AllHipHop.com caught up with the Dish Nation TV show star and Bodga Brova's Hip Hop artist Headkrack to get his thoughts on AllHipHop.com's new series "Top 5 Dead Or Alive". Headkrack shifted it from more conventional expected picks and went down the road less traveled with one that may be seen as a little more controversial! See if your personal Top Five artist choices would match up with his faves and then check out the "Science Behind The List". Feel free to leave us a comment and join in the conversation! Check out Krack's "Top 5 Dead Or Alive" picks for Best Story Tellers in Hip Hop!
The Science: Best Storytellers> North East Region (But only by a hair,this is clearly up for debate as Rick is technically from England!) > 90's
Now, most people would try to take the obvious road and describe how these artists are similar, but per the usual, I'll make it more difficult for myself and discuss how they all do the same thing well, but completely different from one another! I feel your frustration welling up, but indulge me for a second, I think we might be on to something here
1. Slick Rick
OK. so when I asked Headkrack about his first pick Slick Rick, he was quick to point to songs like; "The Moment I Fear", "Mona Lisa", and "I shouldn't have Done It". Let's be real, Slick Rick mastered the art of storytelling before a lot of you reading this were even thought of! He set the stage for the rest of Hip Hop by developing a brand of flow that simply used nouns and verbs as water colors to paint a vivid picture for the imagination. The listener is easily able to follow along with the story because the songs aren't just gibberish words that happen to rhyme, they tell a complete story.
With Nas, Headkrack brought up; "Rewind',"I Gave You Power", and "Undying Love" to name a but a few. Nas took the art of storytelling to another level by using prose and spoken word and setting them to Hip Hop baselines and beats. His lyrics are pure poetry and while some of them are extremely easy to decipher, many of them are not. The best part of Nas to a good portion of his fans is that you must bring something of yourself to a Nas song. You have to listen, the story demands your attention. And you can listen to a Nas joint time and time again, and continuously discover something new, yet still feel like you have a grasp on the message from the first listen.
Notorious B.I.G. is simply one of the greatest to ever speak on his own surroundings. He rhymed about what he knew best and the words flowed like an endless stream of lava from an active volcano. The flows were hot to death and they just could not be stopped right up until the end. In current days where Hip Hop artists seem to rhyme about everything except what they actually live, it makes you wonder would Hip Hop have ever even taken this turn had the truthful testimonials of Christopher Wallace not been eternally silenced.
4. Andre 3000
With Andre 3000 Headkrack said,"Anytime Andre opens his mouth a story falls out." We are in agreement here. Andre 3000 is magnificent at using elements that most would consider too eclectic and taking them to the next level, all in the name of storytelling genius. Whether it's an open letter to a mother in law, describing what goes down in the ATL for those not familiar, love stories of different types, or stuck up girls from growing up, he's been able to make indelible marks on the Hip Hop psyche with his vivid depictions of things that seem so far out there at first, but are eventually revealed to be something all listeners can relate to. The very line "Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture" was more description than many Hip Hop novices ever completely knew what to do with.
5. Kendrick Lamar
Lastly with Kendrick Lamar, this young man has drawn comparisons to many of the artists on the list, however his debut album is comprised of something none of these artists have ever truly done. That would be to create an entire album pretty much based on the telling of a continuing story throughout. That on it's face sets him apart from the iconic artists he is listed with and makes him an understandable pick.
*Special Thanks to AllHipHop.com writer Deshair for helping me out with the structure of this list! The flu almost stopped me from being able to write this week, and without his ear I wouldn't have made it! (Skyyhook)
Follow Skyyhook on Twitter @SkyyhookRadio