Hovito won the honor thanks to his genre-bending collaborations, and for being the best at enduring "the day-in, day-out shift of the modern rap era."
According to their website, Jay "filled the void created with Christopher Wallace's death with gold-standard-setting LPs like 1998's Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life, 1999's Vol 3… Life and Times of S. Carter and 2001's The Blueprint."
The list features a host of old school rap figures like Kool Herc (No. 47), Digable Planets (No. 36), and Big Daddy Kane (No. 11), plus the newbies, including Nicki Minaj (No. 35) and A$AP Rocky (No. 39). Rakim's lyrical expertise helped him crack the Top 15, and Sean "Diddy" Combs landed at No. 7. "Combs made his greatest impact on hip-hop with his entrepreneurial skill as the magnate behind Bad Boy," the story reads. "The template for every would-be empire builder who followed in his wake (not to mention the master of the original Harlem Shake)."
As expected, the list is causing controversy among readers. "While lists are ALWAYS subjective, and NO list can or should be argued, it's pretty clear that this list is more arbitrary than carefully constructed," commented one reader. "It's a great list that pays tribute to a great history of artistry from our area, but it is not fully accurate, nor properly indicative of a true hierarchy, and should not have been presented as such."
Another person debated Jay-Z's placement."This is what happens when people who don't understand real rap and just look at charts and sales do 'rap' list they pick the most popular person," the reader wrote. "Nas is No.1 and Big is No. 2 Jay-z is third at best knock it off."
Photo: Jon Klemm