They render a kind of music that has no real musicianship in the strictest sense of the word because they rely only on predefined beats and harmonic samples to compile their musical tracks. Their wordings have no real melody. But it is undeniable that some people, specifically teenagers, still consider them to be singers and music icons. Who do you think among these verbalists is the greatest at it? Who is the greatest rapper in music history?
Time magazine wrote that BIG rapped with an ability to “make multi-syllabic rhymes sound smooth”, while Allmusic described him as having “a talent for piling multiple rhymes on top of one another in quick succession”. The media, the fans, and his fellow music celebrities have other amazing comments too, that are too vibrant and plentiful to fit in this article. It was so unfortunate that he was killed by a still uncaught assailant on March 9,1997. Since his death, His lyrics have been sampled and quoted by a variety of high-profile hip hop, R&B and pop artists. This is solid proof that the Notorious BIG is indeed a huge name not just in the genre of rap, but in the whole of the worldwide music scene as well.
Real Name: Christopher George Latore Wallace
Born: May 21, 1972
Died: March 9, 1997
Popular songs: Mo Money Mo Problem, Big Poppa, Hypnotize
Having sold more than 32 million copies of his albums and having accumulated a hundred million digital downloads worldwide, he is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and is among the most recognized musicians of the 21st century… not bad for a guy who doesn’t really sing or project music. He has been very vocal about his views that he doesn’t care if it’s the president of the US he’s bashing against, or if another music awardee is placed on center stage. Kanye is a valiant warrior, although it is because of music and not in any real physical sense.
Real/full name: Kanye Omari West
Born: June 8, 1977
Popular songs: Girls Girls Girls, Famous, Wolves
In a genre that’s usually filled with dark-skinned guys, there came the Slim Shady – the only prominent white-skinned guy in the entire realm of rap music. As a child, he came from a home which was seldom stable. He was always in conflict with his mom, and was called by a social worker as having a “very suspicious, almost paranoid personality.” But such an environment sculpted him into a genius wordsmith which helped him grab a bunch of Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album, among others. It expanded his record for the most wins in that category which sums up into 15 shiny trophies, to the envy of his fellow rappers, and among other artists as well.
Real/full name: Marshall Bruce Mathers III
Born: October 17, 1972
Popular songs: Stan, Lose Yourself, Without Me
He began his career as a roadie, backup dancer, and MC, which eventually bored him to the point of pursuing a solo career. It was a prolific one indeed. Musical analysts claim that his confounding mixture of being a ladies’ man, a thug, a revolutionary and a poet has forever changed people’s perception of what a rapper should look, sound and act. Throughout his songs, themes like violence and hardship in inner cities, racism, and other social problems are highly evident. He was shot and killed On September 7, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada. But his life story which features a true intellectual rapper still lives in the hearts of rap lovers all over the world.
Real/full name: Lesane Parish Crooks
Born: June 16, 1971
Died: September 13, 1996
Popular songs: Dear Mama, I Ain’t Mad At Cha, Keep Ya Head Up
Known to be frequently in trouble with the police as a teenager, he was so well-versed in the lifestyles of street thugs and gangs that usually stalk and terrorize the urban neighborhoods where he grew up. He stated however that he was never a true member of such kind of gangs. As he got older though, he joined a different kind of gang, one that doesn’t kill or steal, but give away easy to digest music – rap. In 1993, he released his debut album Doggystyle, which easily climbed into the number one spots on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. It was inspired by a dog, but it never became and will never be… an underdog.
Real/full name: Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr.
Born: October 20, 1971
Popular songs: Gin and Juice, Drop It Like It’s Hot, Smoke Weed Everyday Love You
In 2006, MTV honored him as the “Greatest MC of all time.” Rolling Stone and Forbes regard him in almost similar fame pedestals which could be due to his estimated net worth of roughly $520 million, making him one of the richest hip hop artists in the US. Jay Z says his earliest exposure to music was through his parents’ record collection, which was mostly of soul artists such as Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway. He often uses excerpts from these artists as samples in his work. It’s pretty surprising that he turned out to be a rapper instead, but it’s not surprising that he became very successful at his musical endeavors and his lovelife too. He fell in love and married Beyonce Knowles – an accomplishment that every rapper or every guy should be so envious about.
Real/full name: Shawn Corey Carter
Born: December 4, 1969
Popular songs: 99 Problems, Izzo, Dirt Off Your Shoulder
He found fame with an influential gangsta rap group and as a member of the another group called World Class Wreckin’ Cru before that. After the hustles and bustles that he’s been through that wasn’t quite enough to earn him his expected reputation, he went on to establish his own label. He produced a compilation album titled Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath in 1996, and released a solo album in 1999. From that point on, his rise towards the legendary status that he’s having now became unstoppable. Such fame brought him into other showbiz opportunities like acting. He’s a man of many talents as proven not only by his music, but his wide spectrum of business ventures that extended even into the halls and studios of Hollywood.
Real/full name: Andre Romelle Young
Born: February 18, 1965
Popular songs: The Next Episode, I Need a Doctor, Still D.R.E.
He wrote his first rap song at age eight. For the next four years, he sought for performing and recording gigs whom he felt was the true purpose of his life. Unable to resist such a calling, he ignored the fact that he was an honor student and dropped out of high school at the age of 14 to focus on a musical career. Such a choice would have certainly spurned any parent but it wasn’t a bad decision at all, for he would grow up to surpass the legendary Elvis Presley as the male artist with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with 109 songs. Nobody would dare call him “Lil” anymore, because he is in fact a gigantic person in the annals of world music.
Real/full name: Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.
Born: September 27, 1982
Popular songs: 6 Foot 7 Foot, How To Love, She Will
Hailed by MTV as one of Greatest MCs of All Time, Ice Cube is considered as one of the pioneers of gangsta rap. Like any other accomplished artist, he had his share of struggles that even included some lawsuits and courtroom monetary settlements. He was declared by Allmusic as one of rap’s greatest storytellers and not to mention, one of the most controversial. Such taglines opened doors for him that eventually led him into some acting gigs. He even wrote the screenplay for what became the 1995 comedy Friday, in which he also starred, alongside then up-and-coming comedian Chris Tucker. And if that’s enough, he went on to become the successor of Vin Diesel, when he starred in the action packed sequel to xXx.
Real/full name: O’Shea Jackson
Born: June 15, 1969
Popular songs: It Was a Good Day, You Know How We Do It, The Nigga You Love To Hate
With the aid of fellow rap greats Eminem and Dr. Dre, he rose to great fame and became one of the world’s best selling rappers. He won several awards, including a Grammy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards. Such an array of recognitions led him to expand his horizons into business: talent management, record, television, film production, and some clothing lines. Like any other rappers, he had also been in conflict with the law: was arrested, sued and was also in feuds with other artists most notably Ja Rule. Such events tarnished his reputation a little, but it will never be enough to erase his name from the list of “The most notable and influential rappers of all time.”
Real/full name: Curtis James Jackson III
Born: July 6, 1975
Popular songs: Hate It Or Love It, In Da Club, P.I.M.P.
Who among them should be ranked as No.1?