Eminem, B.I.G., 2Pac, & Jay-Z Cover Rolling Stone


Pretty solid line-up, no? Rolling Stone caps off 2012 with Em, B.I.G., Pac, and Hov on the cover of their latest issue. 50 songs are tough, but who will clock in at number one? Pick up the issue on newsstands next week.

thanks: jana

UPDATE: Peep Ahmir’s intro and list here.

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  • Steve

    Nas not good enough smh

  • dmc



    yeah, they should have had nas on there. but still, it is a cool cover series.



  • london

    damn.now that´s hip hop.nice

  • yo

    WuTang nigga? Rakim? . . . . Chiek Keef . . . oh wait . . . LOL

  • King

    Only PAC n Big deserve it though

  • dmc

    What the hell is their criteria, most of that list doesn’t even make any sense.

  • oby


    thats what i thought!

    I’d replace Jay or Em with Nas for the fact that Nas dropped a CLASSIC while Pac n Biggie were still in the game!

  • leaf

    man fuck dat shit…….em and pac hell yea great covers, biggie alright i can live wit dat….but jay z and no Nas …dats dat ol bullshit cuz illmatic is da best rap album of all time and dats word to a song

  • DMVinyourchick

    WTF no nas? I’m sorry em is nice as fuck but I think nas shoulda got that spot

  • M.T

    damn. Nas gets no love.

  • Pingback: Eminem, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, & Jay-Z On The Cover Of Rolling Stone Magazine - Rap Dose()

  • B.Dot

    Nas is in my top 5. But compared to these 4, they’ve had more of a cultural impact.

  • Faded 4evaNaDay

    I thought I would be the different person with this comment but it seems like everyone wants to know wheres Nas at?

  • Faded 4evaNaDay

    No doubt that all these guys deserve to be here but in another year or two Kanye HAS to be there!

  • CaliSteppin

    B.Dot hit it right on the head with his comment

  • MJ

    have a feeling its stan by eminem

  • Em and jay are the goats no question..over big and pac

  • M.T

    Nas is in my top 5. But compared to these 4, they’ve had more of a cultural impact.

  • Reblogged this on The Music Business Revisionist.

  • B.Dot

    “Nas is in my top 5. But compared to these 4, they’ve had more of a cultural impact.”

    Exactly! That’s why we dont mention cats like LL or Raekwon or KRS.

  • Tev

    Nas is in my top 5. But compared to these 4, they’ve had more of a cultural impact.
    @B.Dot that is very true I was saying something like this b4 I even read your comment

  • Donn


    Jay’s cultural impact on our culture far exceeds Nas. U guys only can say Nas makes good music. But what else can u say besides his music is good. Jay has broken down barriers that Nas hasn’t.

  • jonnybusiness

    B.dot what is your top 5 ? For me 1 B.i.g 2 Jay 3 Pac 4 Nas 5 Kanye.

  • sebastian

    EMINEM SHOULD NOT BE IN THIS LIST!!! He has not have a decent album in over 6 years. theres a list of atleast 5 other MC’s who deserve this before eminem.

  • riding

    They dont have Nas on the cover because hes got the greatest hip hop song.

  • Jacob

    I bet all 50 songs are just the rapper’s singles, not whats on their albums, watch the ones with eminem will either be lose yourself or stan…

  • kbisburning

    @sabastian stupid comment

  • B.Dot

    1 B.i.g 2 Jay 3 Pac 4 Nas 5 Kanye.

    Same…#5 varies. Usually a toss up btwn DMX, Em, or GFK. depends on the day.

  • Em n Hov??? Really? where tf is Nas n Scarface at??
    Nas is prolly better than Biggie Em & Hov

  • ZoomZoomDad-Otis

    Hip Hop Legends.

  • WestCoast

    kanye top 5 !!!joke of the year, this gay ass nigga can’t fuck with em jay royce dmx xzibit joe budden tech 9……………………
    top 5 of all time biggie tupac nas em jay-z

  • Safe Dwade

    Nah the nigs that deserve it is but 3 dudes

    PAC i guess. BIG. and Em fuck the rest


    stop complaining about who should’ve made that list and who not….these 4 guys are arguably the biggest names in hiphop..and the most influential rappers to date….the rest is just a matter of preference…

  • Safe Dwade

    Eminem has sold wayy the fuck more than these nigs

  • @B.Dot: Nigga are you fucking stupid? The culture of REAL hip hop is inner city youths, how can you even begin to say Eminem has had more of a cultural impact on young blacks and Latinos then Nas did? smh you hipsters are something else just because he sold millions don’t mean shit. He’s a pop icon and a superhero for suburban america NOT hip hop.

  • Supreme

    Tupac by far first !! The. jay then BIG Em should be replaced with NAS but 4 blacks on the cover would have never happened

  • M.T

    1. Pac
    2. Em
    3. Jay-Z
    4. Nas
    5. Biggie
    top 5 of all time

  • B-More

    @Golden Child – Eminem isn’t from the suburbs nor is hip hop limited to just the inner city and its residents. Em opened up a lot of doors and windows that allowed people that enjoy hip hop to see what it was like for a white kid from the trailer parks of Detroit growing up. He was able to show people that all white people don’t come up in perfect conditions, and since he’s white and highly skilled as an artist; he was able to bring that story to main street America. lack artist have done this since the creation, so to have a white artist do this while being themselves says a lot. On top of that his Marshall Mathers LP can go song for song with any cd thats EVER came out, and if it’s not better than, it’s close to.


    A lot of people commenting on here are side tracking (i.e. B.Dot). The title is ‘THE 50 GREATEST HIP-HOP SONGS OF ALL TIME”. Not the greatest album, not the greatest rapper, and sure as fuck NOT who had the greatest cultural impact as an artist. If you wanna talk about cultural impact then lets talk about who’s SONGS had the greatest cultural impact in hip-hop history. How anyone can have that conversation without mentioning NASIR JONES is beyond me. If “NEW YORK STATE OF MIND” is not in the top 5 or in this case top 4 greatest hip-hop songs of all time, I don’t know what is.

  • KRSz

    Em doesnt deserve the spot? Lol and then you have kanye in top 5!!! xD nvm

  • CP

    i understand that Nas should be included on talent level but on success I would say no one is touching EM or JAY at this point. That being said, NAS is probably top 3 favorite rapper for me.

  • JD

    They’ve definitely have more of a cultural impact than Nas. Although Nas’s songs clearly have had more of an impact on rap culture than eminem’s songs.

    Obviously they all will sell more issues than a Nas cover. If the title was Hip Hops superstars I would get it. Top 50 greatest hip hop songs though, eh….

  • KRSz

    @QUEENZ well said.

  • Bry from Boston

    1. Biggie
    2. Jay-Z
    3. 2Pac
    4. Snoop (Strickly because 92-95 snoop was bigger than anything in the last 15 years.

    Too many that could be number 5… Em, Cube, 50, Dogg Pound.

  • B.Dot

    Although Nas’s songs clearly have had more of an impact on rap culture than eminem’s songs.
    Stop it. Eminem “Stan” gave new meaning to obsessive fans. “Lose Your Self” won a fucking Oscar

  • Who has influenced hip-hop more Nas or Eminem? Of course Eminem has sold more records but his influence on rap isn’t anywhere near as Nas. For 20 years Nas has been the benchmark for lyricism and Illmatic influenced how artist’s made albums and the covers. Eminem’s subject matter is so limited while Nas has covered almost everything and he just dropped a dope album this year. Eminem last good album was The Eminem Show and that was 10 years ago.

  • Evil

    Great covers!

    How any hip hop fan can hate on these covers,i will never know.Suck it up and exept it losers.

    These 4 cats are the biggest rappers on the planet and they all deserve to be on the cover.

  • -_-

    u guys are just stupid….the cover is perfect.


    B. Dot u right


    @CP, your comment goes back to my point. Who said anything about success? 2 of the 5 people up for discussion have been dead for 16 and 15 years.

  • KRSz

    @BryFromBoston or whatever the fuck is your name.
    “Too many that could be number 5… Em, Cube, 50, Dogg Pound.”
    EMINEM with 50, cube…
    You just went full retard man! Never go full retard!

  • Tbones

    @B Dot and co talking cultural impact; y’all dont get the point. This issue is about the greatest Hip hop songs of all time and it can be argued effectively that Nas got songs that made tremendous impact on hip hop over some of those rappers on the cover. By the way, RollingStone aint no authority in Hip hop.

  • KRSz

    @QUEENZ <– the only sensible guy here.


    @ B.Dot, fucking 3 Six Mafia won and Oscar, so what you sayin? “Stan” was a song about obsessive fans, how did it give them a new meaning? It just became something else to call them instead of fans, now we call them Stans. Did Lil’ Wayne give new meaning to diamonds when he came with ‘Bling Bling’ on a hook? C’mon man, this isn’t a popularity contest or about who sold the most records. This is about the greatest hip-hop songs of all time and NAS not being on one of those covers is crazy, hands down.

  • JD

    Stop it. Eminem “Stan” gave new meaning to obsessive fans. “Lose Your Self” won a fucking Oscar

    Stop it. While both are true, neither negate my point. There are plenty of songs, by plenty of artists, that gave plenty of new meanings to plenty of things. ‘Ether’ gave new meaning to destroying a foe. It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp’ won an Oscar. While both are awesome, especially the latter being a first for hip hop, Nas still clearly impacted Rap Culture the most; Influence of the flow, Classic(s) (Arguably GOAT rap album), Biggest rap battle, and so forth.

    None of this is news. Love Em but the influence on the culture is nowhere near the same.

  • PAC was the only one of these “artists” who actually used their voice to help others. All others are just rappers, who pay themselves. Instead of trying to be a rapper, be more. Be more than what the media tells you to, and you can really have a “cultural impact”, and maybe a “global impact”.

    Imagine minorites involved in industries that actually make a difference in the lives of all people.

  • Trillionaire

    Pac, Biggie, Jay, Nas, Scarface realest niggas to ever pick up a mic.. hands down but I guess for Rolling Stone a rock magazine Eminem would be in high ranking. They trying to rewrite rap history and I call it BS.. He good and all but c’monnn…he was a joke artist making animated songs and screaming about killing his Mom’s..lol I don’t even know 5 people that listen to Eminem. Who culture is he impacting?

  • KRSz

    People like @trillionaire are the reason why @BDOT mentioned ‘Stan’ and ‘Lose Yourself’ :
    Em, Nas>>Jay z

  • @B-More: Maybe for you, but lets get a couple things straight. Hip hop rose from the inner city it got commercialized by mainstream america and the industry which made it possible for there to be a SUCCESSFUL white rapper. I had to say it like that cuz I don’t want idiots thinking I’m racists. Out of Eminem’s whole catalog he only has a handful of songs that really represent Hip Hop (Lose yourself, Sing for the moment, the way i am and stan) to name a few the rest are just incoherent songs with random lyrics from a skilled rapper but that’s not REAL hip hop. Lastly eminem’s whole early style and lyrical ability was influenced by Nas so I don’t see in any way how he surpasses Nas, other than sales.

  • Tbones

    @BDot is a Stan that cant separate the magazine issue from his personal favorites.

  • @Trillionaire: Salute my nigga you hit that right on the head, samething I said

  • @Artise1

    It don’t matter who they put on the covers. People will complain. Where the fuck is KRS-ONE?
    Where the hell is Chuck D?
    Where the shiznit is Snoop Dogg?
    Where in the birthday is 50 Cent?

    You can go on and on!!!

  • jesus

    NAS? smh guess its top 5 and so they show 5 to 2… where is NASIR JONES … smh

  • AfricaZK

    jay-z as rapper can’t fuck with eminem and nas ( lyrically,freestyle,talent,flow


    Ok so we spent all this time arguing this shit and no one on these four covers is in their top 5 with the greatest songs. The only one in the top 10 is BIG with Juicy (this song is fucking undeniable). The mag covers are about who’s gonna sell more issues and that’s it.

  • ptaco

    i think its fair to say that eminem deserves to be in the conversation. Forget about what the fans say about him or the “stans” say about him. You can watch a lot of interviews where rappers are saying that eminem is one of the best to touch a mic. So if these rappers are saying eminem is one of the best then how is he not? Again i am not saying he is the best personally i do think he is the best and i have listened to the entire spread of material from everyone in the game. The one thing that really irks me is people coming on here and saying he has not put out a good album in 6 years or the relapse , recovery, bad meets evil were not good. i mean everyone is entitled to their own opinion but i disagree. You can never go back and get the same hype eminem did for the first 3 albums of his career. And he cant rap about being broke or kim anymore so he now raps about his struggles with drugs, raising kids, and overcoming everything in life that goes along with getting older. I think a lot of these younger kids can not relate to what he is rapping about now. its not their fault their are just not in the same place in their lives. Thats why they like lil wayne who raps about skateboarding and getting high. lastly you always have to look at what is actually being said and how it is being rapped and when you compare eminem’s last 3 albums to his first 3 albums i believe he is technically better now then he was. He uses bigger words now and has more complex rhyme patterns. ” i sit back with this pack of zig zags and this bag of weed gives me the . ” and now ” feel like i’ma snap any minute yea its happening again i’m thinking about saying mother fuck everybody thats up in this bitch but 50 cause this is all i know this is why so hard i go i swear to god i put my heart and soul in this more than anybody knows” Thats a small comparison of old and new. Dont get me wrong the old em shit is classic fucken rap and i love it and always will but when people say he is not as good as he was i dont think so. And lastly when people say he was better when he was on drugs? that makes zero sense because if your on drugs your brain is slowed down and you are not as sharp as you are straight. remember slim shady ep em was sober. mmlp and eminem show and especially encore he was on drugs. Recovery is one of his best albums, not the best but one of the best. And i think his next album will be his best album.. There is a chance it will be his last solo album so enjoy. I know i will.

  • cazziaz

    nas >>> em n Jay Z

  • get it right

    eminem made 8 mile. that helped elevate his fame in addition to his music.

  • cazziaz

    Jay Z
    Ice Cube


    good covers. perfect

  • shadytalez

    Can I get these in New Zealand?#

  • Pissed off

    Encore was dope too, y’all just didnt get it, whilve everybody was making club albums and love albums back in 2004 Em made songs like ” like toy soldier, mockingbird, mosh etc.. sit ur ass down

  • Frankie

    The 4 best rappers of all time!!! IMO!

  • Mr. A&R

    To say Eminem had More influence or Cultural IMPACT On HipHop Culture is blasphemy

  • KLUV

    Man how in the hell EM made this list he have record sells YES!!! How many EM tracks actually get played in the urban community probably none really. I can’t relate to that off beat ass rapper … But I feel they violate hip hop with that shit real talk. You telling me that EM flow better than a lot of the 90’s and 80 rappers get the fuck out of here…,

  • @ Dashing

    Only a fucking nerd would think Nas was fucking with Jay, Pac or Big, he’s better than Eminem though (I don’t see how a black person could think anything else).

    As of 2012 he might be better than Jay-z evne though WTT and Life Is God were on about the same level.

    But 96-2010 Jay was 10 times better.

    Jay is 43 years old today, rich as fuck, very busy with major things so he’s flabby and sick.

    But looking at history, discography, impact, consistency it’s not even close different planets.

  • epinz

    @bdot.. stan is a great record. But dnt forget that it was nas who first used it in the manner we use it now cuz he called jay one. No one was callin nggz stan b4 nas called jay one first… actually, look how much of an impact “ether” had on the culture alone. Nggz call fans stan cuz of it, nggz get ethered cuz of it, and it was the grearest coneback diss ever against a rival who was at his peak and who is on the cover we’re discuss now…

  • Slaughter

    Em deserves to be in this just as much as pac and biggie, shame nas wasn’t but its only a cover

  • @ptaco: All your really proving is that your an Eminem stan. Is he one of the greatest? YES! but THE greatest? NO! As far as hip hop goes tupac, nas, biggie and jay all had a bigger impact on the culture and there music defines what hip hop is. Eminem is a skilled rapper who is lyrically inclined but there’s no denying that he is a pop icon, made pop music and truth be told he only influenced the pop and suburban american culture cuz I did not see one black latino or asian kid dye their hair blonde when he made that the trend; only white kids did that(NOT BEING RACISTS). My main point is Nas deserves that cover more if there was a fifth spot then yea maybe but there’s no way he’s ahead of Nas in any shape or form

  • pat

    @golden child: you made some great points and i agree with you on a few of the things you said. However at the end of the day everyone’s opinion of who they think is the best rapper is ultimately just that an opinion. we could go back and fourth for days but everyone is going to pick one or do a top 5 or 10 or whatever. i agree nas could have been in here as well but you cant deny that eminem has opened some door for not just white rappers but anybody of any ethnicity can not only be a rapper but do and become successful at whatever they want. He sends a message that anybody can do it or make it if they really want to and try hard. Nas is one of the best i agree but i dont think you cant be upset that eminem is one of the 4 on the cover.

  • Allan

    Nas didn’t have the hits or commercial succes of the other 4 (Pac, Big and Em all have Diamond records). I know its not the most important thing but it does get taken into account. These are the Big Four.

  • yung

    @B.Dot rap battles is more relevant to rap than simply having an obsessive following. with that said, Nas gave new meaning to “Ether” to this day, it’s used as a way of describing how badly someone got roasted, and the funny part is, battling is suppose to be Em’s lane. “Stan” only supplied us with something to call his idiotic followers, big deal.

  • Mr. A&R

    Lets Start From illmatic That wasn’t Just an Album, That shit Define everything or most of what Inner City Urban Life Was for a 12 year old Kid and at that age HipHop was our world. Go read Born to Use Mics Author Michael Eric Dyson or Nas Illmatic 33 1/3 Series Author Matthew Gasteier. These are books about Illmatic not even Nas Career lol but of 1 Album. Thats the start of the Impact.

  • yung

    @B.Dot Rap battles are more relevant to Rap than simply having an obsessive following. With that said, Nas gave new meaning to “Ether” To this day, it’s used as a way of describing how badly someone got roasted. And, the funny part is, battling is supposed to be Em’s lane. “Stan” just supplied us with something to call his idiotioc followers, big deal.

    • B.Dot

      I’m a Nas fan. But compared to Eminem’s discography, it really doesn’t match up. Em has bigger songs that have got gay groups, censors, and right wings all riled up. Be clear, Nas IS dope. But, i wouldn’t have put him on a cover of Marshall Mathers.

  • Tre

    Some of y’all niggas cry and complain way too much. Every list of who’s the greatest is based on their personal opinion. That doesn’t mean your list is greater or better than anothers. It just means you have a difference in opinions. Golden Child you are too sensitive and should hug someone cause calling folks stupid based on their idea of who’s the top 5 is elementary as fuck.

    Same goes for the rest of you crybaby ass dudes in here

  • Royaltyofthisshyt


  • Mr Heat

    Gotta love the haters not wanting Em up there for reasons so obvious. Fact is noone will ever touch him lol

  • St810

    Nas is the G.O.A.T. no debating.

  • St810

    I don’t get the credit i deserve that’s why I hate doing interviews-Nas

  • Mr. A&R

    It shouldn’t be a Problem or debate about Em being on the Cover…thats Cool. But When folks say He’s been More Influential & Had more Impact then Nas…In what world, thats foolish.

  • Mr. Comento

    SMH.. people hating him so much and still knocking out your favorite rappers .lol and em still winning!

  • mundL

    Classic. Nas got the #5 spot on lock

  • jonathan

    I would take em out and put in Nas

  • Mutombo

    they played my nigga rick ross, he definietly diserved to be on one of them covers…………he changed the game for real…………

  • dave

    number one should be Trinidad James

  • That Guy

    Not putting Nas on the cover is like not putting Jesus on the top 4 biblical-figures list.

  • Nas is the 5th element my friends all is okay .
    Hiphop still rules!Billboard being cheap too! They could’ve speared one more spot on that front cover .

  • epinz

    @bdot… lets say eminem has 3 classics hands down, his first 3…. now lets get nas’s top 3(illmatic, stillmatic, the lost tapes) nas trumps eminem as far as discography… now, if we are tslking about individual song impact, and impact to society ad a whole, u go with em… if u sticking to hip hop impact, I think nas has done more for the actual artform. Think about this, look at hoe many of todays newer aftist have tried to recreat illmatic???

  • eDUB

    @ M.T

    “1. Pac
    2. Em
    3. Jay-Z
    4. Nas
    5. Biggie
    top 5 of all time”

    No Disagreement. Dre at #6

  • Black Shady

    They did Nas dirty lol why not 5 covers?

    but those 4 up there are totally top 5 material…with Nas.

  • mitch

    Agree with B.Dot. Nas IS definitely one the greatest lyricists if the the best, but these four , c’mon, they have made MAJOR impact, sorry but esco is not in their league as far as that goes.

  • Space Ghost

    I do believe Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five received the number one spot with “The Message.” So everyone can calm down. Secondly, while Nas is definitely top 5, he doesn’t deliver consistent quality. Due to his “Positive” style, he sometimes is given more points for any indiviual work than he may/may not deserve at that given time. He is however top 5. Eminem is another top 5 contender as well. Eminem’s way of bending syllables is what makes him special. He doesn’t really always say the dopest $h*t when you break his lyrics down but due to him decidedly rapping uptempo (especially when he guests on someone else’s track), he is sometimes given more points that he should be granted as well. ALSO….Eminem has an additional dynamic to contend with…HE IS WHITE….IN A PREDOMINATELY WHITE COUNTRY. This has come to elevate him to sales plateau that no other has reached. Let’s be honest, he now makes and collaborates with the same pop starts he used to diss because…well…HE IS A WHITE POP STAR HIMSELF!!!! Black Thought destroyed him on their BET Cipher a few years back, exposing the fact that when substance is combined with style Em can be damaged. He is still top 5 over all though. On to Biggie….I’ll make this plain. In his time he was the most well rounded lyrical stylist. He could do gritty New York music, then transition to Bone Thug style tongue twisting, then rock Pop/ R&B songs with earth shattering verses….He only made two albums while living so we can’t speak on the fact of whether he would have fallen off by now or not. He is top 5 though. Finally…..Jay-Z. I would need an entire segment to speak on this dude. He is the sole owner all of his catalog (with the exception of Reasonable Doubt). He has a patented color, Jay-Z Blue, that Chrysler pays him a royalty to use on their vehicles. He established (along with others) his Roc-A-Wear empire and sold it for a few hundred million while retaining stock in Iconix, the parent company. He owns a minority percent of the Brooklyn NETS NBA Franchise. He was the President of Def Jam and is credited for signing or discovering Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, and The Dream. He owns a cosmetic company and a new film company with Will Smith, and i’ll just stop there because the ridiculous thing is that I could go on….and on…..because he has contributed that much to Hip-Hop and the world of COMMERCE in general. Oh…did I mention he has made the most number one albums (Em has sold the most i.e. That white dynamic) and has made some of the best Hip Hop (with some missteps as any artists in the game this long would do i.e Nas) that has ever been commercially witnessed the world over. He arguably (without much argument in my opinion) is the “EMCEE” with the most cultural impact in conjunction with Dr. Dre being the producer with the most cultural impact. Great Cover…..all top 5 in my opinion and YES…..Nas should be on the fold out inside cover!!!! Thanks for your time Rap Radar Bloggers. Let the comments on my (long assed) comment commence!

  • Space Ghost

    P.S. Nas doesn’t appear to have a Rolling Stone Magazine cover. He has many “features” but no cover to speak and that may be why he is not on there with the others. My research was done on Google images so if someone has any other info that could prove me wrong, forgive me.

  • Royalty of this shyt!

    Yall can keep those covers !! As long as i know my own truth that NAS is @ the top don’t matter to me.. it’s been a privilege to be around his era and enjoy his music in this last incarnation im living..

    I bow out gracefully!

    Nasir jones …the greatest… no one will truly notice until he no longer here…

  • Not in order, but… , 2pac, biggie, Jay z , eminem, Nas, kanye west, Lil wayne, 50 cent, T.I are the biggest rappers of all time. fuck what anyone think

  • King Mathers

    Boy are you NAS fans really stupid. Nobody is saying that Nas isnt a legend because he is. Nobody is saying that he hasnt made an impact because he has. Nobody is saying that he isnt a great lyricist because he is. What the MAGAZINE is saying is that they conducted a list of their favorite songs of all time. I agree that the majority of this list is bullshit since its their version of the top 50 songs of all time. So many good rappers, which so many classic songs were excluded.

    With that the focus is on Eminem though. The choice to put him on the cover brings 2 reactions. One a white rapper being amongst the greats and two the fact that EMINEM SELLS. It’s no doubt that Eminem is the highest selling rapper of all time….its a fact. Remember that Em is the newest of the great rappers so people who want to argue about him not making an impact yet in careers is somewhat valid until only recently.

    Hobsin, B.O.B., Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, Mac Miller, Asher Roth, Lupe Fiasco, etc. There are many up and comers that have listened to Em and have tried to follow his path, his lyricism, and flow and style. We havent heard of them or they arent popular yet because Em only really broke out in the 2000’s, which we arent far from. These guys were in grade school and high school when Em started. Jay was around mid 90’s and Pac/Big early 90’s.

    Em’s impact with music is 2nd to none. While he may not appeal much to the hood in the majority of his songs, Lose Yourself is probably the most single handedly most popular rap song of all time. It appears at sports events, won an oscar, and has changed a car companys fortune overnight with that Super Bowl Ad. Who cannot listen to it, reagrdless of race or gender and not feel like they can take over the world by the time that song is over??? it’s lyrics are real and powerful. This is no money talk, no bling bling shit, no my vodka is better than yours…its all real, powerful lyrics. Every fuckin word practically rhymes. Nobody can duplicate that shit. Empire state of mind is a great song, but it’s appeal is only to New Yorkers. People from Kansas dont give a rats ass about NYC. Anything Nas has done is great and he is a super lyrcist but its not enough to generate the buzz that Em had with Lose Yourself or Stan. Both superior raps. Why is Em popular though? Isnt he too mainstream? Well, Em is white, he’s said it himself but the comparison can also be of Tiger Woods in golf. Both had a racial barrier to break but since both excelled so well, that barrier has been broken. It’s nobody fault but both men. They exceeded expectations and then took them to the next level. Most of Em’s songs arent made for the radio, yet they get there because they are so cleverly done. Em didnt need Rihanna on Love the Way You Lie, but she was on it because she fit the subject matter. Regardless of who sang the hook, that shit was selling because the lyrics were so honest, real and powerful. Shit Skylar Grey was the better singer and I need A doctor was a hit as well. Was Rihanna on that one, no Grey was, but it sold because of Eminem. Point is, he is a genius, a lyrical mastermind who has mastered it all. While his old stuff is better than new, he still paints portraits like no other. His flow, delivery, complex rhyme schemes are the reason why he is a legend. Nas is amazing too but his appeal isnt the same. There’s no more buzz with Nas. Same goes for the others legends who fit in that category: KRS, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Treach, LL, Method, Redman, Ice Cube, Snoop. It’s not that people dont wanna hear them anymore, its that they cannot generate like Em still has.

  • King Mathers

    You people forget that being a POP artist isnt a bad thing. What Em did in his early career wasnt the fact that he was dissing POP people, he was dissing the music that was being made by them. Hit Me Baby One More Time, Bye Bye Bye, etc. was garbage music to sell records. All substance no content. Em dissed that shit like crazy. People now feel that Em is turning Pop. Well he did do songs with Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Skylar Grey, Pink and Adam Levine, Haley Williams. What people fail to see is that these artists excluding Rihanna are excellent song writers. Britney and N’sync weren’t. Plus these artists are just singing the hooks. Seriously who would want Em to sing the hook on Love the Way You Lie? He hasnt sold out when the verse lyrics arent dumbed down and fully brutally honest.

  • Everybody bitching about Nas. Yes Nas is a great story teller but these 4 are probably the most legendary of all time. Sales & Influence. Eminem was the first white rapper to really capture the minds of the world and to those saying his influence isn’t greater than Nas or his subject matter isn’t the diverse have clearly never listened to Eminem’s whole catalog. Yes, he makes ridiculous songs but can turn around and hit you with Stan, Lose Yourself, We As Americans, Mosh, Etc. Pac & Big speak for themselves no need to argue. Jay Z has everything they all do and has that same legendary Aura that to me seems to lack for Nas. He’s held in those heights in hip hop circles but he hasn’t had an effect outside of that.


  • King Mathers
  • I would take Em off and put Nas in…just my opinion, but put it all together and Nas > Em

  • That Guy

    lol. @King Mathers, you just wrote us a fable. Nobody cares.

  • the truth

    lloyd banks should’ve been on that cover hes a monster

  • King Mathers

    @that guy We know you bump Drake. STFU

  • TNT

    It says 50 songs are tough, so are they judging by the top 50 bangin songs becuz if they are, they might go by the body of work and songs classics…

  • As long as Dear Mama, Juicy, Stan, T.R.O.Y., ANYTHING from Paid in Full & Mind playing tricks on me get in the Top 10, I’m good.

    By the way, white people have to understand to a large segment of niggas, Eminem never connected like that. A lot of dudes either dismiss his music as some clown shit strictly from the singles, or don’t like how he screams and/or whines in a lot of his newer stuff. It’s just facts.

    But to say he hasn’t impacted the culture more than Nas might be a little crazy. Bottomline is they only got 4 covers, not 5. Them 4 niggas plus Nas is my 5, I’m good with it, in whatever order…

  • Vest

    I’m tired of these mags never giving Nas the credit he deserves wtf he’s the best

  • HardeBaas

    If you look at it from a global perspective, these four only make sense. How many people actually know Nas? Here in Europe hardly no one knows his music. No impact at all.

  • I’m tired of these mags never giving Nas the credit he deserves wtf he’s the best i don’t understand y people still keep putting jay above nas when nas clearly ethered him in all reality success has nothing to do with the art form of hip hop nas covered damn there every concept and killed them all i don’t get it but i do

  • leaf

    man diss list is ass cuz n.y. state of mind, one love, today was a good day, and brenda’s got a baby all should have been in top 10 ……….More nas songs than 1 is def top fifty and more than 2 pac songs

  • PistolPistol

    Gettin a copy!

  • RRR

    Eminem has won 13 grammy awards + oscar + artist of decade + 100 mill album worldwide
    without Eminem interscope/Aftermath shutdown

  • DJ Game

    Should of been Nas instead of Pac. Lets be real if Pac was still alive he wouldn’t of had this much of a legacy. I’m not trolling either, I guess I’m just too east coast.

  • Fuckin shame… Where’s NAS… goddam shame…fuck rolling stones

  • Dashing

    There are a lot of serious errors on this list. (Too many to list)

    “My Name is” is a greater song that “California Love” in what world?
    “Big Pimpin” is a greater song than “Dear Mama” “In Da Club” “It Takes Two” “Scenario” etc.????

    Bone Thug N Harmony “Crossroads” is not on the list?
    A Tribe Called Quest “Electric Relaxation” not on the list?
    Warren G and Nate Dogg “Regulate” not on the list?
    Black Sheep “The Choice Is Yours” is not on the list?(still gets played at every hip hop club!)
    Snoop Dogg “Gin and Juice” is not on the list? And there’s no solo Snoop records on at all??
    Nas “The World is Yours” is not on the list?

    Yet Lauryn Hill “Lost Ones” and Missy Elliott “Get Ur Freak On” are on the list. They’re dope records to be sure, but it seems like a shameless attempt to add females to the list. And as much as I love Bombs Over Baghdad it’s not better than any of the records I listed above.

  • VEST


  • skrillz

    they’re all recycled covers – Nas never covered Rolling Stone so they couldn’t throw him up there for this series – and any other rappers that have gotten covers for RS wouldn’t deserve to be with these 4 – I get it

  • UnTropical

    Em and Jay-Z but no Nas?? 4/5ths of illmatic is better than J’s and Em’s top songs. I can’t even think of any good songs of Em’s I’d put in the top 50 of all time. Maybe “Lose Your Self” and his pop shit from 2009-2011? I don’t know I can’t really fuck with him since the Slim Shady ep.. And yeah I can get behind Jay-Z on his earlier albums to the Black album. Only one can assume the covers were chosen by popularity because their’s some MCs who deserve the same respect.

  • HOVA

    Kanye West has way more Grammys than any of those guys up there. BUMP YOUR LIST.

  • Joe Nasty

    yall came up with some stupid ass top rappers lists haha
    i’m glad its these 4. They have been the most significant whether or not you agree that they are the best.

  • eXtreme.com

    SMH @ the people crying over Nas. when it comes to representing Hip Hop to international audiences, these 4 guys are who people think of. no question

  • onanigga

    The majority of comments have firstly, not even bothered reading the cover. It reads “the greatest hip- hop songs of all time”. Not the best rappers. Excersise more observation before commenting . Secondly, I believe most posters have oerthough these magazine covers and have gone as far as taking offence because their favourite rapper wasn’t featured.

    Rolling stones are a magazine. they’re business is to sell as many copies as possible. To do this they have chosen who they believe are the 4 most recognizeble rappers to attract broadest audience possible. Eminem, is the greatest selling rapper of all time and is likely the most famous, Pac is the second highest selling artist, Jay Z is a superstar and Biggie is hugely reconizable.

    They have selected these 4 to make money. Any controversy created will only alleviate their sucess.
    This is a really interesting marketing ploy and i’m sure it will work well/

  • Rozay

    Eminem would body everybody on this cover except for Biggie, don’t get it fucked up because his skin color and subject matter which is what most people are hung up, I talking straight lyrics and multi syllables and flows, I would have loved to see a battle between him and Biggie, both of them niggas are nice, Jay-Z has had the biggest impact on the pop cultureand taken rap to levels no one has ever taken it, 2pac brought the most real emotion and is the most Iconic figure of all time to me, Nas has a classic album and a classic battle with Jay but he didn’t carry the momentum throughout his career which is why he isn’t on the list.

  • ShadyTalez

    Will these issues be avaliable in New Zealand?

  • The hottest song in the game right now is here!



  • kai

    take em off & put nas up there he been rapping longer than anybody else on that cover.

  • sway-z says:
    Thursday, December 06 2012 at 2:11 AM EST

    As long as Dear Mama, Juicy, Stan, T.R.O.Y., ANYTHING from Paid in Full & Mind playing tricks on me get in the Top 10, I’m good.

    Ehh, I got a few of these right, but they drawlin on not putting TROY or Dear Mama higher

  • DJ Semtex’s Prothsetic

    b.dot jsut put jay over pac…wtttffff lol, cool cover tho, and agreed em and jay have had mroe impact, nas will kill them both lyrically tho, em minda swicthed up/fell off- jay still got it tho

  • Smh

    Only Big and Pac deserve it? Are you crazy?! Eminem is solidified as one of, if not the best ever. You can see his influence on Hopsin and Jon Connor (both up and comers who have a crazy amount of lyricism) among.. Well any other rapper worth noting.

  • master jay

    just take away jay z and add tech n9ne then it is perfect