Jay-Z is extremely overrated at this point in his career.
J Cole is so corny and honestly is as deep as a paper cut, I don't get why everyone thinks he's some sort of genius conscious rapper.
Wale is underrated, but not at the top.
Honestly, it's all about Kendrick right now. Nobody in the limelight is even close to his level.
I don't know anyone that says J Cole is a genius conscious rapper but at least he talks about issues, period. there is a point he is getting across. It isn't just putting out sentences that sound good yet when you take a step back you see it's garbage.
I'm talking substance. The art of story telling or bringing topics up to the surface, corny or not.. Anything. Hip-hop is suffocating itself.
I had high hopes of Lamar.. Maybe lay out some lyrics to help explain this to me. Perhaps he put out a few new songs to help his case, but from what I've heard I feel about the same way of him as you do with J Cole. I don't see it and I don't just equate having good lyrical skills as having substance.
I'm sour on the whole music genre and honestly there is little going on to be proud of right now. The biggest names in the industry are pulling it down just to sell records and feed their ego. Of what I heard from Lamar, he's doing the same thing.
I do agree with you on Jay-Z.. I feel like you can take his last 4 - 5 albums, replace the beats, and you'll have 1 song and no album. (exaggerating a bit, but not far off)