Top Five Maybe Not (OK, Totally) Dead Rappers

So many of the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) conversations call for your “top five, dead or alive.” Today, I bring you the/my top five actually deceased rappers of all time.

5. 50 Cent — wait he’s alive? He got shot nine times. Maybe he’s reanimated? Curtis is such an ugly person on the inside and out that he would rather wear those SMS Audio headphones of his than admit that even Dre’s plastic pieces of garbage are better than his. It wasn’t enough he made a hundred million off of Vitamin Water, he then declared bankruptcy just to flame the rest of us. He also named his dog Oprah and his cat Gayle because he disses people in epic fashion. Oprah, Ja Rule, Rick Ross, no one is safe from Fif.

OK, then, let’s get serious.

Pimp C, all red everything.

(Actual) 5. Pimp C — UGK were the Kings of the South. Beginning in 1987 at the start of the Golden Age of Hip Hop (at least according to your dear writer), Pimp C and Bun B are perhaps best known for their contribution to Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin’” and Three 6 Mafia’s “Sippin’ On Some Syrup”. UGK only hit the Billboard Hot 100 on one occasion, joining with Outkast for “International Player’s Anthem” on UGK’s last album (with both members living, as a posthumous album released two years later) in 2007.

Album art for “Give It 2 ’Em Raw”, 1998 (No Limit Records)

4. Soulja Slim — The internets says that Slim is most known for his 2003 collaboration with Juvenile, “Slow Motion”. This was the seventh song to reach #1 on the charts for an artist posthumously (dead/maybe-dead rappers seem to really thrive on posthumous works). Just know that Give It 2 ’Em Raw was a wild collaboration of No Limit Records artists just as No Limit was peaking, and James Adaryll Tapp AKA Soulja Slim wrote his own stuff and it was flames.

3. Notorious B.I.G. — The man’s body of work speaks for itself. Biggie was shot dead on March 9, 1997 (and, as Canibus famously rapped, “The greatest rapper alive died on March 9”, so some would say Biggie should be number one on this list. I disagree, see below.)

2. 2Pac — Another rapper with many a posthumous release, beginning the album Makaveli — 7 Day Theory. Didn’t Machiavelli fake his own death? (No. He wrote about it in his book Art of War as a strategy, but obviously Tupac Shakur took it seriously and will be back on the 20th anniversary of his death to explain it all on September 7, 2016.) And if we will pay hundreds of thousands for a hologram why don’t we just resurrect the dude anyway?

The realest emcee who we lost too recently and far too soon for it to be even amusing to fool around so he is easily, hands down, number one?

  1. Sean Price — Sean P is an unsung (during his lifetime, though in death even Rolling Stone cares) legend. From Heltah Skeltah to Boot Camp Clik to Random Axe to his solo output (including a posthumous release), Duck Down Music champion Sean Price may be the greatest loss to hip hop in decades. He did not die in a hail of bullets, his death is not a mystery, there is no mythology of his everlasting life or any conspiracy about his death. He was a workhorse emcee who died just like the rest of us will die; it will be too soon no matter our age, it will be sad and it will be a loss to many.

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