I’m a proud longtime fan of hip-hop music. Also a bit snobby in that I think 99% of the commercially played hip-hop is bona fide junk, but to each his own and I refrain from judging others based on their musical preferences regardless how bad it might be. Last spring or summer I was thinking about some of my favorite lyricists and decided to compare them with companies. I was mostly thinking what company would KRS-One, Tribe Called Quest, or the Wu-Tang Clan represent. I then sent a tweet on it and my buddy, E. Sanderson, brought it up and I’ve been mentally working on the list since. After all this time working in the basement and digging in the crates I now have the list.
First the process. I looked through dozens of “greatest, top, etc.” lists of rappers, songs, and groups until settling on choosing lyricists. That meant assessing the individuals of groups such as Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, Leaders of the New School, Pharcyde, Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, and on and on and on. I also decided to focus on enterprise technology with the split being Networking, Servers, Software, and Storage. After coming to my all-time list of greatest lyricists, I then filtered so that each category of technology would get every fourth lyricist to create some parity between the lists. Lastly I chose companies that come to mind along with some that were on top lists or included in the Gartner MQ to determine my top 10 for the technologies. I left the “newbies” off the technology and lyricist list since I needed a body of work to evaluate and not a quick trend or some hype. Then I assigned names as I saw good partners or decent fits.
Drum roll please…
Alcatel-Lucent = 2Pac, HP = Andre 3000, Juniper = Big Pun, IBM = Common, Enterasys = DMX, Cisco = Ice Cube, Brocade = LL Cool J, Avaya = Method Man, Dell = Raekwon, and Arista = Talib Kweli
SGI = Canibus, Huawei = Ghostface Killah, HP = Jay-Z, IBM = KRS-One, Fujitsu = Lauryn Hill, Bull = Mos Def, Oracle = Q-Tip, Dell = Redman, Cisco = Scarface, and Hitachi = Snoop Dog.
Microsoft = Big Daddy Kane, Symantec = Black Thought, Amadeus = Gift of Gab, SAS = Kool G Rap, CA = MC Lyte, SAP = Nas, Adobe = Posdnous, Intuit = Queen Latifah, NTT = Ras Kass, and Oracle = Slick Rick
DataDirect Networks = AZ, Fujitsu = Big Bun, EMC = Chuck D, NetApp = Eminem, IBM = Guru, Hitachi = GZA, XIO = Jadakiss, Oracle = Kool Moe Dee, Dell = Notorious BIG, and HP = Rakim