New York, United States | By Rap TV Content Team | Thank God we still have rap music in 2020! It has been a challenging year, to say the least, and music has given us a much needed outlet to help us cope!
But Rap music wouldn’t be what it is today if it were not for the original rappers who paved the way for generations to come.
Rap TV explains how rap first got its start in the Bronx of New York. Hip Hop and rap were formed out of the necessity to express culture and cope with harsh circumstances. Since the humble beginnings, rap has transformed into an art form that all generations have fallen in love with!
So its about time we recognize the original rappers who paved the way for the industry! Without further ado, the 7 OG Rappers of all time.
1. The Notorious B.I.G. — The original legend
This man is basically the absolute greatest and always will be. He makes his way onto basically every rap list there is, and he isn’t even alive anymore. Notorious B.I.G paved the way as a young twenty years old determined to solidify rap as an important musical genre.
He not only rapped legendary beats but also produced numerous original rappers who helped establish the genre.
His death came too young, and we were robbed of more greatness he was bound to release. But the mark he made during his short time in this world was significant and always will be. He is a legend forever, most influential musicians in the world!
Having survived the projects in a really scary upbringing, Jay Z put his head down and got to business in establishing himself a solid music career. He is one of the richest recording artists to date and him teaming up with hip hop star Queen Beyonce, his legendary status only continues to grow.
After decades of dropping sick beats, he is now committed to mentoring the next generation of super stars—and for that, he is even more admirable!
3. Nas — The storytelling legend
This rapper is a legend because of his impeccable storytelling abilities and mastering what it means to be an MC. His music was more of an audible storybook, in which his lyrics shed light into his own autobiography.
Because of this, people were really drawn to him and his craftsmanship. He has set the stage for what it means to be an impeccable MC, and we doubt anyone can live up to his standard!
4. Tupac — The controversial legend
Tupac is a household name and not just for his rapping. He also bears the burden of being attached to a range of criminal activities that lead to his unfortunate death.
But Tupac was a passionate rapper who boldly competed with the West Coast rap scene. He was dramatic, intelligent, talented, and smooth. His passion transitioned from Harlem to leading the Black Panthers and inspiring others on his political beliefs through his heartfelt lyrics.
While the tragedy of his death still produces a range of conspiracy theories, his rap music will forever hold a dear place in the music industry’s hearts.
5. Mos Def — The unique legend
He doesn’t rap like everyone else. In fact, he created a new form of rap known as indie-rap.
Wanting to elevate hip hop music and make it relevant to more than just the streets, but also basketball courts and college campuses, Mos Def changed what rap music can be and showed a new range of possibilities.
He didn’t go with the trend of the gangster, thug style of rap. But instead made his raps smart, smooth, and classy. Thank you, Mos Def for making rap music work for everyone!
6. 50 Cent — The dissing legend
He wasn’t just known for his ability to wrap or his intriguing personality. 50 Cent made a real name for himself because of how quickly he could come up with a diss with a smile on his face.
His early year success came from mixtapes and a can-do attitude. And his legendary status skyrocketed from his ability to stir up drama, defend his rapping ability through rap battles and associate himself with brands like Vitamin Water.
50 Cent showed how a rapper could have a wider career as an actual celebrity. And he is certainly worth more than his name might suggest!
7. Prodigy — The beats legend
Rapping is not just about the lyrics, and Prodigy showed that. In fact, he solidified how important it is for rap lyrics to be paired up with powerful beats.
His combos made for a masterpiece of rap songs that contrasted his otherwise harsh voice. He created a movement for rap music that still exists today!
These seven rap legends have paved the way for new rap superstars today! And thank goodness for that!