Hip Hop fans love to debate who the G.O.A.T. is — Kanye West, Eminem, JAY-Z, Rakim and even Drake (usually depending on what year the person is born) are typically top contenders. But Naughty By Nature’s Treach — who’s on Eminem’s G.O.A.T. list — thinks asking anyone to name their Top 5 or Top 10 favorite rappers is in poor taste.
“I don’t think a lot of rappers get the credit they deserve ’cause it’s always like, ‘Who’s your Top 5 or Top 10?’” Treach said in a recent interview with Math Hoffa. “It’s the most disrespectful question I get in Hip Hop. Who’s my best five or 10 when we going back from the ’70s to now. From Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz to like now? LL COOL … you telling me to name five and then five up until when? Now? AndI only got five? And then you ain’t even mentioning the females!”
Legendary producer Pete Rock, who shared the clip to his Instagram account on Sunday (May 15), agreed with Treach. As he wrote in the caption, “I’m not participating in those specific questions anymore. Shit makes no sense tryna crown 1 king when its several kings & queens. Media division amongst artist but y’all gotta see the play tho.”
Parliament-Funkadelic founder George Clinton threw up several emojis in solidarity, while Wu-Tang Clan MC Cappadonna wrote, “See we the best Treach all of Us You are correct and very knowledgeable.”
Treach has the utmost respect for Hip Hop’s pioneers and architects. In January, Kool Moe Dee was a trending Twitter topic when his old “Rapper Report Cards” resurfaced online. There were two versions and in the second, Treach received an “A” for vocabulary, articulation, creativity, originality, versatility, voice, records, stage presence, sticking to themes and innovating rhymes.
Speaking to HipHopDX at the time, Treach said he was humbled to earn such a high mark from his predecessor, saying, “First of all, it’s an honor. Kool Moe Dee is past legendary — he’s an icon. And he’s one of, in his era, was known as one of the most fiercest battle rappers out there. Nobody wanted any problems with him until LL [COOL J] came, and then they had their back and forth battle, which was one of the greatest Hip Hop battles of all time.
“So hearing that from Moe Dee, who is in the Hip Hop world … you have to know, it’s different type of rappers. These are lyricists. So when he grades anybody on something, if he would’ve gave me a ‘D’ I would’ve had to accept it because it’s from one of my legends, one of my rappers I looked up to totally. So to hear that from him is humbling, it is honorable. And it just proves to me that I did something right in the Hip Hop game.”