You can't front on 11 number-one albums — that's more than Elvis. Jay's masterfully covered all the bases more than once: club records, street records, love records, backpack records, pop records, you name it. With three-to-four classic albums (think about it), smash hit records yearly from 1996 to now, full pop-culture saturation and his Cash King status (ask Forbes), it's hard to deny that Jay has surpassed his B.I.G. homie.
(Photo: Jonathan Mannion/As featured in Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey)