Well, well, well. We welcome supporters, complainers, and swagger jackers alike back to the trillest column in Hip-Hop, TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE. Yes we return with more of the real.
This week we holler at the young boy Juelz Santana for his top five list. The Harlem Diplomat has recently upped his profile with some spicy cameos (“Pop Champagne”) and his new movement to move with it, the Skull Gang. Maybe you’ll agree with picks, maybe you won’t, but you got to respect his opinion splash (pause). Let’s get into it.
The Notorious B.I.G.
Juelz Santana: B.I.G. brought a different element to the game. At the same time he told stories like no other. His world play was crazy. His versatility was crazy, his swagger was unique. He just captured that element of a hood n**** and took it to the B.I.G. Poppa element. That whole Life After Death man, that whole sh*t is just stupid.
Still to this day, that’s sh*t is better than n****’s albums that came out yesterday and all that. He said “Armed and dangerous / Ain’t too many can bang with us / Straight up weed no angel dust / Label us Notorious / Thug ass n****s that love to bust”. That was hard, right now that’s harder than a lot of n****s sh*t.
Juelz Santana: I got to give ‘Pac that love too. ‘Pac was that n**** too. ‘Pac was arrogant and cocky but at the same time, was an activist. He carried himself in a manner like nobody else. He told it like it was. He said whatever the f*** he wanted, did whatever the f*** he wanted, whatever way he wanted to do it. You dig what I’m saying?
He didn’t bite his tongue, he worked like a dog; he’ definitely was a problem. He is the definition of the saying you get what you put in. He put in a lot and got back a lot. He touched people like nobody else touched people; in a way where they are teaching about 2Pac in colleges and sh*t like that. Me Against The World is my favorite album.
Juelz Santana: Well Rakim started this sh*t when it came to the rapping how n****s is supposed to be rapping. Rakim is what rapping is with the metaphors and controlling that microphone. He was that n**** and he had swag from back in the days. Like he brought that hood element, that got to get paid sh*t and his lyrics were on point. Sharper than I don’t know, a shanghai sword. He was that n****.
Juelz Santana: Why wouldn’t people expect that choice from me? It’s about being real, we being real right? Jay definitely with what he brought to the game. I don’t think he’s at that same place now. As far what we talking about, I definitely would put him on that list. When it comes to hustling, that talk, the trendsetting; he’s definitely a trendsetter too. He didn’t set all the trends, but he set trends. Lyrically he’s hard.
[In regards to his favorite Jay-Z album]
Ugh, I’m not going to front he had a couple of classic albums. It’s either Reasonable Doubt or The Blueprint, but that Hard Knock Life was crazy too; I f*** with Jay [musically].
Juelz Santana: There’s a lot of n****s I f*** with but I wouldn’t put them on my top five. Matter of fact I’m going to put my n**** Weezy on there, f*** that. As far as new school rappers, I feel that look as far as he has come. He definitely wasn’t at a level were he’s at now.
He definitely came far and he worked real hard. He grinded and he deserve everything he got. He deserves to call himself the best rapper right now. He’s been rapping hard for a minute. People can give themselves any title they want, but they got to prove it and he went hard.
[In regards to I Can’t Feel My Face]
We just got to get through the politics. The album is done though, that’s the most beautiful part. I’m about to listen to some of the songs after I get off the phone with you.
A lot of folks felt in a way about the borderline h### erotic end scene of the “Pop Champagne” video where Juelz, Jim and Zeek where dousing each other in the bubbly. Santana says “when teams win the championship they do that sh*t”. Feel better now?