Rap/Hip Hop Artists. Rap/Hip Hop Music Artists.

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Rhyming on top of repetitive beats goes back to the dawn of human history, but Rap's year zero is commonly regarded as 1979, when the Sugarhill Gang released Rapper's Delight, which became a huge Hit. Hip Hop started as a DJ based phenomenon on the streets of the 70's run down New York. It soon spread to be a nation wide, and later, world wide culture that put the MC, the Rapper, in front. By the end of the 20th century, Hip Hop was perhaps the most influential music genre, changing the face of Pop culture forever, and spawning subsequent changes to R&B, dance music & Jazz.
2 Live Crew Rappers David "Mr. Mixx" Hobbs, Yuri "Amazing V" Vielot and Chris "Fresh Kid Ice" Wongwon originally started the group in California in the early 1980's. After performing at events in the Riverside area, the trio released the single Revelation in 1984, and it was received well even outside of their home state.

2. 2Pac

2Pac Most MCs are regarded as fads, popular one moment and then forgotten the next. Not many have reached or will reach the kind of fame - and notoriety - of 2Pac. Tupac Amaru Shakur, more popularly known by his numbered nickname, is easily one of the top-selling MCs of all time. From MC Hammer to 50 Cent, countless artists have been credited his work as a major influence for their own art.
50 Cent Hip-Hop consists of stories that rhyme, with a deep and dark soul. In its intense cynical verses, one will find the truth about life. 50 Cent is hardened by the codes and violence of the street, reflecting in the words the hardships of life, spot on. For him Life was to- Get Rich or Die Tryin.

4. B.G.

B.G. B.G. aka B Gizzle or Baby Gangsta, was born Christopher Dorsey in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 3, 1980. Spending his childhood in rough uptown New Orleans by age twelve he took to the streets selling drugs and rapping as a hobby. Luckily for him and history, Baby Gangsta was sent by his barber to audition with Cash Money Records, brothers Baby/Birdman and Ronald "Slim" Williams. The brothers signed him and a career was born.
Beanie Sigel Rap as a genre developed thanks largely to numerous MCs who talk about living life on the streets and dealing with crime and poverty. Beanie Sigel is among the ranks of such MCs; his meteoric rise due mostly to his realistic content, no-nonsense lyrics paired with wordplay, a combination that caught the attention of some of the industry's heavyweights.
Beastie Boys Coming from wealthy families in New York and looking more like frat boys than bad boys, Beastie Boys began their long music career underground in many ways. From their hardcore punk beginnings in 1981 the Beastie Boys were part of the post-punk sound that mixed elements of hip hop and punk that eventually made it into the mainstream but at the time critics and genre purists sounded out strongly against the them.
Common The articulate, accomplished businessman who promotes PETA and HIV/AIDS awareness is one of the top earning hip hop artists in the United States. His sophisticated jazz-rap survived gangsta rap throughout the 90's and continues to evolve as the artist himself matures and refines his view of life and his hip-hop style.

8. D12

D12 D12 was created in the streets of Detroit. Much like dance crews, groups or, crews, of rappers would gather to do battle with their tongues, instead of fists. The members of this particular crew of rappers included, Bizarre, Kon Artis, Eminem, Swift, Proof, and Kuniva. Long before they were thinking record deals they were thinking of nothing more than being heard.

9. DMX

DMX Rappers are often much nuanced performers: they can do well in rap, but not much elsewhere. There are, of course, exceptions. Tupac Shakur (more popularly known as 2Pac), for example, dabbled in everything from poetry to acting, all while managing a successful career. And if there was anyone in the industry whose career most closely followed 2Pac's, that someone would be DMX.
David Banner A man of action David Banner has launched six albums since his first album hit the streets in 1999 and he continues to rap them out with a seventh projected to be released in 2010. Being college educated as well as articulate Banner was an excellent spokesman for the hip-hop artists before Congress during a hearing concerning African-American stereotyping in media.
A Tribe Called Quest The group that would be known to the hip hop community as A Tribe Called Quest was formed in the city of Queens New York and would get their start in the mid 1980’s in a new genre of music called rap. The members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg were childhood friends that would meet in high school to contemplate forming a band of some sort. They would bring on Nico Rey de Castro while after meeting him at school.
Aaliyah From a young age, Aaliyah’s mother, who was a vocalist, began enrolling her for voice lessons. She went to a Catholic school and attended Gesu Elementary, where she first got the taste of performing in the first grade. She landed a part in the play Annie and made it her goal to be an entertainer.
Black Eyed Peas The evolution of Black Eyed Peas is a documentary of what can be accomplished by believing in your talent and forging forward no matter what other people think. From break dancing beginnings BEP has risen to worldwide popularity despite roadblocks and less than supportive reviews of their works by music critics. With album sales of over 22 million worldwide and 29 million singles sold in 2009 the masses have shown their love for what BEP delivers.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony In the early 1990’s, Bones Thugs-N-Harmony formed, the group composed of four members: Kravzie Bone, Lavzie Bone, Bizzy Bone and Wish Bone. They recorded their first album Faces of Death in 1991 under the name B.O.N.W Enterpri$e. After, a new member, Flesh-n-Bone, was added, they went to Los Angeles to look for a famous producer and N.W.A member, Eazy-E and their careers blew up.
Brotha Lynch Hung Kevin James Mann was born January 10, 1972 in the gang ridden Florin Gardens section of Sacramento, California. With self-proclaimed Crip gang affiliation Mann began rapping as Ice Cold in 1986 as a 14 year old. While still in high school he perfected his art, battling others word for word, causing his half-brother and fellow rapper, Sicx, to hang the Brotha Lynch Hung title on him. Both Sicx and other childhood fellow rapper X-Raided are doing prisons sentences for unrelated murders.

16. C-Bo

C-Bo The rapper that would eventually be known to the world as C-Bo was born in the Garden Blocc section in the city of Sacramento California. This area was known as heavily influenced with gang activity between the Bloods and Crypts and was littered with violence and drugs. It was said that he had started the gang life early in life although there are no official reports to substantiate these claims.

17. Case

Case The singer and songwriter that would be later known as Case would be born in the inner city of New York in what some refer to as the projects. The family struggled financially but it is said that they would come together around the art of creating, singing, and listening to music. He would start performing for friends and family in the living room when he was only five years old. It was later said by Case that his father would be one of the most influential people in his life as he helped him develop his passion for music as a young child. His father was a temporary member for the pop group Cameo.
Dr. Dre Dr. Dre found his inspiration from the artist Grandmaster Flash’s song “The Adventures if Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel”. He would often go to a club called "The Eve After Dark" to watch the different DJs and rappers perform live. Eventually, he became a DJ in the same club under the name “Dr. J” from the nickname of his favorite basketball player Julius Erving. He met an aspiring rapper Antoine Carraby, who later became a member, who went by DJ Yella, of N.W.A.

19. Dwele

Dwele Fairy tale beginnings and movie plot careers are not unheard of in the music industry, in itself a place where even the untrained and unknown can achieve stardom with work. Just ask Dwele, who went from recording at home to major music label star in a few short years. It all boils down to talent and a catchy sound, both of which he brings to the table.

20. EPMD

EPMD A lot of artists will claim that they make music to express their feelings, or to point out something of great social relevance. The eponymous duo of Erick and Parrish Making Dollars – EPMD for short – made no such claim. As their act name suggests, the two knew they were in the industry for the money and they weren’t ashamed of the fact.
Foxy Brown Fame and infamy often go hand in hand. It’s an entertainment industry truth that Foxy Brown has seen and experienced for herself. Despite her meteoric rise to fame aided by some of the biggest names in rap and hip-hop, Brown has been far from immune against the industry standard substance abuse and prison stints. Her numerous incidents, though, have not dinted her prolificacy nor her skills at the microphone.
Freeway Crime and drugs are two common factors in the work of just about every artist from the ghetto, but Freeway is neither pedantic nor boastful about his experiences. What sets him apart from his contemporaries is that he gives a very real narrative that doesn’t lecture or encourage, but merely narrates. His rapid rise in the rap world should show just how well his audience has received such a style of sharing stories from the street.
Geto Boys Even the most explicit of rap and hip-hop albums have a limit with respect to the kind of content that they carry. That's the general trend, unless you happen to be listening to one by the notorious Geto Boys. Yes, that's the way the group's name is spelled. No, nothing is sacred for these guys. If it's extreme and simple over the top lyrics that you want, the Boys will give you just the right amount for an overdose - and then some more.
Ja Rule Raised under strict Jehovah’s Witness rules Jeff Atkins (born 2/29/1976) was not allowed to listen to street music but once he heard it Ja Rule was hooked. He decided right then to become a rapper. Defying house rules he smuggled CD’s in to the house and listened to it whenever he could. Being small Jeff attracted abuse from the bigger kids in school. In an attempt to stop the daily fighting Ja was transferred to a predominately white school. The fighting stopped, according to Ja, because now although he was still small but now he was the intimidating tough black kid.
Joe Budden Rap and hip-hop music has the kind of association with drugs and vice that would make most parents cringe. Yet there are those who went up against that kind of adversity and faced it down. Joe Budden did, and he puts many of his experiences into his music. Not only did he manage to clean himself up, but he's managed to turn himself into one of the most successful self-made stories in the genre.
Juelz Santana Who knew that the 12 year old writing rhymes on a Harlem street corner would journey to become a much followed and R&B Chart famous rapper? From a teen duet to solo articles, Juelz Santana has been a rising star.
Juvenile Confrontational lyrics based in the reality of the street life of New Orleans have been the signature of the dirty south rapper known as Juvenile since 1994. During his fifteen years of rapping Juvenile has reinvented himself several times. Rapping about street life, success and tragedy as they occur in his life keeps the content real and compelling for his audiences.
KRS-One Hip-hop artists are known for being the mainstream, for being the kind that attends party after party in pricey clothes, swigging even pricier booze. KRS-One, however, would be the antithesis to the label-wearing, Patron-drinking stereotype. With his humble roots and fiercely anti-mainstream, anti-establishment stance, he's one artist that's more interested in getting his message straight than impressing others or making friends.
Master P Master P's interests have been many and his street smarts coupled with business management education and $10,000 seed money has allowed him to act on them without conforming to any external influences.
Method Mad Method Man was born Clifford Smith on April 1, 1972 in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. As a child he spent his time split between his parents on Staten Island and Long Island. His father introduced him to drums, rhythm, and poetry. This would be an interest that would follow him into adulthood. In addition, Method Man was and still is an avid comic book lover, reading and collecting all styles and types.
Missy Elliott When you think of multi-talented the first name to appear should be Missy Elliott. When it comes to talent there are no boundaries for the singer, songwriter, actress, producer, dancer, actress, charity organizer, and all around great woman.
Mystikal New Orleans is better known for its food and its festivals, but rapper Mystikal has also put it on the map of the genre. With monikers like Black Prince of the South bestowed upon him by media and fans alike, the chart-topping artist's impact on the hip-hop scene is undeniable.

33. Onyx

Onyx The group of early pioneering rap artists known as Onyx would get their start in the city of Brooklyn New York in the year of 1988. They would form an alliance with one another and begin recording beats and rhythms that were put to words in a new music genre that had begun taking the east coast cities by storm.
OutKast If there is something notable about Georgia, it is good southern family-raising values and Outkast has been taught that though the music lives on, it’s not the money and the player lifestyle that brings you happiness. It is all about living out your dreams and making things come true. Those are the values that Outkast believes in.
Pastor Troy Crunk, Snap, Southern Rap – they are all a sub-genre of the hip-hop style that came from the melding of East and West coast’s rap styles with a little ‘extra’ thrown in for the “crazy drunk” drum heavy, laid back danceable club scene style that blends to commercial Southern Rap.

36. Pimp C

Pimp C Even in its early years, hip-hop as a genre more often talked about the glitz and glamor of a certain kind of lifestyle. That was, until Pimp C arrived and rapped about a much more realistic picture of life, from the view of the small towns and the lower classes. Many of the MCs and hip-hop artists from his region continue to cite his straightforward lyrics and no-nonsense descriptions, long after his departure from the music industry.
Public Enemy Hip-hop is one of the genres in music that allows for the greatest amount of politically charged content. Few musical acts, however, have used that allowance to the same extent as Public Enemy. From the get-go, the group has been addressing issues on the political and community level, both big and small. The message hasn't gained them a lot of friends but it's been very effective at winning them fans.

38. Q-Tip

Q-Tip Q-Tip (real name Jonathan Davis) was born in 1970 in Queens, New York. His father was from a British territory called Montserrat and his mother was from Alabama. He was interested in music from a very young age and remained active in it throughout school.
Queen Latifah From the city of Newark New Jersey, Queen Latifah was born to a school teacher and a police officer. She would be raised in a Baptist church although her parents would divorce by the time she was age ten. She was both an athlete as well as a performer in high school where she played a forward on the basketball team as well as performing in a musical called The Wiz.
Raekwon Solo artist-hood is typically a binary state; most artists are either just in a group or out of one. Not everyone can manage to cultivate both an existing relationship with a group and their own budding solo career. But that's where Raekwon – and all the other members of the Wu-Tang Clan besides – shines. He's proven time and again that he can perform and sell his records, whether he's alone or with eight other equally talented artists.
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