Instigator / Pro

Kendrick Lamar is the best rap artist of the last decade


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 6 votes and with 13 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two days
Max argument characters
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

because "best" can be subjective, let's say we count influence/success, quality of songs (flow, message, rhythm, rhymes), critical reception, so on and so forth.

rap: musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates "rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular", which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways, usually over a backing beat or musical accompaniment

Round 1
1. Awards
awards mean recognition and a nod by the critics that you are good. Hence, the more awards you have, the more likely you are to be the best, right? As you can see from his Wikipedia page, he "won 160 awards from 399 nominations, including 13 Grammy Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, and the ASCAP Vanguard Award" ( He was also the first rapper to win the Pulitzer prize for music, a very notable achievement. 

2. Legacy
Kendrick Lamar has been widely liked in his music ratings. From RateYourMusic, the top albums of the last 10 decade, Lamar dominates the chart with Pimp a Butterfly at no. 1 and good kid +m.a.a.d city at no. 3. It's clear that people value his music higher than other rappers' albums (as they are likely not as consistent). The messages and the themes are also very consistent and empathize well with people, as he rallies black men and those livin' in the hood. Even just extracting a random verse, 

"N----, and we hate po-po / Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho' / N----, I'm at the preacher's door / My knees gettin' weak, and my gun might blow / But we gon' be alright,"

"The yam is the power that be (that be, that be, that be, that be, that be)
You can smell it when I'm walkin' down the street
(Oh yes, we can, oh yes, we can)
I can dig rappin'
But a rapper with a ghost writer?
What the fuck happened? (Oh no)
I swore I wouldn't tell (tell, tell, tell, tell)
But most of y'all sharing bars
Like you got the bottom bunk in a two-man cell (a two-man cell)
Something's in the water (something's in the water)
And if I gotta brown-nose for some gold
Then I'd rather be a bum than a motherfuckin' baller (oh yeah)",

"I'm the biggest hypocrite of 2015
Once I finish this, witnesses will convey just what I mean
Been feeling this way since I was sixteen, came to my senses
You never liked us anyway, fuck your friendship, I meant it
I'm African-American, I'm African
I'm black as the moon, heritage of a small village
Pardon my residence
Came from the bottom of mankind
My hair is nappy, my dick is big, my nose is round and wide
You hate me don't you?
You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture
You're fuckin' evil I want you to recognize that I'm a proud monkey
You vandalize my perception but can't take style from me
And this is more than confession
I mean I might press the button just so you know my discretion
I'm caught in my feelings, I know that you feel it
You sabotage my community, makin' a killin'
You made me a killer, emancipation of a real nigga"....

etc, they all address real life issues with racism and problems we have in America. His addressing of real issues and his impact have led him to be even compared to Tupac, one of the best old school rappers (

Over his career Kendrick has earned over 180 million, a feat achieved by very few rappers (,%24180%20million%20in%20his%20career.). It's very clear he is in the top echelon of rap artists. 

My opponent might consider Eminem, considering I myself conceded he might be a better rapper in terms of flow and delivery, but Eminem has a lot of copy cats and the majority of his career was sparked by Lose Yourself in the decade of 2000's. With Lamar's rise in action, I can't help but think that he is the best rapper of the last decade (even if I personally dislike his music).


Key Definitions:

Best: As in Pro’s description, the word “best” is subjective. Pro also states that best should account for quality of songs, influence/success, and critical reception. In addition to this, Con would like to add several more criteria, which is that being the best rapper is being the best at rapping. Which means that the subject of this debate will have to be the best at rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular.

Rap: A musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates "rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular", which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways, usually over a backing beat or musical accompaniment

The Last Decade: From the start of 2009 to the end of 2019

Interpretation of the Resolution:

Pro must prove that Kendrick Lamar is the best in every single criteria of a rapper:
  • Quality of Songs
  • Influence and Success
  • Rhyme, rhythmic speech and street vernacular
Pro must also prove that he is better than every single rapper existing in the last decade, at all of those criteria. Unless Pro does this, he has not fulfilled his burden of proof, and Con will claim the victory. Already, Pro has pseudo-conceded to the debate, by saying that the rapper Eminem is better at flow and delivery (under quality of songs).


My opponent may state that Kendrick Lamar is one of the highest paid, therefore the best at influence and success, but this is clearly wrong. Kendrick Lamar is not even in the top ten of the highest paid rappers. Jay Z alone has a net worth of one billion, and Kendrick Lamar doesn’t even come close to his title.[1]

My opponent also states that Kendrick Lamar has the best legacy, this is false. In a list by the billboard, Kendrick Lamar only comes in 9th, which is good, but it is not the best.[2] My opponent seems to think that the debate is whether Kendrick Lamar is good or not, not whether he is the best. All the evidence placed by my opponent only suggests he is in the top spectrum of the rappers.

My opponent also states that Eminem is not that relevant anymore, and his songs were biggest in the 2000’s. However, this fact does not matter because of the resolution. The resolution is Kendrick Lamar is the Best Rapper of the Last Decade, not, Kendrick Lamar is the Best Active Rapper of the Last Decade. Nowhere in Pro’s definitions define rapper as an active rapper. Did Eminem exist in the last decade? Yes. Therefore we shall count him as a rapper in the last decade.


Kendrick Lamar is in the top spectrum of rappers. However, he is not the best. He is not the richest, he does not have the best legacy, and he does not have the best quality of songs. My opponent’s evidence only places him in the top notch. But top notch does not mean best. My opponent also fails to prove all the criteria of a good rapper. Therefore, unless my opponent fulfills his burden of proof the next rounds upcoming, he will lose.


Round 2
I concede. I wanted to play some devil's advocate, but arguing him better than Eminem is probably too tough.
Round 3
Vote Con