August 12, 2013


Jadakiss: My Top 5 Rappers of All Time

Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

"We in a good space,” Jadakiss says of the new LOX album We Are the Streets 2 from his studio in Yonkers, NY. “We have 8-10 songs done. When I should've been coming in here doing [my solo album] Top 5, Dead or Alive, I've been doing LOX songs. I had to get back to my Top 5 mission. I'm trying to balance it out.”

Four years after the release of his last solo album, and 13 after the LOX's last release, Jadakiss finds himself in one of the most prolific periods of his career. A long-rumored collaborative mixtape with Yo Gotti is still in the works, though the focus now is on The LOX and his own solo album.

“We almost feel like we back in the beginning stages with the anxiety and how we feel after the songs are laid,” said the rapper on reuniting with fellow LOX members Sheek Louch and Styles P. “Now it's all of us in here together instead of members coming in at different times. We bounce off each other and we make stuff happen that we really don't even know we did until we finish hearing the material. The strength is in the numbers. When we come as one, there's no telling what it's gonna be.”

The rapper has yet to announce release dates for either of the two projects, but points to the Scram Jones-produced “Too Hot” as the LOX "hors d’oeuvre."

“It’s a hors d’oeuvre to throw out there for the summer for the people to know that we're serious about this,” says the rapper. “The theme of the song is about the summer being too hot. It's just about having fun and what people do in the summer: pretty girls, pool party, cookout.”

With an album named Top 5, Dead or Alive, though, Jada indulged us in the obvious question: Who are his Top 5 rappers? "It's really more than five great MCs and they'll always be more than five. But 'Who's the greatest?' is just one of the questions in hip hop that always comes up. These are in no particular order. All of them combined is just great for the culture."

His lyricism always stood out even as a youngster and there was always something different about him. He was there to intertwine the tales of the hood with some positive message about not taking the negative road others took. But he always brought help some flyness in there; that always made me love Nas. I still do.

Jay Z
It's really just his whole business savvy; the way he was able to come in from dealing drugs and go on to become one of the top entrepreneurs is amazing. And he's still doing it. He can still come out whenever he wants and show that his swords are sharp.

Notorious B.I.G.
Just everything. I was able to be under him and watch him record and watch how he handled himself and take care of his loved ones. He was never selfish. Just a humble, great dude and that spilled out with his bars and his lyrics and the way he prepared his projects.

Just because of what he was able to bring to the culture, both musically and with his acting. 'Pac was just a strong black brother that was able to voice the way he felt and made the world see his picture.

Styles P
My brother. Growing up with him, he used to be very angry and violent. Now he's able to put that into the music. Putting your pain on a beat, make the people feel it and still be hard is hard to do. He was able to make a marriage of that street hardcore with some backpack sh-t that created his own lane.