It is nearly impossible to get a bunch of passionate hip-hop fans to agree on anything. But I tried anyhow, starting with a series of polls on Facebook that aimed to figure out which emcee or group was the best in the game as driven by the letters of the alphabet. No specific rubric or criteria was given; just a simple request for answers to the question, "Who is the best emcee or hip-hop group beginning with the letter 'A'?; 'B'?; 'C'?; 'D'?..." and so on. The responses were immediate and spurred some pretty spirited discussions. A general consensus was ultimately reached for each and per the request of Music Editor Leilani Polk, I'm bringing the poll results to Ear Buds. Each week, I'll reveal a letter and its "winning" artist, and then I'll re-open the question for further debate. Once we finish the first 26, we'll start it all over again fresh.
The Hip Hop ABCs is not just a list. It is a fierce competition. Few letters epitomize this better than the Letter S. Luminaries like Scarface and Snoop Dog were pitted against legends like Slick Rick and supergroups like Slaughterhouse. Even dark horse candidates ala Skillz, Skyzoo and Supernatural got love. But in the end, royalty was recognized.
Slick Rick the Ruler is the king of the Hip Hop ABCs Letter S and our first international entry. Most people associate him with the Bronx but his Jamaican family moved there from London, England, where he was born Richard Walters. Regardless of country, Slick Rick is widely considered the greatest hip-hop storyteller of all time.
He recently visited Jannus Live along with Rakim, the winner of the Hip Hop ABCs Letter R. Slick Rick has received numerous awards and accolades. In addition to his solo debut reaching the top of Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop charts and gearning the then-coveted five mics from The Source , he cracked the magazine's top 50 emcees of all time list, at number 15. This golden-era great can now add one more crown to his list of achievements. Slick Rick is the king of the Hip Hop ABCs Letter S.
Did we get it right? Who gets your vote for this letter?
Infinite Skillz is a Hip Hop fan and emcee. Click here to find out more about his music.