Let’s start with the old-school hip-hop titans that paved the way for the new-school rappers to do their thing. Following is a list of rap’s “godfathers,” all of whom boast that they are guaranteed a spot at the very top.
As we can see now, the popularity of rap music continues to rise across the globe.
- This list honors the most influential and groundbreaking Black rappers of all time.
- The musicians on the list range from the early days of hip-hop to the present.
- According to the ranking, Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z are among the top three greatest Black rappers of all time.
- Other legendary rappers on the list include Nas, Rakim, and KRS-One.
- The list recognizes female Black rappers such as Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, and Queen Latifah.
- The list acknowledges the influence of regional genres, such as Outkast’s Dirty South sound and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s West Coast G-funk.
- With artists like Kendrick Lamar and Public Enemy on the list, the list emphasizes the significance of storytelling and social criticism in Black rap.
- The list exemplifies the diversity of Black rap, with musicians like Tyler, the Creator and Childish Gambino defying hip-hop conventions.
- The list recognizes the impact of Black rap on other genres such as pop, rock, and techno music.
- The list serves as a reminder of Black art and culture’s ability to inspire change and affect the world in which we live.
The top 20 black rap artists of all time are listed below:
|Full Name||Germaine Williams|
|Birthdate||December 9, 1974|
|Genres||East Coast hip hop, hardcore hip hop|
|Labels||RBCUniversalArchives Music, Banygrande, GladiatorWar Lab, RBC Records|
|Notable Achievements||Ranked 32nd on About.com’s “Top 50 MCs of Our Time” list|
|Collaborations||Member of Four Horsemen, Refugee Camp All-Stars, Sharpshooterz, Cloak N Dagga, the Undergods|
|Education||Studied computer science at DeKalb College, Atlanta|
|Military Service||Served in the United States Army|
|Discography||Released 13 solo studio albums|
Canibus is the stage name of Jamaican-American rapper and actress Germaine Williams. Canibus started his mic career in the early ’90s, as the rap music trend took off among young people.
Canibus has made a name for itself through high-profile collaborations with established artists like Slick Rick, The Firm, and Common.
2. Ice Cube
|Full Name||Ice Cube|
|Born||June 15, 1969|
|Birthplace||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Occupations||Rapper, songwriter, actor, filmmaker|
|Organization(s)||Cube Vision, Lench Mob Records|
|Spouse||Kimberly Woodruff (m. 1992)|
|Children||4, including O’Shea Jr.|
|Relatives||Del tha Funky Homosapien (cousin), Kam (cousin)|
|Genres||Hip hop, gangsta rap, political hip hop|
|Labels||Interscope, Lench Mob, Priority, EMI|
|Notable Contributions||– Contributed lyrics on N.W.A’s album “Straight Outta Compton”|
O’Shea Jackson Sr. (born June 15, 1969), better known by the stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper and actor. Ice Cube is one of the founding artists of gangsta rap, he initially received recognition as the main songwriter and member of the popular hip hop group C.I.A. and N.W.A, where the latter has become wildly popular for pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music, as well as visual effects in music videos.
3. Rick Ross
|Full Name||Rick Ross|
|Birthdate||January 28, 1976|
|Birthplace||Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.|
|Other Names||Rozay, The Boss, Renzel, Teflon Da Don|
|Occupations||Rapper, record executive, songwriter|
|Origin||Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S.|
|Labels||Epic, Maybach Music, Def Jam, and more|
|Member of||Triple C’s|
|Albums||Port of Miami, Trilla, Deeper Than Rap, Teflon Don, God Forgives, I Don’t, Mastermind, Black Market, Rather You Than Me, Port of Miami 2, Richer Than I Ever Been|
|Maybach Music Group||Founded by Rick Ross|
|Notable Signings||Meek Mill, Wale, French Montana, and more|
|Education||Attended Albany State University|
|Previous Career||Former correctional officer|
An American rapper by the name of Rick Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, was born on January 28, 1976. The rapper adopted the name of a notorious “highway” drug dealer with whom he had no affiliation (Ricky Ross sued him for $10 million for appropriating his name; for more on this controversy, see Ricky Ross’s lawsuit).
In addition to releasing his studio albums Deeper Than Rap and Don Teflon on his own Maybach Music Group label, Ross also formed the Maybach Music Group. After launching the Maybach Music Group label in 2012, he rose to prominence by releasing his album Deeper Than Rap and was named MTV’s Hottest MC in Games that same year.
4. Gucci Mane
|Full Name||Gucci Mane|
|Born||Radric Delantic Davis|
|Birthdate||February 12, 1980|
|Birthplace||Bessemer, Alabama, U.S.|
|Other Names||Guwop, Mr. Zone 6, Wizop, East Atlanta Santa, LaFlare|
|Occupations||Rapper, record executive, songwriter|
|Origin||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, trap|
|Labels||1017 Records, Atlantic, RBC, Asylum, Warner Bros., Tommy Boy, Big Cat|
|Notable Albums||– Trap House|
|Influences||– Pioneer of trap music|
|Musical Collaborations||The Weeknd, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Selena Gomez, Mariah Carey, Usher, Bruno Mars, Marilyn Manson|
Radric Delantic Davis is better known for his stage moniker Gucci Mane. Trap House (2005), Hard to Kill (2007), Trap-A-Thon (2007), and Back to the Trap House (2007) were the four albums released by Gucci Mane between 2005 and 2007. In addition, his CD “The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted” topped the charts in 2010.
Gucci Mane’s first number-one record on the Billboard Hot 100 was a collaboration with Rae Sremmurd in 2016 called “Black Beatles.” He also started the Billboard Hot 100 and runs it now. President/C.E.O. of 1017 Discs.
If you’re a fan of Gucci Mane, you may want to check out Hood MWR’s list of the top 21 famous rappers from Atlanta. This list includes other prominent Atlanta-based rappers such as Future, T.I., and OutKast, and provides some background on their career accomplishments and contributions to hip hop culture.
|Birthdate||December 2, 1970 (age 52)|
|Birthplace||East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Known For||Lead rapper of the hip hop group Naughty by Nature|
|Group Affiliation||Naughty by Nature, Rottin Razkals (affiliated group)|
|Collaborations||Worked with Vin Rock and DJ Kay Gee in Naughty by Nature|
|Notable Songs||“O.P.P.”, “Ghetto Bastard”|
|Relationships||Older brother of rapper Diesel|
|Marriages||Married to Sandra Denton (Pepa) from 1999 to 2001, and to Cicely Evans since September 8, 2019|
|Children||One daughter (Egypt Jahnari Criss) and two children with Cicely Evans|
|Legal Incidents||Arrested in 2014 for reckless driving, speeding, and driving with a suspended license; also had warrants for child support and motor vehicle violations|
Treach’s birthplace is specified as East Orange City in New Jersey. Treach is 669th on the list of Top Rap Artists by popularity and 22424th overall. Approximately 205,052,174 people called the United States home in 1970.
6. Freddie Gibbs
|Full Name||Fredrick Jamel Tipton|
|Stage Name||Freddie Gibbs|
|Date of Birth||June 14, 1982|
|Birthplace||Gary, Indiana, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, gangsta rap|
|Labels||Warner Records, ESGN, Str8 Slammin’, CTE World, Decon, Interscope, No Tamin|
|Member of||MadGibbs, P.O.C.|
Gary City, Indiana, U.S.A. native Freddie Gibbs is a multi-talented rapper best known for his albums on urban life in Gary, Indiana, such as ESGN 2013, which reached #17 on the U.S. Rap chart. His underground mixtape releases and honest raps about surviving on the streets won him a devoted following.
|Full Name||Kamaal Ibn John Fareed|
|Birthdate||April 10, 1970|
|Birthplace||Harlem, New York City, U.S.|
|Other Names||The Abstract, Tip, The Lone Ranger, The Last Zulu, Qualiall|
|Education||Murry Bergtraum High School|
|Occupations||Rapper, record producer, singer, DJ|
|Genres||Hip hop, jazz rap, progressive soul|
|Labels||Jive, Arista, Universal Motown, Battery, GOOD, Def Jam, Epic|
|Formerly of||A Tribe Called Quest, Native Tongues, Soulquarians, The Ummah|
Rapper, record producer, performer, actor, and D.J. Q-Tip (born Jonathan William Davis on April 10, 1970) hails from the United States. Q-Tip is widely regarded as a pioneer in hip hop’s history. He collaborated with the duo The Chemical Brothers on the dance track “plating,” which was nominated for a Grammy in 2006.
Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest headlines on The Castle Stage during Day 3 of Bestival at Lulworth Castle on September 9, 2017 in Wareham, England
If you’re a fan of Q-Tip, you may also want to check out the 25 Dopest Rappers of The 90s article. This article showcases some of the most influential rappers of the decade, including Q-Tip. From his work with A Tribe Called Quest to his successful solo career, Q-Tip continues to be a respected figure within the hip-hop community.
|Full Name||Cam’ron (Cameron Ezike Giles)|
|Also known as||Killa Cam|
|Born||February 4, 1976 (age 47)|
|Birthplace||East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, East Coast hip hop, gangsta rap|
|Occupation(s)||Rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, record executive, entrepreneur|
|Labels||Killa, Cinematic, Diplomat, Virgin, E1, Asylum, Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam, Epic, Untertainment, Sony|
|Member of||The Diplomats, Children of the Corn, U.N.|
|Notable Albums||Confessions of Fire, S.D.E. (Sports Drugs & Entertainment), Come Home with Me, Purple Haze, Killa Season, Crime Pays|
|Notable Singles||“Oh Boy”, “Hey Ma”, “Dipset Anthem”, “Killa Cam”, “Wet Wipes”, “Get It in Ohio”, “Cookin Up”|
Cam’ron’s birth date is February 4, 1976, and he was born in New York City, New York (U.S.A.). He was a member of the rap group Children of the Corn before he became renowned. Two of his albums, Confessions of Fire and S.D.E., were released in 1998 and 2000, respectively. In 2004, Purple Haze was released to widespread praise and economic success, eventually certified gold by the RIAA.
|Full Name||Anthony Cruz|
|Birthdate||March 9, 1972|
|Birthplace||New York City, U.S.|
|Other Names||AZ the Visualiza, Sosa, The Rap James Bond|
|Genres||East Coast hip hop, mafioso rap|
|Labels||Quiet Money, Real Talk, Koch, Noo Trybe, Virgin, EMI, 300 Entertainment|
|Notable Collaborations||Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega, Nature, Ghostface Killah|
|Accolades||About.com’s “Most Underrated Rapper of All Time”|
|Notable Albums||Doe or Die, Pieces of a Man, Aziatic, The Format, Doe or Die II|
|Popular Singles||“Sugar Hill”, “Problems”, “The Essence”|
|Notable Features||Featured on Nas’s album Illmatic|
|Notable Achievements||Grammy Award nomination for “The Essence”|
|Background Information||African-American and Afro-Dominican heritage|
|Education||Eli Whitney High School (attended with Jay-Z)|
Az’s birthday is March 9. Thus he is 47 years old. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1995, with his debut solo album “Doe or die,” he hit the top spot on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart in the United States. AZ made his debut on Nas’s groundbreaking 1994 album Illmatic when he contributed to the tracks “Life’s a Bitch” and “The Genesis.”
In 2003, AZ had a single from his album “The Essence” nominated for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammys. Nas was a featured artist on the track.
Rapper Danny Brown performs at the Lost Lake Music Festival on October 22, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.
If you’re a fan of AZ, don’t miss out on the list of the 25 Dopest Rappers of The 90s . Discover more talented hip-hop artists of the era, such as Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, and Outkast.
10. Snoop Dogg
|Full Name||Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.|
|Birthdate||October 20, 1971 (age 51)|
|Birthplace||Long Beach, California, U.S.|
|Other Names||Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion, Bigg Snoop Dogg, Dogg Father, Snoop Rock, DJ Snoopadelic, Snoopzilla, FaZe Snoop|
|Title||Founder of Doggystyle Records, Owner of Death Row Records, Executive Creative Consultant at Def Jam Recordings|
|Spouse||Shante Taylor (married in 1997)|
|Relatives||Brandy Norwood (cousin), Ray J (cousin), Sasha Banks (cousin), Daz Dillinger (cousin), Nate Dogg (cousin), RBX (cousin)|
|Awards||American Music Award, Primetime Emmy Award, 17 Grammy Award nominations|
|Genres||Hip hop, West Coast hip hop, G-funk, gangsta rap|
|Labels||Death Row, Doggystyle, EMPIRE, Def Jam, RCA Inspiration, E1, i am OTHER, Columbia, RCA, MCA, Priority, Geffen, Capitol, EMI, Star Trak, No Limit, Interscope|
|Member of||7 Days of Funk, Mt. Westmore, QDT, Tha Eastsidaz|
Long Beach, California, United States, is the place of origin for Snoop Dogg, the whose given name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. While being a gifted artist in his own right, Snoop Dogg also possesses a strong business, production, and other related skills, making him a formidable competitor in the rap industry. Snoop Dogg has amassed enough trophies to fund the Construction of a museum to house all of his achievements.
Music by Snoop Dogg, Rhythm & Ganysta, No Limit, Tha Doggfather, and more. Snoop Dogg has reaped several benefits from all of these. Furthermore, working with other well-known artists contributes to the success of his songs.
11. Lauryn Hill
|Full Name||Lauryn Noelle Hill|
|Birth Name||Lauryn Noelle Hill|
|Also known as||Ms. Lauryn Hill, L. Boogie|
|Born||May 26, 1975|
|Birthplace||East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, soul, reggae|
|Occupation(s)||Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actress|
|Labels||Columbia, Island, Ruffhouse|
|Children||6, including Selah Marley|
|Breakthrough Album||The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)|
|Billboard Achievements||Debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 with “Doo Wop (That Thing)”|
|Grammy Awards||Eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year|
|Record Sales||One of the best-selling albums of all time; Diamond certification by RIAA|
|Contributions||Popularized melodic rapping; Introduced hip hop and neo soul to popular music|
|Influence and Recognition||Regarded as one of the greatest rappers and most influential musicians of her generation|
|Film and Acting Career||Starred in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Appeared in other films and TV shows|
|Humanitarian Work||Received the NAACP’s President’s Award; Inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame|
In the United States, Lauryn Hill entered this world on May 26, 1975, in East Orange. When she first started performing, she often sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” Lauryn Hill’s debut album, has sold over 10 million copies in the United States, earning it a diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In doing so, the singer of “Everything Is Everything” made history as the first female rapper to top the charts with a single song.
To understand the impact Lauryn Hill had on the rap industry and music industry as a whole, it’s important to take a look at the East Coast rappers who came before her. With her unique style and powerful voice, Hill helped redefine what it meant to be a female rapper in the industry.
|Full Name||Aubrey Drake Graham|
|Birthdate||October 24, 1986|
|Birthplace||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Other Names||Champagne Papi, Drizzy, 6 God|
|Occupations||Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, Actor, Businessman|
|Relatives||Larry Graham (uncle), Teenie Hodges (uncle)|
|Musical Career Genres||Hip hop, R&B, Pop Rap, Pop, Trap|
|Labels||OVO Sound, Republic, Young Money, Cash Money|
|Introduction||Canadian rapper, singer, and songwriter known for popularizing singing in hip hop|
|Acting Career||Starred as Jimmy Brooks in the TV series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”|
|Albums||Critical successes: Thank Me Later, Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Views, Scorpion|
|Commercial Success||Sold over 170 million records worldwide|
|Entrepreneurship||Founder of OVO Sound record label, part owner of A.C. Milan, collaborations with brands|
|Awards and Achievements||Multiple Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, and more|
|Cultural Impact||Influential figure in contemporary popular music, significant influence on hip hop|
|Philanthropy||Involved in charitable endeavors and community initiatives|
The male rapper’s middle name is Drake, not his given name. Specifically, his full name is Aubrey Draka Graham. “Drizzy” and “Champagne Papi” are well-known monikers for male rapper. Drake grew up in Toronto, Ontario, as a Canadian of Arab descent.
Drake is a frontrunner in the battle for the top spot in the global hip-hop and R&B music scene. Drake has accomplished several musically horrible feats that impress. The album “Thank Me Later” is his first release. Drake’s meteoric rise to fame and the creation of his record label, O.V.O. Sound, followed his signing with Lil Wayne.
Also, in 2016, Drake dropped One Dance, which went on to become a global phenomenon and one of the best-selling songs in history. Drake has accomplished not only those as mentioned earlier but also many other musical milestones.
13. Styles P
|Full Name||Styles P|
|Birth Name||David R. Styles|
|Also Known As||Big Dave, Styles, Styles Pinero, Holiday Styles, the Ghost|
|Birthdate||November 28, 1974 (age 48)|
|Birthplace||Corona, Queens, New York City, U.S.|
|Associated Acts||The Lox, Ruff Ryders|
|Labels||D-Block, Phantom, High Times, E1, Koch, Nature Sounds, Ruff Ryders, Interscope|
|Notable Albums||A Gangster and a Gentleman (2002), Time Is Money (2006), Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman) (2007), Master of Ceremonies (2011), The World’s Most Hardest MC Project (2012), Float (2013), Phantom and the Ghost (2014), A Wise Guy and a Wise Guy (2015), G-Host (2018)|
|Notable Collaborations||“Good Times”, “Locked Up” (Alternate Version, featuring Akon), “Filthy America… It’s Beautiful”, “Beloved” (collaboration album with Dave East), “Styles David: Ghost Your Enthusiasm”|
|Personal Life||Vegan, married to Adjua since July 31, 1995, two children (Noah and Tai), tragically lost younger brother Gary Quarles Styles in a car accident in 2001|
|Legal Issues||Involved in a nightclub altercation resulting in stabbing, served an eight-month sentence in 2002-2003|
|Business Ventures||Co-founder of D-Block Records and Juice for Life juice bars, co-owner of Farmacy for Life health food store|
|Literary Works||Released novel “Invincible” in 2010|
|Television Appearances||Marriage Boot Camp (2020), Everything’s Gonna Be All White (documentary series, 2022)|
Styles P. entered the world on this planet on November 28, 1974, in New York City, New York State, United States. As a youngster, he began rapping alongside Jadakiss and Sheek Louch, which led to a meeting with Mary J. Blige, who delivered a demo of the trio to Sean “Diddy” Combs, catapulting their careers.
Former member of The L.O.X. and creator of D-Block Recording America, as well as a talented rapper and author. His 2010 novel, Invincible, was published by Random House.
If you’re a fan of Styles P, you might also be interested in discovering the top 25 famous Chicago rappers. Known for his unique flow and twist on traditional East Coast hip-hop, Styles P’s style aligns with many of the famous rappers from the Windy City. Check out this list to explore more underrated and overlooked artists.
14. Missy Elliott
|Full Name||Missy Elliott|
|Born||July 1, 1971|
|Birthplace||Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.|
|Awards||Four Grammy Awards|
|Musical Career||Genres: Hip hop, R&B, progressive rap|
|Labels||The Goldmind Inc.|
|Member of||Swing Mob|
|Musical Artist||Best-selling female rapper in Nielsen Music history|
Melissa Arnette Elliott, better known as Missy Elliott, has won five Grammys and is responsible for classics including “Sock it two me,” “Get ur freak on,” and “Work it” from the early 2000s. Elliott, an American singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer is the only female rapper to have six studio albums certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Under Construction was one of her most successful albums, peaking at #3 on the U.S. Billboard 200. Furthermore, the album was nominated for a Grammy.
15. Mos Def
Mos Def entered the world on this planet on December 11, 1973, in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. He co-founded the rap duo Black Star with Talib Kweli and has starred in numerous films and T.V. episodes, such as Dexter, Be Kind Rewind, and The Job of the Italian.
Mos Def’s fourth album, 2009’s “The Ecstatic,” included the funny combination of tracks like “Life in Marvelous Times” and “History,” earning him considerable accolades from the music community. Combination of socially conscious themes and lyrical depth with singalong hooks and professional sound design. Ultimately, Ecstatic was nominated for a Grammy in 2010 for Best Rap Album.
|Full Name||Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def)|
|Birthdate||December 11, 1973|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.|
|Other Names||Yasiin Bey, Black Dante, Dante Beze, Flaco, El-Bey|
|Genres||Alternative hip hop, conscious hip hop,|
|Occupation||Rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, activist|
|Labels||Rawkus, Downtown, GOOD, Geffen, Priority|
|Group Membership||Black Star|
|Notable Works||“Black on Both Sides,” “The New Danger,”|
|Acting Career||Films: Something the Lord Made, Next Day Air,|
|Social Activism||Advocacy for police brutality, American|
16. Killer Mike
Rapper Killer Mike (real name Michael Render), born on April 20, 1975, in Atlanta, Georgia, is a member of the influential group OutKast. On Jay-The Z’s Blueprint 2 album from 2002, he contributed to the track “Poppin ‘Tags.”
Mike made his first appearance on Outkast’s 2000 LP Stankonia and later performed on the Grammy Award-winning single “The Whole World” from the group’s smash album Big Boi and Dr. Dre Present…Outkast (2001). He has since gone on to release five studio albums under his name.
|Full Name||Killer Mike|
|Birth Name||Michael Santiago Render|
|Also Known As||Mike Bigga, Jerome Jewel|
|Born||April 20, 1975|
|Birthplace||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Occupations||Rapper, songwriter, actor, activist|
|Labels||Loma Vista, Mass Appeal, Grind Time, Fontana, SMC, Grand Hustle, Atlantic, Williams Street, Fool’s Gold, Purple Ribbon, Columbia|
|Member of||Run the Jewels, Dungeon Family|
|Formerly of||Purple Ribbon All-Stars|
|Notable Debut||Featured on Outkast’s album “Stankonia”|
|Grammy Award||Won Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group|
|Solo Albums||Released multiple full-length albums|
|Social Activism||Advocate for social equality, police brutality, and systemic racism|
|Lectures and Writing||Delivered lectures and written articles on social justice|
|Political Support||Vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns|
|Acting Career||Appeared in films such as “Idlewild,” “Baby Driver,” and “ATL”|
|Documentary Series||Hosted “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike” on Netflix|
|Business Ventures||Co-owns and plans to expand barbershops across the United States|
|Online Bank||Co-founded Greenwood, an online bank supporting Black-owned businesses|
If you’re a fan of Killer Mike, you might also be interested in discovering the pro-life celebrities who’ve used their platform to promote the importance of valuing every life. Whether you share their views or not, it’s always fascinating to learn about the values and causes that matter to public figures.
On November 23, 1972, Kurupt entered this world. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. American rapper and ex-Vice President of Death Row Records, born Ricardo Brown. The Dogg Pound was a rap group in which he participated. Doggystyle, Snoop Dogg’s first album, featured him.
|Birthdate||November 23, 1972|
|Birthplace||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Other Names||Young Gotti, Kurupt Tha Kingpin|
|Occupations||Rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor|
|Spouse||Jovan Brown (2007–2017)|
|Partners||Foxy Brown (1997–1999), Natina Reed (2000–2002)|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, Gangsta rap|
|Labels||Death Row, Interscope, Antra, A&M, Artemis, D.P.G., Heritage Music|
|Member of||Tha Dogg Pound, The HRSMN|
|Notable Collaborations||– Helped set lasting trends in gangsta rap’s rise during the 1990s.|
18. Busta Rhymes
American rapper, musician, record producer, actor, and record executive Trevor George Smith Jr., better known by his stage name Busta Rhymes. He became well-known thanks to his song “Woo Hah!” and his ability to rhyme quickly. Not only that, but he also helped establish the Conglomerate label. His work has been nominated for eleven Grammys.
The Coming (1996), When Disaster Strikes… (1997), E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front (1998), and Genesis (2001) are just a few of Busta Rhymes’ excellent albums (2001).
|Full Name||Busta Rhymes|
|Birthdate||May 20, 1972|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.|
|Occupations||Rapper, Songwriter, Record Producer, Actor, Businessman|
|Education||Uniondale High School|
|Genres||Hip Hop, East Coast Hip Hop, Progressive Rap|
|Instruments||Vocals, Samplers, Drums|
|Labels||Empire, Conglomerate, Epic, Violator, Republic, Cash Money, Young Money, Universal Motown, Interscope, Aftermath, J, Elektra|
|Formerly of||Flipmode Squad, Leaders of the New School|
|Awards||12 Grammy Award nominations|
|Notable Singles||“Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check”, “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See”, “Dangerous”, “Gimme Some More”, “What’s It Gonna Be?”, “Pass the Courvoisier, Part II”, “I Know What You Want”, “Touch It”|
|Solo Albums||The Coming, When Disaster Strikes, Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front, Anarchy, Genesis, It Ain’t Safe No More, The Big Bang, Back on My B.S., Year of the Dragon, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God|
|Other Ventures||Founded Conglomerate (formerly Flipmode Entertainment) record label and production crew, Listed in About.com’s 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time, MTV referred to him as “one of hip-hop’s greatest visual artists”|
On May 27, 1975, in Yonkers City, New York, United States, Jadakiss entered this world. He was one of the original members of the legendary rap group The Warlock. New York native and rapper Jason Phillips has had three albums debut in the top five. Kiss of Death, his lone studio album, was released in 2004.
When his song “Why?” implied that George W. Bush was at fault for the September 11 assaults on the World Trade Center, he sparked controversy and earned the wrath of Bill O’Reilly.
|Birth Name||Jason Terrance Phillips|
|Also Known As||Montega Jada|
|Birthdate||May 27, 1975|
|Birthplace||Yonkers, New York, U.S.|
|Labels||SoRaspy, Roc Nation, Def Jam, D-Block, Ruff Ryders|
|Member of||The Lox, Ruff Ryders|
|Debut Solo Album||“Kiss Tha Game Goodbye” (2001)|
|Notable Songs||“We Gonna Make It”|
|Awards||BET Hip Hop Awards: Best Collaboration (2004)|
If you’re looking for the best rappers of the 2000s, you can’t skip Jadakiss. With his iconic flow and hard-hitting lyrics, Jada has cemented his place in hip-hop history. Check out our list of the top 24 best rappers of the 2000s to find out who else made the cut.
20. Lupe Fiasco
Chicago native Lupe Fiasco (born February 16, 1982) got his start as the lead singer for a Japanese band called Cartoon. The U.S. top 10 featured his song “Show Goes On,” which reached number nine.
Only a select few rappers, Lupe Fiasco, included, can create complex meanings with their words. It’s pretty challenging to reach the third or fourth layer of meaning in the music of competent rappers because only two layers of meaning occur in the music of rappers in general. He’s a pioneer of the sociopolitical hip hop scene, with a distinctive sound shaped by his early life experiences.
|Full Name||Lupe Fiasco|
|Birth Name||Wasalu Muhammad Jaco|
|Birthdate||February 16, 1982|
|Birthplace||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Occupation(s)||Rapper, Record Producer, Entrepreneur|
|Labels||1st & 15th, The Orchard, Thirty Tigers (current), Atlantic (former)|
|Member of||Japanese Cartoon|
|Formerly of||All City Chess Club, Child Rebel Soldier|
|Notable Albums||“Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor,” “Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool,” “Lasers,” “Drill Music in Zion”|
|Notable Songs||“Kick, Push,” “Superstar,” “The Show Goes On,” “Daydreamin'”|
|Entrepreneurship||Chief Executive Officer of 1st and 15th Entertainment, clothing lines (Righteous Kung-Fu and Trilly & Truly)|
|Social Activism||Involved in charitable activities, recorded a benefit single for victims of the Haiti earthquake|
|Artistic Influences||Inspired by Jay-Z, Nas, The Watts Prophets, and jazz musicians|
|Musical Style||Known for lyrical depth and socially conscious themes|
|Anti-Establishment||Known for expressing anti-establishment views in interviews and music|
|Background||Raised in Chicago, developed an interest in hip hop, joined a group called Da Pak, signed a record deal with Atlantic|
What regional styles of Black rap are represented on the list?
The list covers performers from the East Coast (Notorious B.I.G., Nas), West Coast (Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre), and South Coast (Outkast, Scarface).
How has Black rap influenced other genres of music?
Artists such as Run-DMC and Public Enemy have collaborated with rock bands, and producers such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams have collaborated with pop and electronic acts.
What role did storytelling play in Black rap?
Artists such as Nas and Kendrick Lamar are recognized for their vivid and dramatic narratives about life in the inner city, and storytelling has long been an integral aspect of Black rap.
How did Black rap evolve over time?
From its inception in the 1970s, black rap has changed substantially, with new styles and subgenres emerging and artists experimenting with new sounds and approaches.
What was the cultural impact of Black rap?
Black rap has had a significant impact on American society, affecting fashion, language, and politics while also giving marginalized people a voice.
What is the significance of Black rap in the music industry?
With artists like Jay-Z and Dr. Dre becoming billionaires and hip-hop topping the charts, black rap has become one of the most popular and commercially successful genres of music.