COWEN: Your brother aside, who is the best rapper of all time?
GREENE: [laughs] The best rapper of all time. Well, it depends on if we’re talking about lyrics or something else. But I’ll go with Black Thought, who my brother would say as well, who’s the lead rapper for the Roots.
COWEN: What makes him especially interesting?
GREENE: He’s prolific. He’s extremely productive. He’s very smart. He’s not lazy in the way in which he constructs his lyrics, and he manages to be both musical and a poet. This is something that my brother has struggled with early in his career. He’s a poet. He’s not a musician, and he had to learn to be a musician. Trying to combine those things is a rare gift.Jamal Green on Conversations with Tyler Ep.151
It’s not that Jamal Green believes Black Thought is the best rapper, it’s his argument for why:
“he manages to be both musical and a poet“
It’s not a compliment paid to many rappers. The criteria is typically, lyrics, street cred, records sold, etc.
Time to revisit Black Thought and the Roots.
Watch the interview in full: