Before I get into all this I want to say I think it’s a great idea that people are making lists. Whether its music, sports or cereal — I don’t want to be friends if Lucky Charms is in your Top 5 — people are constantly ranking and debating about who or what is in the proverbial ‘Top 5’ or ‘Top 10’ and there’s no better way to solidify that than to write it down, particularly for the visual learners.

Now the correct way to do this would be to think about criteria. If we’re discussing hip-hop musical artists a greatest of all-time list needs to consider: lyrical ability, longevity, pen, ability to make a radio/club record, does this artist have a classic album, etc.

And the beauty of it all is even with that there’s bound to be subjectivity factored in as one person may think an album is a classic or may resonate with an artist more than someone else would. For instance impact/influence in any list of GOATs is probably my top criteria. To quote the person who should easily be number one on everyone’s rap list, “I heard motherfuckers say they made Hov/ made Hov say okay so/ make another Hov” Greatness influences and the genius of inspiration is being able to mold together an amalgamation of what you were a fan of —in addition to you, of course— to create something new.

I say all that to say, big ups to The Brew Podcast for having the guts to jump out and shake the world up with their list of Top 50 Rappers of All-Time:

Of course this BLEW up with everyone chiming in on their favorites that were left off the list entirely to perhaps one of the biggest controversies related to the list’s order with Joe Budden coming in at three (I’m from Jersey so I’m actually familiar with Joe’s history and while maybe not that high he’s definitely top 50 of all-time, go debate ya moms).

Besides the comments—that I’m sure destroyed The Brew Podcast’s mentions—others decided to create their own list sparking even more conversation on the topic. Now this had to make Joe sick (not done listening to Episode 269 yet) because the podcast had discussed long ago plans to release a list after frequently inquiring where various artists were slated in speaking about their careers.

While everyone’s busy talking about these rappers that were dissed or underrated, enter the What You Expect Podcast.

In easily what is a top five all-time group chat, we discussed making a Top 50 R&B list. Names were thrown out wildly. Some serious and some very tongue-in-cheek but alas we were presented with Dwa’s running list of names before fine tuning the final product.

Editor’s Note: Still mad Craig David got the boot but I am proud to have gotten J Lo smooth up out of here!

And from there it was all a blur. Between the comments on Twitter to shit really taking off after WorldStar posted the list (with no attribution smh) along with The Shade Room (who went and threw their watermark on it) and HotNewHipHop. The love—and even slander—was great for us to receive and a hilarious moment to interact with people liking, retweeting, commenting, posting memes and @-ing scorned R&B artists and friends over who should have been included and excluded.

At the end of the day, this is what social media should be about. Complete strangers coming together to make jokes and laugh and also block people that think Future is a R&B act. Nevertheless, we hope you all stay tuned and continue interacting with us, we love it! Also as a R&B/soul fan I would love if someone took the time to actually craft a thoughtful list of the oldies, the ‘90s and beyond as well as a list of the best groups.

While you’re here Episode 29 of the What You Expect podcast will be dropping today. Go stream our very own King Salomon’s new freestyle What’s Next and look out for the sixth installment of Last Week Was Lit coming on Friday.


What You Expect?