BG, “Cash Money is an Army, better yet a Navy” got lifted for “Takeover” and the Baby Gangsta knew it. One of the original Cash Money soldiers, B.G. helped usher in the bling era as well as tell us all about Uptown, New Orleans. 58. Nipsey Hussle, holding it down for Slauson Ave. Nip’s hustle may have overshadowed his raps but The Marathon rapper is one of the West’s sharper pens. 59. Lil Kim, trailblazer and pioneer, the Queen Bee not only talked big with the dudes, she created more iconic looks in her era than anyone else. 60. Slaughterhouse, despite their differences, Jay recognizes how great a rapper Joe Budden is. The other three members of Slaughterhouse from Royce, Crooked & Joell Ortiz are some of the more fearsome rhymers out, never willing to back down from a battle or to prove their point as rappers. 61. Wale, bigger than “Nike Boots,” one of D.C.’s biggest players who along with Drake and Kid Cudi became the face of the new class in 2009. 62. MC Eiht, Compton’s Most Wanted’s own managed to not only discuss an entire symptom of a ghetto with “Hood Gon’ Take Me Under” but remains one of the more viable LA rap acts around. 63. Too Short, one of the Bay Area’s more everlasting rappers. Pimp talk pioneer who has been Born To Mack longer than many a rap fan has been alive. 64. E-40, slang master from Oakland, an underrated lyricist with as heavy a rap tongue as songbook. 40’s been doing this almost 30 years and still has no thoughts of slowing down. 65. Mac Dre, forefather of the hyphy movement, a Bay Area pioneer. After temporarily walking away following his listing of a few West Coast acts, Hov returned in the 8 PM hour: 66. 50 Cent, single handedly became the face of super tough guy rap at the beginning of the 2000s, a hook king and owner of one of rap’s more earth shattering debut albums. 67. Big L, one of Jay’z “ones that got away”. Harlem rapper who was slick with the wordplay and arguably the best rapper from D.I.T.C. 68. Showbiz & A.G., Bronx duo who are members of D.I.T.C and were mainstays of underground NYC hip-hop in the mid-’90s. 69. Nice and Smooth, “Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick…” is one of the more remembered lines in hip-hop and it came from this duo. One of the catchier groups from New York City. 70. Fat Joe, Joey Crack has been at it since 1993 and may be the one New York rapper who has made his presence felt for over twenty-years from “Flow Joe” to “All The Way Up”. “My Lifestyle” still is the hardest beat I ever heard him rhyme over. 71. Big Pun, the most feared and talented Latino lyricist of all-time, Pun could do double-time flows (“Twinz ’97”) as well as humor (“Still Not A Player”). 72. Digable Planets, the “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That)” rappers have found a second life as Shabazz Palaces. Hov is a big fan of Butterfly. 73. Beanie Sigel, The Broadstreet Bully who appeared on maybe more classic Roc-A-Fella posse cuts than anyone not named Hov. “What We Do” is an all-timer, plus his own solo work and run with State Property came to define a segment of East Coast rap. 74. Young Chris, the “Whisper Flow” that sticks throughout some of Blueprint 2 from Hov originated from Young Chris of the Young Gunz, one of the best rhymers in State Property. 75. Freeway, Beans and Free go hand in hand. No one on the Roc has a yelp like Free, or a delivery that catches rhymes in different segments — not when you expect them at the end. 76. State Property, Bean’s crew of rappers from Philly who used to takeover Hot 97 freestyles for hours with Hov in the booth. Hov retuned to name a few more less than five minutes later and told us he wasn’t drunk (sure). 77. Jeezy, the Snowman gave the street a trap bible with Trap Or Die and hasn’t slowed down since. 78. Pusha T, from The Funeral to Lord Willin, it took Push to give us Hov’s strongest verse in 2016. Nobody raps about coke the same. 79. Playboy Carti, the youngest name on the list. Even if Carti’s album is mostly hype shouts along break neck production, he has the hottest song in the country with “Magnolia”. It’s Hov approved. 80. A$AP Rocky, Pretty Flacko runs Harlem these days from a fashion perspective as well as a jiggy rap one. 81. Sean P, P! Ruck of Helter Skelter is one of Brooklyn’s finest rappers who gets his just due from fans of Timbaland boot and wild wordplay Brooklyn era hip-hop. 82. Mobb Deep, it was beef with Prodigy in 2001 but Shawn Corey couldn’t leave out the duo who ran the East Coast as juveniles and kept it up with “Shook Ones” and Hell On Earth. 83. Kid CuDi, Hov loves 2009 breakthroughs. Cudi is an enigma these days, less an outright rapper as he is a crooner but he’s created memorable records from “Day N Nite” on. 84. Tyler the Creator, from shock rap to well … mature shock rap. Tyler is the king of the DIY in a post Soulja Boy era. He made it his way with colorful, vivid imagery and the sheer audacity to say it. 85. Earl Sweatshirt, the best pure rapper in Odd Future may be considered a genius … if he’ll ever come back outside. 86. Snoop Dogg, Hov almost forgot The Doggfather but since “Deep Cover” in 1991, Snoop has been a face of West Coast hip-hop from laid back lyrics to the most impressive transition from gangster rapper to lovable everyman in American history. 87. President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States introduced Jay’s inclusion into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Nobody wrote better speeches in the 21st century than Obama. Shame that you missed the days when the President sounded Presidential. 88. Slick Rick, if Kane brought flash to the game as a ladies man who could dance, Slick brought the charm from London. “Children’s Story” is required listening for any hip-hop head. 89. Pimp C, the production half of UGK and arguably the mascot for Texas hip-hop. A legend with more than just a legendary ear and gift of gab but some of the most legendary interviews of all-time. 90. Bun B, the “Murder” verse alone makes him an inspiration to Hov but Jay admitted in Decoded that he’s been a day one UGK fan, so much so that he sought them out specifically for “Big Pimpin,” the single that changed their careers. 91. Big Sean, went from Kanye understudy with plenty of juvenile puns to one of rap’s biggest believers in manifest destiny and affirmation. Sean hit a peak with Dark Sky Paradise and Detroit and will always try to snatch any guest feature he can. 92. Sauce Money, one of the man players on Jay’s first three albums, Sauce Money gained probably his biggest check co-writing Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You.” 93. Fabolous, when he does find a studio, Fab delivers and has done so for the better part of 17 years now, going all the way back to his Desert Storm days as Fabolous Sport. 94. Mac Miller, the last and final entry on Hov’s great list of rappers. Mac’s figured out the best way to get through the world is to be himself, evident by his last two albums being his best two albums. Share this:TweetShare on Tumblr Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.