STAFF PICKS: Favorite Artists of All Time

Yanni: Kanye West

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Kanye West would have to be my favorite artist of all time. If it wasn't for Kanye West I would not be into music the way that I am today. I can relate to Kanye on so many levels, from his life growing up to him not being taken seriously as an artist. Graduation to this day is the only album I've actually spend money on, I bought the hard copy, September 11, 2007 (the day it released), downloaded it from iTunes Christmas Day when I got my first laptop, downloaded it from the internet, and even listen to the instrumentals when I'm reading. I remember cutting out the album artwork and piecing together the teddy bears on my wall and it eventually expanding into a collage of my musical interests over the course of years. It all started with one song, Can't Tell Me Nothin', my favorite song of all time it's like my life story and to this day 7 years later I get so excited whenever I hear "Laaaaaaa Laaaaa lala, wait 'til I get my money right!" I wish I could go more in depth, maybe I'll write a full blown post about it. 

Devin: Unknown

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Favorite artist? That's hard. I don't really have a favorite artist but if I had to pick, I'd probably have to say my favorite artist of all time is Michael Jackson. My favorite rapper right now is probably Kendrick Lamar (if he'd ever drop anything new). Section .80 caught my attention bigtime and Cartoons & Cereal is one of my favorite songs. Of course good kid M.A.A.D city didn't disappoint at all. And my favorite artist to listen to has to be Fat Trel. He's been blowing up more and more the past 2 years while still putting out good music that you can ride to in the car and enjoy your day to. I can honestly say I enjoy all 5 of his released projects, which I can't say about many artists. I also really mess with Chance and I've been on a lot of Thraxxx lately.

Kahri: Eminem

Choosing my favorite artist of all time may be one of the hardest decisions I have ever been faced with in my entire life. But, after hours of thinking I think I've come to the conclusion that my favorite artist is probably Eminem. Now, I'm not going to sit here and act like his music is just so relatable with my life. Especially considering the fact that I don't hate my mother nor have I ever wanted to murder a significant other. What draws me to Eminem's music is simply his undeniable skill. Eminem was the original rapper to outshine you on your own beat; as Jay Z could probably tell you. It isn't solely his subject matter that makes him such a great and well respected rapper, but also his ability to craft the most unlikely rhyme schemes you have ever heard. His verses on Masta Ace's "Hellbound", Biggie's "Dead Wrong" and Jay Z's "Renegade" will leave any hip hop fan impressed. Although I can't say I'm a huge fan of the music he has been releasing as of late, I can still respect the Detroit MC for his mastery of the mic and the permanent mark he's left on the Hip-Hop genre forever.

Avery: Kanye West

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Kanye West is often found on many staff lists for various blogs out there. There’s good reason for that though as Kanye has been the single-most influential figure in hip-hop in the 21st century. From his 6 solo albums to the colossus of a collaboration with Jay-Z in 2011’s Watch The Throne, Kanye has maintained a level of consistent greatness that has been unmatched. With thematic twists and turns coming every year it always seems almost impossible for Mr. West to top himself when it’s time to release a new project; But every time he comes through in glorious fashion. I’m hoping he can do it this year yet again...

Janay: Drake

I’ve never been a fan of Canadians, or Canada for that matter but Drake may be the best thing they have to offer. He actually may be the best thing music has to offer, to me. My favorite artist is Drake, simply because he intertwines singing, rapping and slips of a capella poetry. He brings a breath of fresh air to the music industry and mainstream rap by not having to rap on a trap beat, talk about the people he murdered in the streets, the drugs he sold or rap about endless clothes, cars and hoes. He does not rap about it, because he never lived it. He has no shame in displaying the life he once had on Degrassi, and no shame haunting everyone with a slick flow and remarkable wordplay. He never hands his fans a bad song, or a bad album or even a bad feature. He takes his listeners through a spoken storybook of his rise to fame and the things that happen along the way. As he becomes famous, we feel as if we are on the road with him too, and it is one marvelous ride.

Aminah: Erykah Badu

My favorite artist of all time is Mama Badu. It was hard to decide between the Queen Bee and Ms. Badu,  but I don't think I could ever skip one song from Baduizm (my personal favorite) to  Mama's Got a Gun. Her music is timeless. Her word play and realness can get you through the day. She's got a song for every feeling or emotion, with words of wisdom via poetry. She writes with knowledge and power, how many artists can really do that? Not only do I appreciate her music, she has a unique and free style of fashion. She's always awing the crowd with her fashion statements. Eryka Badu is very pro-woman and has been a remarkable example of a "She-ro" for women today. The lovely Ms. Eryka Badu is a legend in hip-hop, and will forever be my favorite artist of all time

Adam: Big K.R.I.T

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My favorite artist is Big KRIT, why? The King Remembered In Time is one of the most soulful artists of our time. He's a relatable rapper who talks about his past relationships, religion, his grandmother, and his hometown. He makes himself very vulnerable to the people; he talks about stuff he hates, loves, and demons he faces making it easy to connect with him. Away from the mic, he's the exact same person there is no fake rap persona; he's extremely genuine. Lastly, the music is good, he produces his own beats, uses the best old school samples, and has great lyrics. It's Big KRIT.

Derrick: Tupac

All time favorite artist, that is a tough question.  Because I was raised on Hip-Hop I'm going to have to say that a rapper is my all time favorite artist (typical right).  Even more typical, Tupac would have to be my choice for favorite artist.  For everything Tupac was and wasn’t, I always respected his raw emotion, passion, and the fact that he stood for something.  He had faults as a person and an artist, but his talent and message was undeniable to me.  Listening to his early projects compared to his later works, I really saw the growth/change in his music and himself.  Maybe it wasn’t all good, but neither is life.  The time period from “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.” to around the time of his release from jail was my favorite period of his career.  “Me Against The World” is probably my favorite Tupac album, just the stories and messages he conveys in his rhythms really got to me.  He wasn’t so political as he was early on, but he wasn’t as angry as he was later in his career.  Tupac had a catalog of party records and songs that really made you think, and I always admired that.  He was truly bigger then rap and that amazed me.