Sorry, But Kanye Is the GOAT

Categories: Fiesta!

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Kanye West is the greatest hip-hop artist of all time. He's made the best albums and changed the game the most, and his music is the most likely to endure.

One thing before we get going: This isn't one of those arguments meant to piss people off or "start a conversation." I really mean it. And, considering I was born a few minutes after hip-hop was and have been writing about it for over a decade, I feel qualified to say. So let's say it again: Kanye is the GOAT.

Rather than laying out all the evidence in his favor, though, I'm just going to predict and shoot down your arguments, one by one:

See Also:
-Kanye West Is Batshit Crazy: Decoding The Ten Boasts That Prove It
-Will Kanye West Ever Stop Talking About His Clique?

1) He's not a very good rapper

Fine. Maybe. Sorta. Well, not really, but even if that were true, being the GOAT is not the same as being the bestest technician. If that were the case then Christopher Cross or someone would be the best rock dude instead of Bob Dylan.

2) Biggie Smalls is the GOAT

We love Biggie more than many members of our family, but Biggie died too soon to be the greatest. He never got a chance to experiment much with style, or to refine his story-telling abilities as he moved into different phases of his life. Maybe Ready to Die and Life After Death are better than The College Dropout and Late Registration (maybe), but would his next three albums have been as strong as Graduation, 808s & Heartbreak, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy? Would his music have evolved in such interesting, complex ways? The answers are most likely no.

3) Kanye's fallen way off since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Sure, Watch the Throne was not classic, and Cruel Summer is definitely not classic, but they are not Kanye solo projects and should not be judged in the same way. Are they evidence that Kanye has fallen off permanently? Absolutely not. Don't forget that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy -- an album that is Kanye's best, in the opinion of many -- is barely two years old. Let him get his kilt-wearing, kingmaking phase out of the way and see if he doesn't come back with an even more interesting perspective.

4) Jay-Z is the GOAT

Jay-Z is an absolutely first-rate songwriter, rapper, and performer, and his influence and style have unquestionably shaped the genre permanently. And, not for nothing, he brought the world Kanye West. (And Memphis Bleek.) But even putting aside Jay's great mountain of subpar work, very few of his albums are truly canonical 'art with a capital a,' whereas one can make this case for every one of Kanye's albums.

Though he's an expert boaster (not a slag) and makes stellar street anthems and pop hits with equal ease, Jay-Z doesn't often go to interesting places emotionally. In that sense, he's the best rap traditionalist; rap didn't used to be about psychiatrist couch confessions. But we believe the genre's tendency toward introspection is a positive shift, and while others deserve credit in this regard (including Scarface and Eminem) no one's more responsible for it than Kanye.

Also, shouldn't the greatest hip-hop artist be at least somewhat relevant when it comes to social issues? While one gets the feeling Jay hangs out with the president mostly because it makes him look cool, Kanye has legitimately risked his reputation on issues like gay acceptance and the diamond trade. He addresses issues like poverty, inequality, and access to education in his songs, in a way that is not trivial but is also not shrill or annoyingly Kwelian.

Oh, and this might be petty, but personally we'll never forgive Jay for ruining "Never Let Me Down." What could have been one of Kanye's best tracks evar is blemished by Jay. After J.Ivy offers one of the most heartwarming, uplifting verses we've heard, Jay-Z returns for a megalomaniacal, completely pointless second turn on the mic, and it's the absolute pits.


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228 comments
Angie Steiger
Angie Steiger

Unsubscribed. RFT has been a joke for quite some time, but what ridiculous timing for this article. Wouldn't one on the amazingly talented Beck be better? See ya, RFT.

Theresa Hampton Allen
Theresa Hampton Allen

No, he's not the greatest! Greatest fool, perhaps, but not artist. Just sayin.

Maria Fontana Franklin
Maria Fontana Franklin

He's the greatest dbag. Other than that, he's nothing. He always looks like a butthurt 5-year-old. Everyone's always against him (in his head).

Terry Cagle
Terry Cagle

Hey @ Riverfront Times if my first comment gets to 130 likes you should let me write and post one story and see how well it is received especially since you all catch a lot of flack for the stories you post

Drew Somervell
Drew Somervell

I guess the RFT never heard of LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-1, Slick Rick, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Shock G, Q-Tip........I could go on.

Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds

I would love to see 1990 Ice Tea literally murder him. But I'm old. What do I know?

Laura Bass
Laura Bass

Bull Shit racist ass of a donkey

Angela Williams
Angela Williams

Best Hip Hop artist of all time??? He is talented and I even have some of his stuff; but best of all time I don't think so and he's still a douche bag....Thanks but no thanks RFT...

Drew Somervell
Drew Somervell

We gunna ain't keep goin' until e'ry paraplegic in the house stan up off they feet!!!

DNArocks
DNArocks

He is not an artist at all in any way,,,but i am completely fine with him posing as one because all the Sheeple of the world need some dumb ass spokesman to fill their Shallow Lives....

Anthony J Costa
Anthony J Costa

This article makes me see the RFT in a whole different way, and not in a good way!!! The fact that the RFT would even allow this article to be released is beyond me... The RFT just lost tons of credibility . What a joke!!

Ryan Skeen
Ryan Skeen

Greatest...and hip hop are a contradiction in terms

Patrick Walgamott
Patrick Walgamott

People think he's good because MTV and radios gave up on real rappers 15 years ago, so when someone who can actually rap at all starts getting attention for fucking some talentless gal who fucked some has been singer's younger brother on tape, ignorant ass people start calling him the best ever. This is the country we live in.

Patrick Walgamott
Patrick Walgamott

Korian, he is a great producer, and a very good rapper, but he doesn't hold a candle to most of the people he has produced for. You dont know shit about rap. Im sure all you listen to is what MTV and the radio tell you to your entire life. You are everything that is wrong with our country and the current state of popular music.

Chauna Payne
Chauna Payne

Because it was a "crossover" hit...Thanks for your input

Patrick Walgamott
Patrick Walgamott

Unsubscribed. Your hip hop ignorance is beyond any level of respect.

Chris Gee
Chris Gee

Kanye West is not the goat. Far from it.

Thomas Weymer
Thomas Weymer

Ben westhoff you sir are a fucking retard! Kanye is a fucking joke

Edward Foy
Edward Foy

I'm really sick of looking at Kim Kardashians ass.

MA Zep
MA Zep

RFT, put the crystal meth down...

Dennis Gilbert
Dennis Gilbert

" greatest hip-hop artist " big fuckin deal, he can talk fast while the drum bangs and disparage women, blacks, whites and authority. BIG RICH JOKE!

Kered Spuds
Kered Spuds

HA HA HA HA Do you even listen to music, RFT?

Amelia Kay
Amelia Kay

I agree Golddigger was the best song he did.

Glenn Blackmore
Glenn Blackmore

He is a f$&@ing joke and has no talent at all. If it wasn't for autotune he would sound like a drowning cat.

David Sostman
David Sostman

You have goat to be kidding me RFT! Learn an instrument, and leave the writing to the professionals!

Terry Cagle
Terry Cagle

Beck can play 14 instruments and Beyonce has multiple writers per song as does Kanye but Beck needs to respect artist's gtfoh

Josh Patton
Josh Patton

Worlds biggest dick for him aka worlds biggest mouth.

Terry Cagle
Terry Cagle

Hell give me a chance to write a story for this paper and post it and i guarantee it will have more fans than detractors.....

Sharon Gladney
Sharon Gladney

hes a thirsty attention grabber like beybot and kar-trash-ians

Billy Arnall
Billy Arnall

Who reads a ass wipe rag like the river front times anyway...

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