Rap is the ultimate music of one-upmanship. Since the days of yore, the MC's primary job on the mic has been telling other MCs, in great and florid detail, how much better he is than they are and why. Rappers have spent countless bars telling their rivals that they have more money, pull more ladies, smoke more (and better) weed, own more (and better) cars and jewelry and, of course, rap better. The game is all about positioning yourself as not just a step up, but a full ladder above the competition.
But all that trash-talk doesn't mean rappers are loathe to praise their peers. Not just their friends, but their fellow artists from all over the map. Snoop Dogg recorded a version of "La Di Da Di" as a tribute to Slick Rick, Mos Def did his own take on Slick Rick's “Children Story,” Nas put together an unauthorized biography of Rakim in “U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim)." In "Til I Collpase," Eminem rapped a list of favorite nine MCs. (He put himself ninth, though it's seems likely he was making some concessions for the sake of rhyme.) And in rappers' interviews, that kind of admiration is shown more often than you might think. We'll prove it with 13 of Your Favorite Rappers Talk About Their Favorite Rappers.
Written by Reyan Ali. Addtional research by Max Goldberg (@goopygold)