After a nation wide run of shows, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples recently made it back around to his Southern California home, and is on the verge of performing the final show of his acclaimed Life Aquatic tour at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. While in town, he stopped by the Power 106 radio station for an extended chat. As happens in most wide-ranging conversations about hip-hop, the subject eventually turned to who Vince thought was the greatest rapper out there.
“You talking about right now? It’s Kendrick. Easy. It’s not even close,” Staples said. The pick echoes Lamar’s own opinion which, he shared on his recent song “The Heart Part 4” where he rhymed, “one, two, three, four, five / I am, the greatest rapper alive.” Vince then made the case for Kendrick as the Alpha of rap, while throwing out the contributions of MCs that have been around longer. “We can say Michael Jordan is still alive, but he ain’t beating LeBron James in one-on-one,” he said.
The host J Cruz wouldn’t let Vince stop there however, positing that Eminem is the greatest of all-time. “To me personally, and everybody is different, we can go Kanye West, Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, as far as how long they’ve been around, how their influence has never died down, how they kinda, somewhat changed the world,” Vince said. “You can put Ice Cube in there, but he don’t make music like that no more.”
For the inevitable Tupac and Biggie stans, Vince pre-emptively countered that claim saying, “If you want to be 100 percent with it, those catalogs ain’t long enough, and their careers weren’t long enough to measure up to what the best is supposed to be.”
Check out Vince’s full thoughts on the matter in the video above.