I once asked my neighbor Greg in Toronto who he thought the illest MC was. Greg muttered the words “easy, Jean Grae!” I quickly reminded Greg that I was looking for the illest emcee period, not female MC. ” Yeah, Jean Grae, man, best emcee, period” uttered Greg, with a little more emphasis this time. Bullshit! I remember feeling cheated, Greg is a true hip hop nerd, his house is filled with actual CD’s, and he was telling me that the illest emcee out there was a female?
To be honest I was fully aware of Jean’s prowess on the microphone, though my inherent bias against female rappers made it difficult to sympathize with Greg’s strong opinion on the rap vixen. Having said that, I never in fact invested any of my time into proving or disputing the claim that Jean Grae was one of the greatest. And when I heard she was chopping verses on Craigslist for petty cash, I’m not going to lie, I felt vindicated.
Best ever, most assuredly not, but certainly worth an investment. Of course, if you throw Styles P and Talib Kweli on a track with her, I’m all ears. The track is previously unreleased, hence the radio rip.