The 50 Greatest NYC hip-hop artists: Guest list

You've seen the list, now hear what Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, Peter Rosenberg and more have to say.



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De La Soul's Maseo and KRS-One

De La Soul's Maseo and KRS-One

De La Soul’s Maseo

Also known as Plug 3 and, he tells us, Vinnymerlot. De La Soul is No. 14 on our list of 50 greatest NYC hip-hop artists.

“I would have to say KRS-One is my favorite hip-hop NYC artist. The first time I heard KRS-One it was a record called ‘P is [Still] Free’ and ‘Stop the Violence,’ and I believe the other song was ‘Word from Our Sponsor.’ I heard these songs well before they were on that album from Red Alert’s radio show and P-Fine’s show. I had the single of ‘P is [Still] Free’ with D-Nice beat-boxing, and a completely different and more melodic version of ‘Stop the Violence.’

“KRS-One, in my opinion, exuded hard-core lyrics with an intense level of consciousness that supported minds and helped the growth of the unfortunate and underprivileged. But at the same time, he would crush an MC’s career if they attacked him in any way. I believe that comes with understanding and being aware of your environment as well as the people and animals within.

“His influence on me was, I began to feel that it was okay to be from the streets and present intelligence, consciousness and self-worth. What do I mean by self-worth? The man made a record called ‘I’m Still #1.’ Need I say more?

“His influence on hip-hop makes him an icon. Every rapper from Jay-Z to 50 Cent—Jeezy, Snoop—epitomizes the entire blueprint of Criminal Minded, and I say that with the utmost respect for their work, as well.

“KRS-One is the greatest because in this modern-day era, or error, of hip-hop, he can still make great records. New rappers are scared, or at least skeptical, in wanting to battle him, and with just a DJ he can really rock a live show for two hours plus, and the energy in the room will be extremely high. No one wants to perform after him—in hip-hop he is the ultimate headliner!”

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