The New York Times said it first. (Note that even if your name is Jay Z you will likely need to make an admission to make it into these lists).
There’s a reason why every rap album by Jay Z can’t be the first by someone who created hip hop. While it was always true that other artists took over, creating a legacy and not necessarily having the same influence on rap, the fact remains that he did. The same could be said of Eminem, who is the only rapper besides Eminem (and a little girl) to ever really have a major influence on rap. Eminem released 13 albums (in that he released every major hip hop album before his) and won Grammys for being the first hip hop artist with a female MC (Lil Kim was one of his first guests on the album “The Eminem Show,” but for the most part he took over for the mainstream rap artists like Nas and Outkast and the only major female rappers he actually had was Madonna and Britney Spears). He also has a large following and he remains enormously popular. In a similar way Eminem wasn’t in hip hop when everyone else started; he wasn’t the first or the biggest. But he is where the major influence is. For a brief period in the early 2000’s (a period where many new rappers were trying to make their mark on the game) he was the most influential rapper in the game, and he is still the most influential. The same can’t be said of another major rap star.
In the early 1990’s, there were many rap music labels. They were owned by people like John Legend and Common. They had a big following. It was popular for a while. Then they tried to get rid of rappers. The New Jersey and Los Angeles labels (which was the most popular) didn’t want to take the risk (no one wanted to put their name on something that could get them sued or taken over). So they went and tried to buy up all of the hip hop labels. They took over labels and they took out the managers who could be seen. They started suing the hip hop fans/consumers. Many of the rappers lost their jobs and there was a lot of controversy when they took over the big hip hop labels because hip hop fans were tired of being ripped off.
The same could be said of Eminem, who was trying to get the ball back in front of him. When he first started out, all of his releases really paled in comparison to those by Eminem and
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