Known as poetry of the streets, rapping has become one of the most revered genres in the music industry despite filled with the depiction of violence, liquor and adultery. Consisting of unique rhyming lyrics delivered with a beat, the flow of rapping has been much admired over the years. Here today we are taking a look at the 15 greatest rappers of all time:
As one the most treasured artists signed to the Def Jam label, Redman utilized his twisted sense of humor and unique in-your-face rhymes to make it big in the hip hop and rap industry. With seven studio albums released since his debut in 1990, the rapper is still one of the few active seasoned musicians in the industry.
His frequent partnership with fellow rapper Method Man is legendary and has paved the way for many artists who thought about facing the hardships and struggles of being a professional rapper.
Starting his career in the rap group Geto Boys as DJ Akshun, Brad Terrence Jordan was destined to shine. Soon after leaving the group, the rapper took the name of Scarface from Al Pacino’s 1983 gangster movie of the same name and never looked back again.
Outshining his former group and releasing more than ten studio albums, Scarface lives, breaths and eats rapping as his fluctuating flow with a soft-spoken delivery is enough to quickly grab any music fan’s attention.
As one of the most well-known rappers alive today, it is amazing to see that Scarface has continued his career without losing a single step.
13. Kool G Rap
Often known as one of the most skilled and influential MCs of all time, Kool G Rap has perfected the lyrical content of mafioso and hardcore rap delivered by multi-syllabic rhyming.
The legacy of the rapper from Queens, New York City can be imagined by the fact that Kool G Rap has been regarded as a major influence to several underground rappers and even big names such as Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas and The Notorious B.I.G.
12. 50 Cent
Having a few run-ins with the law due to his status as a drug dealer since teenage, Curtis Jackson would still be earning money as a lowlife street thug if he was not discovered by Eminem. Once motivated and supervised by the King of Rap, the world got the chance to listen to the man who pioneered the slow flow style of rap.
Becoming one of the highest selling artist from his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, a star was born and 50 Cent became the face of the East Coast hip hop territory.
Selling more than 30 million albums worldwide, the life of the drug dealer-turned-musician and businessman is one of the most well-known rags to riches stories in the entertainment industry.
11. Missy Elliot
Exactly how many female artists can claim that they made a huge impact in the music genre of hip hop? Not many. Hardly three at best and the spectacular Missy Elliott is one of them.
Winning five Grammy Awards and selling over 30 million albums in the United States, she is the only female rapper who has six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one of them being double platinum.
10. Snoop Dogg
Hip hop, gangsta rap, reggae, G-funk, Snoop Dogg has seen it all and done it all. Discovered and mentored by Dr. Dre, the rapper had all the talent and skills necessary to earn a big spot in the rap industry and proved that one can accomplish wonders regardless of a ridiculous name.
Releasing multi-platinum albums time and time again, Snoop Dogg’s “molasses drawl” and “laconic rhyming” style is simple yet responsible for gaining him fame. As one of the artists who perfected gangsta rap, Snoop Dogg is one of the most illustrious rappers of his time.
9. LL Cool J
Long ago, even much before 50 Cent and Lil Wayne, it was James Todd Smith who introduced bling bling and jewelry as a vital component of a rapper’s image. Under the name LL Cool J (standing for Ladies Love Cool James), the rapper pioneered romantic rap.
Credited as the innovator of rap music by combining it with love themes, LL Cool J was an extremely skillful user of the microphone. After enjoying a tremendous amount of success, the rapper persuaded an acting career.
8. Ice Cube
With ten studio albums, Ice Cube stands out as one of the most revered rappers of his time. Beginning his career in the rap group C.I.A and later N.W.A, Ice Cube soon pursued a solo career and enjoyed a tremendous amount of success due to his unique storytelling coupled with his raps.
While most of the rappers stay limited to gangsta rap, Ice Cube not only founded it but took himself beyond it by involving political scenarios in his lyrical content, establishing himself as one of the most brutally honest rappers alive.