BLOG: What Happened To Real Lyricists?

New Rule: If Rob the Music Ed can write about producers, I can write about rappers. Rappers are no longer off limits on this blog.

I feel like there aren’t enough rappers out there who treat the art form of rapping as a serious skill. I mean, artists who rap for the simple act of impressing other MCs. I know there are a few who rap thinking they’re impressing people, and that’s a totally different thing altogether. 3rd party perspective is very underrated in a business of “yes” men.

I’ve heard TI called a lyricist. I’ve heard Game called a lyricist. I’ve heard a whole bunch of rappers who are anything but lyricists, thrown into that group.

There really are only a few acts in mainstream hip-hop who we can call lyricists. Wayne, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Common, (to some extent or another). I might even throw Kanye in there, he’s not great but he’s a pretty witty guy. Again, I’m not necessarily ranking anyone, just trying to point out that there aren’t many artists out there who actually rhyme like it’s competitive sport.

Most artists today just try to make the “club record,” the “radio record,” the “chick record,” the “south” record, the up-tempo “pop record,” the R&B “crossover” record.

When anyone brings up lyricists to me, I use Big Pun as a reference point. To me, he was one of the last dudes to become a huge star and make popular records without sacrificing his lyrics. He was always nice with it, even when he was making the “club” record.

When was the last time you heard someone, on a single no less, spit something as tongue-twisting as:

“dead in the middle of little italy, little did we know that we riddled some middle men who didn’t do diddly.”

Probably been a while. Although something like “A Milli,” for example, was the closest we’ve been to it in many years. Which is saying something.

People like Lil Wayne because he’s a Southern rapper who spits like a New Yorker. He’s got the NO drawl, but the lyrical content and flow of an East Coast dude.

But what are the prospects for lyricists moving forward? See, Wayne’s success made everyone step their game up across the board. I think the most noticeable example was Jeezy. He went from a shit rapper with a dynamic voice to a pretty darned good one overnight. He had to step it up, or else he’d be irrelevant, like every other d-boy rapper.

I’ve heard people say the XXL Freshman 10 was a group of cats who were bringing lyricism back. Everyone on that cover was pretty skilled as rappers, but hardcore lyricists? I think not. Maybe one or two. But not everyone.

Probably the best case for lyricism was made by Ludacris, with his Theater of the Mind LP. Talk about a guy who doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

Who else is out there who can bring lyricism back on a mainstream level? Anyone?

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  • Sid W

    What about The Clipse? They havn’t had any new mainstream stuff in a while but Hell Hath No Fury was a lyrical gem.





    • Tha Truth

      What eastcoast rapper does Wayne rap like, YOU CAN’T NAME ANYONE, BECAUSE WAYNE RAPS LIKE ANDRE 3000 AND 3000 RAPS LIKE 3000.



      • Arcey

        Wayne based his style on Jay then mixed with some 3000

        lyricism don’t change with time!

        That Pun line makes sense with everything he said before that

        on another note “one of the last dudes to become a huge star and make popular records without sacrificing his lyrics”
        Em is one of those

        • Tha Truth




        • Westcoastmexican

          Wayne took the top spot from Jay? according to who? you? MTV? BET? The Radio? your on crack and if you listened to eastcoast rappers like talib kweli, joell ortiz, papoose, or saigon, instead of talking shit, you would realize that they would eat wayne lyrically.

        • http://xxlMAG jb-da b.stuy reppa

          That’s not true. Bun B sounds like a southern dude. So does Face. So does 3000. So does Killer Mike. There is nothing east coast about their flow but they do have lyrics. Wayne took his whole swagger from Jay. and dresses like a harlem dude. I done even peeped him using our slang. Not hate. Just the facts. Just cuz sum NY cats offer constructive criricism doesn’t mean were hating.

        • http://xxLMAG jb-da b.stuy reppa

          and luda! I 4got about him.

        • Tha Truth




        • T-Black

          You can’t have a conversation about Lyricist and not mention Nas….as far as Southern Lyricist FAce started it and there wasn’t another one until Andre 3000 and then Luda followed by T.I…Wayne just got lyrical Carter II maybe Carter I before that he was trash!

      • Wayne is pussy

        Wayne always wanted to be like Jay-z, that’s why he started titling his albums da Carter. Shawn Carter DUMBASS GET IT! He basically started using his style. Get off Wayne’s Dick, Keep his dick outcha mouth. You one of them dum ignorant SOuth fans, who don’t know Hip-Hop if it smacked him in da face. Wayne is no where near Andre 3000, and if you think he sounds like him? Bitch ass dick Riding Wayne need to develop his on style, Big Pun never dropped anything booty, ya boi Wayne been booty from day one. Nica and his homie step dad Baby been booty. Tell his homie pops to stop buying his albums to boost his sales idiot. Tell dat bitch to start showing up for his shows. That Bitch is Overrated.

      • T-Black

        How about Gillie?

      • T-Black

        This nigga Tha Truth is crazy…Wayne has one Classic album one. So stop comparing him to Jay or NAs or any great. He’s like Jadakiss…and I love Jada but as great as he raps he dosen’t have any classic solo albums so how could he be the best. Face has multiple classics…but as far as Wayne he’s getting to much props to early. I want to see him drop back to back classics and then he can be listed as great.

    • Terry Rogers

      Joe Budden is killing the game right now how are people sleeping on him that kid instrospection is crazy. But the clipse are crazy also cant sleep either.

  • jackpot

    If Cam’Ron gets focused and drops the ooey dooey, perhaps? Andre 3000 dropping a solo album would bring it back to the mainstream. Kanye needs to snap out of the 808s and try to outrap Weezy on his next joint.

    • Lowedwn

      co-sign as well as the comment on the Clipse, very underatted lyricists.

    • D-Block

      haha its funny how yall are talkin about jay-z, 3 stacks, nas, and jada. those are probly the dopest mc’s on the radio but u act like they’re the best lyricists in the game. try listening to some:

      Slaughterhouse (u already know)
      MF DOOM
      Ras Kass
      Fat Ray
      Dilated Peoples
      Sean Price

      i can keep going, but the point is that lyricism is alive and well u just gotta look for it underground. and stop bumpin wack ass lil wayne that shit dont help the cause

      • 2Nose

        No one is denying that there are lyricists are alive in the underground, the blog is about the mainstream, yo. wrong topic. co sign on that list, though.

  • Worley

    Where are Nas and Jada in this conversation? Don’t forget Ghostface Killah. Those n*ggas stay flippin some complicated sh*t. Luda is definitely underrated. Homes is one of the few cats from the south flippin it lyrically.

    TI ain’t no lyricist. Neither is Game. Those two dude are (c)rappers as opposed to MCs.

    • LEO

      Jadakiss most defenetly…

      • Jamal7Mile

        Jada got me with that “Letter to BIG” and those were pretty simple, but heartfelt, make-you-think/reflect/regret type lyrics that I couldn’t quote to you right now without going back to backlogs of XXL Bangers… I FORGOT THEM LYRICS!


        What Jada DID do was slap a Pic in my mind that stayed there for more than a minute when I first heard it…

        That’s what Big and Pac used to do to me…

        What Plies, Mr. iSellum, and Jay-z (when he spit them throw-away rhymes), Berg, Bow Wow and Wayne do to me is make me remember where the fast-fwd button is on my computer.

        Now I’m far from a hater, but some dudes just don’t appeal to me the way Rakim, BDK, Scarface, Ice Cube, etc. appeal to me.

        Blame it on:
        *generation gaps
        *crack babies coming of age and rapping
        *Hip Hop music becoming a business
        *Too many REAL MC’s retiring
        *Internets making access to the
        masses DANGEROUSLY easy (hi iSellum)

        It’s like trying to figure out American History In Total (sp, I know there’s another word I’m looking for but the Grey Goose said NO) in one paragraph. So I know I left alot out.

        Just marinate on that one and holla back…

        • akaTheRealist

          Al-Qaeda Jada most definitely. I’ve never heard a Kiss verse that was lyrically lacking, as a matter of factly…he stays consistent. Dropping hard shit,,,,,,,

  • tra9iCX3


    • truuth

      Luda is definitely the most underated and if you think he killed wayne on that dyin breed thats the album version listen to the original straight heat you hear can it on my myspace real talk i aint no rapper tryna promote some shit its on my imeem player but its and im guessin alot of yall is old heads which is y yall mentionin all these rappers in yall generation aint none of them rappers yall namin under 30 maybe some but the majority no and thos that is are damn nera there

  • Gooch

    Nas is a lyricist, yes. But to me at least, he doesn’t really seem like he’s rapping for anyone but himself these days. Been that way for years, at least to me. Back when he was talkin bout going to jail for snuffing jesus, that was a whole different story. You could tell he had something to prove.

    • Just Lyphe

      yeah, nas’ verses need to stay in his bedroom while he tries to figure out how to get Kelis from doing another sextape. I love nas like he’s my brother, but of late it’s like he just half reads some article on and writes a whole song about what little knowledge he misconstrued as the truth. My advice: Keep it to yourself.

      • T-Black

        He’s just over your head!

    • CHEAA

      Yea, Nas is lyrical. But he’s spittin the same things over and over again. Like he’s a politian. Untitled was like 10 tracks of the same shit minus fried chicken and maybe hero.

      He nice lyrically, but he always had a weak flow.

  • LEO

    “People like Lil Wayne because he’s a Southern rapper who spits like a New Yorker. He’s got the NO drawl, but the lyrical content and flow of an East Coast dude.”


    Ludacris^ not Wayne

    Everybody in Slaughterhouse got that lyrik shit on lock(Crooked I’s a beast)…I say eminem, might still have it…gotta wait for the record…what hapened to papoose?

    • Jamal7Mile

      I wish Crooked would get a Dr. Dre or Quik (or Fixxers) beat already!! They in the same state so that should be a Quik trip to Aftermath or whatever studio Quik working at right now. He should do it Quik though, to make sure his buzz stays Safe and Sound. I think the Grooves that Quik make would better suit Crooked I, IMO, but Dre is Still DRE as well. Just don’t sign to Math cause that’ll put more dust on ya career (sorry Dre).

      • Matt.monopoly

        Crooked is a beast, but you must not know about the west because if you did then you know that the old heads don’t mess with the young hungry cats. Wayne has so so lyrics, you could play who’s line is this with him and soulja boy 4 real. That whole slaughter House is nuts, but wont sell kuz the have the internet going nuts not the ladys, or clubs. Blu (from that freshmen cover) is a lyrical beast as well. The south has some real spitters but wayne is just ok, listen to how he gets out rapped on songs with other south rappers. The funny part is that hooks and beats sell record, so if a rapper really wanted to spit he could just hop on a nice track and really spit, but its so easy to spit so-so and make cheese

      • D-Block

        yo mans crookeds already got a dre beat the songs called “say dr. dre” or “this is compton”

    • http://xxLMAG jb

      Pap will definetly rap circles around most rappers. Especially dudes that’s out now. He just isn’t good at making records but I blame Slay for that. Pap needs to kick his ass to the curb and get wit sum one that could really nurture his talent.

  • harmen

    what about fab, lloyd banks,
    those guys are SCARY good,
    also cassidy, and sometimes game
    can really lay it down
    curren$y is nice with the lyrics
    so is chamillionaire and the clipse (mostly pusha T)
    and TI actualy shined hard on paper trail
    but ya ur right luda and jada are the only
    ones that care about massacre-ing 16s

  • Curtis75Black

    By Todays standards, not trying to pigeonhole the generation of fans but it seems to me, lyricists have more *Swag” than lyrics. I have convos with my cousin and his crew who are 10 or more yrs. younger and they seems to check for the ones who have more confidence saying B.S. than saying something. Lyricists today are out there seriously from The SlaughterHouse fam, Ludacris, SkyZoo to the elders in Uncle L who’s still bringin’ it if you get past the singles. “RingTone Murder”,”You Better Watch Me”, “Dear Hip Hop” and “It’s Time For War” just to name some. I also feel Hip Hop has been waiting for certain artists and not seeing what’s in front of them. Heltah Skeltah came with it as did Q-Tip. Peeps need to open their ears and stop waiting for co-signs from Mags, Radio and TV.

    • El Tico Loco

      Peeps need to open their ears and stop waiting for co-signs from Mags, Radio and TV
      Good point

      How can that happen when the younger generation is like sheep, and they validate themselves according to the approval of a media outlet? At one point if you were a rap fan, if you weren’t making your own music or if you were you would be proud to be first to have a certain artist cd, tape, 12 in single or whatever and everything was based on competition and gettin ahead of the pack without neglecting fundamentals, now they’re concerned with keeping up with the pack and losing the fundamentals like no biting, no pro trickin lyrics,or backing down from battles.

      • Curtis75Black

        I wouldn’t necessary call this generation sheep. I’ll say that they live by a different standard than we did back in the day. We had no choice but to buy our music, we had no choice but to wait by the radio with our tapedeck and pause and record new shit. We had “The Box” that was the 1st 106 & park without the Bullshit and we saw everything from Hardcore, Social,Clubbing,funny, Corny and so on Hip Hop. I have no Idea How old you are but remember when we 1st saw LL’s Jinging Baby video, Geto Boys Mind Playing tricks, or BBD’s Poison !! Don’t forget Kid N Play’s Gettin Funky. That was the era that was all about good fun and diversity and we loved it.

  • millertime

    you forgot about ludacris. also has anyone not heard of black thought?

  • dark vanilla

    If Game and TI aren’t lyricists and Weezy is, then I’m gonna start sucking Soulja Boy’s dick for a living. I mean its okay to think Game and T.I. aren’t true MC, but to call Weezy an MC is just fucking dumb. He doesn’t rap bout shit. He just puts a bunch of catchy phrases together like “watch him ketchup like mayonaise” and dumbasses think he’s the greatest thing since Tupac. And Kanye a lyricist? He just has beats and a catchy flow. I can’t believe this faggot has failed to mention Nas, probably one of the best lyricist of all time too. What bout Slaughterhouse, Wu Tang, and Lupe Fiasco? These rappers are a 1000 times better than Weezy. Fuck, I would rather listen to faggot ass 50 cent before I listen to Weezy. At least I know what 50 cents talking bout unlike Weezy.

    • Reigionss

      word wayne is rubbish

  • losers

    There is way to much hate for nas in the game…this is why i’m convinced people really fear his superiority in the game!

    • A


  • Rob the Music Ed

    I dont know dude T.I. be spittin some shit.
    But the whole Slaughterhouse are pretty tough when it comes to lyricism. I’m excited about these dudes as a group. We’ll see.

  • Escobar9300

    This clown mentions Wayne as a lyricist but not Nas? Get the fuck outta here with your ignorant ass. Turn off the radio and listen to some real shit next time you decide to talk about lyricists. Fuckin a

  • DV8

    Wayne? are u serious?

    *shakes head in disapproval*

    You was on point for most of your post until you said Wayne. Wayne is probably the most overrated rapper in recent memory.

  • Juzzy

    Talib Kweli
    Lloyd Banks
    Methhod Man
    Bun B

    ALL better lyricists than Wayne straight up!

    Luda defo one of the best MCs 2day, how dude doesn’t get credit is beyond me……

  • Gooch

    you guys were all on wayne’s cock before he sold a million records… now that he’s outta here, he’s no longer a lyricist. This is just hate at this point

    • DV8

      Wayne hasnt been the best lyricist on his own songs (let alone hiphop). His ghostwriters where. And I used to like Wayne but that was the music he did up to 500 Degreez after that I noticed a very big change in his music and I knew it wasnt all him writing that shit he was spitting.

    • tony grand$

      I thinl by industry standards, a lyricist is simply one who constructs lyrics.

      If that makes any sense, basically any caliber songwriter is consider a lyricist.

      A poet, that’s a horse of a different color. A lot of dudes mentioned are mos defly poets, creative & witty with vivid imagery.

      Everyone is not a poet.

    • Jpdakid

      He’s went plat before..
      I liked him around the Carter 2…a little of the Drought is over 2
      But after that..he garbage..
      A real lyricist shouldn’t have to use auto-tune to rhyme..
      And if you talking about the College Dropout Kanye…then yeah he was lyrical


      Bullshit Gooch.

      I NEVER considered Wayne to be that nice. Is he a damn good rapper when he gets serious? Hell yes. Is Carter I and II good albums? Hell yeah. One of the best lyricists?? Fuck no. Yes, the dude came out with a good album(Carter III was a shit sandwich btw). That doesn’t mean that there AREN’T cats who are better than him. People seem to confuse record sales with actual TALENT. He’s a witty rapper. But about 85% of shit is straight punchlines(a lot of garbage ones at that) with no real substance, story, meaning, or message.

      And where the fuck is Lupe Fiasco in this conversation? Y’all niggas stuck on this skateboard shit like the dude don’t be spittin fire. I might catch some flack, but I put Lupe over Wayne any day. At least Lupe makes some damn SENSE. At least he’s different and not stuck on cars, money, hoes, and didn’t sell out to the mainstream like Kanye bitch ass. Plus, Lupe’s better than Kanye. Not only that, think about this. The Superstar Remix. Have you ever heard T.I or Jeezy rap like that? Why was it when they jumped on a track with Lupe, it sounded like they were doing some lyrical push ups?? Hmmmmm? That’s a thought to consider.

      Wayne doesn’t make any type of sense in about 85% of his records. Which is the same percentage as his punchlines. Think about that one! This guy said “Real niggas are gorillas and I fuck their women”. WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?!?!? This is what you call a nice lyricist??

      Dude, you compared “A Milli” to “Twinz”.

      E P I C F A I L!!

      You want lyricists? Here are the lyricists.

      Talib Kwali
      Mos Def
      Immortal Technique
      Bun B
      T.I(YES! T.I)
      Celph Titled
      The Clipse
      Joell Ortiz
      Kanye(when he hops off the 808′s)

      And I’m sure I’m missing a few. But thats my 2 cents in this conversation. The lyricists are here. You’re just looking in the wrong place, my man.


      • killyoself

        Crooked I man he’s hella better then waynes bitch ass and i aint hating…

      • Basti

        thank you.

      • DTP4LIFE

        T.I can spit for real, but he’s not a lyricist. If he tried to bo one it wouldnt sound right because thats not his strong suit. His strong suit is swagger and acting like a fake G. not hating on T.I but i call it like i see it.

    • Kaos

      No…don’t be a idiot.

  • danny myers

    You guys want a lyricist? Then youtube danny myers street verses. Best new upcoming lyricist. See for yourself!

  • PH

    Just look at Canibus, Rass Kass, Jeru, etc.

    Without good to great production you just go unheard.

    • Jamal7Mile

      True, I co-sign. These guys came out in the Golden Era of Hip-Hop MUSIC (not just hip hop) and got overlooked because too many DOPE Emcees and DJ’s were out at the same time.

      I heard EVERYBODY at least once… even way up here in Detroit (again, Golden Era) but I only had so much money to spend on aaaaall them hot tapes that came out EVERY WEEK.

      Hot cats can’t win… not the Golden Era, and very few now. I KNOW I’m missing out on some cat who got some life-changing shit out there, but I just don’t know about it… yet.

      I suspect Jay Electronica…

  • og bobby j

    lets see…
    Crooked I
    Jada and Styles
    joell ortiz
    just a few….

    Kayne? Game? Thats just sad

  • Can-I-Bus

    “There really are only a few acts in mainstream hip-hop who we can call lyricists. Wayne, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Common, (to some extent or another)”

    So Nas and Lupe Fiasco aren’t lyricists?

  • had


  • nujerz

    Wayne and Lyrical or Lyricists should never be mentioned together.

  • epinz9706

    clipse and phonte of little brother. this is the only new shit i listen 2…THE ONLY!!! them nggaz kill everything and both have modern day classics on diffrent levels!

  • miguel aka el mexikano

    aight. first things first. wayne can spit. he just needs o get beack to his origional style. a lot of these rappers today that are just rapping to make a quick buck disgust me. SOULJAH BOY SHOULD NEVER BE MENTIONED IN A HIP HOP TOPIC. aight so back to this. people really are sleeping on some REAL MC’S. like Little Brother, Talib Kweli, MF Doom, etc. those are mc’s that really deserve the respect and the attention.

  • mdb

    if you think a milli is the closest thing we’ve had to big pun on twins then you need to get your head out of your ass. wayne hasnt been a lyricist since dedication 2 and mentioning him as one is an insult to every real lyricist in the game. so stfu and stop writing about rappers

  • BE

    The fact Lil Wayne was used as a reference, takes away all credibility. Good topic to bring up though. Lil Wayne hasn’t been a lyricist since a little after Carter II. Now he’s in the same category as the other artists who make the same types of albums you mentioned.

    There are still plenty of lyricist though but Hip-hop is not the same anymore so it doesn’t really matter. We still have Lupe, Blu, Jada, Styles, Mos Def, Talib, Slum Village, Little Brother, Jay, NaS, etc.

  • J

    Stopped reading when you named Wayne a lyricist. Fuck you thinking?

  • get off wayne dick – you’re a YES man fag

    Wayne… lyrical…??? are you fucking stupid. please… you’re a fucking “YES” man. Did your faggot ass editor tell you to include weezy’s name in this blog. Don’t be silly. Both TI’s and Game’s albums were better than wayne’s. get off his dick – if pac were here he would laugh at you. The Game got co-singed by more than a few lyrical rappers. Wayne on the other hand….

  • Clever

    Lil Wayne is not a Lyricist Period. Alot of the younger generation, are nieve to Lyricist. We are dealing with a generation that follow the media, trends, they don’t care about the artform or the History. They have no respect for Hip-Hop. WHen someone is doing it for the love and artform. They don’t support the artist, they push him away. I’mma Lyricist been that way, and, I’m not going to change.When I first dropped, people in my home town where like, he’s too Lyrical! They where trying to get me to dum it down. I wouldn’t after a while they finally started to listen instead of just saying he’s too deep, they say I’m very Nice. I ruffled alot of feathers in da South. I don’t dum my work down, I Quote intelligent because I am. But there are plenty of Lyricist. Hip-Hop still alive, its just alot real artist , got hip to da bullshit ass labels. Now we have some many ways to promote and get our music to real Hip-Hop fans. Y get signed. We are here, its just now instead of going to the store and buying da Gold on display , you gotta dig for it. We out here. ;) Fuck sales, If I only get one person to listen, I’m happy. For all the real Lyricist, Thank you for paving the way for me, I love it! All the TRue Hip-Hop fans, Thanks for the handfull that appreciate True Hip-Hop,


  • El Tico Loco

    I think the whole purpose of this post was to discuss mainstream artists meaning on the charts, on rotation, and in the limelight. And the fact that since Pun died (r.i.p. pana), we never saw another true lyricist on the charts and the closest thing sadly is Weezy, Yeezy, Jay Z, Jeezy, TI, Game. I’m sure that’s what he was going for (sure hope so) and he’s up on true lyricists which is what a turntablist is to a DJ.

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    Where is Eminem and the “D”???

    • Jamal7Mile

      They coming soon! Not written in stone, though… 2009 I’m sure they coming.

    • Nasty C

      NICKEL NINE motherfuckers

  • John Galt

    Talk about underrated, I don’t want Brother Ali to go unmentioned here. I’d put him up with anyone above in terms of lyrical dexterity and passion. Just saying is all.

  • the brown

    Yo! Straight up, I’m a lyrical genius. I’d spit some shit here on this page but I ain’t signed (nor nessesarily looking to be) and I’d hate for my neck to be bitten (cause that’s what people are doin’). That new Q-Tip is sweet. That shit took me back to when I was 18, 19, 20 and we weren’t even discussing wackness. Tons of wackness nowadays.

  • not a lyricist

    waynes carter 3 was far from lyrical, I dont know what the hell this dudes talkin about. Eminem goes hard as hell on ever verse he raps on, except that bunk ass encore cd. Pretty much on the overall lyricist are gone. I think damn near all have been mentioned in this thread. Twista can go off from time to time but thats about it.

  • not a lyricist

    pitbull too

  • $ykotic

    My question is why don’t ya’ll do a video blog with these types of convos/topics?

    HAS ANYONE OUT THERE EVER HEARD OF BLACK THOUGHT? Cmon dude got a decade + in.

    • Shinobi Shaw

      Co-Sign Black Thought & Phonte from Little Brother.
      Don’t count out Nas either or should I say Ether!

      Check us out

      Lyricist Live you just gotta dig deeper!

  • not a lyricist

    bun b too

  • grandma11

    definitely the clipse, but i mean are you lookin at mainstream lyricists ??

    cuz like talib kweli, nas, mos def has a new CD coming out, black thought, Consequence.

    There are a bunch if you just look in the right places. and luda is not a lyricist, he just has good punch lines. Theater of the mind was live though!

  • http://xxlmag lb


    • Jamal7Mile


      All the way back to Reggie Noble’s debut, he’d backbreak emcees like he was slamming King Kong with that S on his chest!!!

  • gator

    Please explain to me why nobody (except maybe 1 or 2) has mentioned Lupe Fiasco? He is easy the most talented lyricist of the decade. Andre 3000 NEEDS to drop a solo disc where he is rappin’. If Common can get off the mainstream’s dick and get back to the real stuff, then he can be mentioned too (same with Kanye). Jay-Z has to be mentioned of course, and also Eminem. Wayne can also be considered in this article (as long as he stops with the autotune garbage and also talks of a rock album). And this may be irrelevant but please somebody explain to me…


  • DANJA29

    The problem is with all these comments, people are namin’ niggas who’ve been out for years, which proves the whole point of the whole thing- where’s the new blood to bring it and step it up. The cats everybody’s mentioning are people who’ve peaked already… I’m lookin’ for new dudes who are spittin and makin hits at once. Not too much of that goin’ on anymore.

    • Jamal7Mile

      Nope… we Old.

  • Kaos

    Ayte..first up, you put Wayne in a group that you’d put Big Pun.

    FAIL…right there.


    get off the crack.

  • Jeuce

    OutKast, NaS, Ludacris, Charles Hamilton, Common, DJ Quik, Talib Kweli, UGK, Aesop Rock, Mistah F.A.B…..just to name a few of who are true lyricists. Everyone has opinions on who are real lyricists but we all know who the lyricists are when we really listen to what they spit instead of listening to the song in general.

  • sealsaa

    People have lowered their standards of what defines a lyricist. Thats why Lil Wayne is considered the “best rapper” in most circles. I say we start lynching people for proclaiming shitty-mediocre level rappers as lyricist. Ironically, the majority of these lynchings would take place in the south.

    • Clever

      Sad but, tru, That’s coming from a Southern M.C., Alotta Bootie Clap Actors, and, Dope Boi Ignorant Ass Rappers. The Good Thing about it I did a Unsigned Hype Show In 98, and met, Andre 3000, He gave me sound Advice,
      He said ” Your Real Nice, Don’t change but, Advance, Don’t change for nobody ” Remember your Roots”. That was honest advice. I stuck to it.

      • Tha Truth

        you still weak bitch

        • clever

          Not as weak as your moms gag reflex, when she’s chugging this pipe down her neck, LOL! and dats da Truth! LOL!

        • Tha Truth


  • Ayanna

    Guess no one has ever heard of “Treach”

  • Kaos

    ..yano….for once…I wouldn’t hate lynching.

  • Rae Tha Great

    Man this blog can go on for days but people that do get me is like Cory Gunz, Crooked I, Elzhi(Slum Village), Termanology, LUPE FIASCO, many more I can’t think had a headache since this morning, oh yeah me RAE!!! PEACE

    • Shinobi Shaw

      Co-sign Elzhi!!!

  • http://d madafukencarter

    fuck all you fukn haterz… weezy all day… fuken listen to the fuken lyrics fukers

  • spence

    lupe fiasco

  • NOLA 504

    Wayne is a average rapper .Royce Da 5’9″ would rhyme circles around that fool.Dudes are so hard up for Lil Wayne.This dude can say a wack ass line on a mixtape or album like…”Im Going take a shit” and people would be on his nuts.This shit is a disgrace.He spews a bunch of word and hopes to god he comes up with 2 hot bars out of the 5 thousand bars he spits.Cory Gunz pretty much handed his ass to him on A Mili.Gunz killed him with 1 verse, verses Lil Wayne’s 3.Waynes an okay rapper.Please lets get back to raw lyrics in 2009!I just need one year of mainstream to bring lyrics back to the fore front.

  • Mister

    Chamillionaire is like the best lyricist

  • Tank man

    My list


  • Pyru

    How could yall forget Chamillionaire

    Dude raw, His new song with Luda is dope

  • Master minds

    I feel yall, But Lupe is good
    and Chamillionaire can really spit
    maybe the best in the south

  • Anti-Mainstream

    KRS-One (Greatest of all time PERIOD!)
    Joell Ortiz
    Big Daddy Kane
    Immortal Technique

    That’s lyricists kids not “I’ve got 808s and my heart’s broken,” or wack-ass weezy!!!!

  • white and underground

    i know none of yall are gonna give a fuck about this post but you want some lyricists? leave that mainstream shit… no hate to ‘anti mainstream’ but half that shit he mentioned is commercial as a motherfucker. you want lyricists? do yourself a favor, get the following albums:

    Atmosphere- Seven’s travels
    Atmosphere- When life gives you lemons, paint that shit gold
    Atmosphere- Strictly leakage
    Aesop Rock- None Shall Pass
    Aesop Rock- Bazooka Tooth
    Aesop Rock- Daylight EP
    Aesop Rock- Music for Earthworms
    El-P- I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
    Rob Sonic- Sabatoge Gigante

    thats some lyrics right there

  • Ill_Will_Hunting


  • amar

    i know u purposely left out nas to stir up the pot…

    car to explain?

    lupe u prolly just forgot about

    • Anti-Mainstream

      No I didn’t leave out Nas. Read my list again more carefully! As for Lupe he’s staight, and my bad I forgot Eminem!

      • amar

        lol i meant the dude who wrote the blog…

  • Dra$t-iQ Alkoholik

    man fucc this shit Wizzzy aint n o lyricist he just puts dumb shit catchy lines together true llyricist are: Biggy,Nas,Eminem, KANYE(minus that 808 shit),immortal technique,2pac,etc

  • Tizz

    Goddamn…the interwebs really hate Wayne, eh? I gotta say it was a bad call, Gooch, to say A Milli was on the caliber of good Pun shit, but Wayne is not as bad as you dudes make him out to be. Just for one sentence, I’ll say he often has some witty lines surrounding some of the nonsensical things he raps, plus he has a good understanding of multisyllabic rhyming.

    Now, onto other characters…I feel like the majority of doods in these replies are stuck in the “golden age” of hip hop, which peaked quite a while ago. I notice alot of typical names being thrown around (Joell, Nas, Immortal), but it seems like peeps are just stuck on those guys and aren’t even trying to acknowledge some of the lyrical shit people like Game, T.I., and Wayne make. Obviously they’re not lyrical gods, but really, no consumer of rap music wants to actually hear 5-6 minutes of just lyrical shit. People just wanna get a hot song and move on; do you really expect these artists to sacrifice sales and profit for someone as separated from them as the hardcore rap aficionado? They’re going to continue making profitable music if it keeps the money coming in (and you know times are hard now). Rappers who do keep it lyrical are prolly not making as good of a grip of money as they should, but they are some of the few who make that sacrifice, which, I assume, is why all of these cats adamant about “lyricism” view their craft as something greater than that of my favorite (t)rapper.

    All I’m saying is be more open minded and stop acting like hip hop just gave up after 1988.

    • Shinobi Shaw

      but that’s what that topics about!
      Lyricism we’re not talking about what the average consumer likes we’re talkin about the rappers rapper (Emcees)!

  • Detroit P

    I got the impression that he was only talking about mainstream artist who can make hits and still be lyrical…not underground rappers who are too lyrical to ever be marketable because they can’t make a song unless they throw a thousand bars at it…so cross out Slaughterhouse, Talib Kweli, Cannibus(lol).. and whoever else u were thinking of you have these choices to choose from :Ludacris, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, T.I., Young jeezy, The Game, Wayne,Rick Ross, Plies, Soulja Boy, Outkast, Nas(kinda), Eminem,50 cent, Fat Joe, and any of those one hit wonders that got some mainstream shine recently…who are the lyricists in mainstream rap?


    Dude Weezy is not a fucking lyricist, T.I. is ten times the lyricist of Wayne hell so is game. Plus saying that Jeezys lyrics have stepped up Im not dissing Jeezy because I listen to him a lot but “I hope its acceptable if not respectable” is that stepping it up to you. Damn I would love for you to reply to this shit.

    • DTP4LIFE

      For the last time T.I is a great rapper, but his strong point is swagger. HE IS NOT A LYRICIST.

  • Looms

    Devin. Nobody ever brings up Devin the Dude. I can’t believe that when it comes to writing or talking about lyricists Weezy is brought up before Devin. It’s like we’re living in a bizarro world where everything that’s crap is considered great.

  • Mass Appeal

    What about Blu?? He killed it on Below the Heavens……..

  • so be it


  • Ali

    Wayne? really? wow………besides the obvious picks (nas & jay etc.) I think there’s still alot of good guys out there…..the best of the bunch is Lupe…..he’s a genius, non-arguable end of story………Joell Ortiz & Crooked I are also very good……Brother Ali….I can name a ton of others but they’re all obvious or kinda old….guys like Saigon & Chamillionaire (yeah I said it, don’t talk shit be4 u buy his 2 albums) Obie Trice, they’re good picks cuz they’re relatively new to the game (2000 & up)……there’s still some new dudes left dont worry yall……and the old arent done yet

  • jmes

    ok ok the best rapper alive is eminem. he has not released anything in a while so we forget how great he really is. em,nas,krs one,jada,wessy all are mc’s and people under estimate chamillionaire he is the best in the south and is making a case for the best today

  • Marco V.

    -everytime I have this convo everyone always wants to leave out krayzie bone of bone thugs n harmony, dude is sick plain and simple, and there is no one thats f**kin wit that on a lyricist level

    It aint hard to spot us/either follow the trails/of tha hollow shells/as well/as tha rotted smell/of body cells

    dont sleep on the rest of the Bone’s either, Even Wish bone brings it

  • andrew

    CASSIDY #1 no question

  • J. Ambrose.

    First off, thank you. This is my first post on XXL and it’s already based on something that’s been irking the living piss outta me.

    Let’s get into it. Rap is THRIVING. Hip Hop is hurt. Luda’s “Theater” album is an XL by today’s standards. I say that because the bar has been dropped marginally lower compared to years past. I’m not knocking Ludacris. He’s a true MC. Witty, Comedic, Intelligent, Comapssionate & Hard. But, if we were to mention his album along previous gems suchas, ‘Capital Punishment’ (Big Pun), ‘Ressurection’ (Common), ‘The Fix’ (Scarface), or even ‘I Am’ (NaS) it doesn’t have that staying power. The problem with Hip Hop isn’t Ludacris. I’m not using him as a scapegoat. It’s that Hip Hop has become what Rap has always been… a BUSINESS. It’s harder for cats to drop gems when the residuals don’t add up the way they would from jingles. The other problem is that people don’t WANT it anymore. The comment about NaS talking to himself for the past couple of years is true. Jay-Z having throw-away-rhymes now is true.. These cats have nothing to prove to anyone. They ARE the bump in the road. They’re legacies are cemented in this game. So now, it seems pointless to go in like they did in their glory yrars, which in truth is very disappponting. What’s worse is that on their worst days, a lot of cats can’t compete with them. We’ve had The Clipse for years. But, the gaps for them have been to large between mainstream and underground alike to love them. I’m not dissing, I’m a fan as well. The Game is NOT a lyricist, y’all. Take the name drops out of his verses and see how much of an album you really have. Andre3000…. What can I really say? He’s one of the greatest to grab a microphone. His myriad guest appearances on records and remixes over the past couple of years has been a breath of fresh air to the radio. His single verses on ‘Throw Some D’s’ (Rich Boy), ‘What a Job’ (Devin the Dude), ’2 Step’ (Unk) and ‘Green Light’ (John Legend) have just about destroyed anything in their path. All this and we haven’t seen an OutKast album since 2004. It’s just disappointing what we have t to choose from now. Wayne’s blitzkrieg on nothing less than 70 records last year was a feat nothing short of amazing. The flipside to that coin is that he was saying A LOT of bullshit. Half of those verses were hyped off the fact that it was Wayne ON the cut and NOT the VERSE. Wayne can definitely go in when he wants too (Pause). But, is he crowned king now BECAUSE of his work ethic or his skill?? Use your ears and listen. (Refer to the ‘Dey Know’ (Shawty Lo) cut for confirmation). I’m not about to get into Soulja Boy’s simple ass making a slick comment about NaS. I’ll just say this, it’s a sad state we’re in when he can fix his face to go at someone he’ll never come close to competing with musically, nevermind lyrically. Luckily, we’ve still got the Rawkus alumni, Mos, Talib & Pharoahe. So, lyricism isn’t DEAD. We’ve also got Slaughter House (Joell, Budden, Crooked & Royce). The question remains, what radio station will touch them? Create the demand and the garbage has less chance of rising to the top.

    ‘I love Hip Hop, I just hate the niggas’s in it.’ -Phonte.

  • yeahhohum

    most rappers dont care or try anymore. they dont have to. all they do is placehold til the hook comes in. they think its not worth trying to say anything or write anything that special now. which is why rap is dying.

  • lazy eyes

    Does anyone give any lyrical credit to BIg Boi of OutKast? Or is he just the unwanted stepchild?

  • Chris LeRwa

    Game should pick JADAKISS’ beats!!
    Jada got the flow adn lyrics but his beats are always average.

  • King Arun

    WTF! Y WAS EMINEM NOT MENTIONED? ok sure encore wasnt his gr8est effort and we’r stil w8in 4 relapse, but he should be given a mention, just for the sake of the FUCKIN BRILLIANT TRACKS HE HAS MADE. U wanna talk bout lyricism it a crime not to talk about
    ‘the sauce’
    ’till i collapse’
    ‘sing for the moment’
    ‘just dont givve a fuck’
    and perhaps

  • Songstar1

    hey i felt you left out NAS for sure. also the Clipse have always been lyrical trap rappers (beasts) also cant forget Jada and i think Crooked I also. thanks


  • HipHopsince77

    Being mainstream has nothing to do with lyrics! Biggie will rip half of these niggez ass with his lyrics on just mainstream shit! Real talk Weezy is overrated… sorry but it’s true. Real lyricist like Talib and Mef shine on their mainstream shit but get no love. Bottom Line ringtone tone rap is dying real hip hop is coming back with Slaughter House, Saigon, and the mixtape lyricist. Be patient everybody.

  • Brooklyn ‘Lo

    As far as lyrics go; not alot of rappers or emcees are even trying to take that next step lyrically. When I hear Elzhi or Phonte rhyme for the most part I can usually look forward to hearing something incredible. With SlaughterHouse you have a collective of emcees none of which I can consider myself a fan of but, as a group I think they show more promise than they do as soloists. As for artists who usually only sound good on collaborations those are the ones who really need to push themselves to be great consistently. Emceeing is an art form; the use of an extensive vocabulary, flow, wordplay,imagination song structuring etc… That’s why in my opinion an artist like J-Hood or even Lloyd Banks to a lesser degree will probably never attain greatness.

  • Hip Hop since 77

    Big Pun and Lil Wayne in the same sentence is so But real talk the 90′s was the golden era and the new millineum took pieces from Big,Jay,The Wu,Doc Dre,Snoop,etc. And ran with it. Only Problem they took the wrong pieces. The took the half story, the beginning and some of the middle but never the end. They’re either D boys, or filthy rich or a killer and that’s it. But tell us the whole story. You can’t be on your third album and tell me street tales. We don’t believe you, you need more people.

  • Chris S

    SLAUGHTERHOUSE! if anyone can do it, it’s them.

    i would say Lupe could but nobody listens to him or understands him and thats a damn shame



  • Basti

    how the fuck people saying weezy’s an MC artist.. he sucks.. talk about immortal technique, eminem, all the guys who really know how to spit.. i understand jay-z he’s good.. but lil wayne.. give me a break..

  • Joe BlakK

    yo i see where he was going wit this talking bout no one wants to spit no more they just want the bucks and its like why even listen to this trash wayne at one point and time he was ok not great but good now he’s a waste of wax as for MC’s ya’ll said some good one’s but what about Method Man, he’s been doing it for a minute you cant way red without meth and you cant say meth without red which that black out 2 is coming soon as for anyone else yall didnt mention what about busta when he really spits and juelz when he spits lol

  • Arcey

    What’s a lyricist? what defines a lyricist?

    Ludacris, he’s good & all but I swear when listen to “Theater…” some of those punchlines sound like something Redman said before, for exemple just the chorus to “Everybody Hates Chris” next to “Noorotic” (off Dare Iz A Darkside) or “I’ll Bee Dat!”, he even had crowds doing the ‘Fuck You Redman’ chant back in the Hard Knock Life tour.

    basically when listening to this Luda, it’s good (and respect the effort he put in) but it feels like a déjà vu

    • Chonessey

      Good question. What is a lyricist?

      When i hear the word lyricist I think about CONCEPTS, SONGS, STORIES, MOVEMENTS. People like Lil Wayne are NOT lyricists. They follow a VERY simply formula for their rhymes and spit out thousands of punchlines that are basically mimicks of each other.

      Don’t get it twisted, Wayne is insanely talented. He did, however, make one fatal mistake. Lil’ Wayne has flooded the market with his sound and it is no longer appealing to me. TURN OFF THE FUCKING AUTO-TUNE YOU DRUG ADDICT.

  • Chonessey

    Em’s last effort, Encore, was deeply slept on. He did not have the complex, shocking lyrics as on previous albums but the creativity was there. His most creative yet. It was important for fans to listen to the music and not look for anything specific from it. Just accept it for what it is (a CREATIVE piece of art).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Relapse didn’t meet the bar lyrically either, but is that such a bad thing? Here is a legend who is winding down his career. It wouldn’t make much sense for him to come with the same attitude as a younger Eminem who just came into the game. He is a powerhouse now and it is time for him to wrap things up and give us some BIG SOUNDS!!

  • kashrulz

    Lil wayne is NOT a LYRICIST! That nigga’s lyrics makes no sense! What was La La about?! A milli? Let the beat build? He just raps with clever punchlines and he got ya’ll gassed.

    The south: Outkast, Ludacris

    Busta rhymes still spittin hard.

    • Arcey

      you’re forgeting about Scarface

  • who

    yall niggas is fuckin stupid. wayne- no longer a lyricist. hes fuckin terrible. 90 percent of the time hes tryin to sing and wen he tries to go hard he just aint got it no mo. jigga, em, andre, top 3. bottom line

  • LeByron


    Both are slept on way to much fuckin much!

    SlaughterHouse should make some noise too! Crooked is a monster. Bring back HHW!

  • East Reps


  • WestcoastMexican

    T.I. aint no fuckin lyricist, he’s a joke. real lyricists come from the eastcoast, but the south got a couple good lyricists like Luda, Andre, Face, and a couple others.

  • DMVisComing

    I honestly think that there’s a couple of lyricists in DC that are coming up..Muggsy Malone, and Wale are two of the best in the game period..not to mention that Slaughterhouse group…

  • dvus

    you just single handedly killed all credibility for this website and magazine. NO you cannot write about rappers i cant stop reading this endless drivle ,garbage i dont even have a word for it. this website has a responsibility to teach the youth of real hip hop and guide them through all the pop locking and dropping out there shame, shame to your families….bastards

  • Crocker

    You want a lyricist?

    Jay Electronica (This kid is gonna change the game, fluck what ya heard)

    Cory Gunz

    Pharoahe Monch

    3 Stacks


    Little Brother




    R.A. The Rugged Man

    Freeway (Don’t sleep on that March Madness ish either, fuckers.)

    But I think the author was referring to mainstream, and well, I really wipe my ass with that mainstream toilet tissue nonsense. Fuck Em. They wouldn’t know originality and lyrics if it flicked them on the nose.


    These artists are true lyricists by lyrical skill –

    1. ludacris
    1. papoose(tied,only one that can hold a candle to luda)

    2.lil wayne(“precious like an artifact, valubale like a quarterback, hanable like they call me jack, 4pack like a starter hat”-”last of a dying breed” like him or not be he a lyricist.

    3.the old “blueprint”jay-z
    4. eminem
    5.busta rhymes
    8. fat joe (barely)
    9. (the old) lil flip
    10. Nas

    These are the top 10 lyricist of the past decade.

    • Dexta

      You mean the top 10 selling lyricists?
      There’s been some lyrical records by other guys
      but over the 2000′s the guys you just named have been consistent.
      Minus Wayne, he’s not a consistent lyricist. He is one, but sometimes he just raps silly nilly stuff.

    • D-Block

      BAHAHAHA is anyone readin what DTP4LIFE said? get the fuck outta here with that bullshit u fuckin retard

      fat joe? hahahaha
      lil flip? hahahahahah

      and u got luda at number 1? come on man u said the best in the last decade big pun and big l are turning in their graves

  • Jerm

    i feel what the other guy said on concepts, songs, ideas, etc.

    to me…Ludacris’ last album showed real lyricism, the fact that the album had a concept around it – was creative and amazing to me…

    Outkast as a whole, because even tho A3k is stronger than BigBoi – ppl act like BigBoi is garbage sometimes.

    UGK as a whole as well, ppl hate on Pimp C, but play back that UGK double disc album, or anything else…and ur gettin thought, and social commentary and etc

    Chamillionaire is wicked to me, buy Sound of Revenge, and Ultimate Victory and his mixtapes, hes got creativity with his lyricism, and actually tries on his shit. Heard the Internet Nerd series? or Roll Call Reloadeds?!?!?!

    Lupe = amazing nothin else to say, he shows brains with lyricism…inspiring to me.

    DMX brought creativity to me imo, even tho hes hardcore, the Damien tracks, the prayers, and the gospel songs were unique and tough to me!!!Even tho now…hes lost a bit of what he had.

    Kanye i feel is a lyricist, not with the last album to me tho, but graduation and other stuff, he put work into his songs…Common, Jadakiss, Nas and others are lyricists to me, if they can spit on unique topics and have a nice message/meaning its cool wit me.

    and TI for me i dont see him as a lyricist as much as others, cuz all his other albums hes never wrote his lyrics down, as in spent time writing/perfectin craft (even tho it takes alot of work to make an album), except Paper Trail. And Paper Trail had him step his game up, showing he can write some meaningful stuff – but its just one album for me…not enuff.

    But Weezy i cant even discuss…like hes got some good stuff, but i havent heard him do a song that had somethin i havent heard b4.

  • http://XXL TheGodJustice

    I’ve heard TI called a lyricist. I’ve heard Game called a lyricist. I’ve heard a whole bunch of rappers who are anything but lyricists, thrown into that group.
    Exactly how do you you even THINK that they are not lyricists?? Okay I get it, their POP-like success?? Yeah it can overshadow true talent pretty much. Which leads me though, to this statement:

    There really are only a few acts in mainstream hip-hop who we can call lyricists. Wayne, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Common, (to some extent or another). I might even throw Kanye in there, he’s not great but he’s a pretty witty guy. Again, I’m not necessarily ranking anyone, just trying to point out that there aren’t many artists out there who actually rhyme like it’s competitive sport.
    Okay, I know and understand that last part, and I agree with the last four arists. But we have to rewind to that first person you mentioned. WAYNE??? I’m sorry but he tried, failed, and died at the mic (skill-wise that is). You should’ve switched WAYNE with both T.I and THE GAME, because they actually TRY to
    rhyme. And they’ve been in battles with other artists and didn’t back down. WAYNE on the other hand, that nigga ran. POINT BLANK PERIOD. He hasn’t shown and proven anything on the mic besides bite other styles and punchlines (half them punchlines was shit niggaz done already heard, whether by others or even him). Oh and how he can recycle music and call it an album or DEDICATION VOL. 100, or THE DROUGHT VOL. 1,000. SMH. He paid them DJ’s to put them shis out so he can keep flooding the market with garbage. LOL!!!

    It was a good topic to bring up, but it didn’t help that you kept mentioning WAYNE and how people had to “step their game up” lyrical wise because of him. Yeah fuckin’ right man. SMH.

  • nellz

    wayne is a lyricist….just not consistent. The lines this dude comes up with, especially with all the content he puts out, are amazing.

    Lupe Fiasco is one of the dopest lyricists ever. I said it.

  • Yrain1

    1st of all damn there are really alot of Wayne haters out here. Only people that dont really listen to wayne can say the shit that you people have been postin. People are saying he was alright until the Carter 2 the carter 2 was garbage compared to all the droughts and the dedication 2. Come on man judge him of his body of work and not weheather you like the dude or not. Cause like Jay said that gay I aint in to likin dudes know way. But another thang thats fuckin me up is the fact that dudes got this misconception that a lyricist is some off brand ass dude that doesnt make club songs and dresses funny and shit and that shits not true. If your a lyricist you should be diverse enough in your skill to make a club song a song about real life situations and a just songs displaying your skill as a lyricist. Just because the nigga dresses funny and is a bitch doesnt make him a lyrisist that just means his subjects are different ya dig. So I guess twista aint a lyricist cause he talks about bitches. I guess Pac wasnt a lyricist cause he talked about guns and shit sometimes, Jay wasnt a lyricist cause he talks about money cash hoes. Get the fuck outta here you cant say that shit if that rapper can display vivid pics and imagary in his rhymes and can make some thought provocoking shit and takes pride in his work then that dudes damn near a lyrcist. U dudes just dont wanna say a dude thats from the hood and likes hood shit is a lyricist you dudes kill me wit that shit. And for all the people out there that say wayne dont rap like an east coast dude his favorite rapper and role model is Jay-Z so in some ways he does but he still raps about southern shit and is still a south rapper.

    • Jerm

      well i get what ur sayin

      but to me, ive heard Wayne spit some sick shit some times, but at the same time i dont listen to him that much…but please, if Weezy’s done a song like Return of the “G” or Rosa Parks, or Cold Outside or Runaway Love, or The Omen or The Convo, or The Morning News or Welcome To The South…please tell me the tracks, and ill blast them, but until then, he doesnt seem like much a lyricist to me.

      Plus not too long ago, i heard Weezy say hes got no time to read or write, cuz hes too smart for that or some shit – that may or may not defend what i think – but to me, it says something, that he doesnt take time to write some thoughtful shit down. But u guys say he has, im not tryin to hate, i played the Carter 2 and thats as far as its gone, but i gotta admit, Weezy does say some sick shit sometimes, but not convincing or consistent enuff for me.

  • Elroy

    not only ‘hell hath no fury’ was a lyrical gem, check out their latest mixtape road to “till the casket drops”….

  • Jhon da Analyst

    If he can stay out of the pen and slow down on the bottle…………..Ras Kass

  • DonChiChi

    Wayne is a lyricist but T.I.’s not? I disagree.

  • Ryan

    Wayne isn’t a lyricist.

    Slaughterhouse are Lyricist’s.

  • D-BlOk





  • Hip Hop is in DC

    Muggsy Malone from DC who got signed with Universal last year is going to be in the strong running for best in the game. Over a lot of on the name, they callin him the savior of hiphop..what more do u need?

  • Erin

    Wayne’s rhymes and lyrical content dont compare to most of the underground, immortal technique, talib kweli , royce da 5’9, joell ortiz anyone stupid enough to say wayne is a lyricist is fucking up hip hop and a milli please if i wanted to hear punchlines that a preschooler could make i would go watch barney. Can anyone tell me what happened to hip hop? Nas drops one of his strongest records of the last decade and im all hearing is he(she) licks me like a lollipop wayne can go suck his dads cock

  • Believer 18

    I hear you. Same thoughts were hitting me hard after seeing Notorious. Where are the Biggi’es of today? The man was a God.

  • Yo

    Wayne a lyricist?

    How can you mention Wayne and not mention:


  • Hoopin8

    I highly agree, when i was young..i just listen to anything that might sound good. as i grew up..i started listen to music in a different perspective and listen to more of the lyrics, how it flows and of course the beat. and i came to a conclusion. that i dont respect radio music. and “Most” mainstream artist. it sounds simple. it sounds to elementary to say the least.

    now artist like: Drake,murs,foreign exchange. and MY PERSONAL FAVORITE : little brother that consist of Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh. they amaze me with the lyrics..and how they flow.

    ill give u and example.

    heres a line that phonte said on drake’s song- ” think good thoughts”

    ” Im from the south, where if you aint snappin or rapping about trapping then you are a freak of nature”

  • Greg

    Aesop Rock

  • Shady’s Soldier

    What the fuck wher you thinking when you wrote that shit?
    Fucking Wayne? For real? A Milli???
    I love rap music, thats my shit. I love to hear it, undersand it, agree/disagree with, laugh…
    Guys like Eminem, Fabolous, Lloyd Banks, T.I., Nas, Luda, Ice Cube…
    They do that.

    Guys like Wayne and Kanye make me laugh only ’bout dumb fucks that bought they’re CD’s.

  • 615banga



    Bun B

    The Game,


    Lil Wayne,

    Fat Joe,

    Immortal Technique

    Andre 3000


    Kanye West

    Lupe Fiasco


    Joe Budden




    Snoop Dogg

    Slim Thug

    Ray Cash

  • 615banga

    oh yeah

    and Jadakiss too

    …and Juelz Santana

  • 615banga



    Bun B

    The Game,


    Lil Wayne,

    Fat Joe,

    Immortal Technique

    Andre 3000


    Kanye West

    Lupe Fiasco


    Joe Budden




    Snoop Dogg

    Slim Thug

    Ray Cash


    Juelz Santana

    and Busta Rhymes

  • ATL-S.W.A.T.S

    N**88 PLEASE, on WAYNE comment he rap like New Yorker…so I guess Ceelo Goodie rap like one to..CHECK his response ro RZA..

    Thats like saying Wu-Tang were the first to put kungfu flicks/sounds an statredt that move ment on rap records..check POISON CLAN (spellcheck ) Luke records “88″ was there 1st album..

    You really feelin yourself have you been outside…( You got your own blog but damn )
    last post ever

  • 615banga

    damn i almost forgot

    Ice Cube

  • StreetTalk83

    I like to think that lyricism isn’t just witty lines and punchlines! But more, substance! Pac wasn’t a witty lyricist but he was a substance lyricist! His words meant something! I disagree with Wayne being a lyricist! What does he say that is so witty? Kanye was on his way but he wants to be T-Pain now!

  • Nic Diamonds
  • Oneofthemyo’s


  • ?

    Wowwwwww you said Lil wayne!
    Please tell me that was a joke that I didnt get.

    How the fuck you compare lil wayne to big pun?

    And how do you not have Eminem up here?

    Wtf? This whole blog is trash, and you need to lose your job for that shytt.

  • Dre “Stop Frontin” Peoples

    You sound like a damn teenager writing you gonna add wayne as a lyricist and say you might through kanye in there?listen to we major,bring me down,through the wire,diamonds etc…….Wayne can no way in hell be one of the best lyricist when it took damn year 15 years in the game to be called that.NO!…….niggas been saying that 3 stacks was a beast since the 1st album,hov had fans since the 1st album,these dudes had the “lyrical genius” ttle since they opened their can’t sit hear and say you thought wayne was a beast when you 1st 2nd or 3rd heard just wanted to “bling” to his music.don’t give me that bullshit that wayne the only nigga to flip a song like pun,since pun!..check jay on iz that yo chick or the originators.check twista goddamnit!yall niggas is dick riders for a fact!wayne sticks.what the fuck is he talking bout most of the time?(don’t get me started on that “Can’t believe it” Bullshit!stop comparing wayne,the game and all these slaughterhouse bums to the greatest of all-time

  • Dre “Just Think” Peoples

    And lupe fiasco’s wordplay when he first dropped an album,is way better than like 99% of the rappers when they 1st came out.IMAGINE NIGGAS!took wayne 20 years and a gimmick and somebody elses wardrobe to get accepted into Dick Rider University.

  • reydelfuego

    what defines a lyricist? does it have to go over your head the first three times for you to deem them a lyricist?

    a lyricist to me is someone who is exceptional at putting words together and utilizing similes and metaphors. and i think Wayne does all of those pretty damn well, therefore, i can call that nigga a lyricist and sleep at night. granted, he doesn’t do it as well as he use to, and you can blame that on whatever you want. Point is, dude is talented. His forte is wacky and out-the-box similes…and he does it with out putting anything on paper.

    As far as Game not being a lyricist…he’s not always overly lyrical, but i wouldn’t count dude out.

    And i know niggas been saying Slaughterhouse, but I think Royce needs special recognition. He’s a fuckin monster.

  • dark vanilla

    Yrain1-But another thang thats fuckin me up is the fact that dudes got this misconception that a lyricist is some off brand ass dude that doesnt make club songs and dresses funny and shit and that shits not true…

    No, but Lil Wayne doesn’t rap about shit. You think he’s lyrically good when he just throws a bunch of punchlines together that no one fucking understands and you call that lyricist? 50 cent is more of a lyricist and I think he sucks.Game and T.I. could probably kill Weezy in a freestyle battle. Wayne is an embarassment to rap.

  • Cinsere

    Wayne’s a real lyricist?! Wayne’s better than TI?! Wayne spits like a New Yorker?!


    Stick to writing about beats.

  • Cinsere

    And for the record:

    1. Jeezy still sucks.

    2. Game is nice. Maybe not ill, but he is nice. Matter fact, since you mentioned Theater of the Mind, didn’t Game stand toe to toe pretty well with Luda on their song together, and then didn’t Luda tear Wayne a brand new asshole on their song together later on in that album? Yeah, you’re not making much sense there, buddy, which is further exhibited by…

    3. Comparing A Millie to Deep Cover ’98 in terms of lyricism should be grounds to have your hip hop blogging privileges revoked.

  • Trenton Watts

    Mos Def
    Andre 3000
    Lupe (what the fuck, how yall niggas leave this dude off the list)
    The game
    Nas has fallen the fuck off

    • Cinsere

      LOL @ having Mos Def on the list but having the nerve to say Nas fell off. So what do you call Mos Def’s nose dive?!

  • southcakc23

    As long as Andre 3000 is still breathing…..lyricism will be alive and well. As long as Dre spits at least a 16 a year….everyone should be satisfied. Hell, in 2008, we got “Royal Flush” and “The Art of Story Telling Pt. 4″.

    I’m tryna figure out why we wonderin where lyricism went; Dre gave you 2 years worth of valuable lyrics in the 2 aforementioned records above.

    Hell, as long as the following are still alive, lyricism will be just fine.

    Andre 3000
    Killer Mike
    Bun B
    Immortal Technique
    Busta Rhymes

    The question should have been “Why don’t we have more of these young as “lyricists” rapping on subjects of substance?”

    People mention kats like Corey Gunz, Lil Waste, kats who don’t rap about shit! We need more Dre 3000′s, Bun B’s, Ice Cubes, Immortal Technique’s, Killer Mike’s etc……not more of the same garbage we’ve been gettin for the past decade.

  • A

    Rob the Music Ed, You non-descript, who the F voted you to be spokes person for Hip-Hop? Talking about lyricists and you name some of the corniest cats in the game. Unless you’re taking a survey, don’t be an idiot promoting your bias opinions about the game like the listeners aren’t up on theirs. You’re not saying nothing new about this. Nas already put it out there. The game is dead b/c the industry don’t resepct the flow. But of course you’re not gonna give Nas his credit b/c you’re bitter that he ethered your favorite MC. Per last weeks blog “Who Really Got Ethered?” This whole add is just so non-valid. It’s a bad check, the funds don’t exist. XXL should drop you, fraud!

  • http://xxlmag LB


  • A

    Ok. I take back my Rob the Music Ed diss. I saw his name and thought it was his blog. Paul Cantor, Yous a non-descript too. You can’t talk the best nba ball players and not mention Pierce, Kobe, McGrady, and so on, and so on. Just like you can’t talk Real Lyricists and not mention N.A.S, Big Pooh, Skyzoo, and a plethora of Mc’s that are nice. Put it like this whether you’re selling or not If you’re signed to some sort of label contract you’re still in the game. Personally, I’m not a big Jay-Z fan but if I decided to blog about lyricists how can I not include him? regardless of my biasness..

    Keep it real, homie!

  • Curtis75Black

    If you’re talking about the Mainstream lyricists, They are not found on the Radio and video anymore like they was in the late 80′s and 90′s – it’s all about the internet websites that you’re gonna find and listen to hot lyrical shit. Problem with that is, we have bloggers who have a bias toward who they like and don’t like instead of just promoting “Good Music”. XXL is no different from anyother website that might Shit on a Elders for still making music but give props to a emcee for singing, even if it’s bad and you wouldn’t like it from anyother artist !! Debating who are lyricists is corny because many of our favorites are set in stone for what they can do and don’t have to prove anything to anyone. If you don’t like them – Fuck you !! A lyricists is someone who not only can spit a 100 bars but is able to make songs. Diversity is something he or she should have (Jean Grae, Bahamadia, Lauryn Hill). It’s not about being “Hardcore”, its about bringing it to the masses . We had “The Box”, Yo ! MTV Raps and Rap City back in the day, Now it’s just 106 & Park and like I said earlier, Internet and Satellite music that brings it for us. Everyone can mention personal favorites but if you’re a real Hip Hop head, you know who can bring it.

  • EmCDL

    Little Brother and Dilated Peoples all day

    nuff said

  • http://xxl ryan

    the dude that wrote this article is a idiot. 2 say wayne n kanye r lyricist is disrespectful. those dudes get in the studio 2 write hits 4 the pop world. a lyricist writes shit bout wat they feel not wat is hot.
    actually lyrcist r
    little brother
    n sum others that dont get the fame they deserve. the era of real lyricist died in the 90s.

  • Gutta

    Yo, i really hate when these young dumb ass kids come on here and go on for days talkin about about sh*t they know nothing about..did you read the blog and completely understand it?? cause you sound real ignorant. the blog was about lyricism coming back into mainstream but the majority of the ppl dont even understand what a lyricist even is! jeezy is my dude but he NOT a lyricist, kanye is NOT a lyricist, T.I. is NOT a lyricst, and im sorry for all the brainwashed but LIL WAYNE IS NOT A LYRICST!! even jay-z has dumbed down is lyrics. why because its not important. when ur in the business selling music people are only concerned with a hot beat dont matter what u say for example “a milli” that sh*t didnt make any sense not like it was supposed to but there wasnt a complete thought in that whole “song” but it was wayne biggest joint besides lollipop maybe. nowadays some of the top artists have ppl writing for them! so why would someone give a damn about writing down some lyrics?? only underground dudes. the only way lyrics will come back is if the people who truly care about lyrics start buying the albums but that wont happen so artists like soulja boy will continue to do what they do.
    my definition of a lyricist are artist like eminem,andre 3k,slaughterhouse,pharohe monch,jay electronica,nas,phonte from LB,termanology,busta rhymes,cory gunz,luda,jada,even lauryn hill was a lyricst but the best lyricist was BIG

    • http://xxl ryan

      im sorry but busta cant b consider a lyricist anymore cuz of the shit he puttin out now. but the rest r cool.

  • WARLIKE305

    i dnt think weezy even remotly comes close to those rappers u talked about before maybe in his earlier albums or days sure but after carter 3 hell no hes all “swag” and auto tune he dsnt really say shit with a message or thats even captavating or like damn i wish i woulda said that there hasnt been a nigga in da game like dat in a while and people dnt deny it u kno iz tru.

    p.s wat happened to em is he an irelevent factor he always been lyrical

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