Nicki Minaj has been hailed as the Queen of Rap by many publications in the past and up until now. Credited as the one who paved the way for reviving the female rap genre, Minaj has inspired a generation of female rap artists apart from being one of the best-selling rap artists worldwide.
Because of her influence and impact on the industry, Minaj was listed by Billboard and Vibe in their Top 50 Rappers of All Time list earlier this year.
Minaj was ranked #10 on the Top 50 list, eclipsing other female rappers like Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, and even Mc Lyte.
According to Billboard, Minaj has defended her title over the years because of her “incredibly animated flows and alter egos,” as she “undeniably blazed the trail for the next generation of female MCs, while at the same time, building a legacy whose impact is hardly limited to the hip-hop world.”
While all of those are true, some hip-hop veterans begged to differ.
Melle Mel, the lead vocalist and songwriter of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, told The Art of Dialogue that “there’s no way Nicki should come before the Hip Hop legends.”
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“You know that’s some bullshit, come on now. [Big Daddy Kane] and them and Rakim and them they done put up 40, come on now, and I actually like Nicki Minaj but that’s some bullshit. You gotta understand what Hip Hop really is, whoever made what record,” he declared.
Big Daddy Kane was listed at No. 20, while Rakim was ranked No. 13 on the list. According to Melle, the latter style changed the rap game, citing that every rapper once rapped as the hip-hop icon did.
Elsewhere in the interview, he also pointed out that Eminem was only a Top 5 rapper on the list just because of the color of his skin.
He cited that he should not have been ranked that higher than Biggie (at No. 6), Lil Wayne (at No. 7), Ice Cube (at No. 18), Rakim, and LL COOL J (at No. 14).
He also took a jab at Kendrick Lamar, who was ranked second on the list, noting that despite being a good lyricist, his songs do not translate to the rap part of hip-hop, hence the comment.
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