Ja Rule, the acclaimed American rapper and actor, has recently voiced his disagreement with Billboard and VIBE's Top 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time list. The list, which crowned JAY-Z as the top MC, did not include Ja Rule, leading him to assert that it's "statistically impossible" for him not to be among the top 50 rappers.
The subjectivity of music rankings
During his appearance on The Tamron Hall Show, Ja Rule expressed his views on the subjectivity of music rankings. He argued that music preferences are personal, and everyone has their favorite artists. He further stated that any list of top rappers would be incomplete without his inclusion, given his significant contributions to the genre.
In discussing music rankings, Ja Rule emphasized that he's not a hater and offered congratulations to everyone on the list. He dismissed the significance of such lists, asserting that music is subjective, and everyone has their own favorite artists.
However, Ja Rule questioned the legitimacy of a list compiled by Billboard, known for its emphasis on numbers and statistics. He argued that creating a credible list without including himself would be statistically impossible given Billboard's criteria.
While acknowledging the subjectivity of musical taste, Ja Rule noted the need for different metrics when evaluating older artists who may not have attained top sales. Despite potential controversy, Ja Rule stood firm in his statement, concluding with the assertion, "I said what I said."
"I’m not a hater. Congrats to everyone on the list,” he said. “[But] these lists, they’re meaningless because music is subjective. You like who you want to like, you know everybody has their favorite artist.
“But my thing was: this is a list comprised by Billboard. They do numbers and statistics, if I’m not mistaken. Ok so, that list is impossible to make without Ja Rule being on it — statistically impossible.”"
"He continued: “There are artists that don’t have number one records, don’t have number one albums. I’m not knocking anybody on the list because, like I said, music is subjective.
“And when it comes to some of the older artists, you kind of got to go by different metrics because they didn’t have the sales. But I said what I said."
Ja Rule's contributions to hip-hop
Ja Rule's career, marked by over 30 million record sales and two Billboard Hot 100 number one singles, has been influential in the hip-hop scene, particularly in the late '90s and early '00s. His hit songs, including "Always on Time," "I'm Real," "Mesmerize," and "New York," have left a lasting impact on the genre.
The hip-hop community's response
Ja Rule's claim has ignited a debate among hip-hop fans and critics. While some support his assertion, others question his exclusion from the list. Notably, rapper and filmmaker Ice Cube also criticized Billboard's list, stating that "they ain't Hip Hop".
In conclusion, Ja Rule's assertion that it's "statistically impossible" for him not to be among the top 50 rappers has sparked a lively discussion among hip-hop fans and critics. While the criteria for such lists can be subjective, Ja Rule's exclusion has raised questions about the metrics used to compile them. Regardless of his position on the list, Ja Rule's influence on hip-hop is undeniable.
Watch the full interview below