I always say AZ when this question is asked. The dude is unreal and one of my favorite rappers. Honestly, Nas (probably my favorite rapper) might have been the worst thing to happen to his career.
I'll go with Kanye for my own pick, actually. People don't put him up with the greatest, but I think his body of work speaks for itself. Even shite like Watch the Throne isn't terrible pop garbage if you listen top to bottom.
I don't think Kid Cudi gets enough respect for MOTM 1 and 2, but I absolutely get that. Also, I love everything I've ever heard from Mos Def, but I've never given him a real listen, if you know what I mean. Same with Royce da 5"9, Raekwon, and Joe Budden.
Right now, the whole TD ENT/Black Hippy crew is the shite and I feel like they will be remembered very fondly by my generation. Danny Brown is great, too. I like a lot of Currensy, but some of his material is awful and he is more of a guilty pleasure.
Overshadowed by Nas and The Firm. Anything of his remotely successful was a collaboration with Nasty Nas. I think AZ was/is talented enough to be a force, of sorts. He's kind of like one of the lesser known mainstays of Wu Tang. A worse example is Lil Cease, but AZ is waaayy better than him.
AZ might have been better off if Nas wasn't a "Mount Rushmore of rap" caliber artist. Maybe he could have been more of a solo performer, our found a partner and been like Mobb Deep.
re: Most underrated rappers of all time?(Posted by Chef Leppard on 3/26/13 at 11:25 pm to Na Mean)
I don't think young TI gets nearly enough credit for what a beast he was. I'm serious, Trap Musik, and Urban Legend are still some of my favorite. All his stuff with gangsta grillz was always the shite
When he tried to get radio friendly he started putting out some of the worst shite out there. Like, total garbage