Will Smith And Martin Lawrence Reveal Their G.O.A.T. Rappers

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"Bad Boys For Life" Madrid Photocall
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 08: (L-R) Us actors Martin Lawrence and Will Smith attend 'Bad Boys For Life' photocall at Villa Magna hotel on January 08, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Cuadra/WireImage)
You might be surprised by Will's pick.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are having a moment. Three decades after they were two of the biggest stars on television, they're proving themselves to be even bigger draws as movie stars. Bad Boys: Ride or Die has killed at the box office, and part of the reason why is the promo tour Smith and Lawrence are on. They're everywhere, sharing anecdotes about their friendship and their seemingly bulletproof franchise. The Smith and Lawrence convo we really wanted, however, was who the greatest rapper of all time is.

Smith and Lawrence recently went on the YouTube series GOAT Talk to discuss, well GOAT topics. Given the impact that both of them have had on hip-hop culture, it was only a matter of time before they were hit with the "GOAT rapper" question. Their answers did not disappoint. Martin Lawrence decided to go with a generational peer and a close personal friend. "I would have to say Snoop Dogg for me," he noted. "Because Snoop’s always come through for me. He’s done my show and has always been excellent. And he’s a good friend of mine." Both Lawrence and Snoop Dogg appeared in the 2019 film The Beach Bum. The latter also made a cameo on a 1994 episode of Martin.

Will Smith Struggled To Pick Between Three Rappers

Will Smith's answer was more intriguing. He rose to fame as a rapper. He was the first rapper to win a Grammy, in fact, so he's technically a GOAT candidate himself. Rest assured, however, the actor didn't pick himself. He decided to go old school with his picks. "I think that in terms of changing the game," he posited. "Rakim." Will Smith was unable to limit his answer to one, though. He mentioned two other men who shaped his love for the genre. "The combination of Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz," he explained. "In terms of me developing my love for hip-hop." The Caz shout out is timely, given that Smith recently encountered the rapper during a radio interview.

Smith gushed about Grandmaster Caz during his appearance on Sway In the Morning. He told the host that he modeled his rhyming style after the Cold Crush legend. In the middle of his interview, Caz walks in the room and leaves the Oscar winner starstruck. Smith let out a yell of surprise before hyping up the rapper to the rest of the room. "Ladies and gentleman," he said. "The full, complete and total inspiration for the Fresh Prince: Grandmaster Caz." Smith might've said Rakim first, but this encounter tips the scale in Caz's favor.

About The Author
Elias is a music writer at HotNewHipHop. He joined the site in 2024, and covers a wide range of topics, including pop culture, film, sports, and of course, hip-hop. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Friday, especially when it comes to the coverage of new albums and singles. His favorite artists are Andre 3000, MF Doom, pre-808s Kanye West and Tyler, The Creator. He loves L.A. hip-hop but not L.A. sports teams. The first album he ever bought was Big Willie Style by Will Smith, which he maintains is still a pretty good listen.
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