Best Technical Emcee...

When you think of an emcee you think of someone who can control the crowd or amaze listeners with his or her lyrical ability. Technicality, in emcee terms, refers to flow, rhyme scheme (patterns), utilization of multi-syllablic rhymes, inner rhymes, wordplay, lyrics, and more. I compiled this list of technical emcees to highlight those who HAVE inspired me (presently speaking). I know that people will disagree with this list and I can deal with the backlash (I did not list Big Pun, Big L, Biggie, Eminem, Masta Ace, AZ, JUICE, Black Thought, Apathy, Rakim, Kool G. Rap, Twista, etc due to their legendary status). If you disagree then I would love to see your list.

1. Elzhi:
Elzhi is my favorite emcee who has amazed me with this jaw dropping verses. His verse on Little Brother's Hiding Place song make me respect his skills as an emcee and a writer even more. He is truly a master of patterns and 99.9% percent of his material is rewind worthy. Check this verse to understand why he tops my list.

[Verse from Motown 25]

I end careers, years, pierce ears fierce with spears
They say I'm gifted, get lifted like the beers in cheers
Catch a thunder bolt, pockets stay lump from hundred notes
Stunning quotes make you run ya coat while the sun's afloat
Perhaps, my skill is real as G Rap's
It feel as ill as concealing drills in the knee caps
Your funny style get three snaps in the circle
When off the purple and greens,
I'm higher than the jeans on Erkel, then I murk you
Bust techs, the lead sparking now who be my next head target
I lift up, roll out, like the red carpet
Say my name three times in the mirror
And if I hear ya, I'll appear clearer,
Extend both arms and pull you nearer
Pound for pound I'm, pretty live on the mic
And keep it flooded like Mike, on Motown 25
Put your soul on ice and sold it for a whole known price
I'm nice, keep a knot swole on dice
Grin is sarcastic, the way my pen'll spark acid on the bar
Whether in the crib or the car, blasted
Son is a, prob rob funds from ya publishing
While his dogs put his guns to ya like the Punisher
Or the Terminator, flow is harder than a German major midterm paper
The kid burns the saber, striking cats
How you want it? Gats, spike or bats
I know you liking that, stay sharper than Viking hats
Exhale, blowed mist, served you with a cold dish
Niggas vomiting, bowels moving, they can't hold piss
El and Royce, double team, hotter than a cup of steam
Tub ya spleen and bury you, just as deep as a submarine
Flawless, should be that very reason you applaud us
You saw us layin down a law just as raw as a crawfish
You met your death and although, I took away your breath and I ran
I still left wit a Grand like Theft Auto

2. Pharoahe Monch:
Here is another technical writer who amazes crowds with his multi-syllabic flows. His ability to destroy a beat is legendary.

Verse from Behind Closed Doors

What is a scorpion? A animal that stings, shit
I'm like a bat with blood coming out the wings
You should never in your wildest dreams
shit on a nigga who resides in the borough of Queens
Strong wicked, in the Lex on the celly
Now you getting fucked without the K-Y Jelly
How I made it you salivated over my calibrated
raps that validated my ghetto credibility
Still I be packing agilities unseen
F'realla my killin abilities unclean facilities
For more than military tactics obscene extreme confidential
My exterior serene with the potential of a killing machine
Ex-marine you drag queen, we tag team
Queens finest the alliance defiant we bag fiends
The FUCK you looking in my face for nigga?
I mace mics and then lace the bass with figures

3. Crooked I:
One of my favorite emcees ever who mesmerized audiences with his 52 Weeks of Freestyle (Hip-Hop Weekly). Crooked I is a staple in terms of technical emcees and his blood brothers (The HorseShoe Gang) are also technical rhymers.

Verse from Grindin' Freestyle (Wake Up Show)

Yo, this nigga never going broke again, picture me poor
I walk in the jewelry shop, draw glocks, empty the store
Crooked’s a man-eating lion please don’t tempt me to roar
Ghetto enough to put hydraulics on a Bentley Azure
Pimp me a whore, tough talk I simply ignore
Thousand dollar automatic weapons defend me in war
I rock a stalking cap in case,
I gotta pull it right over my well-known face and lay down the whole place
Its killer Cal styzz-al, where crimi-nals prowl
My residu-als pizz-ile, my lyri-cal style
Make them niggas sound boot-G
It’s like you telling a statue to flinch, my nigga your words don’t move me
They make want to triple this gauge
And you suckers’ll be Gone in 60 Seconds, quicker than Nicholas Cage
You get no action, I beats mo’ ass than Joe Jackson
I tote magnums even if I go fo’ platinums
I blast that Enyce shirt, I’ll make your bitch drop her DK skirt
Cuz that’s how niggas in southern CA work
I stay swift, walk with my chest out like an Ese on May fifth
I’ll tell you you ain’t shit
Plus gangsta rap aint dead, it never died
It took steroids to the head and became Crooked I
On the “book placed by the Gideons”
We can feud like cowboys and Indians
Or Israelis and Palestinians
I didn’t wanna resort to this
But my cerebral cortex is a fortress where metaphors exist
Hit you with the force of Morpheus after I transform my fist
To a hammer too heavy for Thor to lift
Through a course of metamorphosis
The U-gang is more than sick
Sicker than newborn porn, swinging on some George Foreman shit
Warn your clique, I’m coming, nobody’s fuckin’ with Mr. I-con
A natural born time bomb
You know I gotta drop cowards with nine millimeters of glock power
Drop trousers, do your girl in a hot shower, for a hot hour
Drop her off at the Watts Towers, the block’s ours
You seeing me not now or never
I’ll never let these snake niggas take me
I blow out brains to entertain me when I’m angry
I don’t tangle, I choke, strangle, break both ankles
Dangle you from a rope, clothes hang you from a cold angle
The Mangler so anxious to kill, able to spill
Ancient languages dangerous as 80 painkilling pills
Young jacker, Gucci hat tilted, gun clapper
I’m every artist Suge ever signed in one rapper
Chrome ending your life
I’m strong enough to stab you with the wrong end of a knife –
Gangsta type
And the lyrics that I quote, poke through my clothing
My father didn’t want me here but I broke through a Trojan…

4. Royce The 5'9":
Royce always has been a technical emcee whose classics freestyles with Eminem caught my attention. Royce is a technical emcee like no other who posseses the ability to mix humor with a flawless rhyme scheme.

Verse from Ignorant Sh*t Freestyle

There's got to be
Nobody hot as me
Flow outta this world like Odyssey
That's why your girl is ridin' me
At the cottage
For the summer, she like me
Cause I operate with numbers like the lottery
Dick in a duke shoot
What you know about sodomy
I do what I want with her body
I'm a commodity
Last Real Nigga Alive
2Pac's prodigy
Take it even past conceited
I mock modesty
I'm major
Bitch it ain't trickin' if you gettin' it
That's why niggas don't be trippin' if I page her
My whole clique just like me
We roll in circles in packs
They call us the Life Savers
She behave, I put her beside nice neighbors
Let her ride to the top of that high rise
And that dark fader
I call it that
Cause the second you steppin' with the weapon
It's gonna light up like it's light saber
The car creeps invisible through the dark streets
With the lights off because it's dark with dark feet
I call a cab at any Miami heart beat
My bitch drawin' my bath like she's an art-ist
I'm a kingpin, son
I don't bark at puppies I ain't Queen Pen's son
The second one of y'all rap niggas start talkin' bout y'all boxin' me
Bet it's gonna be Ding then done
Only my ink pen runs
Never been chased
Been A-1 from day one (yes)
I don't know who the fuck you is
But I'll show you what the fuck this is
I fuck with the same type of niggas that fucked with Big
Niggas that'll throw them over the bridge
Right after they fuck your kids
Niggas get all surprised when 5'9" responds to 'em
I'm like naw, I ain't gonna do the Saigon to 'em
I leave the slappin' to him
I do 'em more like Ben Wallace
Alonzo Morning and put the arm to 'em
Forget the arguin'
Cause when the contract is intact
It's a wrap
Now the Mobb is signed to 'em
Fuck beef nigga
Life is short
It don't stop till they take you off that life support
Beefin' with me, your life is shorter
The definition of a Christ supporter
I come down like the wrath of the hand that made you
In the flesh of his flesh
And the blood of his blood, I bathe you
The flows amazin'
I closed the deal for show
My respect for your soul I'll trade you
But you probably already don' gave it to Satan
Cause how the fuck you doin' sold out stadiums?
To God, you as big as a baby bug
Doin' all them crazy drugs
You gonna be hotter on the day you judged
Y'all niggas peakin' out your careers like EQs
Deep down in your ears you're hearin' he's true
But you won't let it out, you're weak
You refuse
So I'm gonna stay deep in the field like cleat shoes
If I don' reached out to a dude to do a song
And it ain't happen
I give him dap and I move on
It ain't nothin' personal nigga
This is a business
This is the shit that we do to put our kids in cribs with
Nigga I'm an 80's baby
Fiend, foamin' at the mouth like rabies baby
Why you knockin' a G?
The only threesome you seen is on your TV
Somebody with a release right outside the top of the key
I'm right back in 'em
The truth's in these eyes
So you can believe I
Like that denim
I still say Shady's the greatest
But some people believe
I'm the only one around who can put the light back in him
But I don't like that
Gospel's Hostile like Kweli
And I ain't stoppin' till y'all niggas starve like Somalians

5. Percee P:
Percee P is an emcee that was ahead of his time in terms of technical skills. He was using multi-syllabic rhyme schemes back in the 90's. Percee P would be higher on this list if he released more material.

Lines from Throwback Rap Attack

I rap with knowledge
Lines compiled in a complex style
Convey 'em intricately say 'em slay 'em and exile
Wild rap competitors get ready for my metaphoric
Phrase, Madlib amaze, when he displays
His track scratch and catch the record?I match the tempo
With lyrics that swing, no strings attached
My brain causes migraines, with lyrics I reign
I came to dispose of foes and competition dissin' my name

6. Mykestro:
Mykestro, the brother of California legend Battlecat, is another emcee who has been blessed with the ability to piece words together effortlessly. Mykestro probably has the most commercial appeal on this list based on his past work and the production that he enlists. His latest mixtape, Adversity and Ambiance, is a great introduction for those not abreast with this emcees skill.

Verse from Reality Check

Yeah, the master's been alarmed every ten years
These old niggas ain't handing, passing their baton
Ain't nothing sacrament, MC
Critics wanna negate the acronym, maximum exposure
Word is niggas can't rap in California
Regional rap, the normity casino went back
I'm the unsung hero with the ego to match
No Evisal, just the easel, my cerebral is that
Intact, strapped, black as Don Chino, relax
Blondes, bilinguals, all kinds of PR trap
The deuce-deuce is offset and twenty-threes in the back
Yeah the calibre's rim, Grim Reaper is black
The Benz sleeker but the six-forty viva is fly
Y'all the meaningless, my Quentin Tarantino is vibe
It's un-TiVo-able, y'all gon' have to come see it to show
Stroll a much more meaningful flow
The best of both worlds, niggas ain't believing me though
Like I'm evenly cut, plus the game need police and not the pre-seen type
Y'all niggas came to shoot the breeze, I'm here to DC snipe
Y'all can't see me, niggas call me League-League Myke'
Y'all niggas D-League nikes selling the seaweed raps
I'm in the CD kipes, easy, through these mp3s I splice
Khrysis on the MPC like "nice"
Never heard a catalog more catastrophic
or more brash in topic selection
Forever out the box, but ain't ever out the loot
Will I ever get my props for my efforts in the booth?
Only Lord knows as far as the law goes
At award shoes I'm more chose with more flows to come

7. One Be Lo:
One Be Lo is the epitome of a technical emcee and his ability to be creative places him on this list. He is known as the emcee's emcee who has a pinpoint flow, precision like delivery, and stinging lyrics. His Labor project and B.A.B.Y. album will drop soon.

Verse from KGB

A whack emcee is something I could never be
That's like growing dreadlocks while you taking chemotherapy
Theoretically pen and paper is the recipe
Alphabetically I'm coming after you like the letter V
If you ever step to me, the worst is yet to come
You'll never get the best of me
Call it like a referee
Call it destiny, check the melody
Break the law of gravity
And lyrically catch a felony
I make it harder for the next emcee that's my specialty
Rappers better be trying ta rap ahead of me
I'm a hard act to follow I could prove it medically
I'm sick in the head I could move a crowd with mental telepathy
Expect nothing less of me, top pedigree
Rap assassin, blastin' with syllable weaponry
Shoot the sheriff then the deputy
Don't be testin' me
Whoever think they fat can get the dick regularly

8. Phonte:
Phonte is an emcee that influenced me tremendously when I first started rhyming. I love the poetical structure of his verses and his accurate delivery.

Verse from Let It Go

Uh, it seem like, the more I achieve the more they expect
Cause it ain't nothing in breed seeds like success
And though you might expect niggaz to lose they cause
Or drop the ball, that nigga Tay ain't like the rest
I'm built a little bit different, my specs is more rigid
Phonte's the medicine, of fine black specimen
of Afro engineering, without no interference
To get it short, I'm more than just yo average rap nigga
or whatever you wanna call it
Call it music, I call it my life performance
Call 'em fans, I call 'em my life supporters
whether they pan or they sneaking through,
these are the people that I'm speaking to
I speak to you, and this is the year that I'm gon'
Schiavo my rivals, nigga pull out the feeding tube
Cause y'all porch monkeys, that shake spears/Shakespeare's
And make a killing, my words worth worth a million
Phonte and LB the last temptation
Give a fuck if our shit is played on every station
So y'all rap niggaz can't follow me up
You cant bottle me up, shit I'm the well of inspiration, nigga!

9. E-Rule:

E-Rule is someone that is underrated and unfortunately under appreciated. He probably has the best flow on this list but unfortunately he does not have enough material. His album Cold Currentz is a thesis on how to flow properly.

Lines from Listen Up

Fresh in the mind to freak thought in writing rhyme
Born and inclined, I'm juking no chimes, Sign of the no-Times
I make a killing, talking willing got the feeling
all my skill and functions are modulations as I break trends

10. Chali 2na:
Chali 2na is the bass heavy syllable enforcer from the well known crew Jurassic 5. It is amazing how clear and concise he is when he is rhyming. He makes it look easy and hopefully he will bless us with more material in the future.

Verse from Full Contact

Rattle in your collapsed ear, settin' traps here
Kicking raps clear, hopin' your lap dear, verbal pap smear
Back to smack fear, till your dome piece, tones peak
Rocking from the cradle till my bones creak

Honorable Mention:
Theology 3, Kam Moye, Roc Marciano, TechN9ne, Blame One, J-Treds, Louis Logic, Gift of Gab, Grafh, Blu, Laws, Nino Bless, Diabolic, Promise, R.A. the Rugged Man, Homeboy Sandman, Tonedeff, Nametag, iLLite, Invincible, Finale, Murdoc, MiDaZ, Pep Love, Sly Boogy, HorseShoe Gang, Izzie Fareal aka Reignman, Skyzoo, Pacific Division, Journalist, Sean Price, Lupe Fiasco, Qwel, Sage Francis, and more (whew)

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