Nas should be crowned the greatest rapper of all time. Three 5 mics albums, classic. Who else has stayed longer in the game, and still consistent, still delivering mad flows.
A lot of people would say, what about tupac and biggie. Let us leave sentiment aside, those two rappers were in the game like 3-4 years before they died and became immortalized. Think about it, if they were alive, would they still be waxing strong? Would they still be dropping relevant albums? Nas has dropped 9 albums since his debut (illmatic) in 1994. All going gold and platinum, you check on the facts.
I know people would say Jay-z is better. I do not doubt that jay-z is a better business man, and sales more album than nas, but ask yourself, can jay-z go bar for bar with nas. He just makes better commercial songs. When it comes to the lyrics, nas would murk him. Everybody know that, but they know a lot of people want to relate with jay's success in the rap game.
Jay-z knew he had one road block to cross in 2001, that was why he went at nas. He had everything, but knew he had to kill the sleeping lion, but the lion happened to put a dent in his career with "ether".
A lot of other rappers know nas is the d don, ask lupe fiasco, ask common, ask jadakiss, jarule, kanye west, dj premier, eminem, the game, all this rappers, one time or the other hae made remarks in the tune that is the greatest rapper. Even jay-z knows that. In one of his old songs, on his second album, he rhymed, "I'm from marcy, where people park cars and argue who's the best rapper, biggie, jigga or nas.