Stop Sleeping on Ludacris – The Top 5 MCs Debate

Whenever I’m in the company of music aficionados and a discussion about the top five MCs comes up I always hear the same names. Yeah, everyone has their own personal favorites on their list but they’re basically still pulling from the same pool. The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem, 2Pac, Kanye West, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Lil Wayne, etc.

Very rarely have I heard Ludacris’ name come up in the discussion. Everyone agrees he’s a beast on the mic, but for some reason he always gets overlooked. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s probably because he’s never delivered a hands down classic album.

Don’t get me wrong; Luda has definitely made some bangers over the past decade (turns up “Southern Hospitality” on iPod) but a few dope singles each album does not equal a classic.

For all the usual suspects generally mentioned in “best rapper” lists, each one generally has that undeniable classic album(s) on their resume. Biggie has Ready to Die, Nas has Illmatic, Rakim & Eric B. has Paid in Full, Jay has Blueprint, etc. When it comes to Luda, though, I feel like he’s missing that complete body of work that had critics and fans foaming at the mouth.

Sure, Release Therapy earned Luda a Grammy for Best Rap Album in ’06 (T.I. was robbed, King reigned supreme that year, IMHO) but the only songs I can remember off the top of my head from that LP are “War With God” and “Runaway Love,” featuring Mary J. Blige. Oh, and “Slap” definitely got me through a few tough days at the office, but aside from that it wasn’t my favorite Luda LP.

FUN FACT: Although Release Therapy sold 1.2 million units it was the first time in Luda’s career that he did not go multi-platinum. The album also debuted at No. 1, ahead of pop icon Janet Jackson’s 2006 release, 20 Y.O.

Time and time again, Ludacris has proven to us that he’s one of the best at what he does. He puts up numbers consistently; bodies MCs on remixes and gust verses on the regular; has mainstream appeal with his Hollywood hustlin’; and caters to both the fellas and chicks without losing any of his credibility.

Still, I feel like not having a classic album under his belt is the one thing holding Ludacris back from breaking into those great MCs debates. Although I’m still mad at the dismissal of my bootylicious girl Shawnna, I’m actually looking forward to Battle of the Sexes. As good as the leaked tracks I’ve heard thus far are, though, I’m still not expecting a classic from the Ludameister this go ’round.

The question(s) remain, though: Does Luda (or any MC for that matter) need to have a classic album to be considered one of the best to ever spit it? If not, what MC is on your Top 5 list that doesn’t have a classic under his/her belt? Why do you think Luda tends to be underrated? —Anslem Samuel

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  • Shawty J

    Luda has been a personal favorite of mines for a while. But I do think you need to have a classic under the belt before you’re considered one of the best in the game. Battle of the Sexes probably won’t be (especially considering that it was originally just a side project) that classic, but hopefully the sequel to Theater of the Mind will be.

    • Wompus

      Ludacris is just too goofy to ever really enter the discussion of greatest ever. Period.

      • wompusK

        2008 kawasaki ninja 250

  • caino

    You have probably hit the nail on the head there! because he doesnt have a classic album per se then he is overlooked.

    He is one of my personal favorites ever since l got Word of Mouf when it came out and l have been rocking him ever since!

    But then again how can Biggie always be top 5 when he like only released 2 albums? ( yeah l understand ready to die was awesome, l still give it spins on the ipod) but because everyones taste is so different hardly anyones top 5 will be the same!!

    1) 2pac (just my opinion)
    2) Nas
    3) Biggie
    4) Luda
    5) Em

    but l gotta give mentions to Ghostface, Big L, Jay Z, Rae, Royce Da 5’9, Lupe

    • ?

      Did you really just put Luda before Eminem? Are you fucking stupid?
      And how can you be considered one of the best rapper without a classic album?
      Thats like me trying to claim someone as the best olympic competitor and they have no fucking medal.

      • hater killah

        shut da fuck up, he stated his own thoughts to who he considered the best rappers that he likes…stop acting like a bitch…n keep it moving!

      • real_WHITE

        Then here’s my list, just to piss you off

        1) Shawty Lo
        2) Ghostface Killah
        3) E-40
        4) Black Thought
        5) I’m just gonna say Stuntman to piss a few more people off

        Hope that helps stir shit up

    • big T

      there is NO way you can put EM under luda!!! its impossible…and leave out jigga??? Ludas my man but u just cant do that ish mann…

  • yoprince

    release therapy was wack. runaway love was corn.

    luda isn’t and will never be top 5.

    he does have 4 good albums though, but none great, and definitely none classic.

    now if we want to talk slept on Atlanta MCs in terms of Top 5 discussions, lets talk T.I.

    Trap Muzik
    Urban Legend

    he’s got monster hits (Live Ya Life, Whatever You Like), poignant songs (Live in the Sky, Still Ain’t Forgave Myself), street records (U Don’t Know Me, Rubberband Man, Kingofdasouth).

    and even with all that T.I. prolly isn’t in my top 5 (esp. if we’re counting dead rappers), so let’s not even talk about Luda.

    • Deadly MIME

      T.I. was never slept on man. He got skills, yea he had hits and the street records no doubt but idk bout top 5.

      • yoprince

        @ Deadly and El Tico

        I feel ya’ll. He’s definitely not generally slept on. But I’m just saying if we’re having a Top 5 discussion and Luda’s name is coming up, T.I.’s name should be coming up first. I’m saying he’s more suited for inclusion in that debate than Luda… and no, neither of them are in my top 5 either.

  • Zi

    Yeah Luda needs a classic, i dont see him having one though. He tried with Theater of The Mind but it didnt get there.
    Luda murders a 16 tho, any track he jumps on u can guarantee hes murking anyone else on it.

    And on the biggie thing, yeah he did only have two albums but they were both amazing. Also, Biggie came at a time when he was needed and just took over.. it was lightning in a bottle, thats why hes considered one of the greatest.

  • Worley

    Yeah, Luda doesn’t have that bona fide classic but he is definitely one of the sickest with the word play. It’s a good look for the “Souf.”

  • Zi

    BTW, having a classic doesnt put u in most top 5 lists either.. i never hear Mos Def or Talib Kweli in those lists..

  • El Tico Loco


    As some one who goes up north and down south frequently trust me T.I. is far from slept on, in fact everything you said at the end proves that point, matter of fact if he didn’t get locked up he would oversaturate the market and we would be tired of him by now. Forget the classic album criteria ,being a top 5 lyrical beast doesn’t require a classic album, being a hip hop icon does. If you’re known to get in the booth and get in a zone and plain black out and get lost in your rhymes, if you do that consistently you can be in that list pick the right beats and right promo and that’s you. Is kinda like Barry Sanders actually being better than Emmitt Smith, if Smith was in Detroit you woulda never heard of him and Sanders would be HOF with rings and the dumb fat salary. The problem with Luda is that we know he’s holding back or being held back and he’s not the one pulling those strings.

  • Caino

    Reply to ??

    Yeah Em is only number 5 on my list , so what ! l liked Em when he was rapping about the dark shit, kicking pregnant woman in the stomach rap, now he just raps with stupid accents beefing with Mariah!! (if thats top 5, then l feel sorry for you)

    and like l said in my post – EVERYONES TASTE IS DIFFERENT!!

    • ?

      Nah I respect the fact that everyone has their own opinions but cmon man, Luda before Em? No way!
      First of all the beef with Mariah was personal…You wouldnt go in on someone who keeps denying they were with you? I would.
      And Eminem NEVER fell off, even on his worst rhyme he is STILL better than everyone out.

  • ejae

    hands down what everybody is saying is true luda is hands down a monster and everybody knows and can’t dismiss it but in my opion incongnero and back for the first time are his classic albums but his really over look a times when the suource awards ( when they was poppin) and the b.e.t hip hop awards luda should have took home lyricist of the year . but the real reason is some where between the old mc’s dieing and the new younglin’s mc in coming up luda got lost in the shuffle. so we as a hip hop community have always have are top 5 or 10 but luda will be a reserve mc -out-

  • Stretch

    I dont think you have to have a classic album to be considered top 5 lyricits i.e. Big L, Tha Carter III was highly over rated and at least ppl in Detroit wasn’t bumpin it like thatbut ppl still recognize wayne as a great lyricistbut idk Luda has always been one of my favorites.

  • Jaietcal

    My Top Five
    1. Andre 3000
    2. Lupe Fiasco
    3. Wale
    4. Jayz
    5. Joey Budden
    To me Luda has a classic album “Back for the First Time” but still he wont crack the top 5. He’s too animated. He can rap his ass off but the animation is holding him back. Wale is the hot than everybody as far as real hip hop not rapping. With one or two more Attention Deficiet type albums I’ll put him in a number 1 slot.

    • Wompus

      None of those dudes belongs anywhere near Andre 3000. Maybe Jay-z would if he wasn’t an admitted abuser of the ghostwrittens. Lupe’s on the come-up, but Wale has no resume and neither him nor Joe Budden has the charisma needed to crack the top 50.

    • mav

      wale sux man…and the only person who i think most will agree can be considered top5 wit no real classic is Jada even though kiss tha game goodbye was better than almost any post millenium album this dude got over 250 hot verses whos gotta more consistent track record and he been doin it since big days as far as luda you wasted time typin this shit he barely even in my top 5 atlanta mcs ti dre300 and big boi r better he got bars but
      saturday number 1 spot stand up and moneymaker alone disqualify this dude

  • Deadly MIME

    Really Luda is a good MC/rapper but you have to look at the quality of it. He somewhat comes up short of a classic album and from the get go, he never caught my attention as top 5 MC. I don’t really name the same rapper and put them in my top 5. People do that mainly cause either people has said it before or that it all they know. If you ask me Eminem is no where in my top 5. Maybe in the top 20 or 50. And if you think I’m gonna list my top 5 then your wrong. We all, especially those so called “hip-hop heads” need to expand more into hip-hop than just the usual suspects

  • John Cochran

    YES, you do need a classic album to be on any top 5 list. My favorite Luda album is Chicken and Beer, but I can’t say it’s a classic. I want badly to out him and Jada up there, but they can’t pull out a classic so far (especially Kiss, Kiss my ass was horrible). I don’t put Big and Pac on my list because I’m only 23 and they were both gone before I was actually old enough to understand lyrics. At the end of the day though, lists are all personal opinion so I guess it doenst matter. There’s plenty of rappers that we all like that don’t have classics albums, but have classic singles.

  • GregSIDE

    If you want anyone to destroy you on your own shit get Em or Luda. Luda’s the most creative mind to come out the South since Outkast. He’s not scared of doing different shit. He’s also one of the very few artist that doesn’t act hard 24/7. Top 5? IDK? but if you don’t want recycled shit that didn’t fit on the last album of your favorite rapper listen to Luda.

  • IndyKid

    lmao at the guy with wale and joe budden on his top 5.

    Anywho, Luda has always been in my top 5 since I’ve been into hip-hop. Always. Dude always comes correct but never a classic, I agree. There was ablog post on here a while ago about ‘best mc’ lists and ‘favorite mc’ lists being different and I couldn’t agree more.

    My favorites are:

    The best? Eh, well thats a different list…:
    Lupe (hahahahahahahaha completely kidding)

    • Hanch

      ok so let me get this straight, your making fun of the guy who has Budden and Wale in his Top 5 and then you throw out Jeezy and Wayne and Kanye…wtf I will take Budden over all three of them anyday, and yes I see they are your Favorites which is even worse yet! So your saying You dont like the Best? That really doesnt make a whole lot of sense! Now since its your opinion shouldnt Your Favorites be who you think are the Best? I guess I just dont understand your logic, and I hope your not really from INDY cause if so then I am no longer claiming Indy.

      • Chunk

        Yu would actually pick Buddens ova Ye SMH. NO rapper has eva had wha Kanye has. 3 classic albums (excluding 808s, which was the most successful experimental LP in history), more Grammys than any rapper, not to mention the fact that dude spits like none other, along with his style, which has changed hip hop fashion, & he has the best guest features & performances…all around, no rapper can top Mr. West, especially not these mainstream dudes. Kanye #1 on my list

      • Wompus Cat

        Kanye is not an emcee–he’s hardly even a rapper. I feel bad for his ghostwriters, having to dumb down their flows just so dude can muscle it up out of his fashion jacket.

  • jonny bizness

    u defo need a classic album 4 that top 5 list and luda does not have 1 ,same as kiss dope rhymes but no classic album my top 5 is

    5,kanye west late registration,graduation
    4,nas illmatic,stillmatic
    3,2pac matw,makaveli
    2,jay z reasonable doubt,blueprint
    1,biggie ready to die,life after death
    all 5 have 2 classics under the belt seamless albums from start 2 finish

    • Chunk

      On Kanye yu do realized you forgot the album of the millineum, College Dropout…but dat list is good

  • PHD

    you need a classic…

    this has been discussed before and its true, he is a beast on the mic but is he a true MC an artist?

    Even Busta hasn’t released a true classic, beginning to end CD.

    • kedordu


      • Sincere

        i completely agree the big bang was dope. Somebody dropped the ball somewhere along the line.

  • AZ40

    I think maybe his content also keeps him outta the discussion, yeah he does have good singles and verses but that’ll only get you so far. What if you could not say Big,Jay,Pac,Nas,and Em then what artists would you chose that would make a lot of people actually think instead of naming the same people

  • Jamal7Mile

    I kinda gave up on having a personal top 5. Too stressful, haha. But I admire Luda and respect his flow on just about anything he gets into. Sometimes he rhymes slow, sometimes he rhymes quick – all the time, he’s sick! Gotta respect that. His song concepts are bananas (Area Codes). And the beats are always top notch. Crazy videos too. Never seen him in concert (shame on me) but I can imagine that his show is worth the money. No doubt he can rock a crowd, right?

    What more can you ask for?

  • Golden

    To answer your question – I think that you can be considered Top 5 even if you don’t have a classic album and here’s my reasoning…it’s like a job posting where they ask for “8 years experience or education and expereince equivalent” to that 8 years…in that an emcee’s body of work can be significantly more substantial than an album he/she can put out that’ll be reverred as “Classic”…when you see my Top 10 (couldn’t just list 5) below you’ll grasp the concept better…

    1) Jay-Z
    2) Nas
    3) Em
    4) Big
    5) Pac
    6) Big Pun
    7) Black Thought
    8) Andre 3000
    9) Snoop
    10) Common

    btw: this is obviously from an era in hiphop that transcended the genre…KRS, Kane, G-Rap, Rakim, etc. are more like Titans and thus have their own exclusive cipher…of the rappers on my list – Em, Pun, Biggie, 3 Stacks, Common and Thought can hold there own in that cipher though/

    • Golden

      In no particular order…Bun B, Scarface, T.I., Jadakiss, Fabolous, Joe Buddens, Luda, Mos Def, Talib, and Royce Da 5’9″ would prolly round out the next 10!

  • westcoastaggie

    Luda is a very underrated rapper. He has some hilarious lines and has quotables for days (See Back 4 The First Time’s Mouthin’ Off)

    But most of us agree that his lack of a “Classic” Album is preventing him from appearing on most top 5 lists.

  • br1ll


    wit a slight shrug to lil wayne. he’s a beast but the quality control is lacking. and this is top 5 alive. plus pac to me was a lil overhyped and not as intellectual as some make him out to be. i mean dude did chose to align himself with Suge which probably cost him his life….shm

  • jesse

    We miss pre-hollywood luda with the cornrows and afro puffs

  • beaver

    i sayy luda is dope..
    butt i think he needs classic singles..
    his musikk is decnt when it 1st comes out..
    but then it stops playin..
    more classic records from dude..then he could be top 5..
    but he should at least be top 10 or 15..idkk..
    more relevant musikk..

    my top 5 is..
    1.EMINEM…fuckin dope..

    2.JOE BUDDEN..mann u niggaz sleepin on dude..
    padded room fuckin dope..escape route dope..mood musiks greatt..

    3.(MF)DOOM..all i gotta say is OPERATION DOOMSDAY..

    4.TUPAC..ITS TUPAC..classic records..dozens..great albums..true greatt.. da shitt..another true great..illmatic was writtenn..excellent shit comes from himm..

    at least 2 of these guys should be in your topp..
    but lik dude said up in da comments..
    every1 has their own taste in musikk..

    my list is pretty dope..
    y aint DOOM or joe budden in your list..??

    • Hanch

      CO-Fucking Sign everything you just said!!

  • southsidereef

    Luda Is a phenomenal “rapper”, as in he can rap his ass off, but ass far as content is concerned Luda bores me, and I honestly feel like he slacks off on his bars!!! So while I respect Luda for perfecting his craft, I don’t consider him or will I ever consider him top 5 anything.

  • Just A Thought

    Out of everyone’s top five I’m not hearing any underground rappers. Apathy, Celph Titled, and Ryu from Styles of Beyond are all examples off the top of my head that would slaughter modern day Jay, Kanye, Snoop, Common, Wayne, Andre 3000 and 98% of commercial rappers today.

  • No Mames Buey

    Black Thought is the illest, the GOAT.

    Luda ain’t in the top20 all time.

    imho you need classic albums, & dope albums in general. Luda albums are of a mediocre quality that get the Recycle Bin after 1 listen. Altho Luda is a good rapper, he could make a good album if he had good beats, & got rid of the “paint by numbers” major label album approach (1 song 4 the bitches, 1 song 4 the “streets”, etc).

  • D-Thorn

    Tame One is the best rapper alive. Jersey yo!!!

    • oskamadison

      I respect Tame One but if the best rapper alive is from Jersey, you gotta go see Tame’s cousin…REDMAN!!!! In fact, I’ll put Young Zee, Pacewon and Rah Digga ahead of Tame. But dude’s still dope, though.

      • Sincere

        U just made my day the motherfucking OUTSIDAZ!!! Diggin for those CDs right fucking now. Redman should be in every1 top 5.

        here goes no particular order

        G Rap

        and to the guy that’s going 2 say i forgot PAC NO I DID NOT. The man was a great cultural icon but not a better rapper than the people in my list IMO.

  • mazemayhim

    It’s unfortunate for Luda. He’s in the same category with Busta Rhymes

  • Nu Drenaline

    I’m just gonna wait for the true hip hop heads version of this topic to come up becuz this is the weakest shit. T.i is a sellout now with all of his radio/girl music and wouldnt be on my top 30 dead or alive. luda wouldnt be on my top 30 either. Everybody on this post seems to have started listening to hip hop in the late 90s.What about mos def, talib, chuck d, Ice Cube, Az, common,cannibus, mef, redman, big daddy kane, brother ali, mac dre, ras kass, etc.

    ps. you all lost your minds, i feel low just commenting on this blog.

    • Jamal7Mile

      I understand where you’re coming from. The thing is, not everyone on the board is 35 (like me). Since the younger cats didn’t live through what I experienced (and you, I assume), they don’t see it the way you and I do. It’s frustrating but that’s the way it is. All you can do is keep pointing the younger cats to the BDK’s, Rass Kass’s and P.E.’s and hope that they go back and do their homework on Hip-Hop’s foundation. A lot of them won’t…that’s why there are so many mediocre rappers on top.

      What can I say? The older Hip-Hop cats move on, retire or die. I’m hearing some terrible news about Guru’s health today.

      The good news is that the rappers you listed won’t ever be forgotten. Not by me, at least.

  • turkey hoagie

    luda is a southern fried redman in some ways, but redman has classic albums, rewind-worthy lyrics and memorable verses. he’s timeless

    luda’s good, but he’s not timeless. he has hits, but he’s rather forgettable despite his talent.

    • turkey hoagie

      redman’s lyrics hold up way better through time, they’re more enduring than ludacris’ lyrics. i think timeless was the wrong word.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine



    • Pierzy

      Seriously. Realest ish you ever wrote.

      Dude is the voice of Gang Starr and a titan in the game.


    You niggas forget Redman.
    There is no luda or eminem without Redman.
    Infact we should be talking about Redman.

    • Mr. North

      Thank you JAY STONE! I been saying this ever since he came out. I can’t even speak on Luda after that comment. We SHOULD be talkin about Redman. At least 3 classic albums under his belt.

    • Brooklyn

      major co-sign jsy stone, redman is definitely one of the most slept on rappers out there. that nigga owns every song he spits on, and both luda and em borrowed a lot of dude’s style.

      • Brooklyn

        *jay*, my bad homie.

  • oskamadison

    Without at least ONE classic album in the catalog, you shouldn’t be able to even get your foot in the door in that discussion. Just the simple fact that you have to post the question “does an MC have to have a classic album to be considered top 5?” just goes to show how watered down this music has become. We’re willing to accept damn near anything at this point. OK, off the soapbox…
    As skilled and versatile as Luda is, he’s not considered top 5 not only because of that elusive “classic album” but because…well, it’s hard to take him seriously. His sense of humor is both one of his gifts and his biggest curse. Even with “Runaway Love”, his heaviest song to date, there’s a certain depth missing that renders this song as nothing more than a mash-up of ‘Pac’s “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and De La Soul’s “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa.” Every MC that I’ve seen or heard considered top 5 had a certain gravity, pathos, depth or something about them that really made you LISTEN. Luda isn’t there quite yet but he still has time to drop that classic. One final thought: damn Luda, why the hell SCARFACE is never mentioned in these convos? Dude probably influenced everyone on your top 5. Yes, yours too.

    • yoprince

      c/s everything.

      esp. this: “Every MC that I’ve seen or heard considered top 5 had a certain gravity, pathos, depth or something about them that really made you LISTEN.”

      good shit.

  • The real chris

    Well first off let me say this i feel like luda’s word of mouth was classic enough,second luda has worked hard as fuck to get where the fuck is, for what? to be still underated thats bull shit.

  • oskamadison

    I’m hearing a lot of comparisons to my dude Redman, one of my top fivers (co-sign turkey hoagie). Red is another one who NEVER gets gets mentioned and he’s got 3 classics (1 recognized, “Whut? thee Album” and 2 underappreciated, “Dare Iz A Darkside” and the great “Muddy Waters”.) The difference between Red and Luda is Red is more hardbody than Luda with those bars and even though Red got that sense of humor, he also got an underlying aura of “don’t fuck with me.”

  • kedordu


    • John Cochran

      Maybe its just because Im from Philly, but I think Bean’s 3rd album, The B Coming, was classic. I still bang that to this day. Its definitely better than Jay Z’s last 3 albums.

      • EmCDL

        Co-Sign that ish go HARD, especially that Bread and Butter track

      • oskamadison

        The B. Coming is indeed Beans’ best joint…but it ain’t fuckin’ with American Gangster.

  • The real chris

    And another thang big did only sell 2 fuckin albums and i dont care about the time when he came out and please dont kill me but he still aint better than luda,hell if big can be on that list so can luda.i personally dont put luda in no top 5 or the top 10 but he should be on that list and fuck he derserve it.and so what if he animated thats who he is, u aint got to sound like a cold hearted killa to be a great mc.

    • kedordu


  • true talk

    People forgot AZ son… “AZ” dropped Doe or Die and Aziatic True classics…

    AZ is the most underrated son.

    AZ ft Nas ” The Essence” “The Format” “Sugar Hill”

    Nigga is ill

  • cramzy

    so im the only one that thought Word of Mouf was a classic?

    • yoprince


  • heartlandG

    IDK I can play Bacc For The 1st Time and Word of Mouf, without skippin even tha skits=CLASSIC… to me

  • The real chris

    But here’s my top 5
    pac,dmx,nas,trickdaddy aka underated and jay-z.but i will put redman and ice cube like 6 and 7th.

  • The real chris

    And one more thang how the hell u put kayne over luda?that right there is pure bull,and co-sign that heartland g bout word a mouf.

  • these posts are racist

    Luda is horrible. He is easily in the bottom 5 dead or alive. I cannot believe anyone would even joke about placing Ludacris in the top five…the notion is well, ludacris…


    1- Rakim 2- 2pac 3- Big 4- Eminem 5- Scarface
    Luda is somewhere in there as far as my top ten or twenty. But yeah I have to say you have to have a classic under your belt to fall into the top five at least as far as mc’s go, like others have said its like having a title to back up the claim. But in no way can you compare it to sports because there are many great athletes who are top athletes who dont have titles. When it comes to sports it is a team thing not a one man show like being a mc, who just needs a hot beat to kill.

  • swift

    eminem is in the top 5 and has good albums but no hands down classics the first two were close though.

  • Ali

    Luda is awesome but yeah I’d say at least one classic is necessary….the thing about Luda to me is he’s the is the only guy where his latest album (Theatre Of The Mind) is his best…usually the 1st album is the best

  • Anonymous

    i think that Luda has classics the theater of the mind was an album i could listen to beginning to end, but he does have a lot of singles that were crazy


    1st off- u def. dont need a classic albumm 22 b in the top 5 discussion bcuz of 1 person= BIG L..
    dropped a post dead album soo doesnt count and very feww can hangg wit da harlemite on a trackk

    2nd.- luda IS NOT IN THE TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE DISCUSSION.. mite not make top 10 in some pplz opinion.. my fav. album from luda iz handz down WORD OF MOUF.. def. could play front 22 back 0 skipz not even skitz..

    3rd- my top 5 DEAD AND ALIVE

    1- biggie( G.O.A.T.)
    2-big pun(1st latin rapper platinum ENUFF SAID)
    4- jadakiss( crazy not 22 think all 3 of hiz LP’s are CLASSIC)
    5- styles p( HARDEST OUT)

    honorable mentionz- eminem, big l, tupac,.. any1 else after that iz pure opinion

  • screagle

    bun b= scarface > biggie
    BIG is overrated

  • Jason

    yeah you need a classic album to be respected. I just think Luda is overlooked. I mean the guys first to albums are 3x. I believe he was just over lookked. He came out during the time where Em was selling 7 to 8mil and Nelly was selling 6 to 7mil

  • Ecko

    I thought Word of mouf was without a doubt a classic album and maybe even Back for the first time.. Ludacris is at least top 10 IMO.. my top 5 goes…
    1. 2pac
    2. Eminem
    3. B.I.G
    4. Chamillionaire
    5. SPM i know a lot gonna hate on that but def underrated

    At least when it comes to lyrics these dudes can’t be touched..

  • balaramesh

    luda is a dope lyricist. he is the go to “party track” guy. but let’s keep it real, luda is super corny more times than not.

  • newyawka631

    My top 5.



    4.Nas Escobar

    5.Big Pun

    Nas shoulda/coulda have been number 1 IMO….Nas’s work from 1994-2002,can be argued with any M.C.’s album’s/guest spittin’.He got 2 certified classics,possible 3.That 1999 album “Nastradamus” iz highly slept on..As for Andre 3000,hez clever with it,but wit no solo album,that kinda kills it for him in top 5 tawkz.Its not too hard to drop a hot 16(sometimes 2)on an album and have someone to fall back on.I also felt da lyrics on alot of Luda’s radio songs were pretty “ABC”….

  • Matrix31

    1)Joe Budden
    2)Joe Budden
    3)Joe Budden
    4)Joe Budden
    5)Rest of SH…

    If anyone can convince Sade to do a remix to “Soldier of Love” please have your man Buddens rip that. I believe thats the perfect song for em to jump on and get love by the masses… real talk… dont laugh

  • El Tico Loco

    Um what about 1. Dylan 2. Dylan 3. Dylan 4. Dylan 5. Dylan?

  • Victor

    This is fuckin bizarre tbh. Luda is a good emcee but top 5? TOP 5? How has XXL gone, in a matter of days from a sick blog to this shit? And the aforementioned lack of bulletin for GURU’S fuckin cardiac arrest?!?! Guru of Gangstarr who alone has classics in the catalogue “Moment of Truth” and “Daily Operation” anyone?

    Luda would struggle to make top 30. Is he better than Ice Cube? Eminem? Redman? Jay-Z? Biggie? Pac? BDK? Rakim? Nas? Prodigy (up until murda muzik the nigga would shit all over everyone, go to drop a gem on em for reference kmt)? Black Thought? Krs? Pharoahe Monche? Q-Tip? Scarface? Mos Def? Sean P? Elzhi? Ghostface Killah? Raekwon (on his 2nd classic as of last year)? Andre 3k? Big Boi even? This is a disgrace and age should have shit to do with it, im 20 in a months time and i know my fuckin history.

  • Jerm

    Luda for me is one of my favorites but not in my top 5. Not because of the whole classic album thing, mostly because I feel some are better…(no order) like
    Budden (yes i just said Budden, listen to those mood muziks and escape route, etc)
    Andre 3K (nuff said)
    Bun B (nuff said)
    Nas (imo, most creative lyricist/poet)
    Eminem (he brought alot of skill to the game and raised the bar, his rhyming abilities could probably bring him in top 5 alone, w/o lyrics)

    I have all of Luda’s albums, and i have to say that Word of Mouf, Release Therapy and Theatre of the Mind have his most lyrical effort. I think most people see him as very animated, because of his single choices, runaway love was the only track that showed him get serious. That might probably affect how or why people like him or not.

    However, if u played through alot of his albums u would see hes got lyrical talent (ie, Child of the Night, War With God, Grew Up a Screw Up, Large Amounts, Hopeless, Last of a Dying Breed, list goes on…) Its just that there isnt alot of consistency or coherence throughout albums, because of all the types of singles thrown in.

  • Brass Tacks

    I’ll buy anything luda spits on…


    luda will never get a serious look cause he ain’t a serious mc. he like a southern busta rhymes. all rah rah. tight flows, tight concepts, he got hits, but h ejust missing that edge or isn’t diverse enough. diversity
    1. jayz nas andre three stacks rakim ghostface killah/rae

  • DV8

    First off, Word of Mouth was classic.

    Second, Luda is not Top 5. He can be considered Top 5 of this decade (the 00′s), because he has been the most consistent, but over all? No. Luda is ill has hot singles and lyrics and all but their are a handful of MC’s that are way iller. Luda can make the Top 20 maybe even crack 15 but thats about it.

  • Anonymous

    Luda has been my favorite artist since his back for the first time album. I agree though he hasn’t dropped a classic album yet (i believe its coming though). Mr. hot 16 knows how to rip re-mixes and put out singles all he’s missing now is that classic album. like jay said numbers don’t lie. but the single that was leaked my chick bad there def is gonna be a remix.

  • Jae Fatal

    Man,People are fucking cooked nowadays.

    Luda been puttin it down for a minute, one of the few emcees that I’ve copped a full album from.

    Red Light District was my favorite joint from him.

    Lets just put it like this, if you were born after ’85, and Luda isn’t in your Top 10..Top 15 at LEAST….

    You’ve got issues.

    Don’t make me start diggin.

  • BG

    and could we not have a top 5 with the same names. we all know jay, nas, eminem, 2-pac, biggie got it what about a top 5 with the exception of them.

  • Emperor Doom

    1- Eminem

    2- Biggie

    3- Big L

    4- Luda

    5- Nas

  • The real chris

    Is it just me or is dmx that overlooked cause it seems like only one hand full name dmx in the top 5, and i know everybody have there favorites but dmx has made classic after classin and hell he just as good as pac if not better,so he surely deserve atleast the number 2 spot nothin less.

  • Chuck Dane

    My personal list:

    1. Eminem
    2. T.I.
    3. Tech N9ne
    4. Scarface
    5. Ice Cube

    Thats just me, these are the five rappers that i find myself playing over and over and over. And yes, i’ve heard of Wu-Tang, i’ve heard of Blackthough, i’ve heard of Biggie, Big Pun, Big L, Tupac, i’ve heard of Nas and Jay-Z, i’m sorry these are the guys that for me i am always turning to.

    Top 5 lists are impossible, because the criteria is far too subjective, people like Nu Drenaline need to come down from their high horse because you just seem like a douche when you talk down to everyone.

  • KiLLuMiNaTii


    -BIG L
    -BIG PUN

  • KiLLuMiNaTii

    -BIG L
    -BIG PUN


  • Justice4All

    Purely subjective, really not worth aurguing the point. Everyone has different favorites. Luda is nice on the mic, and we can go on for probably years discussing who is #1-10. Mayby Nas or Jigga or Rakim or Biggie or 2pac or Em or The Game or Kool G Rap or Big Daddy Kane…the list goes on forever.

  • HomieOmey

    Top 5 talent, but shouldn’t be listed in anyone’s top five. Definitely lacks the classic album and even classic songs.

  • Lowedwn

    At this point I’d say Luda is the rap equivalent to Karl Malone or Charles Barkley, all that talent mixed with that lack of a ring(classic album) will forever keep your name in the discussion but it will keep you of contention.

  • Xcelsior

    He’s missing the classic album. That’s it

  • Wallman

    Everybody keeps sleeping on Xibit aswell.

  • The real chris

    u actually right bout dat xzibit is overlooked to,i had forgot all bout him shit dude is dope and dun made plenty bangers.he at least in the top 20

  • P.Harris

    What about Busta Rhymes???

    This dude has dropped some dope ass albums for years, he’s got to be the most overlooked… he’s not my favorite MC, but he is one of the best to ever do it…

  • beaver

    umm DOOM..
    ya niggaz sleepin on himm..
    and my man Joe Budden..

  • The real chris

    i haue to co-sign that to p.harris cause truely busta just like luda has been ripen tracks for years and yet they dont get enough credit.but you have to with out a dobt put rymes at least number 15.

  • Fon Z

    I like this topic cuz I feel Luda is not a top 5 artist cuz that’s a stretch, but I feel he is definitely a top 10-15! Luda has classics… Theatre Of The Mind & Word Of Mouf were fuckin sick! Red Light District wuz dope too!

    Lyrically Luda is a monster! The last person that thought they can throw a jab at Luda, got served! Just ask the so called King Of The South! About 90% of rappers out there have already been eatin up by Luda, whether its on their own shit or Luda’s shit! To me that deserves allot of credit cuz I beleive that creativity & lyrics make a great MC!

    I think he would have to beef with a top 20 rapper & eat him up to get that respect/ recognition as a top 10 rapper cuz whether u admit it or not, beef tracks make u or brake u! Like Nas, to some he wuz falling off b4 Stillmatic, but once he smashed Jay he sky rocketed back to a top 5 contender!

    oh, & Xzibit is dope! Very worthy of a top 20 spot! I see some mentioned Budden, Busta, Wayne, BunB, Red… they aint fuckin with Luda!



    1 classic album.

    He better on other peoples joints then his own.

    He’s not iIn the sam class as Pac,Big,or Em.

    Sorry Luda but top 5 aint you!

  • Luda is top 15


    Luda could never find his way into top 5 with these niggas there…Luda top 15 though.

  • 93

    My top 5 overall
    Kanye West
    Top 5 right now
    Joell Ortiz
    Royce Da 5’9

    Luda will never be considered as a top 5 ever because he does not have a classic even though he could probly deliver one. he stays with the same formula on every album exept for Theater of Mind

  • http://xlmag best thing sokin

    man all u fagget niggas on here thats hatin on luda u than lost yall fuckin minds just because he aint got a classic albums dont mean that nigga luda is a top 5 mc 1.2Pac 2.biggie 3.jay-z 4.em 5.luda and he movin up the chart slowly but surely

  • bany boy

    Luda is dope, but his lyric are too smart for most common listeners to understand. and a lot of people just like simple tracks. i dont understand how ppl can hate on Luda because he aint talking about killing everyone and selling dope, i guess that just means you like a differnet type of rap, that doesnt make him less of an artist. on the real luda and Kast are by there selves when we talk talent. but jay-z is another overrated cat so lets kill that jay talk.

  • Fiyahsoul86

    Ok Ludacris is definitely in the top 5 see you cats say that Jay-Z is the best and Nas ripped him like tornado does a trailer park and Eminem killed him on renegade. YES Luda has had a classic album “Word of Mouth” anyone? He had fun, showed his ass with the punchlines and metaphors and had songs like “Cold Outside” and “Growing Pains” that real regular people relate to the partying and also kickin back talking junk. Luda my God has vicious flows, metaphors, punchlines, creativity, keeps it fresh. I think it’s bull you have to have a classic album to get into to the top 5 talent people talent. Everybody does have their own list. Luda is in my top 5for the past 10 years and continue to be in my top 5. He ripped T.I. and y’all still call him the “king of the south” please stop! I’m just waiting for him to do that track with Eminem and he’s one of the best rappers of all time hands down he paid his dues and got the skills to prove it get your mine right fa sho!
    1. Eminem
    2. Nas
    3. Ludacris
    4.Andre 3000
    5. Lupe Fiasco

  • shakirra

    Ok,when it comes to lyrics, Luda is def top 5 (to me,he’s better than most south, east or west coast rappers)The fact that he has not had had a classic is a shame. but every rapper doesn’t have to be gangster to be in the top 5. He didn’t live that kind of life, so he chose to rap animated. At least he doesn’t lie, like most rappers. He just has a certain charisma

  • Chiliz

    Here’s my Top 5 list….just my opionin!!!
    - Pac
    - Rakim
    - Nas
    - Em
    - Big

    Hournarable Mentions
    - KRS 1
    - Ice Cube
    - Big Daddy Kane
    - Canibus
    - Jayz