Don’t Get Carried Away


On May 8, Time magazine published its annual “Time 100,” a list of the most influential people in the world. The tastemakers at the newsmagazine put Sean “Diddy” Combs on the list as a member of the “Builders & Titans” subset. In other news, Time reported that President Clinton was having a hard time dodging charges he had sex with his intern, and Michael Jordan and the Bulls were prepping for a run at their third consecutive NBA title…wait a minute, this isn’t 1998! Puffy is one of the most influential people in 2006?! Say what?

Obviously Time has a different demographic in mind for its top 100 list, but Diddy hasn’t been particularly influential in hip-hop since, well, since he became Diddy. Of course, the media-watchers here at XXL can’t let this foolishness pass. So herewith, we present the five most influential people in rap—fresh for the past 12 months, suckers.

You think snap music is the ATL’s top hip-hop export this past year? Not even close. Try Jeezy’s Snowman T-shirts. It’s always good when rap takes something that once was clean and innocent and turns it into something the school boards want to ban. Everywhere you looked you saw a kid with a snowman on his chest. And it wasn’t ’cause they loved winter.

Kanye’s responsible for his own brand of old-school cool: the Carlton Banks phenomenon. And then there’s his outfit from the Grammys this year—straight outta Saturday Night Fever. Sure, it’s odd to see the hip-hop nation decked out like John Travolta circa ’77. But thankfully, no other rappers have used a giant teddy bear as their mascot—yet.

// CAM’RON //
Someone at the Wet Wipes company needs to send Cam a nice thank-you note, although he’s probably not real popular with chancleta manufacturers right now (Y’all know dudes shouldn’t be wearing sandals anyway). Pink’s still hot; and if you swagger-jack, you’re gonna get called out.

// 50 CENT //
From mixtapes to bodybuilding, Fif’s had the rap game following his every move for three years now, and this year has been no different. Everyone aspires to have their life story made for the silver screen, a platinum soundtrack and a stable of established rappers. You know you don’t want to be like Mike, but rather 50.

// JAY-Z //
Somebody’s responsible for Jim Jones’ presence in high-powered executive boardrooms. Fact is, Jay led the way 10 years ago when he started his own label, and he’s still setting trends today, with Lil Wayne assuming the presidency at Cash Money, Jermaine Dupri taking over Virgin and rumors of rappers grabbing executive spots left and right. Now if Mr. Throwbacks-to–Button-Ups could just influence people to buy more Memphis Bleek records…

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  • lee

    yo this was straight up funny but let me ask you this? what the fuck is cam’ron doing on there he is not a mc or matter of fact relivent to hip hop since just blaze’s oh boy and dr period hey ma gave him his only platnum plaque or when he was still freinds with mase. other than that it’s another classic 360

  • Kandi

    I have a big ass problem with ya’ll top five rapper in the past twelve months. Well really, it was just one of the rappers ya’ll posted up: Young Jeezy. Dude basically been on other people songs. Just cause he got a T-shirt that everybody wears should not put him on his list for it. If any Atlanta artist has been putting it down, it’s T.I. The nigga can’t be fucked with. Step your game up XXL.

  • XRAY3000

    Cam’ron?? Wow that was a suprise jab right there..that nigga need to leave rap alone and keep to sellin his furs! The only thing he gave to hip hop is an excuse to wear pink and look “cool” that shit is loose ne way!

  • http://TheDirtyCountry Southern Alumnist

    I’m so sick and tired of southern artist always complainning about the east coast won’t give our respect as a lyrical MC’s. And their not. You know that, I know that, the american people know that. The east coast/nyc don’t respect nothin that ain’t nyc. To get respect you gonna have to take it. And what better time to do it than now. Cuz at the top of the New York food chain (50 cent)is not the most lyrical rappa in the game and plus NY rappas aren’t out selling Lil Wayne, Nelly, or Kanye. T.I. could easily destroy fifty and bring the crown to the south. The east coast got swept up in all the beefs just like west coast did in the 90′s and forgot to put out new artist. Now, their only defense is 50cent, Fabolous, Santana, M Bleek and Cassidy. Their the only ones who even have a shot at going platium.The east coast barely survived the west coast attack in the ’90′s, but I don’t think they’ll be that lucky this time.

  • http://TheDirtyCountry Southern Alumnist

    This to that chick KANDI. The reason Young Jeezy was in the top five is cuz dat nigga had the rawest album to hit the streetz dat wasn’t mixtape since mutha fuckin readytodie and dats w/out da bull shit.Dats why my nigga got all da real G’s wearing his shit. By the way when ever Dj Drama fucks wit Jeezy it’s a rap. Oh yea, by the way, ya boy who can’t be fucked wit ain’t lyrically better than Weezy F.Baby.So chick get ya mind right.

  • http://TheDirtyCountry Southern Alumnist

    I have to agree, wit dat nigga LEE on dis one.Camron,Jada Kiss, Busta, and DMX ya’ll are done. IF you’re over 30 or had a album out before ’98 and ya still reachin for the thrown, ya need to sit back and put ya seat belt on. Cuz yo time to ride da chicken has already flone.


    gotta agree with kandi…jeezy wasnt even the best from boyz in the hood. plus hes a gangsta actor. i blame 50 for all this shit cuz ever since him and his success its been fake thugs and killers coming out the woodwork…you said RAW??? Majority of his fanbase is 14 year old white girls and you gonna call his album RAW???. and to people who put weezy up on top 5 go to Gillie The Kid’s myspace page…youre gonna find out that shit sounds mad familiar.

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