Busta Rhymes has long been among rap’s most respected MCs, but when it comes down to deciding some of his own favorite spitters, it isn’t as simple as some might think.

Appearing as a guest on a recent episode of Amazon’s +44 podcast, the “Touch It” hitmaker was asked to share his Top 5 MCs which led to him delving deep into a battle between two people who ultimately didn’t even make his list: Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.

“I’m almost there with J. Cole,” Busta said. “He’s definitely one of the major new candidates. But I’m still torn between him and Kendrick.”

When speaking of Kendrick, Busta harked back to K. Dot’s famed “Control” verse, praising it for featuring nothing but “straight bars.”

“He gave people a lot of lengthy opportunity to respond, and nobody wanted no smoke,” Busta said. “I think that’s a testament to how serious what he is able to do at will. Because a lot of the times I think people get misconstrued with the fact that he is so brilliant and he’s so broad with his range creatively that you forget that he’ll spank your ass on his leisure time.”

“He don’t do that often because people don’t really want that smoke, and he’s not really a feature-driven artist,” Busta continued. “Kendrick’ll be quiet for five years and then come out and put out an album and just deal with you in a way that he ain’t even trying to compete, or you can’t compete. So I just think in that sense, Kendrick is a real different type of problem and force to be reckoned with.”

Moving on to Cole’s merits, Busta said: “I think a lot of light is being shined on Cole right now because … he’s being real active with features, from the Lil Yachty to the Drake to 21 Savage.

“He’s moving and shaking in that space with grace. And he’s making sure you understand that he ain’t got no problem with chopping your head off, too.”

“So that’s why I said I’m torn between [Cole] and Kendrick, he concluded. “Because I feel like if Kendrick was to get active in the same way that Cole is being active, it would be a way different conversation.”

You can see Busta Rhymes discuss the two lyrical titans at the 2:22 mark above.

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This isn’t the first time Busta has praised J. Cole. In an appearance last month on The Breakfast Club, Busta named the North Carolinian as one of his dream collaborators.

“I ain’t work with Cole yet, I wanna work with Cole,” he explained. “I’m a huge fan of J. Cole. I’m a huge fan of JID. JID is crazy. Big shout out to JID.

“Huge fan of Drake. Love to work with Drake. Coco Jones is incredible to me. I’m a huge fan of Janelle Monáe too.”

As for Busta’s Top 5, he told the +44 crew that it was: Rakim, Nas, Eminem, JAY-Z, and The Notorious B.I.G.