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Swizz Beatz Compares Lil Durk to DMX, Tupac & Biggie and Explains Why He is in His Top 10 List

That “Top 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time” list has earned attention from Swizz Beatz. The megaproducer knows all about the greats in Hip Hop—his songs are staples in many of their catalogs. Swizz has been working on music and getting Verzuz back on the main stage, but he recently sat down with Billboard. Swizz was asked about his thoughts on the controversial GOAT list during their chat. He didn’t seem up in arms about the choices, but he admitted he would have changed one thing.

“It didn’t make me mad,” he said of the list overall. “But you know, the way I would have did it — which, you know, y’all can do how you want to do it — but I would’ve said, ‘in no particular order.’ I know those are hard lists to do. It’s never gonna be the perfect list, you know?” It did seem that audiences were more concerned with where the choices landed rather than the picks themselves.

Swizz Beatz’s Ever-Changing Top 10

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 04: (L-R) Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz perform onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman on February 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The interviewer suggested that no one would read the article if the artists weren’t ranked numerically. However, Swizz pushed back against that, stating that readers would engage in conversations about where they would place artists instead of being told where their favorites deserved to be. Elsewhere, he was further asked about his Top 10. “It changes a lot, because I don’t base my top 10 off of too much old things,” said Swizz. “It’s an all-time [list], and it’s a current [list]. That current one changes all the time, depending on the performance of what they do.”

The youngest artist on Swizz’s Top 10 is Lil Durk. “You know why? Because for me, it’s not just about bars,” Swizz explained. “It’s about believing those bars. When we first started coming up with Ruff Ryders and The LOX, what they was rapping about, they was really doing. It was really about that. It wasn’t for views, it wasn’t for an app, it was to express their surroundings. That’s what Durk does.”

Durk: The Voice Of The Heroes

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 22: Rapper Lil Durk performs during “One Big Party Tour” at Capital One Arena on January 22, 2023 in Washington, DC.(photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

“When you hear him rap, you know that he’s actually been through what he’s talking about,” Swizz continued. “Some fortunate situations, some unfortunate situations, but it’s almost like an autobiography in real-time. That’s what Pac did, that’s what X did, that’s what B.I.G. did. The people we call the best of all time — not comparing them to him, but they used their experiences. A lot of artists do it, but I particularly like the way Durk does it.”

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