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Souls Of Mischief Talk G.O.A.T. (Video)

blame it on Meka December 10, 2009


SoulCulture caught up with Souls Of Mischief in London last month and the discussion turned to the frequently debated subject of The Greatest emcees Of All Time.

In this mini roundtable discussion, Opio and Phesto discuss the flaws of corporate lists – such as MTV’s – and the variety of factors one should consider when assessing The Greatest Of All Time, and Tajai insists (contrary to Baby’s recent comments, “How can you be the best if you don’t make the most money?”) that innovation is the most important factor. Then he puts it out there – “Name one thing Jay-Z or Lil Wayne brought to Hip Hop that’s new? …They brought nothing new to Hip Hop. Zero.” – before giving his own Top 10 G.O.A.T list.

Their latest album, Montezuma’s Revenge, is out now.

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  • T

    I wonder do they bring into account that MTV’s list wasnt the best ever…It was the “hottest” out….


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  • wow

    i wonder if you realize that mtv has other lists claiming “the best ever”


  • XYZ

    man these guys spoke truth to the fullest.

  • T


    Im only referring to the recent list that was out about a month and a half ago…

    They didnt specify so I assumed….but where is this list you speak of?

    I would like to see it..

  • justcallmejuice

    nuff truth in there…

    why is it that the best/most skilled/originator types don’t sell?

  • Gremlin

    Because you did something first its the best?


  • XYZ

    take daft punk, they were the first
    and they’re the best…
    just using electronica as an example.

  • T

    So where is Soulja Boy on this “best of all time” list….????

    I’ve yet to see that…

    First dude doesnt know what he is talking about, he is poisoning the convo
    with false information.


    I agree….That list of the last guy seems more like his “favorite rappers”
    rather than a fair comparison…

    He said he isnt going to make a list based on the last 30 mins or last 3 years
    but he is making a list disregarding the last 15 years of “hiphop” so that
    statement of his is really hypocritical….If you say you going by the hiphop’s
    last 30 YEARS then do it….Dont stop in 95’…..

  • ^^The originals don’t sell because the people are ignorant.

    Thank you Tajai for saying what a lot of ignoramus’ will argue otherwise.

  • T


    I agree with the Daft Punk statement. but have they ever become irrelevant?
    Has their skill not progressed over a certain point?

    No. They have always been a force in the electronica movement….Something that few if any rappers have done…

  • ^^Daft Punk was NOT the first.

  • T

    @Mr. Andre.

    Im going to give you an example of why you are wrong…

    one of my favorite rappers (Erick Sermon) and groups (EPMD)

    Can be put in a “originator” category right?

    Erick Sermon as a rapper has not progressed as a “rapper”.

    Listen to “Chilltown N.Y” listen to “We mean business”

    Erick is saying some of the exact same things he said on past records..
    this is a problem that alot of artist have,
    but an “originator”??? nahh it cant be….

    But we give him a pass..Why because he is part of that “golden era”

    So NO. The people arent ignorant..These “originators” dont step up.

    Point blank.

  • lhjr

    Dudes list is on some Greatest Originators of All-time. Plus, a hip hop oriented “Greatest MC” list from a purist perspective is going to differ vastly from a “Greatest Rapper” list.

  • amp


  • stevep

    this dudes a cold moron if he thinks jay aint brought nothin to the table for hip hop…GTFOH…making 2 of the greatest albums ever dont count as bringing something to hip hop? Taking MTV cameras into africa to raise awareness on the quality of life aint a contribution to hip hop? the battle records with nas? campaigning for the first black president? introducing us to just blaze, and kanye? “Meet the Parents”? i dont know the age of some of these cats on here sometimes but i remember after jay dropped “everybody wanna sound like jay-z” thats a contribution my dude.

    wayne too man i mean im not the biggest fan but somewhere in between the time when he was spittin over that “show me what you got” instrumental and carter 3 when he was droppin all those records that leaned out stream of conscience flow was nasty. thats a contribution too if you ask me.

  • Unxpekted

    jay-z or lil wayne will never be the GOAT because they arent that talented

  • Jackkerorap

    there’s a difference between actually contributing to hip hop and doing shit that’s publicized a lot. jay hasn’t done shit for hip hop aside from making it more mtv friendly.

  • Jonnie Hayward The IV

    A-Plus’s verse on Souls Of Mischief’s Live and Let Live track back in 93′ is one of the greatest verses of all time

  • Jonnie Hayward The IV

    And if Birdman thinks $ makes u the best then I guess that means SouljaBoy is a top 10 rapper

  • iCon

    I agree wit stevep….

    But My personal opinion is just that, my personal opinion… (And opinions are most definitely like assholes cuz everyone has one.)
    Now you can hate Jay for whatever reason i.e.: He didn’t look at you when you were screaming his names while you were waiting outside at one of his concerts. But the fact that Jay has made it possible (along with others) for “rappers” to have their own clothing lines, set trends with almost every new album he puts out, has the respect of most of the greats and even people who dont like him, I think has some merit to it.
    Their will always be haterz out there who aren’t gonna like Jay for whatever reason. Even the fact that a month or two back, (I cant remember who it was exactly) that a rapper who don’t even like Jay said that hip-hop without Jay-Z is boring and I totally agree. Haterz and fans alike jump when Jay puts out something new. The haterz wanna see if it’s something they can say is gay or garbage in their posts on websites such as this to piss off the fans and the fans just foam at the mouth cuz Jay is dope and they can’t wait to start reciting his lines off that new song.
    What Jay is doing right now is making music that can be played on pop radio without giving up substance i.e.( Empire State of Mind) and that to me is probably one of the biggest contributions any hip-hop artist can give in a time when we need more substance and less bubble gum bullshit on the radio.

    I’m not saying Souls of Mischief are wrong I’m just saying they really should have thought those statements through before making them in an interview.

  • Heh

    Bringing something new is the least important categorization to great music. Period.

  • iCon

    And Heh I also agree wit that statement as well… Why can’t it just be about the music..

  • iCon

    After watchin the video another time its a little more apparent to me now the real answer or question to this. Here it goes: Is there anyone and I mean anyone and everyone who at some point in time hasn’t bit or got something from someone else in hip-hop? I can’t think of one. Obviously the style and form of rap came from someone so somebody else bit off of that and so forth. So I really dont think that original styles should even be debated in a conversation of The GOAT.

  • These dudes r boring. Saying Jay-z hasn’t brought anything to hip-hop is crazy. Every rapper they named has been influenced by someone else so how can they be an Originator? Of course if you were the first ppl to rap your gon be an Originator. I agree with them about Soulja Boy but the MTV list was the HOTTEST MC’S not the MOST LYRICAL or G.O.A.T. When you talk about influence on hip-hop Jay-z is definitely a G.O.A.T. Don’t know about Wayne.

  • The Fucking Truth

    I think you have to consider Jay-Z one of the greatest, because although he isn’t as skilled right now as when he was at his peak, name one other rapper that has managed to stay relevant for as long as Hov has?

    Plus I think people overlook Outkast too often, those guys are completely original, very skilled, and everyone likes them, and yet they’re always left off of GOAT lists

  • Bottomline a lot of emcees r bitter bcuz they want to hear super-lyrical stuff. Don’t get me wrong I love lyrical emcees like Lupe, Nas, & Common, but sometimes I don’t think they know what the hell they’re talking about in their rhymes. Jay-z said it best “Just bcuz u don’t understand him, it doesn’t mean that he nice!” That’s y a lot of rappers aren’t successful. Again I’m a big fan of Talib Kweli, Common, Mos Def, but dudes where I’m from will throw that shit out the window if u put it in their CD player. lol

  • I agree wit The Fucking Truth Outkast is probably the only Originators of our time

  • A.I.

    Jay-Z is good at what he does and that is jacking peeps style and lyrics…

  • Nas.

  • john

    i dig their music but it just seems like dudes are stuck in the past..its like the argument about being an originator actually hurts his argument cause it seems like hes stuck in a pre 95 phase of hip hop as dude said above. IMO jay-z is the goat for numerous reasons and it seems as though sometimes the fact that he is so successful in various ventures takes away from peoples views on his lyricalness. Just cause dude it part owner of the nets or was president of def jam should have nothing to do with his mc abilities and i think sometimes that actually hurts him in goat talks cause people want to list the people that make them seem smarter and more “underground” whatever the fuck that is (not in this particular case). It works both ways..old cats dont respect new cats enough and new cats dont respect the old ones enough..thats just the way shit works.

  • ^^@T

    Your point is blank.

    How are you going to bring Eric Sermon into this? He was good, but no GOAT.
    (I’m not arguing GOAT here, cause that’s a whole other subject.)
    I agree with you that some “originators” don’t step up, which is why the don’t sell.
    What I’m saying is that cats with original styles don’t really sell-out because the masses don’t listen to the content; they like the ignorant shit that plays on the radio, and bangs in the club. If people were to listen to the content, then we’d have “conscious” rappers selling millions.

    Here’s an example:
    Gift Of Gab is one of the illest MCs of all time. He has an original style that can murder a gang of GOATs (my 2); But, the masses haven’t heard his music because he doesn’t get airplay.
    Now, take the Cash Money/Young Money click:
    They’re the hot shit right now, and they get airplay daily. The shit they’re spitting is just that…shit. However, they will continue to sell millions because…

    The people are ignorant.

    Selling records does not make for great music.

    Thank you for validating my point.

  • haterade

    @Reez…i dont think its about being super lyrical i think its about good music. i mean i respect lupe n common so much no only because they are lyrical, but they make, imo, great relevant music. jay makes good music, wayne made decent music back with carter one and two. jay makes good music when he wants to.

    it depends on what u want outta the music. if u just wanna catchy beat and easy to remember hooks, n simple rhymes, more power to you, but i want an experience with my music. i wanna feel something, go somewhere else, u know? 75% of mainstream rappers dont offer me any connection. like i fucks with jeezy, not cuz he’s a sick lyricists, but he’s gonna make u feel something with his music. but thats just me, u wanna dance and shit more power to you

  • haterade

    and i dont like the argument that people are ignorant. music is all subjective. because people like something dont mean they have a worse opinion than yours, its just different. all this ur ignorant for liking wayne talk is off some “holier than thou” snobbery type shit…

  • T

    @Mr Andre

    I was commenting on your “Originator” comment.

    When and where did I say something in response to YOU about GOAT?

    When did I say Eric was GOAT??

    So Erick Sermon and E.P.M.D arent originators???

    Who said seling records makes for good music???

    Are you making things up now?

    Your ignoring my EXACT response to what you said.

    You would be right If what YOU said I said was correct and not made up.

    and you want to talk about ignorant..lsmh lol haha…
    aint that some hypocricy..

  • T

    @Mr. Andre

    and i can bring up more too…..its not just Erick Sermon
    out of the “originators” group who hasnt stepped up

    LIsten to Rev. Runs new stuff and listen to the old..no step up.

    Rakim..Seventh Seal is not a step up…I dont care if he is a legend..
    im just calling it like it is….

    Honestly one of the “Originators” i can say who has honestly “stepped up”
    would be Busta Rhymes….He is one that clearly sticks out in my mind..

    and NOW to the GOAT subject…Why isnt he considered in peoples top 10??

    Is it because they only name their favorites???

    Are hiphop purist actually the real “ignorant” ones????

  • T

    @Mr. Andre

    and i can bring up more too…..its not just Erick Sermon
    out of the “originators” group who hasnt stepped up

    LIsten to Rev. Runs new stuff and listen to the old..no step up.

    Rakim..Seventh Seal is not a step up…I dont care if he is a legend..
    im just calling it like it is….

    Honestly one of the “Originators” i can say who has honestly “stepped up”
    would be Busta Rhymes….He is one that clearly sticks out in my mind..

    and NOW to the GOAT subject…Why isnt he considered in peoples top 10??

    Is it because they only name their favorites???

    Are hiphop purist actually the real “ignorant” ones????

  • The Fucking Truth

    How has Busta Rhymes stepped up? If anything dude is regressing with the shit he’s been putting out

  • WOW!

    Like I said, I’m not arguing GOAT here.
    And, selling records does NOT make for great music.

    No disrespect, but, not comprehending is a form of ignorance.

    Again, Thank you for validating my point.

    The realest comment on this subject… ^^ Music is subjective.

  • haterade

    yea i cant co-sign busta rhymes stepping up…that nigga been steadily falling down the steps after he cut his hair…arab money…fuck outta here

  • @haterade yeah I agree… I’m just saying, to say Jay hasn’t made a contribution to hip-hop is kinda crazy to me… I mean who determines what good music is really? the listeners… so I agree music is subjective… some ppl will argue u down that Gucci Mane is the G.O.A.T. when we know that’s far from the truth

  • BlindsidedXIX

    Hows this for some truth. Men lie, women lie, numbers dont. These rappers who are going nowhere need to stop being bitter at Jay he’s at a level they could never be. Say what you want but Jay-Z is the last music icon. The internet has saturated the game

  • f12

    i for one dont think the only criteria for greatness is originality. but to each…

    and i loved that part where phes says “nas might be the greatest…” and then he pretty much says, but he’s not on my greatest rapper of all time list. sounded like a line from the office or something.

  • haterade

    that numbers dont lie bullshit is old as shit. so according to that bullshit logic hanna montana is the best artist of the generation…fuck outta here. while i agree jay drops some gems, thats not one to drop when making a point.

  • iCon

    Let’s just list JUST 2 of Jay’s contributions to Hip-Hop:

    1) Reasonable Doubt

    2) The Blueprint

    Nuff said..

  • What people have to realize is that things that are created are going to have generations of their creation to follow it. There’s no way that you can compare the originators of hip hop to the current generation. Hip Hop as a genre of music is very new, it’s been around 30+ years, but in musical terms compared to the established genres such as Jazz, Rock, Classical etc, it’s very new. And even though it is new, it has probably seen the most change besides the genre of Pop music.

  • Numbers do lie when people manipulate them ;-) Jay Z gets by on peoples ignorance. If people weren’t so ignorant, he would not be in the position what he’s in now, and people like Immortal Technique, Talib, and emcees of that caliber would be the popular ones and would sell more records.

  • ^Talib has sold records, he just doesn’t drop enough. Y do ppl have to be ignorant if they like mainstream artists? that’s just their musical preference. I’d change that statement around, if the artists u listed were smarter or more interested in money they’d sell more records. Alotta of these artists either aren’t in it for the money(which I think is a POSITIVE) or not wise enough to market themselves

  • fresh evidence

    The Old Heads are going fuckin Ham on this post! And they must be smoking that hard rock! Jay-Z has to be in the Top 10 ever. Jay is a music icon, he is worldwide, he transcends music, him and Diddy toke hip hop from just music to business. And as far as musically theres probably less than two hand fulls of albums that can even compare to Reasonable Doubt or Blueprint. Please name me 10 rapper that have contributed more to the success of hip hop as a whole and given the listeners songs as lyrical as a “Dead Presidents”….11 #1 albums, only groups EVER to have more are the Beatles. You cant tell me Jay is Top 10 Best Rappers Ever

  • fresh evidence

    i think homie had a really good list but you also have to take into consideration what a rapper has done to revolutionize the game. Eminem and Jay toke hip hop from a nation wide sorta thing to worldwide. And also when he talks about originators thats a good point. But theres always gonna be those that come after and improve & perfect those already developed styles. When you talk about Jay, Nas, or Em your talking about artist that perfected many of the multiple styles of hip hop

  • Chastenlouise


  • BKS

    If you’re going to talk about originiality, what Tajai said is true. Jay nor Wayne brought anything new to the table, but Jay did change hip hop. (if that makes sense.) But at the same time i have to disagree with Tajai, originiality shouldn’t be one of the reason to judge someone to be the GOAT – nor should album sales. For instance, Nas got his style from Rakim, though Rakim influence Nas, Nas has surpass his (unofficial) mentor. IN MY OPINION, it should be solely base off of creativity and lyrics. But this GOAT list is always going to be subjective. And my GOAT is a tie between Andre 3000 & Eminem.

    yes, i know Em’s last 2 albums were duds.

  • MosDefinitelyTrue