Yes. You, sir/madam hit the nail square on the head. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Nas made one of the most positive rap songs I ever heard "I know I can"... Andre 3000 is a positive force in this world, and makes great music, however you define it.
I hate twista, but that's just my personal opinion. Everything else you said, I completely agree with. KRS-1 is a founder. Q-TIP is a founder. Jurassic 5 builds on the foundation like few others. I've never been a fan of the Beastie Boys, but I'm a biased individual. Cube is THE foundation, along with the rest of the 90's concrete.
Ready to Die...
Also Biggie... Can't think of a bad one he ever spit, although some of the songs had too much Puff Daddy for my taste... If Mace is on a track, I can't listen to it... Monotone, mumbly, awkwardly worded every time he raps.
Can you imagine Biggie and Tupac enjoying the success of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop, and Chris Tucker? They would be the same age as Dre and Snoop, and way more successful. They could have been the most successful rappers to ever play the game, and retire as icons...
The music/movies that they could have collaborated on? The coast-to-coast success they could have contributed to if they hadn't been gunned down?
I mean, they could have collaborated in music and movies if they had just buried the hatchet and squashed all that east/west bullcrap...
I can't decide on this one.. For me, it's a toss up between Nas and Jay-Z... Both are absolute geniuses.
Kendrick Lamar will belong near the top of the list eventually.. He is amazing. Eminem has a legitimate claim to possibly having the smartest/most complex rhyme schemes and probably uses more literary convention with regard to poetical forms than all others. His rhymes on the 2nd Bad Meets Evil record (with Royce Da 5-9) should have been game-changers, but couldn't stop the mumble rap from taking over.
Twista might be the fastest, at least he's the fastest without having it overtake his flow. Bone Thugs have some incredibly quick verses.
I think Andre 3k should be included in the discussion. He has some borderline ridiculous verses, but many profound ones.
As far as old school guys, my personal preferences are KRS-1, Q-Tip, Jurrasic 5... Beasties have great jams , but not overly skilled lyricists...
Cube is the best battle rapper all time, imo, although Eminem and Common are both deadly as well
Edit: when I said "battle rapper" I should have said that he makes the best "dis tracks" battling is another scene... I think the consensus might be that Marshall Mathers is the best straight up battler
Sorry to keep harping on the Irish thing, but did you know the horseshoe has seven points on it? (The Colts horseshoe, anyway. Actual shoes for horses depend on the farrier).
Seven is considered a lucky number... Lucky. Luck. I'm telling you, you picked the right team to root for.
Don't hold Boston against the Irish. It's not our fault. We love our green, which makes Indiana a tearmann.
I love it that you chose to root for an underdog instead of the Pats. I don't think it's coincidence that you became a fan around the time Luck got drafted to the Colts. That's providence.
Horseshoe? Luck? Four-leaf clover? Come on. Hoosier Hospitality has roots in Irish fun-lovery. If you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough! May the luck of the Irish be with you!