Hip-Hop Nostalgia: Blaze Magazine

Who remembers this publication? One of its most notable issues featured a list of the top 50 emcees. It was published in 1999. It’s cool seeing Blaze’s list and comparing it who’s who in 2008. It’s crazy how things have changed over the past 9 or so years.

Here’s the list:

1.Rakim
2.KRS-One
3.Notorious BIG
4.Big daddy Kane
5.LL Cool J
6.Kool G Rap
7.Tupac
8.Slick Rick
9.Jay Z
10.Ice Cube
11.Grandmaster Caz
12.Chuck D
13.Run
14.Melle Mel
15.Nas
16.Too Short
17.Kurtis Blow
18.Posdnous
19.Kool Moe Dee
20.Redman
21.Lauryn Hill
22.Scarface
23.DMC
24.Busy Bee
25.Q-Tip
26.Common
27.Raekwon
28.Gza
29.The DOC
30.Kool Keith
31.Ice T
32.Treach
33.Dre (outkast)
34.Doug E Fresh
35.Grand Puba
36.Method Man
37.Snoop Dogg
38.Fresh Prince
39.Cee-Lo
40.Eazy E
41.MC Lyte
42.Busta Rhymes
43.E-40
44.Biz Markie
45.Ras Kass
46.Schooly D
47.Queen Latifah
48.Lord Finesse
49.MC Ren
50.Pharoahe Monch

Some Random Observations:
I wouldn’t put Jay-Z ahead of Nas today. Busta Rhymes and Scarface would be way higher nowadays as well. I think Slug and/or Brother Ali would be considered among the top 50 today.

Two of the most flagrant exemptions are 50 Cent and Eminem. Neither had built a solid reputation at the time this list was created.

Perhaps the most disappointing, however, is the dearth of Southern rappers on the list. Noteworthy rappers like 8Ball & MJG, T.I., and Z-Ro were not nearly as prominent at the time this list was published.

Other information about Blaze:
Keith Clinksales, featured here in a Harvard Business School profile, was president of Vibe Magazine at the time. He is credited with being one the masterminds behind the publication. For myriad reasons, it went out of business. Urban Expose (another classic website that I’ll write about later) has a lot of scathing words for the magazine and its allegedly incompetent management. Notice the sharp contrast in the tone and perspective of the Expose article and HBS one.

Advertisements

One Response to Hip-Hop Nostalgia: Blaze Magazine

  1. brian says:

    BIG L IS THE BEST MC OF ALL TIME DUDE WHERES HE AT?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: