Sports & Entertainment

Local, National, and World Sports & Entertainment


December 2021

Is there a G.O.A.T. in Hip-Hop?  The topic is brought up time and time again.  Who’s the GOAT?  LL Cool J probably made it a more prominent topic or term.  With the Verzuz Battles, the conversation is struck again.  Some of common names mentioned, not exclusively, Melle Mel, Grand Master Caz, Rakim, Krs-One, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G. Rap, LL Cool J, Biggie, Tupac, Eminem, Drake, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, DMX, Nas, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Snoop, Scarface, and a few others.  Groups is another discussion so we will omit Run-DMC, Outkast, Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, NWA, Beastie Boys, etc.  

If there is a GOAT, what is it based on?  Popular opinion range from how many units sold, money earned, number of shows, lyrical prowess, creativity, intelligence, word play, catchy or intricate lyrics, originality, longevity, stage presence, versatility, game changers, popularity/fanbase, or a combination of all of these.  

If you believe that the greatest MC of all-time is the one who has sold the most units, then Eminem is the clear decision.  


Units sold:  
1. EMINEM (227 million units sold)
2. DRAKE (152 million units sold)
3. KANYE WEST (140 million units sold)
4. JAY-Z (125 million units sold)
5. LIL WAYNE (110 million units sold)
6. NICKI MINAJ (106 million units sold)
7. FLO RIDA (102 million units sold)
8. TUPAC SHAKUR (75 million units sold)
9. SNOOP DOGG (40 million units sold)
10. DMX (34 million units sold)


Is calculating the number of units sold a major factor?  Hip-hop artist of today hold a huge advantage due to technological advances such as social media, music streaming, and popularity of the genre that was built upon the backs of those that came before them.

If you believe that greatest is the one who earned the most money, then Kanye West with a net worth of $3.2 billion tops the list.  How much of that is from unit sales?  Surely entrepreneurialism is one of tenets of hip-hop.  What about those artists who do not get the airplay due to content?