One thing absolutely guaranteed to cause controversy in battle rap is a list and BET’s Top. 50 G.O.A.T.s was no different.
As a community that stands on the importance of documenting its icons correctly, battle rap fans collectively donned their debating hats on Tuesday (Oct. 25) to discuss BET’s “50 Greatest Battle Rappers of All Time” list
Hip-Hop journalist Justin “The Company Man” Hunte compiled the BET list using a set of criteria that included various accolades and attributes. Among them, “number of classic battles, the strength of opponents, overall skill set, total views, longevity, and impact.” Hunt also considered more artist factors such as “charisma, performance, and imagination.”
However, in a community that thrives on debate, lists can cause controversy and have artists and their supporters up in arms over all aspects of every list. This one was no different, and the battle rap community swiftly argued over the selection. Check out BET’s “Top 50 Battle Rap G.O.A.T.s” at the end of the page.
While list was not ranked, it included many names that would feature on any learned fan’s top. 50. However, who was left out became one of the major talking points.
Battle Rappers Debate The Top 50 Battle Rappers List
St. Louis legend Aye Verb hosted a Twitter Space early on Wednesday morning, attended by a host of the culture’s biggest names while media, supporters, artists and everyone in between debated the list on the timeline.
Despite rarely reaching a consensus on such topics, there was some agreement on a few glaring omissions that left many fans outraged. These included Chicago-based Big T and Harlem’s Ms. Hustle, both of whom made significant contributions to the scene. They joined Verb’s discussion to share their views, as did Justin Hunte.
He listened while being criticized for omitting Hustle and Big T in addition to a few others, including E. Hart, Reed Dollaz, and B Magic. He was also questioned over his choice to feature newer names alongside solidified greats and pioneers.
Justin acknowledged it would be impossible to achieve total consensus but conceded he should have added more honorable mentions. Listen to the recording of the discussion here, check out the list here, and some of the reactions to it below.