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NasRolling Stone magazine asked many music legends, past, present and future, to give their top picks on a subject of their choice for their “Playlist” issue.

Cee Lo Green listed off favorite music from the “Dirty South.” The Roots drummer ?uestlove reveals his favorite Prince songs. Drake even waxes poetic on Jimi Hendrix.

Another of hip-hop’s greats, Nas, gives his list of the best hip-hop lyricists of all time – a list that includes his one-time rival, Jay-Z.

When I said ‘hip hop is dead’ a few years ago, I felt we’d gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling. There’s a place for the party shit and a place for the gangster shit. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward.

01. Notorious B.I.G. – My Downfall (1997)

The lyrics are about how he’s acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he’s giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.

02. 2Pac – If My Homie Calls (1991)

He’s just saying to his boys that he’s going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.

03. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Road To the Riches (1989)

The way we’re rhyming now? He was already doing it then .

04. Ice Cube – A Bird In the Hand (1991)

05. Eric B. & Rakim – Paid In Full (1987)

06. Lil Wayne – I’m Single (2010)

I’m recently divorced, so I feel what he’s saying.

07. Rick Ross – Tears of Joy (2010)

Ross is at the pulpit here.

08. Slick Rick – The Moment I Feared (1988)

It’s cinematic. He’s at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he’s in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.

09. Jay-Z – Empire State of Mind (2009)

This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It’s New York’s modern anthem.

10. Lil Kim – Queen B***h (1996)

At the time, females rappers didn’t appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster sh*t.

Spotted @ HipHopDX

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