TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE: KuruptDoes life imitate art? Yes, just look at a lot of todays Rap music! Insistently wishing to uphold the status quo, many Geppetto-like CEOs continue to sign crudely replicated Pinocchio rappers. Fantasy can be fun, but it is time to step away from all these fairy tale artists. Kurupts impending effort, Streetlights should illuminate what it means to be an actual MC when it drops on April 20. Kurupts authenticity and lyricism exemplifies what an MC is, and also determines which MCs he lists on his Top 5 Dead Or Alive.
He explains, What is an MCa microphone controller, you understand mea Master of Ceremony; its different than a guy who sells millions and millions of records. That doesnt make them an MC that makes them a great artist! You got to understand that an MC isnt the same thing as being a rapper, or being an artist. Its a whole different ballgame. Thats why you see a lot of East coasters mentioned in my Top 5 MCs, because they created this whole art form we call emceeing. Being an MC is a kind of privilege! We dont call them rappers, you call them MCs; because, theyre [the] Master of Ceremony. They rock the party, their rhymes are ridiculous When Im picking my Top 5 Dead Or Alive, its a hard list to get on, because you just got to be a certain caliber of rapper
Without further ado, Kurupts Top 5 Dead or Alive.
Kurupt: At the top of the chart, its always the, RRakim. His pen game never ceases to amaze me [when] he comes to the mic. Rakim is the blueprint of what an MC is. Whenever you think of an MC, if you need an example, think of Rakim. Everything about Rakim [constitutes] what is an MC. An MC is about being fly, being an MC is about the wordplay, the way that you deliver it, which is your style [and] how you connect your words when youre rhyming; thats all about being an MC, you know, all about your style and how articulate you are. Rakim is at the top of the chart on that. Thats where he musically invented this s***. So, thats why Rakim has always been that to me.
AllHipHop.com: Have you had the opportunity to work with him yet?
Kurupt: Ive never had the opportunity to work with him. I met him a couple of times; that really made my day. Me and the R definitely have to make that happen, us on the mic together. That would be incredible!
I would definitely have to choose KRS One. KRS One always set an example of skills on the mic. And uh, hes definitely a part of the blueprint of what an MC is, as well. I like to pattern a lot of my rhymes to the RsRakims and KRS Ones.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have a favorite verse or a favorite album by G Rap that you think folks should study?
KOOL G RAP
Kurupt: I like the album Road To The Riches theres a song on there called Men At Work. Its ridiculous; his microphone game is ridiculous on that record. Kool G Rap is also a different kind of MC. He had a different style. Thats also one of the main things about being an MC is originality. Its about coming up with your own style, and concepts, and rhymes, period.
You didnt steal nobodys style, back in the day they called that biting. Theres a lot of biting out there nowadays. Its a different caliber of rappers out there nowadays. You know, I think that the creative part has taken a back seat to the fun of it, you know what I mean. Now its more about the fun. Back then it was more about critiquing your style, and it was more about the mic. Its all good; because, its all in the love of Hip-Hop.
AllHipHop.com: Getting back to your Top 5, the last MC you named was Kool G Rap, who would be your last two?
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
Kurupt: I would definitely go with Biggie for my fourth one. Biggie just had a certain style about himself. His wordplay was ridiculous. Thats one of the newer generation MCs, definitely. The older generation, those three right there [Rakim, KRS One, and Kool G Rap] always set up a base for the newer generationwhich a lot of people consider olderbut the 90s of MCs Id definitely go with Biggie.
AllHipHop.com: I have a real screwed up face right now with you naming Biggie. All during the West Coast / East Coast beef you still respected him as an MC?
Kurupt: Of course, the whole problem had nothing to do with his skills.
AllHipHop.com: Wow! Now, rounding out your Top 5 who else would you put on there?
Kurupt: My fifth MC, Id go definitely with the D.O.C. Its the same as all the rest of him, his skillshow he was on his mic. I think he definitely deserves a little more recognition. You know, I dont think that people really listen to the D.O.C.s lyrics. The boy is vicious. I had the opportunity to actually see him work when he was writing rhymes for Dr. Dre when we was doing The Chronic and all those different rhymes he wrote for Dr. Dre. Just to see him move; he had style; it was all about his style. He wouldnt do the average way of rapping; he would do so much more. He would think of different [and] creative ways to say simple shit. So, I definitely think that he can get more recognition, definitely.
So, I stare at the gradethe blueprintof what an MC is when Im judging MCs. So, I cant go to the nowadays before I mention the people who created the blueprint. They still got the skills today, freestyling, and rhyming. Rakim didnt really freestyle, you know, thats just another craftanother partof how high an MCs skills can go. Kris is a freestyler, you know what I mean. G Rap, I really aint heard him freestyle. Theres also others who can go on the list.
Big Daddy Kane was vicious; thats an MC! Regardless, of how he changed his style later. His blueprint overshadows any other way he rhymes nowadays. Thats why Biggie comes in at four, and the D.O.C. definitely comes in at five. You know and to tell you the truth, theres no particular order, it doesnt go Rakim firstthis one that one this one thatits all five of them, like gumbo, mixed up in one. There isnt one of them that I like better than the other ones when it comes to this list of MCs. You know, if we go with the Top 5, we gotta go with the top five MCs in the game that ever came into this sport. Thats definitely Rakim, Kool G Rap, KRS One, thats definitely Biggie Smalls and The D.O.C. I can go on and on.
I consider Ice Cube an MC. Hes a different caliber of an MC. With Cube, what he brings to the tableif you listen to The Nigga You Love To Hate, and Amerikkkas Most Wantedeven when he was with N.W.A. he was very articulate on the mic. He wasnt just rapping. Its just that he had subject matter, and everybody else their style was different.
Theres a lot of good rappers, and there are younger people who are great MCs as well; like Cassidy. I like Drake; I think Drake is a great MC. You can tell that hes not just a rapper hes articulatehe uses his wordsthe way he connects his rhymes. You know, the list goes on and on and on, and every day theres a new MC created.