Without some extremely talented and sometimes controversial artists, hip hop music would not have been able to survive the test of time. Let’s take a look at the top 10 hip hot artists of all time and how they forever changed the music industry.
1. Run DMC – This American hip hop group was founded in 1981 by Run, D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay. Based out of Hollis, Queens, New York, Run MC claims the number one spot on our list as the single most influential hip hop artists ever. Run DMC released their first single “It’s Like That/Sucker MCs” 1983. They were the first hip hop artist with gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums.
2. Public Enemy – This American hip hop group consists of three talented young men; Professor Griff, Chuck D. and Flavor Flav. Created in 1982 it’s one of the oldest and most successful bands of its type, and continues to makes music which asks listeners to think about their life choices. The music created by Public Enemy is considered politically controversial and tends to be very critical of the way the media handles situations.
3. 2Pac – Before his unexpected death, 2Pac created hip hop music which paid homage to several different world entities, making his music internationally appealing. His incorporation of Shakespeare and bits of classical poetry into the lyrics he wrote gave him a different sound, making it easy to distinguish his music from the other hip hop music playing on the radio. The very first album 2Pac released was called 2Pacalypse Now which urged listeners to think about social issues including police brutality.
4. Eric B. & Rakim – This duo was created when a DJ, Eric B. and a Master of Ceremonies decided to combine their talent’s and make music. It was a successful collaboration that other hip hop artists have tried replicating. The duo was extremely popular from the mid ‘80’s through the early ‘90’s. One reason the duo was so successful was timing, they struck during what is now called the golden era of hip hop. Another reason they enjoyed such intense popularity stems from their chemistry which they used to make amazing music.
5. Jay-Z – He’s someone who has seen all the changes that have come to the hip hop industry, and has managed to adapt to each one, and come out on top. Jay-Z first started to gain attention in the ‘80’s when he appeared on some of Jay-O’s records. Since then, Jay-Z has launched a solo career that’s still going strong.
6. Outkast – One of the things that sets this music group apart from their fellow hip hop artists is their origins, instead of New York, the band hails from Georgia. The band has stayed true to their Southern heritage by making sure they mixed just enough “dirty southern” influence into their music to make it sound different, but not so much that fans of traditional hip hop won’t be able to relate to the sound. In 2004 Outkast album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, was voted album of the year by the Grammy committee.
7. N.W.A – Before the members of this group went their separate ways, they were thought to be one of the most important groups in the hip hop industry. They’re influence can still be heard today in the music being produced by popular acts such as Jay-Z, Eminem, and Kanye. Music historians credit N.W.A with creating the wildly popular hip hop sub-genre, Gangsta rap.
8. Notorious B.I.G – It didn’t take long for Notorious B.I.G to become one of the most popular hip hop acts in the country. B.I.G had the talent and the backing to have become one of the biggest hip hop starts of all time, but his career was riddled with drug issues, assault charges, and rumors of involvement with 2Pac’s shooting death. In 1997, despite extra security, B.I.G. was shot and killed.
9.Grandmaster Flash – In addition to being a skilled performer, Grandmaster Flash also happens to be a talented DJ. He’s credited with creating the very first crossfader and many consider him to be a pioneer when it comes to cutting and mixing songs and creating something completely different.
10. A Tribe Called Quest – After coming together in 1985, the hip hop band recorded 5 different albums. Today the songs they recorded can be considered classics. Many historians credit them with creating alternative hip hop.
These 10 hip hop artists are dope! But here are so many more that didn’t make this list, yet are equally as talented. So, who’s your favorite hip hop artist of all time? Post below…