When rap music hit the charts, the world was awash with excitement. A new genre of music was born taking the entertainment industry by storm. If you love rap music, what is it that makes you think it rocks? Who are your favourite rappers and why do you enjoy their music?
All these are question you are likely to encounter from friends and critics. Rap music originated in the US in the 70s and was common in the African-American community. It is a mix of rhythmic beats and chanted speech. Over the years, it has gained popularity among the young generations with numerous artists always hitting the airwaves with new records to quench the ever-growing thirst of the fans. Over the years, a number of rappers have consistently made it to the fans with great productions while others just go down the drain. Here is a list of 10 most famous rappers who have stood the test of time with great music.
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Known as Gary Grice, is one among the New York Rappers who have gained global popularity. He is best defined by his solo album Liquid Swords with a distinct appeal that led to his being acknowledged as the troop leader of the rapper gang. Having released their debut album titled “Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers” in 1993, the group has been acknowledged for its smooth and authoritative line of production.
Their performances are spices with a plethora of acts that sends shivering waves to the multitude. With rap storylines that relate well to the modern living, and a well marching troop of rappers, the group continues to garner massive support and thirst for its music.
9. Andre 3000
Winners of six Grammy awards between 2002 and 2004, Andre Benjamin and his partner Big Boi showcased to the world their best. Andre had a previous history in the entertainment industry as an Emcee a factor attributed to his ability to understand what to give the audience. His distinct lazy vocal inflection as a solo served to give him a special place as a unique personality in the industry. Among the greatest hits on the duo’s waistline include Stankonia and the Love below. From humble beginnings, the group is today ranked among the “who is who” global celebrities starring in movies and fashion.
With a great legacy, Anthony Cruz is a rapper of all times with a massive audience across the globe. With a gangster background of his past, AZ has managed to curve his edge through the rap industry to fans who celebrate his music and life. With most of his works featuring American life, he easily appeals to the audience. He is accredited as one among the role models for majority of youths from the “ghettos” and streets seeking to get a slice of the cake in the rapping industry. His music is considered as aggressive and delivered in a high pitch a factor that not only makes him great on stage but gives a unique experience in listening.
7. Snoopy Dogg
A leader of the G-Funk Era, Snoop Dogg cut his niche in the rapping industry through fusion of the modern rap and the soul music from the 70s. A feature that gave a new taste to the already overflowing industry of rap music, it brought life and a new sense to rap lovers. He started his career under Dr. Dre and later found his way solo. With the popular Doggy Style LP under his belt, he has grown over the years to be one of the leading players in the music industry. This is evident through the Grammy awards he has bagged since 2004 to 2013 that total six in number.
Running on an almost similar platform to AZ, Scarface has risen from dust to gold. With his famous band the Ghetto Boys Group, his lyrics feature the lives of the underprivileged in the streets. Despite his growing popularity, he carries with him a bad boy record with streams of cases, incidences of bankruptcy and other negativities surrounding him. He is among the most sought after rappers with high ranking personalities in the music industry seeking him to make “collabos”. Among the lucky ones to win his collaboration include Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Tupac and Ice Cube. This has always maintained his relevance in the industry pitching him higher above his peers.
Hitting the stage at the age of 19, Nas otherwise known as Nasir Jones is among the most controversial rap artists. Having risen high and getting the chance to fight for the coveted King of New York crowns, Nas has also suffered a number of notable and gruesome setbacks. They include financial struggles and a brutal divorce. His rivals in the industry have over the years used his setbacks as the stabbing force while on the other hand, he has always maintained as being strong and bouncing back to the league. His comeback is always received with excitement and relieve by his diehard fans.
With a story of rags to riches, Jay-Z is among the top rated rappers in history. He boasts of having bagged a total of 19 Grammy awards in his career. A report by Forbes indicated that Jay-Z had earned over 60 Million by 2014 June ranking him among the 100 top celebrities. Having his own swag and appeal to fans, he continually enjoys great support from the fans. His music is characterised by undisputed authority alongside a smooth delivery that seemingly commands his listeners to join in the dance. Resurrection of most fallen rap heroes is attributed to challenging Jay-Z who over the years reigns as an icon.
3. Notorious B.I.G
For years, music by Notorious B.I.G continues to reign in the industry. With a rich Jamaican voice blended with a hint of patios leaves undoubted applause from the fans. Collaboration with big players in the industry saw him cut an early niche. This is despite the rivalry that has creped into the industry players over the years. Unlike the common taste of rap from the “ghetto”, he provided an articulate and new style giving the rap industry a taste from the Jamaican roots.
2. Tupac Shakur
Tupac is considered as the most complex rapper in the industry. He hit Me against the world was an open call to violence against his considered rivals, politicians deemed corrupt and those without social integrity. On the other hand he brought hits that touched the hearts of many and considered to depict his soft side such as the “Dear Mama”. Despite this, his music was always characterised by well-orchestrated beats and refined poetry to sooth the heart of the fans and leave them asking for more. Critics used the reference of a chameleon on Tupac owing to his ability to change to the needs of the audience hence constant popularity.
Modern day rock lovers cannot blink when the name Rakim is mentioned. On several occasions, he managed to hit the floor with breath-taking and well-crafted productions. Having been in the industry since 1988, he is accredited with laying the platform for the modern rap. This was through his ability to combine the traditional jazz with artistic chanting a platform on which the modern rap has grown. Under his belt are among others Paid in Full and Follow the Leader which remains relevant to this day.
Unlike most of the traditional music genres, rap music has remained relevant since its introduction. It provides an open platform for rappers to develop individual artistic infusions hence creating individual identity. It is one with the potential to remain relevant for generations by having room to adopt it to the occurring changes in the society.