Despite the fervor that Kendrick Lamar has stirred up this week, he is not the first rapper to place claim that he’s “the King of New York.” It has been a title that rappers across the spectrum have fought for since the days that The Notorious B.I.G. abdicated the throne. Created as homage to Christopher Walken’s character, Frank White, from the 1990 film, King Of New York, rappers have placed their claim to throne with various levels of legitimacy. Nas and Jay Z fought for the throne and then, 50 Cent snatched it away. Hip-Hop has been vying for the title ever since.
While few have been successors of the “Black Frank White,” XXL has compiled a list of artists and rappers who have dared to claim they were the “King Of The New York” over the years.As long as hip-hop music exists, it’s unlikely that rappers will ever stop staking their claim to the throne.
Rappers should beware, though. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and not everyone has the credibility, but we salute those who have been daring enough to take the throne.