On Your Radar: Is Drake still #1

Written By: @ April 26, 2017 @ 3:29 PM EDT
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Who’s the best MC…?

 


If you watched the video above you will have seen my order for the current top 3 BEST rappers. Drake #1 / Kendrick #2 / Cole #3.

To reiterate what’s in the aforementioned video, there is a concrete difference between Hottest and Best. With that in mind, the three kings have all dropped projects within 6 months of each other. It is now appropriate to do an assessment of their careers and adjust the rankings accordingly.

Cole’s latest project “4 Your Eyez Only” did good first week numbers. The project although respectable, didn’t have much staying power. This album by far was Cole’s most forgettable. When Cole gets in his bag, I would say he’s the most lyrically superior rapper of the 3. I would also lay claim to him having the most rabid and loyal fan base of his counterparts; evidence being his 2015 sold out show at MSG. While Cole’s top 3 status’ cannot be questioned, it seems he’s gotten comfortable. He’s come a long way from having to question if his mom Kay will have to work at the post office again. He’s now married with a child, and enjoying the fruits of his labor, he’s earned it. But now that Young Simba has become Mufasa does he still has the eye of the tiger to grab that #1 spot?

Kendrick on the other hand is sitting on top of the world. With every song on “Damn.” charting, having the #1 album and #1 song in the country; Kendrick is making a strong push for the throne. An already certified classic under his belt in GKMC, strengthens Kendrick’s claim for the #1 seat. He’s proven he can make hits, headline festivals, deliver timeless work, lyrically go off, and impact the culture.

So why hasn’t he stolen the #1 spot from Drake? No one can hand you the belt you’ve got to take it. “To be the champ you’ve got to beat the champ”. Drake’s run in hip-hop has been one of the most unprecedented in the history of the culture. What Lebron is doing to the NBA, Drake has done in rap. Delivering hit after hit, summer after summer, breaking record after record; he’s earned the belt. Yes, for the first time Kendrick has outperformed Drake in sales, and cultural impact. That fact cannot be ignored and is why we’re having this conversation.

“I’d probably self destruct if I ever lose, but I never do” Drake raps on the outro of More Life. If he hasn’t lost, he’s certainly been outperformed this go round. Although the projects are completely different and hard to compare its: Damn > More Life. I think it’s safe to say Drake makes better songs than Kendrick, but Kendrick makes better albums. This is the closest we’ve seen anyone come to challenging the throne. What will it take for Kendrick to grab that #1 spot? Consistency! I’m interested to see how things shake up for the rest of 2017. Right now, Drake & Kendrick are playing cultural musical chairs with one seat left. When the music stops who will be sitting?

What do you think? Who’s your top 3 best?

 

Amendment** Kendrick Lamar sold 603k copies of “Damn.” first week.

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87 Comments
  • YaBoiBlue

    Hell no! Your order may work fir sells, But… the order for lyric/music is:

    1. Kendrick Lamar
    2. J. Cole
    3. Drake

    With Big Sean on Drake ass!

    • Naji Grampus

      Agree with you on Big Sean

    • Turd Sandwich

      If these rappers are considered the best, i rather stick with underground rap. Too many gems better than these turds. Fuck this commercial shit.

  • On God, no hate, I like Drake, I’m an avid follower of his music as I know he has potential to make songs that I like, but at the same time, I am so sick of Drake. 🤦🏾‍♂️

  • Yaaaaa

    4 your eyez is coles first album with 2 top 20 hits. Not to mention the promo was far less than the other two, regardless of what you may say about kendricks let’s not forget he’s an interscope artist. Lyrically cole doesn’t go the braggadocious route like the other two do in some ways. Drake is an entertainer, he’s made for the simpletons and radio friendly people, he shouldn’t even be on this.

    • Dark Knight

      Why did people act like every song on the radio is bad? Drake has proven he can rap his ass off all 2015/2016. If you’re reading this was basically his rap album. Kendrick is the best technically bit Drake has deff been on the throne.

    • sean lawson

      4 Your Eyez has an HBO special attached to it. Not to mention the 2 videos and documentary that lead up to the album. Kendrick dropped a song with a faulty release date, an amazing video, then an amateur graphic designed album cover/track list prior to dropping DAMN. And Drake been pushing that more life shit way longer than he should’ve to the point where niggas didn’t give a fuck if he released it at all. I think Cole’s rollout/promo game was actually better than the other two.

  • VGOBOY

    1. K.DOT
    2. COLE
    3. DRAKE/
    3. BIG SEAN

    • Turd Sandwich

      If these rappers are considered the best, i rather stick with underground rap. Too many gems better than these turds.

  • Taylor Diamond

    if you don’t have kendrick #1 right now you lost your mind

    • Naji Grampus

      #1 Hottest not best

      • Taylor Diamond

        Drake never had a project as GOOD as any of Kendrick’s

        • Taylor Diamond

          I say NOW cuz Kendrick out sold drake too! that was the biggest argument for drake

          • Joseph Lawson

            This makes no sense. If he made so many more better songs, his albums would be better.

          • Naji Grampus

            comprising a body of work is a different skill set than creating a dope single

          • Joseph

            Kendrick is the superior artist

          • sean lawson

            Nah it’s different bruh. And you know that. Drake can put out a few greatest hits albums and they’ll be fire all the way through but his albums are normally put together really fucking bad. Whoever A&Rs/executive produces his shit is horrible at picking a direction for an album, with the exception of Take Care. Drake albums are made up of pure randomness. Singing on this song with no drums, then the next song rapping like the current trap rapper to a hard beat, followed by some Afro beat shit. They’re just random and trash.

        • Naji Grampus

          I agree Kendrick makes better albums, Drake makes better songs. A lot of them lol

          • Taylor Diamond

            I can’t grade rap songs and pop songs on the same scale…. Kendrick makes better rap songs than drake and we talmbout hottest MC right?!

          • Taylor Diamond

            If I was drake I wouldn’t my pop songs compared to Mike’s or Adelle either

        • sean lawson

          That’s a fact.

      • Michael Ib bett

        The very first thing you wrote is….. “Who’s the best MC….?”

    • Wack Radar

      Rap Radar just made a bunch of fake Disqus accounts and had an argument with themselves for traffic purposes. Pathetic ass website. Congrats, y’all played yourselves!

      • Real Talk

        Haaaaaaa U already know. The rap radar squad is all lames.

      • Elproblemo Djblast

        yo seriously they think they fooling people, having the same people making comments

  • Taylor Diamond

    j cole has never been close to number 2

    • Naji Grampus

      How not?

  • Taylor Diamond

    future harder than cole….although cole is talented and sells records his shit not that culturally impactful. Cole has a ton of potential a great message but lacks the sauce, vocal tone, and cleverness to really move people the way drake kendrick and future do. Cole wins sales wise cuz hes a halfrican that went to college so his persona is more familiar than any1 but drake

  • Officer Ricky

    You fuck niggas at rr always mistake the most popular for the BEST.

    • Naji Grampus

      He’s both

      • Officer Ricky

        Who?

        • Naji Grampus

          Drake best & most popular. Kdot right there tho

          • Officer Ricky

            Your opinion sucks

  • Taylor Diamond

    this is facts!:

    DRAKE IS TO HIPHOP WHAT GENTRIFICATION IS TO THE HOOD….

    He raised the level of production/engineering, designed songs more pleasing to the ear, helped push hiphop into new markets and demographics, but his music lacks soul! the soul it does have is usually taken from somewhere (from phonte and lil brother, to wayne, to future, to migos, to the afrobeat/dancehall stuff, the london grime stuff, etc…)

    Kendrick is like a growth stage black owned business providing jobs and opportunity to US. His perspective, values, and mission are directly from the essence of the culture. The quality of his product and mission are so high that he has created a postitive paradigm shift in how WE think (as has cole jus way less creatively), while whole time continuing to convince ppl whop aren’t the target demographic to fuck wit eem…to the point where, NOW, no1 in hiphop is selling more!

    While their successes has been somewhat similar, at the end of the day theres a huge qualitative difference between the two.

    P.S.

    Future is all soul but has leveraged his affiliation to cross over stars (like Ciara, Drake, Kelly Rowland, MIley Cyrus, etc…) to reach a diverse fanbase

    And like I said Cole has a great message, relatable persona, and a lot of potential w/o the cleverness or the music/songwriting/production.

    • Taylor Diamond

      for that reason i gotta say

      #1 – Kendrick
      #2 – Drake
      #3 – Future
      #4 – J cole

      • Taylor Diamond

        Huge drop off after drake tho…thats why

        • Taylor Diamond

          Shit YG first two albums were better than coles #facts

      • sean lawson

        Future, my nigga? His voice is really unique, nobody can take that away from him. His formula is dope and it works damn near every time but let’s cut the shit. Future says whatever random shit comes to his inebriated brain and repeats it over and over and tries to pass it off ass lyrics. That’s not craft bruh. If rap was fashion, he’d be a t-shirt with a catch phrase on it, these other guys is on some high quality fabric shit with weaved by hand. You can’t mention Future with those other guys.

    • Naji Grampus

      Interesting points

    • Dark Knight

      Kendrick is the best rapper but I’d say Drake is still contending for the throne. You’re also not acknowledging that a lot of drake fans think his music (mostly his rnb music) has soul to it. He’s a sap ass rapper but there’s soul in those songs and songs about his family and struggles.

      • Taylor Diamond

        HIP I put him second

    • sean lawson

      Very good analogy. Don’t sleep on J. Cole’s cleverness though. He makes his own music in a way that is easily digested by the casual hiphop listener (from top to bottom most of the time, meaning he makes the beat, the verses, and the hooks) but he’ll tear a nigga ass up on a feature. Don’t get it fucked up.

  • Aramis Phillips

    Drake still holds the crown.

    • Wooza

      Drake still holds the crown in pussyville

  • el primo negro

    drake’s reign comes with the asterisk. he had a big r&b single in 2015 hot line bling and a big world/pop/dancehall single (one dance) we having really talked about drake’s rapping in 2016 like we did in 2014-15.cole and Kendrick popularity is off of the rapping although cole is starting to sing more on his albums.

  • el jim chapo guzman

    Lol the same people who like Kendrick are the same people who like J. Cole. They’re 2 overrated rappers and their music is garbage. Drake is and has been running the hip hop industry.

    • Bozo

      Drake is a faggot

  • Barz

    J. Cole

  • Blogginonbreak

    Let’s take away “sales” talk and get straight to the product. If you had to compare all three of their catalogs, even if it’s their best album from each, who would be consider #1? It would have to be Kendrick. Cause keep it real when HOV said who’s the best out of him Big and Nas fans ain’t give a shit about sales

    • shain21

      Facts. At the end of the day when the career is 15-20 years deep the conversation always comes back to albums. How many classics.

      • sean lawson

        Not always. A lot of people’s top 5 don’t have classics for real. Maybe personal classics, but niggas with Kane, Rakim, Black Thought, Eminem, Kool G Rap, Andre and not Big Boi, in their top 5 ain’t mentioning classics.

    • Naji Grampus

      you can’t eliminate sales from the conversation

      • Blogginonbreak

        I know that plays a part fam, but look I caught Reasonable Doubt 2 years after it came out and thought Jay was the best I’ve ever heard not even knowing or cared how many units he moved. It’s no way somebody is gonna tell me Snoop Dogg album the Dogg Father is a better product. (Snoop is one of the greats by the way)😎

        • Naji Grampus

          In hindsight yes. In 96 this was not a fact no one would say Jay was better than Snoop. Reasonable doubt didn’t get that acclaim til way later

          • Blogginonbreak

            That’s the point I’m trying to make when discussing Kendrick’s and Drake albums. Fans don’t listen and love them because of the sales we only care about the product

  • Infinite80’s

    Is the question who’s number 1, or is the question who’s the best emcee
    Drake takes number 1 for the sole purpose of his radio popularity and the audience he appeals too. Everyone from 10 year old black, chinese and white kids to 45yo housewives.

    The best emcee is only between Cole and Kendrick.
    Of this generation they’re the only emcees to really get that commercial success AND respect from other emcees, fans and true hip hop heads. All while being incredibly talented writers, rappers and performers.
    I don’t know if we could make a real decision based off anything but personal opinion.

    • SMH

      best emcee only between kendrick and cole? Like there aint other emcees who cant spit better. foh

      • shain21

        I’d understand there’s other that can rap better then Cole but rap better then kendrick? Naa. We’re not including all the hall of fame dudes…nas, rakim, krs one and so on

        • SMH

          nigga said krs-one lmfao

          • Blogginonbreak

            😂😂 Right!? no diss but ain’t nobody tryna hear that shit right now

      • Naji Grampus

        Big Sean right there

        • SMH

          lmfao what a joke

      • Infinite80’s

        Name 1 rapper of this generation with the commercial success and skill of either Kendrick or Cole.
        Give it time. Think about it. Then escort yourself to the kids table and shut the f×ck up.
        Thanks

    • sean lawson

      I agree with you for the most part. I don’t think commercial success should count for anything when it comes to skill set. Maybe if they were in a marketing and advertising competition, but it’s niggas out here that’ll rap both their asses under the table on an off night. There aren’t many incredible songwriters on the hiphop side though, I give it to them. I would add Wale to that list too. At one point I would’ve added Big KRIT as a sleeper, but I haven’t heard too many verses or guest appearances where he goes off like Cole or Kendrick but he makes some really dope songs with substance.

  • Scromes1212

    Cool piece. Made some good points. All the albums they put out recently have been far from there best work but they starting to restore that feeling in hip hop. Add Sean in there and let’s see what Wale does. Been a good year for hip hop so far.

  • jay

    DAMN! and For your eyez only were disappointing however Kendrick and J Cole are better than Drake. More life was an atrocious album.

    Best album of 2017 so far JOEY BADASS!

    Joey BADASS IS #1

    • Lucky

      Joey’s album was trash let’s keep it real. Damn was dope as fuck!!

  • Ncprecise

    Lost me when he said J Cole is lyrically superior than Kendrick. FOH

  • Vomit

    Drake is an actor. I never took him seriously. Not to mention his catalog couldn’t touch a line in a Kendrick song.

    • Dark Knight

      A line in a kendrick song? Come on bro Drake has a classic with Take care and NWTS was hard. Overall pretty good albums from the both of them. He’s an actor but honestly most of these rap niggas aren’t who they say they are, they’re acting too.

  • Public Hairs

    Drake isnt even a full time rapper. It’s very easy to set streaming records when your’re dropping R&B/Pop music. Kendrick is by default the #1 rapper. I dont even logically see how Drake has ever contributed or pushed hip hop forward.

  • shain21

    Yo, if we’re talking strictly as an MC you’re retarded like this dude in the video. As a rapper…seriously, how can you put drake over kendrick. Drake is more popular I u understand that but bodies of work, rap skill and style kendrick bodies drake and it’s not even a question. Drake number 1 MC, YOU’RE TRIPPIN

  • Ronin

    I respect every opinion but in this convesation is something wrong. Where is Tupac (on past) ? Where is Eminem (present) ?
    DRAKE #1 ?? I dont think, he is good , is one of the best actualy but Kendrick is in other level in lyricysm, telling stories, making our minds blowing with the simply poems he writes about everything. It just an opinion by a portuguese fella.

  • Dialtone

    Drake ant no M.C. anymore this conversation is lame…Drake ant raising the bar, he’s found his nitch as a pop artist so lets stop even bringing him in the conversation. We don’t even know what this clown writes anymore. K-DOT VS Cole is the real conversation to be had..

    • Dark Knight

      He’s a pop star but he’s defitnely proven he can rap better than a lot of people. if you’re reading this its too late was basically his rap album and all of 2015 and 2016 he was rapping more than ever. Lyrically Kendrick is the best but Drake and Cole are there too.

      • Stop it 5

        Drake dont even write his own shit

        • Dark Knight

          Not all his career but he’s proven he can rap his ass off

  • Da Truthhh

    Nobody is #1 till these niggas battle ducking and dodging each other.
    #onlycanbe1

  • sean lawson

    Imma be completely honest. It was hard for me to focus on what dude in the clip was saying because this was recorded and edited so unprofessionally. It looks and sounds like a school project. Use better mics and maybe consider a different style of shooting, and different backdrop. This could be a dope series.

  • sean lawson

    Ok I watched it again, the nigga literally didn’t say anything supporting the order of this list. Why are any of these niggas the best? He said J. Cole is third best because his album wasn’t that good in his opinion, K Dot is second best because he’s the hottest at the moment, but Drake is the best because he’s still being Drake and Kendrick isn’t as big as him yet. What???

    Do this shit over! Lol erase this bullshit and do it over cuz. This is rap radar, not some kid’s YouTube page.

    • Naji Grampus

      reading is fundamental.

  • sean lawson

    Y’all gotta stop with this Big Sean shit. You can tell that he takes a lot of time crafting his mediocre ass verses. I give him credit for taking risks with different flows and whatnot, but he ain’t out-rapping shit, knock it off! And his “witty” lyrics are actually childish and repulsive 90% of the time. That monotonous voice don’t help either.

    Most of what I said also goes for Nicki Minaj as well. Y’all gotta cut that shit out. Baby girl verses is trashhh almost 100% of the time. And I’m sick of people putting these two rappers in the conversation when there are literally a thousand real spitters, mainstream and underground, that’ll clean both they ass up on some bars shit.

    • Naji Grampus

      Tripping, Big Sean right there

  • Top 3 for sure!

  • Trappin’ Trev

    I AGREE. ALSO THIS IS A DOPE SEGMENT PLUS IT’S BRIEF WHICH IS GOOD…, KEEP IT COMING. DEBATING EMCEES IS ALWAYS A FUN CONVERSATION

  • cole was never that good… kendrick is pretty damn good… but drake, even with niggas writing his shit, somehow is goat of this generation… he’s done too much… and no matter what yall say, you wont be bumping damn in two months…

  • When you debate these three you are really just talking about popularity. Torae, Ka, Oddisee and Nick Grant are all quality.