Has Jadakiss Ever Been In The Top 5 Conversation?

When this year kicked off, I sent a post live called “Who’s The Rapper That’s Going To Change The “Top 5”?”

So far this year in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of young guns step forward with some very good albums, some legends have returned and we’ve seen Billboard troll the earth, by leaving 2Pac out of their Greatest Rapper of All Time list.

In that same week, Jadakiss released his 4th solo album “Top 5 Dead or Alive”. A phrase that the emcee made famous now 13 years ago on the remix to the Nas classic “Made You Look”. The new album much like Kisses proclamation has left much to be desired and for me personally, a new question. Has Jadakiss Ever Been In The Top 5 Conversation?

Before we get started lets state some facts, agreements and show respect.

Many will tell you “I’ve never heard a whack Jada verse.” I’m inclined to agree with that.
Jadakiss has no classic albums. I think that’s fact even amongst his die hard fans.
The closest album to consider classic is The LOX 2nd album “We Are The Streets”.
I think it’s fair to say Jada has put out a few great records that have banged for that summer.
“The Champ Is Here” Mixtape Series is by far better than The Jadakiss Music Industry Discography.

I want to throw all of that out to be fair and respectful and put into context where this breakdown is going. Lets base the Top 5 conversation on just the years Jadakiss put out solo albums. So right now I’ve eliminated the 90’s and a lot of legends in the process. So, if nothing else, we’ve eliminated the argument of “Well Pac and Biggie holding two spots, so he didn’t have a chance.” We are going to put his album up against other albums of just that year and see where he fits in, in regards to the “Top 5” conversation.

For criteria perspective; Jay-Z has not sold the most and he definitely hasn’t been the best lyrically every single year, but you can’t deny that a Jay album very rarely lets you down. Even his “duds” have a few joints you can rock to on there. Jay is in virtually everybody’s top 5, so it’s only fair we hold Kiss to that same standard, correct? Let’s break this down.

We are in the year 2001. Jadakiss has dropped his solo debut album “Kiss Tha Game Goodbye”.

Notable albums that dropped in 2001 were

Jay-Z “The Blueprint”
Fabolous “Ghetto Fabolous”
Nas “Stillmatic”
Ludacris “Word of Mouf”
Project “Pat Mista Don’t Play”
Ja Rule “Pain Is Love”
DMX “The Great Depression”
Eve “Scorpion”
Beanie “Sigel The Reason”
Ghostface Killah “Bulletproof Wallets”

Now, these are just 10 notable albums. Can you honestly put Jada’s album up against at least 6 of these album unquestionably, with it coming out victoriously?

Next up The Kiss of Death Album, which released in 2004.
Notable albums in that year include

Kanye West “The College Dropout”
Lloyd Banks “The Hunger For More”
Snoop Dogg “R&G: Rhythm and Gangsta”
Ghostface Killah “The Pretty Toney Album”
The Roots “The Tipping Point”
Young Buck “Straight Outta Cashville”
Eminem “Encore”
Twista “Kamikaze”
Lil Wayne “The Carter”
Ludacris “Red Light District”

I got to 10 albums and didn’t name Albums from Mos Def, Talib Kweli, De La Soul and Cam’ron. Does “Kiss of Death” rank in the top 5 of these projects?

5 years and a few mixtapes later, Jadakiss drops “The Last Kiss” in 2009.

Notable albums of 2009 were

Jay-Z “Blueprint 3”
Eminem “Relapse”
Raekwon “Only Built for Cuban Linx 2”
Clipse “Till The Casket Drops”
Drake “So Far Gone”
UGK “UGK For Life”
Rick Ross “Deeper Than Rap”
Fabolous “Loso’s Way”
Slaughterhouse “Slaughterhouse”
50 Cent “Before I Self Destruct”

2009 is also the year many heard from Asher Roth, J. Cole and Kid Cudi for the first time. Also Red and Meth, Tech N9ne, Wale and Skyzoo put out product this same year. The Last Kiss is already the worst of his 3 albums already, but how to they stack against the notable 10 named above?

It’s 2015 and we have a solid month left and “Top 5 Dead or Alive” is already out. So far it’s competing with

Big Sean “Dark Sky Paradise”
Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp A Butterfly”
The Game “Documentary 2 and 2.5”
Lupe Fiasco “Tetsuo & Youth
Drake “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”
A$AP Rocky “At.Long.Last.A$AP
Wale “The Album About Nothing”
MGK “General Admission”
Ludacris “Ludaversal”
Scarface “Deeply Rooted”

Earl Sweatshirt, Joey Bada$$, Meek Mill, Jay Rock and Jeezy have also dropped this year and the year is not over.

Has Jadakiss missed his time to stake his claim? Has he ever been a Top 5 emcee, when he’s put out a project? Jadakiss has always been nice, but we all know, the rap fan mainstream or underground want more than just a lot of good verses. If it was just off “the verse” or “the bar” Canibus is possibly the undisputed greatest rapper of all time, just off the fact he’s rapped for 100 bars at least 3 times and none of the verses were the same.

I know many of you are going to say “but he’s a better rapper than most of these guys named!!!”

To all of you, I simply asked the question; Is he putting out better tracks and albums than at least 6 of these rappers?

Jadakiss has survived a long time off two proclamations
1. B.I.G said I was nice
2. I’m Top 5 Dead or Alive and that’s just off one LP

I just want to know if the hip-hop community feels he proved it.

2 thoughts on “Has Jadakiss Ever Been In The Top 5 Conversation?

  1. Nope…..huge fan of Jada for 20 years now but never been Top 5. I would put him in my Top 10 fav or maybe Top 10 voices in hip hop. He has been an above average MC for his whole career. We Are The Streets was a classic, so was The Champ Is Here, but he consistently has put out mediocre solo albums that don’t live up to his bars. Same way I feel about Cassidy, strictly on bars Cassidy could slice up 90% of artists in the game today but has never put it all together for that career defining album.


  2. It’s interesting u bring this up. I was listening to Sway In The Morning a few weeks ago and Sway and Heather B were stressing how it was almost a no brainier that Jada should be in the top 5, which bothered the hell out of me, because like you’ve wonderfully illustrated in the article, Jada is a nice emcee but his albums have consistently been mediocre. By the way, I love your analogy of Canibus. Good read!
    Check out my blog timeisillmatic.me for my retro reviews – Deedub


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