The ten best storytellers in hip-hop

Categories: Lists

6. Lupe Fiasco
Lupe is known for his storytelling with tracks like "Kick, Push," which speaks to the existential crisis of the misfit and "Bitch Bad," which tackles the lofty subject of gender relations in hip-hop. But Lupe's greatest achievement in storytelling has been the abstract and epic saga of Michael Young History, a boy abandoned by his father, raised by metaphorical characters The Streets and The Game to eventually become The Cool. Though which of Lupe's songs touch on this tale is debated, it is generally accepted that the story begins on Lupe's debut, Food & Liquor with Michael's childhood on "He Say, She Say" and ends just a few tracks later with (spoiler alert) his resurrection on "The Cool." The meat of the story is stretched across his first two studio albums and possibly beyond containing at least six tracks and according to this interpreter, eighteen.

5. Eminem
As far as storytelling is concerned, The Slim Shady LP is one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- albums ever: "Brain Damage," "As the World Turns," "My Fault," "'97 Bonnie and Clyde," and especially "Guilty Conscience" are all creative and entertaining stories that would make the cut as nearly any album's token storytelling song. Eminem's very best story, though, didn't come until The Marshal Mathers LP with "Stan," a Shakespearean-level tragedy compressed into a less than seven minute song.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
26 comments
truth
truth

Agreed! Finally a writer in Westword that really knows Hip-Hop!! about damn time...

Colfax Jack
Colfax Jack

The Rhymesayers record label is full of great storytellers. Atmosphere's album "When Life Gives You Lemons..." is a great example of storytelling in hip-hop. But one of my favorite lines is from Brother Ali: "I write the raps for the ones Johnny Cash wore the black for."

David Avius Romero
David Avius Romero

Slick Rick, Brother Ali, Slug, Pac, B.I.G., Nas, Eminem, Jay Z, Black Thought, Will Smith. Runner UP: Masta Ace and

Andy Thomas
Andy Thomas

Snow. I never snitched again after hearing "Informer."

Jacob Ryan
Jacob Ryan

Kendrick, J.Cole. At least for today

Lynette Vigil
Lynette Vigil

Jay Z is HORRIBLE!!! He doesn't deserve to be on the list he cares more about getting rich, then he does about the craft of story telling

Tylr Tre
Tylr Tre

Hov ain't even on the list? ? Gtfoh.

Tylr Tre
Tylr Tre

Jay Z. No question about it.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...