Category:Alternative hip hop musicians
Pages in category "Alternative hip hop musicians"
The following 118 pages are in this category, out of 118 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 118 pages are in this category, out of 118 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Kevin Abstract – Ian Simpson, better known by his stage name Kevin Abstract, is an American musician currently based out of LA, California. His debut album MTV1987 was released in 2014, and received attention from a number of music blogs. His sophomore effort American Boyfriend was released in November 2016, Kevin Abstract began recording music while attending high school in The Woodlands, Texas at the age of 14. In 2009, he self-released his first mixtape, then in 2010, by 2011, he began to receive some small local buzz and went on to create the now disbanded music collective, AliveSinceForever. In September 2013 put out his first self-titled EP, the song PJs from the EP had its own video directed by HencockSileshi. That year, he released the ASF EP which was the groups first official project together. The song Ian Mad off the EP also received its own video that premiered on Noisey and was directed by Clifford & Frank Zed and edited by HencockSileshi, at the beginning of 2014, Kevin Abstract began working on his debut album with his in-house record producer, Romil. On April 1,2014 he released the records first single, the second single from the album, Drugs was released on May 6,2014, with the music video following around a month later. The album was released on July 15,2014 and was met with praise from a number of music blogs, such as Billboard, Complex, SPIN Pigeons & Planes. After the release of MTV1987, Abstract began working on the video for the song Hell/Heroina. His vision for the video was huge so he put up a Kickstarter page for it, the crowdfunded project was directed by Tyler Mitchell and finally released on November 4,2014. On January 15,2015, Kevin Abstract informed fans via his Twitter page that his record was to be titled Death of a Supermodel. This album was later discarded, however. Abstract has announced that he is now working on a different album, They Shoot Horses, on June 23, Abstract released a video for SAVE, directed Ian Gilner, Hencock Sileshi, & Franklin Mendez. In November, the first single from They Shoot Horses, Echo was released, in March 2016, Abstract opened for the band The Neighbourhood in England on a week-long tour in Portsmouth, Birmingham, Manchester, and London. The final show was shown on Periscope and teased his new album They Shoot Horses and he also confirmed that his next single would be Empty. In April, Abstract announced that he would be going on again with The Neighbourhood. Abstract will only be performing songs from his new album, at the end of June, Kevin announced that he had changed the title of his upcoming album to American Boyfriend and that it would still be coming later in the yearKevin Abstract
2. Ad-Rock – Adam Keefe Horovitz, better known as Ad-Rock or King Ad-Rock, is an American musician, guitarist, rapper, producer, and actor. He is best known as a member of the hip hop group the Beastie Boys and he is married to musician and feminist activist Kathleen Hanna. Horovitz was born and raised on Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York and he has denied internet listings that he was born in South Orange, New Jersey. His sister is film producer Rachael Horovitz and his father is Jewish, and his mother, who was of Irish descent, was Roman Catholic. Horovitz began his career with a stint in the punk rock band the Young and the Useless. In 1982, Beastie Boys guitarist John Berry quit and Horovitz replaced him and he was only 16 at the time. After Horovitz joined the band, the Beastie Boys changed their sound, the band was signed to Def Jam, and released their debut album Licensed to Ill in 1986. The album was a commercial success, and spawned six hit singles. Seven further albums followed, and by 2010 the Beastie Boys had sold 22 million records in the United States alone, in 2012, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to his work with the Beastie Boys, Horovitz also remixes numerous tracks for artists under the alias 41 Small Stars. He plays bass in The Tender Moments, the band of New York-based cabaret performer Bridget Everett. Horovitz has also acted in motion pictures and television shows. Some of his roles include Tim Chino Doolan in Lost Angels, Sam in Roadside Prophets, Repulski in Godspeed, in the late 1980s, Horovitz was in a relationship with American actress Molly Ringwald. They met on the set of The Pick-up Artist, Horovitz was married to actress Ione Skye from 1992 to 1995. They separated in 1995 and divorced in 1999, since 1997 he has been involved with riot grrrl artist Kathleen Hanna, they married in 2006. He wore a medical alert bracelet after having a seizure in 2003. His best friend since childhood is actress Nadia Dajani, the two met at P. SAd-Rock – Ad-Rock with the Beastie Boys in Barcelona, Spain on September 5, 2007.
3. Aesop Rock – Ian Matthias Bavitz, better known by his stage name Aesop Rock, is an American hip hop recording artist and producer residing in Portland, Oregon. He was at the forefront of the new wave of underground and alternative hip hop acts that emerged during the late 1990s and he was signed to El-Ps Definitive Jux label until it went on hiatus in 2010. BetterPropaganda ranked him at number 19 at the Top 100 Artists of the Decade and he is a member of the groups The Weathermen, Hail Mary Mallon, The Uncluded and Two of Every Animal. Regarding his name, he said, I acquired the name Aesop from a movie I had acted in with some friends and it was my characters name and it sort of stuck. The rock part came later just from throwing it in rhymes, Bavitz was born at Syosset Hospital in Syosset, New York and raised in Northport, Long Island, New York to his father Paul and mother Jameija. Ian has two brothers, Christopher Theodore Bavitz and Graham James Bavitz, ian, along with his siblings, was raised Catholic but later on in his life became agnostic. Bavitz attended Northport High School in 1990 and graduated in 1994 and he married Allyson Baker, guitarist and vocalist of rock band Dirty Ghosts in 2005. They resided in San Francisco but have since divorced and he has tattoos on each forearm. His left arm reads Must Not Sleep. and the right says. Must Warn Others and these are inspired by childhood antics where he and his friends would act as robots arms outstretched quoting the line which has its origins in the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Aesop Rock has used these quotes as lyrics in the chorus of his song Commencement at the Obedience Academy, Must not sleep, must warn others / Trust blocks creep where the dust storm hovers. He also used them in his song Antisocial, in the line Must not sleep, after graduating from high school, Bavitz attended Boston University in Massachusetts where he studied visual arts. He acquired his bachelors in 1998 and he met his future collaborator, Blockhead, in 1994 during the latters only year at the school. After hearing Aesop Rock freestyle, Blockhead decided to forgo his own dreams of rapping in favor of focusing on production, Blockhead was involved with a crew in New York called The Overground that included Dub-L. As a youth, Bavitz and his family would commute to New York City. This had a impact on him and the way he viewed the hip hop culture. Bavitz began rapping in the early 1990s and he cites Public Enemy, BDP, KMD, and Run DMC as early influences. Bavitz also listened to rock such as Dead Kennedys, Fugazi. Bavitz started to play such as the piano and bass at an early ageAesop Rock – Aesop Rock
4. Dan the Automator – Daniel M. Nakamura, better known by the stage name Dan the Automator, is an American hip hop producer. He founded the record label 75 Ark, which was distributed by Tommy Boy Records during its short existence, Nakamura, a classically trained violinist, started DJing when he was a teenager. He first gained fame producing Kool Keiths 1996 album Dr. Octagonecologyst, nakamuras studio, dubbed The Glue Factory, was a recording workshop for DJ Shadow, Latyrx and other artists on the Solesides label. Alongside Prince Paul, Nakamura formed the collaborative project Handsome Boy Modeling School in 1999, in 1999, he joined with Del tha Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala to form Deltron 3030. He also produced Gorillazs debut album and is one half of Got a Girl. Among his other current projects, he formed a band Crudo with Mike Patton and this list does not include singles, remixes or instrumental album versions. Music To be Murdered By A Better Tomorrow A Much Better Tomorrow Wanna Buy a Monkey. Dan the Automator Presents 2K7 Dr. Octagonecologyst When I Was Born for the 7th Time Scream 2, Music from the Dimension Motion Picture Bombay the Hard Way, Guns, XTRMNTR Deltron 3030 Gorillaz Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By Hey You. Ruckus Christmas Remixed White People Decadence Peeping Tom Naturally The Love Album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy Colour of the Trap VelociraptorDan the Automator – Nakamura performs at a Handsome Boy Modeling School concert
5. B.o.B – Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. better known by his stage name B. o. B, is an American hip hop recording artist and record producer from Decatur, Georgia. In 2006, B. o. B was discovered by Brian Richardson, who introduced him to TJ Chapman. After hearing his music, Jonsin signed B. o. B to his Rebel Rock Entertainment imprint, two years later, Jonsin and B. o. B signed a joint venture deal, with Atlantic Records and American rapper T. I. s Grand Hustle Records. B. o. B quickly rose to fame after his debut single Nothin on You. He would later release his third single Airplanes, which topped several major music charts. His fifth single Magic, became his third top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, B. o. Bs debut studio album The Adventures of Bobby Ray, which was preceded by two extended plays and several mixtapes, was released in April 2010. The album reached number one on the US Billboard 200 and was eventually certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2016, B. o. B was named the ninth Hottest MC in the Game of 2010 by MTV, on their annual list. B. o. B released his studio album Strange Clouds. The album spawned six singles, four of which charted well internationally. The albums eponymous single became his fourth top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The singles So Good, Both of Us and Out of My Mind, followed behind, the album itself debuted at number five on the Billboard 200. His third album Underground Luxury, was released in December 2013, in August 2015, B. o. B unexpectedly released a new project Psycadelik Thoughtz, via digital distribution, with little-to-no promotion. In January 2016, B. o. B incited widespread ridicule for claiming that the earth is flat, B. o. B was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He played the trumpet in his band from elementary school through high school. Although his parents wanted him to continue his education, B. o. B decided in sixth grade that he wanted to pursue a music career. His father, a pastor, disapproved of his sons choices, until he realized B. o. B was using music as a form of therapy, B. o. B later reflected on his experience, saying, Theyve always supported me. They got my first keyboard to make beats on and they helped me out getting equipment here and there, but it was kind of hard for them to really understand what I was really trying to accomplish. B. o. B attended Columbia High School in Decatur, Georgia, where he played the trumpet in the school band, until he landed a record deal and decided to drop out of school in the ninth gradeB.o.B – B.o.B at the Under the Influence Tour in Toronto, Canada on August 10, 2013.
6. Black Thought – Tariq Luqmaan Trotter, better known as Black Thought, is an American artist who is the lead MC of the Philadelphia-based hip hop group The Roots, as well as an occasional actor. Black Thought was born Tariq Luqmaan Trotter, to Thomas and Cassandra Trotter, Trotter attended the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and Millersville University studying Journalism. In 1987, Trotter became friends with drummer Ahmir Questlove Thompson and formed a duo performing on the streets of Philadelphia. Trotter would subsequently spend some time as one of two MCs in the group The Square Roots, the one was Malik B. whom Tariq met in college. In high-school, Black Thought converted to the sect of The Nation of Gods. With the help of genetic testing, Black Thought learned that he was descended from the Mende people of Sierra Leone. The Square Roots renamed themselves the Roots and released their debut album Organix in 1993, the Roots signed to DGC and followed up with Do You Want More. Recorded without any sampling, the album was popular among alternative music fans than those of hip hop. Around the release of the album, The Roots performed at the Lollapalooza alternative music festival, illadelph Halflife, the bands 1996 album, became its first album to chart within the top 40 spots on the Billboard 200 because of the successful single What They Do. Things Fall Apart followed in 1999, the year the band played at the Woodstock 99 concert, in 2000, The Roots won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for You Got Me, with guest performances by Erykah Badu and Eve. The Roots album Things Fall Apart was nominated for the Best Rap Album award, for Jay-Zs acoustic concert for the television program MTV Unplugged, The Roots provided instrumentals. Most of the songs from the project appeared on The Roots Phrenology album, in 2006, he began working on a collaborative project with producer Danger Mouse, titled Dangerous Thoughts. As of December 2011, the album had not been released, in a June 2008 interview with Brian Kayser of the website HipHopGame, Black Thought spoke of another solo project that was scheduled for release on the Razor and Tie music corporation. He stated that there would be the possibility of Questlove working on production, as of September 2014, neither Black Thought nor the solo album are listed on the Razor & Tie website. In February 2011, Black Thought, along with 10. Deep, truck North and P. O. R. N. —released the mixtape The Prestige. Together with U. K. artist Lotek, Black Thought appeared on the song Living in Bunkers, by Australian hip hop group Hilltop Hoods, also in March 2012, Black Thought performed with Nneka and Clef nite at BET106 and Park. They performed the song God Knows Why, from the formers album Soul Is Heavy, in early 2013, Black Thought confirmed his continuing work, with Jim James and Tunde Adebimpe, on a solo album entitled Talented Mr. Trotter. At this time, he work on a memoir with journalist and music critic Jeff ChangBlack Thought – Black Thought in 2011
7. Chance the Rapper – In 2013, he began to gain recognition following the release of his second mixtape, Acid Rap. Apart from his career, he is also a member of the Chicago collective Save Money. They released the widely lauded album Surf in May 2015, in May 2016, Bennett released his third mixtape Coloring Book to further critical acclaim. It earned him three Grammy awards, including for Best Rap Album, Coloring Book was the first streaming-only album to ever receive and win a Grammy nomination. Chance the Rapper grew up in the neighborhood of West Chatham on Chicagos South Side. His younger brother, Taylor Bennett, is also a Chicago rapper and his father, Ken Williams-Bennett, was an aide to former Chicago mayor Harold Washington and worked for then-Senator Barack Obama. Williams-Bennett, who is now a deputy chief of staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in his freshman year at Jones College Prep High School, Chance formed the hip-hop duo Instrumentality with a friend. Many of Chances earliest performances took place at the YOUmedia Lyricist Loft at Harold Washington Library in Chicago, at Jones College Prep High School, some of his teachers ridiculed his aspirations to become a musician. Following a 10-day suspension in early 2011 during his year for possessing marijuana on campus, Bennett recorded his first full-length project. In December 2011, he released a song titled Windows, in February 2012, Bennett was highlighted as one of Complex magazines 10 New Chicago Rappers to Watch Out For. Bennett says he spent about eight months recording, writing and making connections off of the hunger to put out something, Bennett released the mixtape on April 3,2012 and it has since been downloaded over 300,000 times via Datpiff. The mixtape was well received locally and helped Bennett make connections with such as Chuck Inglish, Kenny Jame$. The mixtape grabbed the attention of Forbes magazine, which featured it in the publications Cheap Tunes column, in July 2012, Bennett appeared on American rapper Childish Gambinos sixth mixtape, Royalty, on the track, called They Dont Like Me. Gambino asked Bennett to join on his first concert tour of North America as his opening act, on April 30,2013, Chance released his second mixtape, Acid Rap, on DatPiff. Since the release of his mixtape, the record has been downloaded one million times. Chance enlisted the guest vocalists from Twista, Vic Mensa, Saba, BJ the Chicago Kid, Action Bronson, Childish Gambino, Acid Rap was strongly praised by music critics and fans alike. At Metacritic, the received an average score of 86, based on 21 critics. It was also nominated for Best Mixtape at the 2013s BET Hip Hop Awards, on May 6,2013, after being featured as the hidden track on Acid Rap, which is a song, titled ParanoiaChance the Rapper – Chance The Rapper performing live in 2013.
8. Imani Coppola – Imani Francesca Coppola is an American singer-songwriter and violinist probably best known for her 1997 hit Legend of a Cowgirl, which sampled the instrumentals from Sunshine Superman by Donovan. In 2008, Coppola returned as half of the pop duo Little Jackie, Coppola grew up as the second-youngest of five children in Long Island, New York. Coppolas lower-income family, headed by a mother and Italian father, did not fit in. Her circumstances encouraged her independence and also her creativity, as her family and her mother, a teacher, was the primary income earner, while her carpenter father was often out of work and refused to earn an income from his art. Coppola grew up surrounded by music, as her father is a musician, her mother plays bass. She says her first musical memory is of her father, who was her biggest musical influence and she began playing violin at the age of six, eventually studying studio composition at the State University of New York at Purchase. She was not happy and left one year, but during her time at Purchase, she made some demos and passed them on to her older sister Maya. Maya gave them to her boyfriend, music publisher Ross Elliot, while still in college, Coppola cut three demo tracks with Digable that resulted in a bidding war for the artist among other studios. Coppola accepted a contract with Columbia Records in 1997. Coppolas debut album, Chupacabra, was released in 1997, the album was critically well-reviewed in The New York Times, where Ann Powers described it as buoyed by fanciful raps and supple vocals. Among the albums tracks, the song Legend of a Cowgirl became a hit on MTV. In 1998, Coppola played Lilith Fair, although she was vocal about her opinion of Lilith founder Sarah McLachlan before the tour, I think shes a good songwriter, at times, and singer. Shes boring to live, though, said Coppola. In 2000, she teamed with the Baha Men for the European and Australian Top 10 hit You All Dat, Columbia Records dropped her in 2000, subsequently shelving her second studio album, Come and Get Me. Coppola had been frustrated by the studios desire for her to sample other artists when she wanted to compose her music entirely herself. Then 22, Coppola felt she needed to learn more about music. Never having performed beyond high school theater, Coppola felt she had achieved success too easily. She released two albums, Post Traumatic Pop Syndrome and Little Red Fighting Mood the following year through independent distributionImani Coppola – Coppola in concert with Peeping Tom, Milan in November 2006.
9. Kid Cudi – Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, better known by his stage name Kid Cudi, is an American recording artist and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. Cudi first gained major recognition following the release of his first official full-length project, the mixtape caught the attention of American rapper-producer Kanye West, who subsequently signed Cudi to his GOOD Music label imprint in late 2008. Cudi has since gone on to launch his own record label imprints, initially a rapper, Cudi has since added singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, music video director and film composer to his repertoire. As of 2017, Cudi has released six albums as a solo artist. In 2008, his debut single Day n Nite, led him to prominence, Cudis debut album Man on the Moon, The End of Day was later certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2010, he released Man on the Moon II, The Legend of Mr. Rager, later in 2010, Cudi formed a rock band, now known as WZRD, with his long-time collaborator Dot da Genius, releasing one eponymous debut album, in early 2012. The album debuted at one on the Top Rock Albums chart. In April 2013, Cudi released Indicud, which became his highest-charting album on multiple charts, in February 2014, Cudi unexpectedly released his fourth album, Satellite Flight, The Journey to Mother Moon, exclusively to digital retailers with no promotion. With his originality and creativity, as well as the emotion he conveys in his music, Cudi has amassed a large following among high school students, college students. In 2010, Cudi ventured into acting when he began starring in the HBO series How to Make It in America, Cudi has since appeared in several feature films, including Goodbye World, Need for Speed and Entourage. In addition, he has made appearances on shows such as One Tree Hill, The Cleveland Show. In 2015, he was the bandleader on the IFC series, Kid Cudi was born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi on January 30,1984, in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in Shaker Heights and Solon. He is the youngest of four children, with two brothers, Domingo and Dean, and a sister, Maisha and his mother, Elsie Harriet, is a middle-school choir teacher at Roxboro Middle School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. His father, Lindberg Styles Mescudi, was a painter, substitute teacher. His father was of African-American and Mexican-American descent, while his mother is African-American, when he was eleven years old, Cudis father died of cancer, his passing had a significant effect on Cudis personality and subsequently his music. Cudi attended Shaker Heights High School for two years before transferring to Solon High School and he was expelled from the school for threatening to punch his principal and would later earn his GED. Cudi studied film at the University of Toledo, dropping out after a year and his subsequent plan to join the U. S. Navy didnt pan out because of his juvenile police record. Cudi first began rapping towards the end of his school career, inspired by alternative hip hop groups such as The PharcydeKid Cudi – Kid Cudi in September 2009
10. Mike D – Michael Louis Diamond, better known as Mike D, is an American rapper, musician and producer, best known as the founding member of New York City hip hop group the Beastie Boys. Diamond raps, sings, and plays drums and he has provided remixes for Moby and Björk. A product of the arts-oriented Saint Anns School, Diamond was born in New York City to a Jewish household, in 1979, Diamond co-founded the band The Young Aborigines. By 1983, Adam Horovitz joined, and their sound began to shift away from punk to hip hop, in 1992, Diamond founded the Beastie Boys now-defunct record label Grand Royal Records. He is also interested in decoration, and designed Brooklyn-themed toile wallpaper, it was used in the renovation of the Marquee nightclub in Chelsea. A year after the passing of Yauch in 2012, Diamond told Rolling Stone he was excited about making new stuff again, a remix of Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Bands Bad Dancer by Diamond and Adam Horovitz was streamed online in August 2013. The pair is credited with additional beats, programming and other curve balls, in October 2014, Diamond stated that he had been working in the studio with American rock band Portugal. He has also produced English punk outfit Slaves second studio album, Take Control, in 1993, Diamond married film, television and music video director Tamra Davis, they have two children, Davis Diamond and Skyler Diamond. With Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill Pauls Boutique Check Your Head Ill Communication Hello Nasty To the 5 Boroughs The Mix-Up Hot Sauce Committee Part Two Diamonds wallpaper portfolioMike D – Mike D in 2007.
11. Danger Mouse (musician) – Brian Joseph Burton, better known by his stage name Danger Mouse, is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. He came to prominence in 2004 when he released The Grey Album and he formed Gnarls Barkley with CeeLo Green and produced its albums St. Elsewhere and The Odd Couple. In 2009 he collaborated with James Mercer of the rock band The Shins to form the band Broken Bells. In addition, Burton worked with rapper MF Doom as Danger Doom and released the album The Mouse, as a producer Danger Mouse produced the second Gorillaz album, 2005s Demon Days, as well as Becks 2008 record Modern Guilt and three albums with The Black Keys. In 2016, Danger Mouse produced, performed on and co-wrote songs for the studio album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers titled The Getaway. Danger Mouse has also produced and co-written albums by Norah Jones, Electric Guest, the Man, Adele, and ASAP Rockys. He has been nominated for 19 Grammy Awards and has won 6, hes been nominated in the Producer of the Year category five times, and won the award in 2011. Brian Joseph Burton was born in White Plains, New York, to an African American father and he spent much of his childhood in Spring Valley, New York. Burton also lived in Athens, Georgia for a while, where his trip hop work was released under the name Pelican City and he also remixed work by several local artists, including Neutral Milk Hotel and DJd for University of Georgia radio station WUOG-FM. From 1998 to 2003, Burton also created a series of remix CDs and he performed in a mouse outfit because he was too shy to show his face, and took his name from the British cartoon series Danger Mouse. Afterwards, Burton approached CeeLo Green, a member of Goodie Mob and it would be several years before the pair made contact again, but the two would eventually collaborate as Gnarls Barkley. Burton moved to Britain for a couple of years, living in New Cross in London, while there, he sent a demo to Lex Records, which signed him. He discussed his feelings about any controversy the album may have created in the documentary Alternative Freedom, Danger Mouse was also named among the Men of the Year by GQ in 2004 and won a 2005 Wired Rave Award. The Grey Album also got the attention of Damon Albarn, who enlisted Danger Mouse to produce the Gorillaz second studio album, Demon Days earned Burton a Grammy Award nomination for Producer of the Year. Danger Mouses next project was The Mouse and the Mask, a collaboration with MF DOOM about, the two had previously collaborated on the Danger Mouse remix of Zero 7s Somersault, on the Prince Po track Social Distortion, and on Gorillaz November Has Come. A year later, DANGERDOOM released a follow-up EP called Occult Hymn, the 7-track EP featured new songs as well as remixes of tracks from The Mouse & The Mask and was released exclusively as a free download on Adult Swims site. In 2006, Danger Mouse and CeeLo released their first album, St. Elsewhere, Crazy became the first UK number-one single based solely on downloads. Gnarls Barkley set out on tour and was one of the opening acts on the Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium World TourDanger Mouse (musician) – Danger Mouse performing with Broken Bells in 2010
12. Deacon the Villain – Willis Polk II, better known by his stage name Deacon the Villain, is an American hip hop recording artist and record producer from Versailles, Kentucky. He is a member of the hip hop group CunninLynguists. Deacons has produced for the likes of KRS-One, King Tee, Deacon the Villain has been featured in notable journalism sources such as XXL, Pop Matters, HipHopDX, and Exclaim. In 1999, Deacon the Villain and Kno met at Club Kaya in Atlanta and they had talked online previously through an emcee named Jugga the Bully, who appeared at an open mic called Underground Live at Morehouse college campus, which was held by Deacon. At the time, Kno was in the group The Continuum, afterwards, the two disbanded from their former groups and created CunninLynguists. The two also founded a duo named A Piece Of Strange. Around 2004, Deacon formed the group Kynfolk with Natti, the two got along so well that Deacon and Kno invited Natti to join CunninLynguists. Deacon released his first full length project not in CunninLynguists with JustMe, the same year, he released Niggaz With Latitude with Sheisty Khrist, another Kentucky emcee. In 2015, he released his first solo album Peace or Power, the album is self-produced and guest appearances include Tonedeff, Kno and Homeboy Sandman, among others. Willis Polk IIs hip hop alias comes from the fact that his father is a Christian Pastor, growing up, he was raised in a baptist family and has stayed ChristianDeacon the Villain – Performing live in 2009
13. Del the Funky Homosapien – Teren Delvon Jones, better known as Del the Funky Homosapien or Sir DZL, is an alternative American hip hop MC, producer and singer. Born in Oakland, California, he is the cousin of seminal west coast rapper Ice Cube, in 1991, with the help of Ice Cube, Del released his first solo album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, at the age of 18. The album was a success largely due to the popularity of the hit single. Ultimately Del, who was not pleased with the musical range of the album, severed his production-artist relationship with Ice Cube for his next album. No Need for Alarm saw the introduction of the Oakland clique Hieroglyphics, whose members included Souls of Mischief, Casual, Pep Love, Del. No Need for Alarm helped to both the regional Oakland sound of hip hop, as well as the freestyle based, golden era 90s style of hip hop being expanded at the time. Del would not produce another album for five years, about a month before the release of his third album, Future Development, Del received a letter from his label, Elektra, stating that his contract had been terminated. Future Development became available in 1998, the album was only available on the Hieroglyphics website in tape form, but was re-released in 2002 under the Hieroglyphics Imperium label. Del also released another collaborative work with the Hieroglyphics crew in 1998, two years later, Del released his fourth solo album, Both Sides of the Brain, as well as Deltron 3030 which was a collaborative work with artists Dan the Automator and Kid Koala. With Nakamura and Koala, Del was also a guest performer for Gorillaz 2001 eponymous album Gorillaz and he appeared on the singles Clint Eastwood and Rock the House. 2003 saw the release of Full Circle, the second album from the Hieroglyphics crew. In 2004 Elektra released The Best of Del tha Funkee Homosapien, the CD only includes songs from his first two albums, along with a handful of b-sides from that era. Del was not pleased and advised people to not buy the CD, on March 11,2008 Del released Eleventh Hour through Definitive Jux. On March 31,2009 Dels next album Funk Man was made available for download on the internet. The album is available at his page on Bandcamp, though he gave away some hard copies on his supporting Funk Man tour, in September of the same year, he released a new album, Automatik Statik, for an unfixed rate with a minimum of $3. Del released his next album It Aint Illegal Yet on August 6,2010, there is no fixed price for the album, allowing listeners to pay whatever they wish for the album. Del shared a free LP entitled Iller Than Most on January 2,2014 and he uploaded the record to SoundCloud under the username Zartan Drednaught COBRA. He described the project as lyrically ill but fun to listen to, Del handled the production on the project as wellDel the Funky Homosapien – Del performing at Austin City Limits, 26 September 2008
14. Dessa – Margret Wander, better known by her stage name Dessa, is an American rapper, singer, spoken word artist, writer and record executive. She is a member of the hip hop collective Doomtree. Dessa was born to Robert Wander Jr. and Sylvia Burgos and her father is white and her mother Puerto Rican. Dessa went to Southwest High School, graduating from the IB Diploma Programme in 1999 and she attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a B. A. in philosophy. Before becoming an artist full-time, she worked as a writer for a medical manufacturer. Initially drawn to their raw aesthetics and unique sound, Dessa forged a friendship with Doomtree, soon after, she started dating P. O. S. Though they eventually ended their relationship, she was asked nonetheless to join the crew, since 2005, Dessa has appeared on numerous Doomtree albums, as well as on the other members solo albums. She is also the CEO of Doomtree, dessas debut solo EP, False Hopes, was released in 2005. Despite being only fifteen minutes long, it was listed as one of the top albums of the year by Minneapolis Star Tribune. She completed and released a book of creative non-fiction titled Spiral Bound at the fourth annual Doomtree Blowout in 2008, in 2009, Dessa published Spiral Bound on Doomtree Press, a seventy-page collection of fiction and poetry. Dessas first solo album, A Badly Broken Code, was released on January 19,2010, the singles from this album are Dixons Girl and The Chaconne. The album features production from Paper Tiger, MK Larada, Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, MK Larada also designed the album art. In 2011, Dessa released Castor, the Twin, an album featuring new arrangements of songs released on previous projects. The original production in the tracks was replaced with live instrumentation. In 2013, Dessa released Parts of Speech, the singles from this album are Warsaw and Call Off Your Ghost. Dessa is a member of The Boy Sopranos, an almost all-female a cappella group, with frequent collaborators Jessy Greene, Aby Wolf. She also taught at the Institute of Production and Recording and the McNally Smith College of Music. On March 2,2012, Dessa presented Mic Lines, Art, Ethics, Dessa was the host of Twin Cities Public Televisions The Lowertown Line, a live music series, from 2012 to 2014Dessa – Dessa performing in Scottsdale, Arizona, in May 2011
15. El-P – Jaime Meline, better known by his stage name El-P, is an American hip hop recording artist, record producer, and record executive. El-P is the co-founder, owner, and chief officer of the Definitive Jux record label. He is also a member of The Weathermen and art collective Cardboard City, in 2013, he formed the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels with collaborator Killer Mike. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Meline is the son of jazz pianist Harry Keyes and is of Cajun, Irish, Jewish, and Lithuanian descent. Getting involved with the hip hop culture of New York City at an early age, at his 18th birthday party, he met Mr. Len, whom he had hired as a DJ for the night. The two quickly became friends and formed Company Flow in 1993 and they released their first vinyl single, Juvenile Techniques, in 1993. Bigg Jus later joined the group and in 1996 the trio released its debut EP, subject to a major-label bidding war after the success of the EP, Company Flow waited until it could get a contract on its own terms. The group eventually signed with Rawkus Records, and released its debut full-length album, after an instrumental album titled Little Johnny From the Hospitul, Breaks & Instrumentals Vol.1, also on Rawkus, disagreements between El-P and the label led to Company Flow leaving Rawkus. Company Flow dissolved amicably in 2001 and the following year El-P released his solo album Fantastic Damage. 2005 saw the release of Collecting the Kid, an odds-and-ends assortment including work from High Water and Bomb the System, El-Ps second proper studio album, Ill Sleep When Youre Dead, was released on March 20,2007. It generally received favorable reviews and became El-Ps most commercially successful album as a solo artist to date. In an interview about Ill Sleep When Youre Dead, he himself as an atheist. In October 2009, El-P announced that he was working on his studio album. El-P also was a part of a group called Central Services, which consisted of El-P, Camu Tao, in the fall of 2010, the EP Forever Frozen in Television Time, was released exclusively on the Def Jux digital download service. In August 2011, it was announced that El-P signed with Fat Possum Records, later that month, El-P released a single off the upcoming album, via the Adult Swim Singles program, titled Drones Over BKLYN. On February 22,2012 El-P announced on his Facebook page that Cancer 4 Cure was officially complete, the album was later released to music retailers on May 22. Run the Jewels, a current collaboration of El-P with Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike, was formed in 2013, the two rappers were introduced by Adult Swim executive Jason DeMarco in 2011. The meeting led to several collaborations, including Killer Mike being featured on the song Tougher Colder Killer from Cancer 4 Cure while El-P produced the entirety of Killer Mikes sixth album R. A. PEl-P – El-P live at Irving Plaza, February 10, 2007
16. Everlast (musician) – Erik Francis Schrody, known by his stage name Everlast, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter, known for his solo hit What Its Like and as the front-man for rap group House of Pain. He was also part of the hip hop supergroup La Coka Nostra, in 2000, he won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal with Latin Rock musician Carlos Santana for Put Your Lights On. Emerging as a member of the Rhyme Syndicate, Everlasts first solo album Forever Everlasting, following the albums failure, Everlast teamed up with DJ Lethal and high school friend Danny Boy to form House of Pain in Los Angeles, California. Including Ice-T, they all attended Taft High School, the group was signed to Tommy Boy Records, and their eponymous debut album went multi-platinum, spawning the successful DJ Muggs produced single Jump Around. This song was remixed twice by Pete Rock, one version featuring a verse from him. The album also featured Cypress Hill member, B-Real, on the song Put Your Head Out and they participated together with Helmet, along with several other rap acts, on the influential 1993 rock-rap collaborative Judgment Night movie soundtrack. The group eventually disbanded in 1996, and Everlast once again pursued a solo career, Everlasts second solo album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues —which was released a full eight years after his solo debut and after he had a major heart attack—was both a commercial and critical success. Whitey Ford Sings the Blues was hailed for its blend of rap with acoustic and electric guitars, developed by Everlast together with producers Dante Ross and John Gamble. The albums lead single What Its Like proved to be his most popular and successful song, although the single, Ends. Everlast followed-up this success by collaborating with Santana on the track Put Your Lights On on Santanas 1999 album Supernatural and it charted at #118 on the pop chart, but did considerably better with rock radio airplay, peaking at #8 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Put Your Lights On won Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2000 Grammy Awards. Despite the success of Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and his success with Santana, Everlasts follow-up album, Eat at Whiteys, however, it was eventually certified gold. The album was also embraced critically, especially by Rolling Stone which reviewed the album good and great and focused on it as that months most important release. Shortly after both artists contributed tracks to the End of Days soundtrack, a feud erupted between Everlast and Eminem, Eminem and Everlast crossed paths before a concert in early 1999. Eminem says he did not greet Everlast because he did not recognize him right away, Everlasts version is that he tried to congratulate Eminem on his success, and Eminem blew him off. Eminem, in turn, blasted Everlast several times in public, in it, Eminem talks about how he remembered Everlasts music, however, now Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit came along. Everlast responded with the track Whiteys Revenge, released only on his official website, the track ends with the spoken words, I aint wasting no more time with you man. Eminem & D12 responded with Quitter, the half of which is a take off on 2Pacs Hit Em UpEverlast (musician) – Everlast at Free & Easy Festival 2015
17. Lupe Fiasco – Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his debut album and he also performs as the frontman of rock band Japanese Cartoon under his real name. As an entrepreneur, Fiasco is the executive officer of 1st. Raised in Chicago, Jaco developed an interest in hip hop after initially disliking the genre for its use of vulgarity, after adopting the name Lupe Fiasco and recording songs in his fathers basement, 19-year-old Fiasco joined a group called Da Pak. The group disbanded shortly after its inception, and Fiasco soon met rapper Jay-Z who helped him sign a deal with Atlantic Records. In September 2006, Fiasco released his debut album Lupe Fiascos Food & Liquor on the label and he released his second album, Lupe Fiascos The Cool, in December 2007. The lead single Superstar became his first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, after a two-year delay, Lasers was released in March 2011 to mixed reviews, however, it became his first album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. His latest album, Tetsuo & Youth, was released in January 2015, in addition to music, Fiasco has pursued other business ventures, including fashion. He runs two clothing lines, Righteous Kung-Fu and Trilly & Truly, he has designed sneakers for Reebok and he has been involved with charitable activities, including the Summit on the Summit expedition, and in 2010 he recorded a benefit single for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Fiasco is also noted for his anti-establishment views, which he has expressed in interviews and his music. Fiasco was born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco on February 16,1982 in Chicago, Fiasco is of West African descent, one of nine children of Shirley, a gourmet chef, and Gregory, an engineer. His father, a member of the Black Panther Party, was a prolific African drummer, karate teacher, operating plant engineer, Fiasco was raised Muslim on the West Side of Chicago on Madison Terrace housing project. At the age of three, Fiasco began taking martial arts classes and his parents divorced when he was five, and he went on to live with his mother, but his father still remained an important part of his life. In sixth grade, he went to live with his father full-time in Harvey and his father lived next door to a crack house and taught Fiasco to use guns to defend himself from drug dealers. As a teenager, Fiasco participated in Academic Decathlon competitions and his mother described him by saying, He was a great spirited child. Smart, a bit complex, he kind of was a loner, always had a book bag over his shoulder and some type of a writing tablet. Fiasco initially disliked hip hop music for its use of vulgarity and his struggle to learn to play an instrument led him to create poetry instead, which led to his interest in the lyrical aspects of music. He began rapping his poems in the grade, and upon hearing Nas 1996 album, It Was WrittenLupe Fiasco – Lupe Fiasco in 2012
18. Flying Lotus – Steven Ellison, known by his stage name Flying Lotus or sometimes FlyLo, is an experimental multi-genre music producer, electronic musician, DJ, filmmaker, and rapper from Los Angeles, California. Flying Lotus has released five studio albums—1983, Los Angeles, Cosmogramma, Until the Quiet Comes and he has produced much of the bumper music on Cartoon Networks Adult Swim programming block. He also contributed remixes for fellow Plug Research artists including Mia Doi Todd, in 2012, Ellison began rapping under the persona Captain Murphy, based on the Sealab 2021 character of the same name. Ellison kept this fact a secret for months, finally revealing his identity several weeks after the release of his first rap mixtape. Flying Lotus was born Steven Ellison on October 7,1983, in Los Angeles and he is the grand-nephew of the late jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, and her husband saxophonist John Coltrane. Additionally, he is the grandson of singer-songwriter Marilyn McLeod, who is notable for having written Diana Rosss Love Hangover and Freda Paynes I Get High, McLeod has been called by one writer the biggest influence on Ellisons music. Ellison attended Los Angeles Film School and he listened to hip-hop, played Nintendo, read Marvel Comics and watched Cartoon Network. He made a track called Toilet Paper Nostrils, while lying on the couch at his mothers house, he saw an advertisement on Adult Swim/Cartoon Network asking for song submissions. He sent some in, was accepted, under the name Flying Lotus, around this time, he was interning at the pioneering hip hop label Stones Throw Records. Days were spent in their offices, and nights were spent at his grandmothers and it would also feature Laura Darlington, who went on to become a vocal fixture of future albums. In 2006, Ellison participated in that years annual Red Bull Music Academy, in 2007, he announced on CSU-Fullerton’s Titan Radio that he signed with Warp Records. Following his Warp debut, the six-track Reset EP, he became one of the labels cornerstone artists and released his second studio album, titled Los Angeles. His first release on Warp, Reset EP, gave his new audience a taste of the steady grooves and darker breaks that had earned him the move. As Ellisons profile rose, he decided to commandeer the limelight by launching his own label, Brainfeeder, to house his friends and unite a large section of the LA beat scene under one tidy tag. Months later, he dropped the first huge statement of a very loud career, in 2008 Flying Lotus released Los Angeles, a 17-track album dedicated to his home city. Telling Quietus on the subject of J Dillas influence on his music, I love Dilla and his work ethic inspired so many producers around the world, but when he moved out to LA, it seemed that his presence here inspired everyone to kick things into overdrive. If I had to describe his music, Id say it were imaginative soul music, I think its his imagination that appeals to me, personally. Dilla could flip a boring record and make you feel like you were flying, each of the La EPs features remixes and unreleased tracks from his Los Angeles AlbumFlying Lotus – Flying Lotus
19. The Gaslamp Killer – William Benjamin Bensussen, better known by his stage name The Gaslamp Killer, is an alternative hip hop producer and DJ based in Los Angeles, California. He is currently signed with Brainfeeder, a label founded by Flying Lotus. Bensussen grew up in San Diego, California, where he became a DJ in the Gaslamp district and his unique sets often ruined the music vibe in the clubs, earning him the nickname The Gaslamp Killer. After moving to Los Angeles in 2006, he helped found Low End Theory, the Gaslamp Killer has played at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the Austin Psych Fest, the Decibel Festival, Wonderfruit in Thailand and the Voodoo Fest. He produced Gonjasufis debut album, A Sufi and a Killer, with Flying Lotus and he released the single, Flange Face b/w Seven Years of Bad Luck for Fun, in August 2012. It was chosen by Pitchfork Media as Best New Track in July and his debut album, Breakthrough, was released in September 2012. He is Jewish, and his ancestry includes Turkish, Lebanese, vs Finders Keepers A Decade of Flying Lotus Helio x GLK Lavender AM, Meditation Mix Flying Lotus - GNG BNG from Los Angeles The Beastmaster - Have You Ever Bled from Your Eyes. Do You Want To.01 T7L, Audio Promo Disc 707 ArtDontSleep PresentsThe Gaslamp Killer – The Gaslamp Killer in 2009.
20. Donald Glover – Donald McKinley Glover is an American actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, rapper, singer, and songwriter. As a recording artist, he performs under the stage name Childish Gambino. He first came to attention for his work with Derrick Comedy and and he later portrayed community college student Troy Barnes on the NBC sitcom Community. He currently stars in the FX series Atlanta, which he also created and he will appear in Spider-Man, Homecoming, and has been cast as the young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming, untitled standalone Han Solo Star Wars movie. He will also provide the voice of Simba in a remake of the Disney film The Lion King, after several self-released albums and mixtapes, Glover signed to Glassnote Records in 2011. He released his first album, Camp, on November 15,2011 to generally positive reviews and his second studio album, Because the Internet, was released on December 10,2013. Glover was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2015, Best Rap Album for Because the Internet and Best Rap Performance for his single 3005, Glovers third album, Awaken, My Love. was released on December 2,2016. Glover was born at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and raised in Stone Mountain and his mother, Beverly, is a retired daycare provider, and his father, Donald Sr. is a retired postal worker. His parents also served as foster parents for 14 years, Glover was raised as a Jehovahs Witness. He attended DeKalb School of the Arts and was voted Most Likely to Write for The Simpsons in his high school yearbook, Glover graduated from New York Universitys Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in dramatic writing in 2006. In 2006, Glover was contacted by David Miner, to whom he sent writing samples including a script that he had written for The Simpsons. Miner and Tina Fey were impressed by Glovers work and invited him to become a writer for the NBC series 30 Rock, Glover was a writer for 30 Rock from 2006 to 2009, where he also had occasional cameo appearances. He was presented the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Series at the February 2009 ceremony for his work on the third season, Glovers stage name, Childish Gambino, came from the Wu-Tang Clans name generator. On June 5,2008, he released an independent album, the group wrote and starred in a feature-length film, Mystery Team, released in theaters in 2009. On September 17,2009, Childish Gambino released the independent album Poindexter, a pair of mixtapes, titled I Am Just a Rapper and I Am Just A Rapper 2 were released, in close succession in 2010. Robert Scahill added his producing expertise helping with the majority of the tracks, the track listings for those mixtapes consist of the name of the song he raps, followed by the song he raps over. His second album, Culdesac, was set to be released on July 2,2010, the album was made available on July 3. He has disowned his 2005 album, The Younger I Get, Glovers stand-up special aired on Comedy Central on March 19,2010Donald Glover – Glover at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival
21. CeeLo Green – Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, better known by his stage name CeeLo Green, is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, and businessman. Green came to prominence as a member of the Southern hip hop group Goodie Mob and later as part of the soul duo Gnarls Barkley. Subsequently he embarked on a career, partially spurred by YouTube popularity. Internationally, Green is best known for his work, his most popular was Gnarls Barkleys 2006 worldwide hit Crazy. In the United States, Crazy reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and its parent album St. Elsewhere, was also a hit, peaked at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart and number 4 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart. Gnarls Barkleys second album, The Odd Couple, charted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, in 2010, Green took a hiatus from working with Danger Mouse, and released a solo single titled Fuck You. on August 19. The song became a single, with the radio-edit version Forget You, reaching the top spot in the UK. His next two singles, Its OK and Bright Lights Bigger City were also hits in Europe, from 2011 to 2014, Green was a judge and coach on American reality television singing competition The Voice, appearing on four of its seasons. In 2013, Green reunited with the rest of Goodie Mob, in 2011 he did a concert with Prince in Madison Square Garden. He worked as an actor in the animated feature Hotel Transylvania. Green has endorsed 7 Up, Duracell, M&M’s, and sake brand TY KU and his work has earned numerous awards and accolades, including five Grammy Awards, a BET Award, a Billboard Award, and a Brit Award. Green was born in Atlanta, Georgia and he graduated from high school at Riverside Military Academy, a boarding school for boys in Gainesville, Georgia. Both of his parents were ordained ministers, and he started his career in church. His father died when Green was two years old and his mother, Sheila J. Tyler-Callaway, a firefighter, was paralyzed in a car crash and died two years after the accident when Green was 18. At the time of his mothers death, Greens career with Goodie Mob had just begun taking off, Green also wrote about his mother in the song Guess Who from Goodie Mobs album Soul Food. Along with Big Gipp, T-Mo, and Khujo, Green was an member of the Atlanta hip hop group Goodie Mob. He is the youngest of the four, the Goodie Mob was a part of the Atlanta rap collective the Dungeon Family, which also included Outkast. Goodie Mob appeared on two tracks on OutKasts 1994 debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, with Green providing vocals for Call of da Wild and Git Up, Goodie Mob released their debut album, Soul Food, in 1995CeeLo Green – Green performing in 2008
22. Grieves – Benjamin Laub, better known by his stage name Grieves, is an American hip hop artist based in Seattle, Washington. Born in Chicago, Illinois, he lived in Colorado, San Diego and he is signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment. Grieves released his first album, Irreversible, independently in 2007, in 2008, Grieves teamed up with multi-instrumentalist and producer Budo, with whom he would release his next two albums,88 Keys & Counting in 2010, and Together/Apart in 2011. Together/Apart debuted at #112 in the Top 200 Album Sales, marking his first appearance in the Top 200, Grieves, along with Budo, performed at South by Southwest 2011 and also at Warped Tour 2011. His music has also featured in Real Detroit Weekly, Seattle Weekly. His fourth album, Winter & the Wolves, was released on March 25,2014 and it peaked at number 57 on the Billboard 200. Irreversible 88 Keys & Counting Together/Apart Winter & the Wolves The Falling Off Your Shoes Every Hell Has Its Springtime My Girlfriend Beats Me EP The Confessions of MrGrieves – Grieves performing at SXSW in 2014.
23. Hopsin – Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known by his stage name Hopsin, is an American rapper, record producer, director and actor from Los Angeles, California. In 2007, he was signed to Ruthless Records, and had founded his own label, Funk Volume. He would then go on to another record label, Undercover Prodigy. Hopsin has released four albums, Gazing at the Moonlight through Ruthless Records, Raw, Knock Madness. He is well known for his use of white colored eye contacts in music videos, performances, marcus Hopson was born on July 18,1985 in Los Angeles, and was raised in the Panorama City neighborhood of Los Angeles. He attended James Monroe High School, where he was placed into special educational classes, Hopsin has been an avid skateboarder since the age of twelve, as many of his music videos feature him skateboarding. He started rapping at sixteen years old, and took his more seriously by 2003 which is the year the majority of the tracks from Hopsins self-produced album Emurge were recorded. He dropped out of school during his senior year in 2004 to pursue a career in music, purchased a microphone. While starting his career, Hopsin decided to sport colored eye contacts while performing in his music videos. He stated that he used the contacts to give himself a memorable appearance and he credits Eminem as the rapper that initially got him interested into hip hop music. Hopsin had initially signed with Ruthless Records in 2007 and even began recording his album as early as 2004. He was originally hailed as one of the forces behind attempting to bring Ruthless Records back to previous glory. Hopsins lead single from his debut album Pans in the Kitchen was released on May 27,2008, the album was set to be self-produced by Hopsin and feature no collaborations with other artists. However his debut album, Gazing at the Moonlight was not released until October 27,2009, shortly after the albums release, Hopsin sought his release from Ruthless Records due to lack of financial compensation, artist support, and promotion. Shortly before the departure from Ruthless Records, Hopsin founded his own independent label, Funk Volume, SwizZz, Damien Ritters younger brother and a former classmate of Hopsin at Monroe High, was the first artist to be signed to Funk Volume. Shortly after launching Funk Volume, both Hopsin and SwizZz released a mixtape titled Haywire in June 2009 to promote the label. Funk Volume originally wanted to sell it for sale, but were unable due to Hopsin still being contracted by Ruthless Records at the time. On mixtape website DatPiff, it has been certified Gold for being downloaded over 100,000 times and it made available for purchase for digital download via iTunesHopsin – Hopsin in May 2013
24. David Jude Jolicoeur – David Jude Jolicoeur, also known under the stage name Trugoy the Dove and more recently Dave, is an American rapper, producer, and one third of the hip hop trio De La Soul. Jolicoeur, Vincent Mason and Kelvin Mercer were friends who attended the high school in the Amityville area of Long Island during the 1980s. After they decided to form a rap group, each member re-christened themselves with an outlandish name, early on, Jolicoeur sported a unique style of African medallions, peace signs and uneven dreadlocks. Paired with the messages of the groups debut effort,3 Feet High and Rising. Jolicoeur is also a member of the Spitkicker collective, Jolicoeur is American of Haitian descent. All three members of De La Soul have a variety of aliases and nicknames used throughout the groups career. The following are the most significant, Trugoy – The word Trugoy is backwards for yogurt, Jolicoeur once said in a video that, I enjoyed eating yogurt. Plug Two – An early concept for 3 Feet High and Rising involved music being transmitted from Mars by three microphone plugs, though this idea was abandoned, the titles Plug One, Plug Two and Plug Three still became relevant on the albumDavid Jude Jolicoeur – Jolicoeur performing at the Fillmore in San Francisco, July 2009
25. Watkin Tudor Jones – Watkin Tudor Jones, also known by his stage name Ninja, is a South African rapper, record producer, and actor, best known for his role as the male vocalist of rap-rave group Die Antwoord. Jones comes from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he attended Parktown Boys High School, Jones left school in 1992, one year before graduating. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Cape Town, Jones was a part of the South African hip-hop scene for many years. TV, and The Constructus Corporation. He is best known as Ninja from Die Antwoord, Jones has embarked on various other endeavors, notably graphic art and stuffed animal making. Yolandi Visser, Joness former partner, has been a frequent collaborator and is also a member of Die Antwoord, the two have a daughter together, named Sixteen. Jones was the lead vocalist of Max Normal, a hip hop act. The band performed at festivals around South Africa, including Up the Creek, Splashy Fen. They also played in London and three shows at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium and they were a South African hip-hop crew that performed live wearing three-piece suits while frontman MaxNormal delivered his motivational speaking style raps to the audience. In early 2002, Jones disbanded Max Normal, just as the band was reaching South African stardom, headlining festivals like Oppikoppi and charting on 5FM. These sessions spawned the Man Who Never Came Back track on African Dopes Cape Of Good Dope compilation in 2002, Yolandi Visser, listed as Anica The Snuffling on the credits, was also involved. After a production process including mix and master by Krushed & Sorted, In 3 June 2002, the Constructus Corporation disbanded in 2003 after releasing The Ziggurat. Not the same group as Max Normal, MaxNormal. tv was formed by Jones without the members of Max Normal. Die Antwoord is a group formed in 2008 and composed of Ninja, Yolandi Visser. The band self-identifies as a melange of several diverse cultures all mixed into one, Die Antwoord toured Europe in April 2010 and the U. S. later that same year. Their debut album $O$ was made available as a download on their official website. In late 2009 South African cinematographer Rob Malpage co-directed, co-produced and lensed the video for their single Enter the Ninja, the promo became a viral video on the internet nine months later, delivering millions of hits to the official Die Antwoord website, eventually crashing the websites server. The video also features South African progeria sufferer Leon Botha, a prominent Cape Town artist, Die Antwoord performs Zef music, zef being a South African slang term that describes a unique South African style which is modern while including out-of-date, discarded cultural and style elements. Their lyrics are humorous and explicit, and performed in both Afrikaans and English, members of the band consider themselves as hip hop artists, but specifically refer to their music as zef rap-raveWatkin Tudor Jones – Jones, December 2012
26. Ben Kenney – Benjamin Lee Ben Kenney, Sr. is a musician from Brielle, New Jersey, United States. He is the bass guitarist for the band Incubus, Kenney played guitar for the hip-hop group The Roots before he joined Incubus in 2003 after the departure of the bass guitarist and founding member Alex Katunich. He had previously played with Incubus members Mike Einziger and Jose Pasillas in Time Lapse Consortium, Kenney plays at least six different instruments and sometimes plays drum duets with Incubus drummer Jose Pasillas live on-stage. He has also done work for artists including Justin Timberlake, Faith Evans, Erykah Badu and Blackalicious. 26, Maduro, Distance and Comfort and Burn the Tapes were all released by Kenneys own record company, Ghetto Crush has also released music for The Division Group, Aleda and Root Valdez. Kenney helped The Smyrk to produce their EP, New Fiction, Kenney started in New Jersey band called Racecar in 1994 with Jimmie Muller and Sam Hofman. After this, he and Chuck Treece started a duo called Supergrub in 1996. Kenney plays guitar, bass guitar and drums while singing and writing every part on the solo records, when touring to support his solo records he plays guitar and sings, accompanied by Ashley Mendel on bass guitar and vocals and Sekou Lumumba on drums. Recently, Simon Harding from the band Fin has replaced Lumumba and his bass equipment includes Lakland bass guitars, Line 6 effects. Kenney also plays Gibson Les Pauls which is seen in the DVD video for Not Today and his live Mesa/Boogie rig consists of a pair of Big Block 750 heads and a Roadready 8x10 cabinet. In the studio and for solo gigs and small live gigs with Incubus, he uses Mesa Walkabout 1x12 combos,26 Breathe –3,31 Hoopdie –4,174.2.3Ben Kenney – Ben Kenney performing live with Incubus in Madrid.
27. Killer Mike – Michael Render, better known by his stage name Killer Mike, is an American hip hop recording artist, actor and activist from Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder of Grind Time Official Records, which he launched through the SMC and he has since released five full-length albums as a solo artist. In December 2008, Mike confirmed he signed to fellow Atlanta-based rapper T. I. s Grand Hustle Records, music, produced entirely by American rapper-producer El-P. In 2013, the two formed a duo, branding themselves Run the Jewels. The two signed to Fools Gold Records and released their debut in June of that year. Killer Mike is also known as a social and political activist, focusing on subjects including social inequality, police brutality, and systemic racism. He was a visible and vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders during his 2016 U. S. presidential campaign, Killer Mike has been featured in the films 20 Funerals, Idlewild and ATL. In 1995, Killer Mike briefly attended Morehouse College, where he met producers The Beat Bullies and he was also featured on several other tracks that year, including Poppin Tags from Jay-Zs The Blueprint 2. Killer Mike released his album, Monster, in 2003. The albums lead single was Akshon, which featured OutKast on guest vocals, a remix of Akshon was included on the soundtrack of EA Sports video game Madden NFL2004. The albums second single was A. D. I. D. A. S, featuring Big Boi and Sleepy Brown, which peaked at #60 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is Killer Mikes highest charting single to date as a lead artist, following the release of his own material, he appeared on Flip Flop Rock and Bust on the Speakerboxx half of OutKasts Speakerboxxx/The Love Below double album. He also appeared on Southern Takeover with Pastor Troy on Chamillionaires CD The Sound of Revenge, Killer Mike appeared alongside T. I. on the song Never Scared by Bone Crusher in his album AttenCHUN. It peaked at #26 on the Hot 100, becoming Mikes second top 40 hit, the song was also used on the Madden NFL2004 game soundtrack and by the Atlanta Braves for their 2003 season. What was to be his second album, Ghetto Extraordinary, had its release pushed back several times due to disputes between Big Boi and Sony Records. Originally recorded in 2005, the album was eventually self-released as a mixtape in 2008. Killer Mikes second official album, I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind, was released on his own Grind Time Official label in 2006, according to an article published in the June 2007 issue of XXL, Killer Mike addressed why he left the Purple Ribbon roster. He stated that he felt as if Purple Ribbon was the equivalent to the Clippers, while he wanted to join the LakersKiller Mike – Killer Mike performing in 2014.
28. Talib Kweli – Talib Kweli Greene is an American hip hop recording artist, entrepreneur, and social activist. He is the son of professional educators, in 2011, Kweli founded Javotti Media, which is self-defined as a platform for independent thinkers and doers. Kweli earned recognition early on through his work with fellow Brooklyn artist, Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, Kwelis career continued with solo success including collaborations with famed producers Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Pharrell Williams. Kweli is known to artists on the rise, such as J. Cole, Jay Electronica, Kendrick Lamar. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Kweli grew up in a household in Park Slope and his mother, Brenda Greene, is an English professor at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York and his father an administrator at Adelphi University. His younger brother, Jamal Greene, is a professor of Constitutional Law at Columbia Law School, a graduate of Yale Law School, and former clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. As a youth, he was drawn to Afrocentric rappers, such as De La Soul, Kweli was a student at Cheshire Academy, a boarding school in Connecticut. He was previously a student at Brooklyn Technical High School before being academically dismissed and he later studied experimental theater at New York University. Kweli made his debut in 1996, with featured five appearances on Doom. In Cincinnati, Kweli also met DJ Hi-Tek and the two collaborated on a few well received underground recordings as Reflection Eternal, including Fortified Live, shortly afterwards, upon returning to New York, he reconnected with Mos Def and formed Black Star. Kweli brought along Hi-Tek to produce their album, 1998s Mos Def. The album, released amidst a late 90s renaissance of conscious, Afrocentric hip hop, was hailed by critics. Kweli and Hi-Tek continued their Reflection Eternal partnership on the 2000 album Train of Thought, which was met with critical acclaim. The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios, Hip Hop for Respect was organized by Mos Def and Kweli to speak out against police brutality, specifically, the case of Amadou Diallo. The project released one EP for Rawkus Entertainment, on February 4,1999, Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times by four police officers while reaching into his pocket for his wallet. The project aimed to assemble 41 emcees to represent the 41 shots fired, producers included DJ Khalil Mr. Khaliyl, Organized Noize, and 88-Keys. In 2001, Kweli and Mos Def, contributed to the Red Hot + Indigo compilation album created by the Red Hot Organization, the compilation was a tribute to Duke Ellington, that raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease. Black Star collaborated with fellow artists John Patton and Ron Carter to record Money Jungle, in 2002, Kweli contributed to the critically acclaimed Red Hot + Riot, a compilation CD created by the Red Hot Organization in tribute to the music and work of Nigerian musician Fela KutiTalib Kweli – Talib Kweli performing at the 2012 Ilosaarirock festival
29. Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an American hip hop recording artist and songwriter. He began to gain recognition in 2010, after his first retail release, the following year, Lamar independently released his first studio album, Section.80, which included his debut single, HiiiPoWeR. By that time, he had amassed a large Internet following and collaborated with artists in the hip hop industry, including The Game, Snoop Dogg. Lamar secured a record deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records. His major-label debut, good kid, m. A. A. d city, was released in October 2012 to critical success and it debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart and was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The record contained the top 40 singles Swimming Pools, Bitch, Dont Kill My Vibe, Lamar won his first Grammy Award for i, lead single from his critical acclaimed third album To Pimp a Butterfly. The album drew on jazz, funk, soul, and spoken word, debuted atop the charts in the US and the UK. In 2016, Lamar released untitled unmastered, a collection of unreleased demos that originated during the recording sessions for Butterfly. Lamar has received a number of accolades over the course of his career, in early 2013, MTV named Lamar the number one Hottest MC in the Game, on their annual list. Time named Lamar one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016, Lamar was born in Compton, California, the son of a couple from Chicago, Illinois. His first name was given to him by his mother in honor of singer Eddie Kendricks. In 1995, at the age of eight, Lamar witnessed his idols, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, film the video for their hit single California Love. He grew up on welfare and section 8 housing, as a child, Lamar attended McNair Elementary in the Compton Unified School District. As a teenager, Lamar went on to attend Centennial High School in Compton, in 2004, at the age of 16, Lamar released his first full-length project, a mixtape titled Youngest Head Nigga in Charge, under the pseudonym K-Dot. The mixtape was released under Konkrete Jungle Muzik and garnered recognition for Lamar. The mixtape led to Lamar securing a contract with Top Dawg Entertainment. He began recording material with the label and subsequently released a 26 track mixtape two years later, titled Training Day. Throughout 2006 and 2007, Lamar would appear alongside other up-and-coming West Coast rappers, such as Jay Rock and Ya Boy, under the moniker K-Dot, Lamar was also featured on The Games songs The Cypha and Cali NiggazKendrick Lamar – Lamar performing at Way Out West in 2013
30. Mr. Lif – Jeffrey Haynes, better known by his stage name Mr. Lif, is an American hip hop artist from Boston, Massachusetts. Often noted for his lyrics, he has released two studio albums on Definitive Jux and one on Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises. Mr. Lif is also a member of the hip hop group The Perceptionists with long-time friends and collaborators Akrobatik, Mr. Lif, born Jeffrey Haynes, grew up in the neighborhood of Brighton, Boston. After attending the Dedham private school Noble and Greenough School, he went on to attend Colgate University for two years, and he dropped out. He became a performer in 1994, Mr. Lifs family ancestry is Bajan. Haynes adopted the stage name Mr. Lif after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms at an outdoor Phish concert during his year at Colgate University in 1994. He imagined a fictional character called The Liftedly Man while under the influence and he later said in an interview for the Times Colonist, I dont know any Phish songs. I went to the show, and I still dont know anything about them now, Mr. Lif released his first single, Elektro, in 1998, attracting the attention of labels Grand Royal and Definitive Jux. Working closely with producer and Definitive Jux label head El-P, Lif released a series of acclaimed singles and EPs. In 2000 and 2001, he won the Boston Music Award for Outstanding Rap/Hip Hop Act, touring kept him busy for the next year, but he still found time to release the Cro-Magnon single and a live CD. His track Pull Out Your Cut was featured in the soundtrack to the ESPN Video Game ESPN NFL 2K5, in 2002, Mr. Lif released a pair of concept releases. The Emergency Rations EP bookended collaborations with Edan and Akrobatik in an MC abduction scenario and he revisited his Akrobatik collaboration in 2005, when the pair joined producer DJ Fakts One to form The Perceptionists, who released Black Dialogue, also on Definitive Jux. One year later, he returned with Mo Mega, his follow-up to I Phantom, featuring eight productions from El-P and features from Murs, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif has also collaborated with Otis Grove, Thievery Corporation and Anomie Belle. I Heard It Today was released on Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises in 2009, Mr Lif embraced I Heard It Today using the album as a tool to address various political issues affecting people all over the world. I Heard It Today is the third studio album by Mr. Lif. The album was released on April 21,2009 on Mr. Lifs own label Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises, Mr. Lif has stated that the album is dedicated to capturing the pulse of this tumultuous era were living through. In June 2014, Mr. Lif announced on his Facebook that he is working on an album with The Polish Ambassador that will be released in the fall, in September 2014, the pair embarked on a national 5-week Permaculture Action tour with fellow musicians Ayla Nereo and Liminus. The musicians performed 4–5 days a week and then participated in weekly Permaculture Action Days where they held permaculture themed events, Lif is also a vocalist for Thievery Corporation and a member of the bands live performance groupMr. Lif – Mr. Lif live at Pitchfork Music Festival, July 30, 2006
31. Lil B – Brandon Christopher McCartney, professionally known as Lil B and as The BasedGod, is an American rapper from Berkeley, California. Lil B has recorded solo and with The Pack. His solo work spans several genres, including hip hop, new age, indie rock and his work is often described as based, a term also used to describe a lifestyle of positivity and tolerance. He is noted for his use of social media to build an online following. He has released one album, Rain in England, and a number of mixtapes and freestyles, Brandon McCartney grew up in Berkeley, California, and attended high school at Albany High in Albany. He adopted the name Lil B, and began rapping at age 16 with San Francisco Bay Area based hip hop group The Pack, after two locally successful mixtapes, at the peak of the Bay Areas hyphy movement, the groups song Vans became a surprise hit. The song was ranked as the fifth best of 2006 by Rolling Stone magazine, the strength of Vans led the group to release Skateboards 2 Scrapers EP, featuring a Vans remix with Bay Area rappers Too $hort and Mistah F. A. B. In 2007, Lil B and The Pack released their first album, on September 24,2009 Lil B released his first digital album entitled Im Thraxx, it was released on independent label Permanent Marks. On December 22,2009 Lil B released his digital album entitled 6 Kiss to critical reception. On March 25,2010 Lil B released his debut mixtape Dior Paint, on April 3,2010 Lil B officially signed to fellow artist Soulja Boys label SODMG Entertainment. On May 7,2010 Lil B released a mixtape entitled Base World Pt.1, on July 5,2010 Lil B released a collaboration mixtape with Soulja Boy entitled Pretty Boy Millionaires. Lil B had recorded over 1,500 tracks as of July 2010, including hits Like A Martian, Wonton Soup, Pretty Bitch, Im God, on December 29,2010 it was announced and confirmed that Lil B apparently signed an album deal with Amalgam Digital. On July 10,2011 Lil B released the EP Paint, on January 18,2011 Lil B released his fourth digital album entitled Angels Exodus, through Amalgam Digital. On April 14,2011 Lil B announced that his album would be entitled Im Gay. On May 17,2012 Lil B released his first Instrumental album entitled Choices, on September 16,2012, Lil B released a rock single entitled California Boy. On December 30,2012 Lil B released his instrumental album entitled Tears 4 God under the alias The Basedgod. On December 24,2013 Lil B released a mixtape entitled 05 Fuck Em, on June 1,2014 Lil B released a mixtape entitled Hoop Life, it would be known for containing a track entitled Fuck KD that called out the NBA player Kevin Durant. On October 14,2014, Lil B released the Ultimate Bitch mixtape, on July 19,2015, Lil B and Chance the Rapper announced that they recorded a new collaborative mixtapeLil B – Lil B in 2012
32. Theophilus London – Theophilus Musa London is a Trinidadian-born American rapper and singer. London was born in Trinidad, and later moved to Brooklyn and he then moved to the Poconos and graduated from Pocono Mountain East High School in 2006. His debut EP Lovers Holiday, released on Warner Bros. Records on February 7,2011, features TV on the Radios Dave Sitek, Sara Quin from Tegan and Sara, Glasser, and Solange Knowles. His full-length debut album Timez Are Weird These Days, mixed by noted producer Dan Carey, was released by Warner Brothers on July 19,2011, London was one of the headliners of the Northside Festival in Brooklyn in June 2011. On June 30,2011, London performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the buzz has been building for some time. He also said that he would be releasing a new mixtape titled I Want You Still, in September 2014, it was announced that the new album would be released in October and executive produced by Kanye West. 2011, Timez Are Weird These Days 2014, Vibes 2008, JamTheophilus London – Theophilus London at Fri-Son in Fribourg, Switzerland (2010)
33. Vincent Mason – Vincent Lamont Mason Jr. is a rapper, producer, DJ, who is one third of the hip hop group De La Soul. Mason is also known as Maseo, P. A, kelvin Mercer and David Jude Jolicoeur were already friends when Mason joined the pair to form De La Soul in 1987. The trio came to the attention of Prince Paul, then a member of Stetsasonic, Paul facilitated a record deal for Mason and his colleagues with the Tommy Boy label and produced their first album,3 Feet High and Rising. Masons role in De La Soul is primarily that of a DJ, with Mason stating that he is “a b-boy to my heart”, drawing inspiration from life experience and contemporary global events. However, Mason has also featured as a vocalist on songs such as Ring Ring Ring and for De La Souls guest appearance on the Jungle Brothers recording, Mason also recorded the introductory laugh for De La Souls collaboration with Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc. Mase is a member of the Spitkicker collective, a group of artistically-minded people who release work by Spitkicker artists and engage in social, Mason is a native of Brooklyn, New York. Son of Dorothy Robinson and Vincent Mason and he is the oldest of two siblings. His younger brother is Anthony Mason, Vincent currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida. Father of four children, Marcus, Tre, Chauncey and Dayo Mason and his son, Tre Mason, is a running back for the Los Angeles Rams. Tre was a finalist for the 2013 Heisman Trophy for the Auburn Tigers, all three members of De La Soul have a variety of known aliases and nicknames used throughout the groups career. The following are the most significant, P. A, Pasemaster Mase – The first alias used by Mason, Pasemaster was used as an alternative to DJ. Though Mase is simply a nickname for Mason, Mason noted in an interview that the name can be an acronym for Making A Soul Effort. Later, with the release of De La Soul is Dead, Plug Three – An early concept for 3 Feet High and Rising involved music being transmitted from Mars by three microphone plugs. Though this idea was abandoned, the titles Plug One, Plug Two and Plug Three still became relevant on the albumVincent Mason – Mason performing at the Fillmore in San Francisco, July 2009
34. Matisyahu – Matthew Paul Miller, known by his Hebrew and stage name Matisyahu, is a Jewish American reggae vocalist, beatboxer, and alternative rock musician. Known for blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop beatboxing sounds, since 2004, he has released four studio albums as well as two live albums, two remix CDs and two DVDs featuring live concerts. In addition, Matisyahu played the role of Tzadok in The Possession, through his career, Matisyahu has worked with Bill Laswell, reggae producers Sly & Robbie, and Kool Kojak. Matthew Paul Miller was born on June 30,1979, in West Chester and his family eventually settled in White Plains, New York. He was brought up a Reconstructionist Jew, and attended Hebrew school at Bet Am Shalom and he spent much of his childhood learning the tenets of Judaism, but by the time he was a teenager, Matisyahu began to rebel against his rigid upbringing. He started taking drugs and dropped out of White Plains Senior High School and he became a self-professed Phish-head, taking hallucinogens and following the rock band Phish on tour. In autumn 1995, Matisyahu attended a program at the Alexander Muss High School in Hod Hasharon. The program offers students first-hand exploration of Jewish heritage as a way of solidifying Jewish identity, after he finished Muss, he returned to New York, where he subsequently left high school after the first day of his senior year to travel throughout the US. A stint in a center in upstate New York followed. Miller then attended a wilderness trip in Oregon for teenagers. It was not necessarily for drug rehabilitation, but that was part of the reason I was out there and he finished high school at a wilderness program in Bend, Oregon. In Oregon, he identified himself as Matt, the Jewish rapper kid from New York, Matisyahu has contrasted this time in Oregon to his life in New York City. I was suddenly the token Jew and this was now my search for my own identity, and part of Judaism feeling more important and relevant to me. He returned to New York and started developing his reggae, spending hours in his room, around that same time, he says, he started to become more interested in Judaism, taking classes on Jewish spirituality at The New School. He approached Eli Cohen, a rabbi at New York University and he recounts that at the same time, he started praying, getting himself a prayer book and prayer shawl. He learned of the Carlebach Shul synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City and it was then that he met NYUs Chabad rabbi, Dov Yonah Korn. From 2001 through July 2007, Matisyahu was affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, however, as of July 17,2007, he told the Miami New Times in an interview that he no longer necessarily identifies with the Lubavitch movement. In the interview he stated that. the more Im learning about types of JewsMatisyahu – Matisyahu
35. Meechy Darko – Dimitri Simms, better known by his stage name Meechy Darko, is an American rapper from Brooklyn, New York. He is one of three of the hip hop trio Flatbush ZOMBiES, with whom he began his career with his longtime friends, Erick Arc Elliott. Meechy Darko was born in Flatbush, New York to a Jamaican family and he befriended future group mates Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott at a very young age. They bonded over wrestling and other kid activities, Meech also befriended the rap group that would later be known as The Underachievers. They bonded while using psychedelic drugs such as LSD and Psilocybin Mushrooms, in January 2012, they released a music video for their song Thug Waffle. The video received many views and caught attention of fans and other rappers and they released multiple other rap videos for their first mixtape D. R. U. G. S, which was released in July 2012. The group then released their sophomore mixtape BetterOffDEAD on September 11,2013 at 9,11 PM, BetterOffDEAD went on to receive positive reviews from critics. In 2014, Meech announced that every Friday they would put out a new song for multiple weeks, in 2015, Meech announced that Flatbush Zombies were working on their debut album. In October 2015, they were invited to perform at Jay Zs Tidal concert, in January 2016, they were invited to Yams Day, a concert that was dedicated to deceased ASAP Mob member A$AP Yams. In the same month, Flatbush Zombies released Glorious Thugs to soundcloud and they also planned a tour to go along with the album. On March 11, the album was released, and sold 28,000 copies in its first week, debuting at #10 on the Billboard Album Sales ChartsMeechy Darko – Flatbush Zombies in 2012. From left to right: Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliot.
36. Kelvin Mercer – Kelvin Mercer is a rapper, producer, and one-third of the hip hop trio De La Soul. He is known more famously by his alias Posdnuos, or simply Pos and he was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in East Massapequa, New York. Mercer and David Jude Jolicoeur were childhood friends and they met Vincent Mason in the early 1980s while attending Amityville High School in Long Island, New York. Mercers father was a jazz fan, as a member of De La Soul, Mercer is generally regarded as one of the most consistent and underrated MCs of all time. He has imparted some of his experiences in songs such as Held Down. Mercer is also known for his witty, double entendre-laden battle rhymes, fuck bein hard, Posdnuos is complicated from Buhloone Mindstates In the Woods. He is a member of the Spitkicker collective, all three members of De La Soul have used a number of aliases. The following are the most significant, Posdnuos – Pronounced pas-da-noos, the name may be a combination of the reversed words Sop, meaning leftover, and Sound, a name Mercer went by while acting as a high school DJ. According to some sources, the words spelled backward are sounds op, Plug One – An early concept for 3 Feet High and Rising involved music being transmitted from Mars by three microphone plugs. Though this idea was abandoned, the titles Plug One, Plug Two, mercers title of Plug One would eventually evolve into Plug Wonder Why, which has been shortened to Plug Won. Mercenary – Derived from the last name, Mercer and this name was given to him by DCQ, brother of Mos Def. P-Pain – Caricature of the rapper T-Pain and he uses this alias in the song Supervillainz by DOOMKelvin Mercer – Mercer performing at the Fillmore in San Francisco, July 2009
37. M.I.A. (rapper) – M. I. A. is a play on her own name and a reference to the acronym of Missing in Action. Her compositions combine elements of alternative, dance, electronic, hip hop, M. I. A. began her career in 2000 as a visual artist, filmmaker and designer in west London before beginning her recording career in 2002. She released her debut album Arular in 2005 and her second album Kala in 2007, Arular charted in Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Japan and the US, where it reached number 16 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and number three on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Kala was certified silver in the UK and gold in Canada and the US and it also charted in several countries across Europe, in Japan and Australia. The albums first single Boyz reached the Top 10 in Canada and on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales in 2007, the single Paper Planes The Beat Roberto Avila made peaked in the Top 20 worldwide and reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It has become XL Recordings second best-selling single to date, M. I. A. s third album Maya was released in 2010 soon after the controversial song-film short Born Free. The single XXXO reached the Top 40 in Belgium, Spain, M. I. A. has embarked on five global headlining tours and is the founder of her own multimedia label, N. E. E. T. Her fourth studio album, Matangi, was released in 2013, Arulpragasams early compositions relied heavily on the Roland MC-505 music sequencer and drum machine. Her later work marked an evolution in her sound with instruments, electronics. Critics have acclaimed a distinctive style to her music and she posted many of her songs and videos from 2002 onwards on platforms such as MySpace. In 2001, she received an Alternative Turner Prize nomination for her visual art, Time magazine named her one of the worlds 100 most influential people in 2009. Esquire magazine ranked M. I. A. on its list of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century in January 2010. Arulpragasam was born on 18 July 1975, in Hounslow, West London, to Arul Pragasam, an engineer, writer and activist, and his wife, Kala, a seamstress. When Maya was six months old, her moved to Jaffna, the cultural, political, and economic capital of the predominantly Tamil northern Sri Lanka. There, her father adopted the name Arular and became a political activist and founding member of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students, the first eleven years of Arulpragasams life were marked by displacement caused by the Sri Lankan Civil War. Her family went into hiding from the Sri Lankan army, and she has described her family as living in big-time poverty during her childhood but also recalls some of her happiest memories from growing up in Jaffna. Maya attended Catholic convent schools such as the Holy Family Convent, during the civil war, soldiers would put guns through holes in the windows and shoot at the school, what she notes as bullying exploitation. Her classmates were trained to dive under the table or run next door to English-language schools that, according to her, Arulpragasam lived on a road alongside much of her extended family and played inside temples and churches in the townM.I.A. (rapper) – M.I.A. performing at the Zénith de Paris in 2014
38. Mike Mictlan – Mike Marquez, better known by his stage name Mike Mictlan, is a rapper from Los Angeles, California, who is currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a member of the indie hip hop collective Doomtree. Mike Mictlan has released four albums and is currently signed to Doomtree Records. City Pages listed him as the 10th best Minnesota rapper in 2012, Marquez was born in Los Angeles, California to a Vietnam veteran father from Venice, Italy and a convicted American mother, who is from Anaheim. During his childhood, he grew up in Los Angeles with a father who was battling cancer, at the age of 11, he had the dream of becoming a full-time hip hop artist and being part of a hip hop group. By the time Marquez reached his teenage years, he was sent to live with his uncle in Minneapolis, here, he attended Hopkins High School where he would create the foundations of Doomtree with P. O. S, Paper Tiger, MK Larada and Lazerbeak. Following high school, he returned to Los Angeles, during this time, he held various odd jobs, including working as a butcher. After four years of living in Los Angeles, Marquez participated in a tour with Doomtree in 2004 and this eventually lead Marquez into moving back to Minneapolis and officially help create Doomtree as a hip hop collective and label. His first appearance on record was on P. O. Ss short lived hip hop group Cenospeciess album Indefinition in 2002 and his feature was recorded through the phone while he was still living in Los Angeles. In 2005, Marquez released his first album False Hopes Eight, the album was released without the help of a record label or distribution, instead using money earned from Doomtrees shows, who would release the album independently. In 2007, he released the album The First Chapter as The Mercenaries with Mnemonic, so far, it is the only Mike Mictlan album that was not released on Doomtree. Following this and Doomtrees False Hopes, Doomtree released their debut LP in 2008, with Mictlan releasing his follow up album Hand Over Fist a collaborative album with Lazerbeak, in 2011, Doomtree released their critically acclaimed album No Kings. He also curated one of the Doomtree Blowout shows at 7th Street Entry in December 2011, ada Katarina of Mezzic described the night as a high-energy mix of styles, ages, love for the rap scene that has supported him and a whole lot of wag. This span of his career to currently, he and his Doomtree cohorts toured extensively, with them booking many solo, the next year in September, he released Snaxxx for free via his bandcamp. In 2013, Mictlan spent 72 hours staying in a mental ward, in 2014, Mictlan released Hella Frreal, a ten-song LP featuring artists such as Ceschi and production from Cecil Otter and Lazerbeak, among others. Doomtrees third album, All Hands, was released in 2015Mike Mictlan – Mictlan performing in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2012
39. Mos Def – Yasiin Bey, best known by his stage name Mos Def, is an American hip hop recording artist, actor and activist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He subsequently formed the duo Black Star, alongside fellow Brooklyn-based rapper Talib Kweli and he was featured on the roster of Rawkus Records and in 1999 released his solo debut, Black on Both Sides. His debut was followed by The New Danger, True Magic, the editors at About. com listed him as the 14th greatest emcee of all time on their 50 greatest MCs of our time list. Prior to his career in music, Mos Def first entered public life as a actor, having played roles in television movies, sitcoms. He is also known as the host of Def Poetry Jam, Mos Def has been vocal on several social and political causes, including police brutality, the idea of American exceptionalism, and the state of African Americans. Dante Terrell Smith Bey was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the eldest of 12 children and step-children, he was raised by his mother in Brooklyn, while his father lived in New Jersey. At 19, he took his shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith and he is close friends with fellow Muslim rappers Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Kamaal Ibn John Fareed of the rap group A Tribe Called Quest. Mos Def attended middle school at Philippa Schuyler Middle School 383 in Bushwick, after returning from filming You Take the Kids in Los Angeles, and getting into a relationship with an older girl, Mos Def dropped out of high school during sophomore year. In a particularly traumatic childhood experience, Mos Def witnessed his then five year old younger brother Ilias Bey get hit by a car, Bey, who later adopted the alias DCQ, was described by Smith as my first partner in Hip Hop. Mos Def began his rap career in 1994, forming the rap group UTD along with younger brother DCQ. In 2004, they released the album Manifest Destiny, their first, the album features a compilation of previously unreleased and re-released tracks recorded during the original UTD run. In 1996, Mos Def emerged as a solo artist and worked with De La Soul and Da Bush Babees, before he released his own first single, Mos Def signed with Rawkus Records and formed the rap group Black Star with Talib Kweli. The duo released an album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, mostly produced by Hi-Tek, the album featured the singles Respiration and Definition, which both reached in the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Mos Def released his debut album Black on Both Sides in October 1999. The single Ms. Fat Booty charted, while the album reached #25 on the Billboard 200, around this time he also contributed to the Scritti Politti album Anomie & Bonhomie. In January 2002 Rawkus Records was taken over by Geffen Records and it included contributions by Shuggie Otis and Bernie Worrell, Doug Wimbish, and Will Calhoun as the Black Jack Johnson Band. The album reached #5 on the Billboard 200, making it the most successful for the artist to date, the single Sex, Love & Money charted, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Mos Defs final solo album for Geffen Records, titled True Magic, was released in 2006, the song Crime & Medicine is a remake of GZAs 1995 single Liquid SwordsMos Def – Mos Def performing at the 2012 Ilosaarirock festival
40. Matty Newton – Matthew Matty Newton is an Australian songwriter, bass player, guitarist, keyboardist and producer from Queensland, Australia. Matty Newton got his start in the Australian music scene as bass player for Brisbane indie rock band Repeat Offender from 2003 through 2009, in 2008 Matty and Erinn Swan formed the band Streamer Bendy. He has also spent time performing as a guitarist with rock bands Trial Kennedy, Matt has worked closely with a lot of bands in Australia, notably as touring Guitar Technician for bands The Butterfly Effect, Trial Kennedy & Tourism - occasionally joining the latters on guitar. Matty spent 3 years as the player for the Tribute Theatre Company. In 2012 Mattys solo project, The Rebound Girl, was shortlisted for Best Urban Release in the QLD Music Awards. at the Disco and played such as Taste of Chaos. Repeat Offender released their first ep To a Modern Love. on May 2006 independently, Repeat Offender toured heavily and performed over 600 shows between 2003 and 2009. Streamer Bendy were a Brisbane band that recorded their debut album between Stockholm, Los Angeles, Brisbane and Sydney. Matty formed the band in 2008 with Erinn Swan, formerly of Nina May, initially the bass player for the group, Matty has also toured as their drummer, guitarist and keyboardist after several line-up changes. Along with Erinn Swan, Matt was a songwriter for the group. Queen, its a Kind of Magic was the worlds largest and most successful Queen tribute act, as a touring member of this group from 2009 –2010 he performed hundreds of shows between Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore. Matty also performed as a player for other shows produced by Showtime Entertainment during this time, including an ABBA show. The Hangout are a Brisbane band that formed in 2013 released 2 singles, Matty was a primary songwriter and performer for the band. Tourism are an indie-rock back from Brisbane, Australia, fronted by British ex-pat Josef Wisniewski, Tourism toured heavily around Australia from 2010 -2014, releasing several singles inc. The band received airplay across Australia. In 2015, Matt joined 2014 Toyota StarMaker winner Jared Porter for several key country music shows, CMC Rocks Festival, Country Summer, Matt fulfills several roles for Jared, Organ, Keys, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass & Synthesizer. New project from Tourism frontman, Josef Wisniewski, plays Fender Basses and Guitars, including a Tony Franklin Fretted P-Bass, American Deluxe Stratocasters and Squier BassVI models. Also plays a Roland VK-7 organ, Gibson SG and various Korg synthesizersMatty Newton – Matthew "Matty" Newton
41. Jack Parow – Zander Tyler, better known by his stage name Jack Parow, is an Afrikaner rapper from Cape Town, South Africa. He is well known for his contribution to the song Die Vraagstuk with Die Heuwels Fantasties and he has contributed and collaborated with various other artists such as Die Heuwels Fantasties, Die Antwoord and Francois Van Coke. Parow wanted to be a rapper since he was in primary school, although he started rapping in English, he soon decided that he preferred Afrikaans. His first hit came with his single Cooler as Ekke, which was promoted by friends in Die Heuwels Fantasties and he has since released four studio albums and toured around the world. The filming took place as two legs over 30 days, during which Parow performed once in at least each of South Africas nine provinces, in January 2017 Parow launched his own brandy product known as Parow Brandy. He is currently managed by Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel member, Parow has a daughter, Ruby Tyler, born in 2012 to his long-term girlfriend, Jenna Pietersen. Ruby was the inspiration for Parows 2014 song Dis Befok, Jack Parows first release was the Cooler as ekke EP in December 2009. It was released as an edition of 600 USB flash drives in the shape of an ice-cream-cone. Studio Albums Jack Parow Eksie Ou Nag Van Die Lang Pette Dis Hoe Ons Rol Extended Plays Cooler as Ekke EP From Parow with Love EP Jackparow. com Official WebsiteJack Parow – Jack Parow
42. Manny Phesto – Manuel Levins Holden better known by his stage name Manny Phesto, is an Underground hip hop musician based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pitchfork Media listed his music amongst the Best MN Hip-Hop Releases of 2014, city Pages named his debut album Southside Looking In one of The Best Minnesota Rap Albums of 2014. 89. 3FM The Current awarded it their Album of the Year title XXL magazine also recently jokingly credited him with getting Action Bronson, the Mexican magazine Me Hace Ruido named him one of their Artists to Follow in 2016. In 2010, Manny Phesto and a few friends began performing locally at demonstrations, benefit concerts, and small shows at parties and venues such as Acadia Café,2011 saw Manny curating his own events at local Italian restaurant Italianis and playing other hip hop shows around town. The festival, Hip Hop Harambee ran two consecutive years 2012,2013 and featured local and national recording artists, dancers, visual artists, producers, and DJs including, Big K. R. I. T. Talib Kweli, Devin The Dude, Shabazz Palaces, Gritty Committee, Mike the Martyr, Axel Foley, Metasota, DJ Frank Castle, april 2014 Manny released his Mike the Martyr produced Southside Looking In project online, followed by a release party in June. In May 2015 Manny Phesto was featured on the bill of the 8th annual Soundset Music Festival which was named the Best Hip Hop Festival Around by MTV, Manny was featured on Sway Calloways Sway in the Morning show on Eminems Shade 45 channel aired on Sirius XM. Manny was named one of NoMute, Manny Phesto played a sold out date at Fabrica De Arte Cubano in Havana, Cuba with the US Cuba Artist Exchange in October 2015. Hes scheduled to return to Cuba for the 14th annual Festival Cuerda Viva March 12–13 and is returning to Hawaii on the Intra Island Music Tour in June. He has worked with the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign as a community organizer and was an endorser of its directors 2012 bid for Vice President on the Green Party ticket. During the 2014 midterm election he launched his Manny Phesto for Minnesota campaign in which he was running as a candidate for any ballot position where his fans felt he was needed. Mannys yard sign appeared in throughout the twin cities. Manny created more signs and began gathering endorsement photos from artists including Slug of Atmosphere, Immortal Technique, Mystikal, Rittz, Ghostface Killah, Action Bronson, a couple of which were highlighted in this article by XXL. Manny has also adopted a Metro Transit bus Shelter in Minneapolis, social Capital EP Southside Looking In www. mannyphesto. com Manny Phesto on Facebook Manny Phesto on Rap Genius www. HiGHMiNDSTour. com Manny Phesto on DiscogsManny Phesto – Manny Phesto in Minneapolis, Minnesota
43. Johnny Polygon – John W. Armour, better known by his stage name Johnny Polygon, is an American hip hop recording artist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2008, Polygon met DJ Green Lantern, who offered him a record deal with his label imprint. In 2009, Polygon released his first project under Invasion Music Group, a play titled Group Hug. In 2010, Polygon followed his EP with Rebel Without Applause, his first official mixtape, the single went on to be featured on MTV, VH1 and Centric, as well as the HBO television series, How to Make it in America. Johnny Polygon has worked with artists such as Nas and Kid Cudi. He frequently collaborates with his friend and fellow Oklahoman Gabriel Royal. In 2012, MSN. com named Polygon one of their Top 5 Up-And-Comers You Should Know, since 2001, Polygon has released seven albums, with his latest being I Love You, Goodnight. “It’s just a production company, ” he said. Johnny Polygon was born John Armour on May 15,1984, in Cleveland and his family soon relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Polygon was raised and proudly claims as his hometown. As an adolescent, Johnny Polygon first encountered hip hop through breakdancing and he later began rapping at the age of 14. He would sneak into Retro Night at Cain’s Ballroom with some of his underage friends, one night they snuck in and witnessed a rap battle, Polygon then swore the next time Cain’s hosted one he’d enter. One of the disc jockeys there, DJ Shabazz, invited him to record an album, word spread among his friends and the small but dedicated hip hop crowd in Tulsa. Polygon continued participating in theater groups and rap battles, helping him develop a sense of stage presence. As a teenager, Polygon attended Booker T. Washington High School, Central High School and Project 12 High School, later, with much determination, he dropped out of high school and told his parents he wanted to be a rapper. I told my parents I want to do music, and they were like you really do that here. He went to Los Angeles with only $297 and a thousand copies of his fourth CD, Leggo My Ego and it was in Los Angeles, where Polygon met Nathan Morse, who approached him on making a music video for a song of his titled Bag. The video was entered into an online contest, which caught the attention of one of the judges. Liking what he saw and heard, DJ Green Lantern then offered Polygon a chance to record together in his New York City studioJohnny Polygon – Johnny Polygon in Silverlake, California
44. Questlove – Ahmir Khalib Thompson, known professionally as Questlove, is an American percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, music journalist, record producer, and occasional actor. He is best known as the drummer and joint frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots and he is also one of the producers of the Broadway musical Hamilton. He is the cofounder of Okayplayer and Okayafrica, additionally, he is an adjunct instructor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University. He has produced recordings for artists including Elvis Costello, Common, DAngelo, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Jay-Z, Nikka Costa, and more recently, Al Green, Amy Winehouse, and John Legend. He is a member of the teams the Soulquarians, The Randy Watson Experience, The Soultronics, The Beat Biters. Ahmir Khalib Thompson was born in Philadelphia on January 20,1971 and his father was Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & the Hearts, a 50s doo-wop group. His mother, Jacquelin Thompson, together with his father, was part of the Philadelphia-based soul group Congress Alley. His parents did not want to leave him with babysitters, so took him on tour with them. He grew up in backstages of doo-wop shows, by the age of seven, Thompson began drumming on stage at shows, and by 13, had become a musical director. Questloves parents then enrolled him at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative, by the time he graduated, he had founded a band called The Square Roots with his friend Tariq Trotter. He attended senior prom with Larrieux, after graduating from high school, he took jazz and composition classes at Settlement Music School. Thompson began performing on South Street in Philadelphia using drums, while Tariq rhymed over his beats, Thompson and Jay Lonick, a childhood friend, were known for improvisational call and response percussion battles with plastic buckets, crates, and shopping carts. This style translated into Thompsons usual drumset arrangement, with most drums and cymbals positioned at waist level, the Roots lineup was soon completed, with Questlove on percussion, Tariq Trotter and Malik B on vocals, Josh Abrams on bass, and Scott Storch on keyboards. While the group was performing a show in Germany, they recorded an album entitled Organix, the group continued recording, releasing two critically acclaimed records in 1995 and 1996, Do You Want More. and Illadelph Halflife, respectively. In 1999, The Roots had mainstream success with You Got Me, the song helped fuel the success of their Things Fall Apart album, which has since been hailed as a classic, eventually selling platinum. He also served as producer for DAngelos 2000 album Voodoo, Slum Villages album Fantastic, Vol.2 and Commons albums Like Water for Chocolate. He played drums on Christina Aguileras song Loving Me 4 Me for her 2002 album Stripped, in 2002, he and The Roots released the critically acclaimed Phrenology, which went gold. In 2003, he played drums on John Mayers song Clarity from his second album Heavier Things and he also arranged and drummed on Joss Stones cover of the White Stripes Fell in Love with a GirlQuestlove – Questlove in 2011
45. MC Ride – Stefan Corbin Burnett, better known by his stage name MC Ride, is an American rapper and visual artist. He is best known as the frontman of Sacramento-based experimental hip hop group Death Grips, Burnett is credited for his dismal, cryptic and vulgar lyrics and aggressive rapping style. Burnett had studied art at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia before his music career. After dropping out, he performed under the alias MxlPlx and formed a hip hop group called Fyre with his brother Swank Daddy and another Sacramento-based rapper, the project came to an end after his brother married and was unable to continue with the group. During this time, Burnett worked at a restaurant in Sacramento. In 2010, Burnett formed Death Grips with his neighbor Zach Hill, Hill introduced his friend, producer Andy Morin and the group began working together. After releasing their self-titled debut EP, Death Grips released the mixtape Exmilitary, the group signed to Epic Records in 2012 and released their debut album, The Money Store the same year. In 2012, the group leaked its second album, No Love Deep Web, the group subsequently released a third album, titled Government Plates in 2013. The first disc of their album, The Powers That B, was released in 2014. On July 2,2014, Death Grips announced its disbandment, yet they still released a soundtrack on January 4,2015. They released their studio album Bottomless Pit in May 2016. MC Rides vocal delivery was described as a more visceral and poetic form of rapping and was compared to a blend of hardcore punk. His style was described as paint-peeling barks and startling yelps. Club described his voice as another instrument of abrasion as he hollers in a voice so tattered and blown-out it must physically pain him, MC Ride’s lyrics are described as chants and rants, rhythmic elements that are barely intelligible — though full of bleak, deranged or drugged-out thoughts. MC Rides lyrics engage with various topics, including sex, recreational use, addiction, occultism, economic collapse, insanity, suicide, paranoia. John Calvert of The Quietus wrote, Death Grips embroils MC Rides consciousness in a schematised Braque-esque maze, a gloaming constellation, chase Woodruff of Slant Magazine argued that MC Rides lyrics hint at a contemporary, vaguely political edge to all his rage and alienation. In spite of his stage presence, MC Ride is described as reclusive and super private by his bandmate Zach Hill and is seen as quiet. In a Pitchfork interview, he stated although he has favorite musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, he is inspired by himselfMC Ride – Stefan Burnett performing with Death Grips at Festsaal Kreuzberg in 2012.
46. Self Jupiter – Ornette Glenn better known by his stage name Self Jupiter, is an American rapper from Los Angeles, California. He is a member of the hip hop group Freestyle Fellowship alongside Myka 9, P. E. A. C. E. He is also a member of The Kleenrz alongside Kenny Segal, Self Jupiter released The Kleenrz with the producer Kenny Segal on Hellfyre Club in 2012. It features guest appearances from Subtitle, Murs, Volume 10, and Abstract Rude, among others. A. I. N. TSelf Jupiter – Self Jupiter performing live at the Blue Cafe, Long Beach, California, 2012.
47. Bobby Sichran – Bobby Sichran was a Jewish-American alternative hip hop musician. His music was described as combining hip hop with several other musical genres, such as blues rock. His fusion of genres has led many critics to compare him to Beck. Others have compared him to Bob Dylan, but Sichran criticized such comparisons, a native of Long Island, Sichran dropped out of Columbia University in the early 1990s, looking for a musical career. While doing so, he worked as a furniture mover for some time getting his big break after knocking on the door of Public Enemys studio. After Hank Shocklee let him in at his request, Sichran ended up working as an engineer in their studio. On May 3,1994, Sichran released his album, From a Sympathetical Hurricane. It was preceded by the single Stray Dog, record executive David Kahne said with regard to the album that Every time I listen to this record, I hear more stuff. Nevertheless, the album was not promoted by Columbia, and ended up being a commercial flop, after the album was released, its title track was also released as a single. Sichran went on to release a 7 single in 1997 entitled All the Psychotics in My Building on Messenger Records and he released a 12 in 1998 entitled Smoke of the Ghetto, which was described as being a preview of an upcoming album of the same name. However, this album was never released, and he did not release another album until 2007s Peddler in Babylon. According to the Columbia Spectator, Sichran conceived this album as an album about the modern Americans crisis of faith. A review of Peddler in Babylon in the Jerusalem Post described it as a meditation on spiritual exile that doesnt badger the listener with yiddishkeit. From a Sympathetical Hurricane - Columbia Records Peddler in Babylon - Bombi Beat Media Soundboy Limbo - Kings Crown All the Psychotics in My Building -Messenger Records Smoke of the GhettoBobby Sichran – Bobby Sichran performing on June 12, 2007.
48. Mike Skinner (musician) – Michael Geoffrey Mike Skinner is an English rapper, musician, record producer, and actor, best known for the music project The Streets. Skinner was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire and he moved to West Heath, Birmingham and started playing with keyboards at the age of five. When he was seven years old he began experiencing symptoms of epilepsy and he began writing hip-hop and garage music in his home in West Heath and later built a sound booth in his bedroom, using a cupboard and a mattress. He describes his background as Barratt class, suburban estates, not poor but not much money about, Skinner has however always identified himself with Birmingham and he is a keen supporter of Birmingham City. He has worn the clubs replica shirt on stage and he also wore it in the music video for his remix of Bloc Partys single Banquet. In 2008 Skinner took time off from The Streets to battle symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, in addition, he has tried to raise awareness that its not just depression. Thats what people tend to think, another statement he has released on the topic, I was incapacitated. It seems to have faded now, but at the time I think I was working too hard. It was important to just mention it really and it was such a big thing for me. It lasted about a year at its worst, in 2010 Skinner married Claire Le Marquand in Antibes after the birth of their daughter Amelia in 2009. Skinner attributes the turnaround of his lifestyle, in regards to his dabbling with drugs, to the birth of his daughter, in the albums Skinner made with The Streets he focused on vocals, arranging, composing, mixing, keyboards, and synthesizers. In 2005, Skinner and Ted Mayhem launched the independent record label The Beats Recordings, a subsidiary of 679 Recordings, The Beats was home to British hip-hop acts such as The Mitchell Brothers, Example and Professor Green. The label closed in 2007, but reopened in 2012, after shelving The Streets, Skinner launched a new project, called The D. O. T, along with Rob Harvey of The Music. Harvey does most of the vocals, allowing Skinner to further develop his production approach and their first album, And That, was released on 22 October 2012. Their second album titled Diary was released on 5 May 2013, in 2013, Skinner remixed Norwich rapper Contexts song Small Town Lad Sentiments. The remix features on Contexts second EP, Hindsight is the Purest Form of Romance, in 2015, he remixed Slaves breakthrough single Cheer Up London alongside Jammer. The remix featured on an extended play exclusive to HMV, released alongside the debut album Are You Satisfied. Skinner teamed up with UK rap group Murkage to form a supergroup entitled Tonga Balloon Gang, the release features additional vocals from Jammer and Big NarstieMike Skinner (musician) – Mike Skinner in concert
49. Slug (rapper) – Sean Michael Daley, better known by his stage name Slug, is an American rapper from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Slug is best known as one half of the hip hop group Atmosphere, Turner has since left and Anthony Davis produces Atmosphere with Slug. In 1995, Slug, in collaboration with Anthony Davis, Musab Saad, Slug was born Sean Michael Daley in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on September 7,1972. The son of Valerie and Craig Daley, he is of Irish, Norwegian, African-American and he is currently married to Jessica Daley and has three children. Slugs nickname comes from his fathers, his dad was known to his friends as Sluggo and thus began to call Sean little Sluggo. Before fully establishing himself as an official artist, Daley spent much time making music with fellow Minnesota rapper Nic Lehnertz, the two worked on projects together, and Daley recognizes Lehnertz as a contributing factor to his success. Lehnertz quit rapping after high school, while Daley went on to pursue a professional career, in Atmospheres early years, Slug DJd behind the scenes and let Spawn handle lyrics. The group eventually formed a relationship with Ant and began collaborating on music. Along with solo MC Musab, and groups Black hole, Phull Surkle, another notable project of Slugs is Felt, a collaboration with his friend, another underground rapper, MURS. Other projects he has been a part of include The Dynospectrum, in which he was known as Sep Se7en and he is a member of a loose collective known as The Orphanage, along with Aesop Rock, Illogic, Eyedea and Blueprint. In 2005, Slug and MURS started up Women Records, a label through which they would release the albums of rock bands that they were friends with. The label was set up as an imprint through Rhymesayers Entertainment, a prominent theme in lyrics is his allegorical usage of women, especially in his earlier work. A notable use of women by Slug is in the song Woman with the Tattooed Hands, which Slug has said is a metaphor for that same stuff that everybody has already made songs about. Further uses come in the form of the song Abusing of the Rib from Headshots, SE7EN, a character Slug refers to as Lucy, who has been purported to symbolize a range of different entities, is the most notable of these allegories. In earlier Atmosphere songs, it is believed that Slug used Lucy as a means of writing about ex-girlfriends, Slug himself has since said of Lucy that he originally believed her to be a representation of the dichotomy between himself and women. He acknowledges now that Lucy became a demonization of himself and his dependency on alcohol, drugs, sex and validation. Slug raps in a style, as seen on the song Little Man, in which he confronts the complaints that people have about him by looking at his relationship with his father. This introspective style has become prevalent as of Atmospheres 2008 album When Life Gives You LemonsSlug (rapper) – Slug in 2012
50. Vince Staples – Vincent Jamal Vince Staples is an American rapper from Long Beach, California. He is part of the hip hop trio Cutthroat Boyz alongside fellow Californian rappers A$ton Matthews, Staples was once a close associate of Odd Future, in particular Mike G and Earl Sweatshirt. He is currently signed to Blacksmith Records, ARTium Recordings and Def Jam Recordings, Staples rose to prominence with appearances on albums by Odd Future members and his collaborative mixtape titled Stolen Youth with Mac Miller, who produced the project. In October 2014, he released his debut EP Hell Can Wait and his debut album, Summertime 06, was released on June 30,2015, to critical acclaim. He was also featured as a part of the XXL2015 Freshman Class, vincent Staples was born on July 2,1993, in the Ramona Park neighborhood in Northside, Long Beach, California. Staples was introduced to music by Dijon LaVish Samo, Chuck Wun, LaVish brought Staples on a trip to LA, where he befriended Odd Future collective members Syd tha Kyd, Mike G, and Earl Sweatshirt. Although he had not intended to be a rapper, he featured on some of their songs, following this, he decided to pursue a career in rap and released his debut mixtape Shyne Coldchain Vol.1 on December 30,2011 via applebird. com. In October 2012, he released a mixtape entitled Winter In Prague, the mixtape features guest appearances from Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Da$H, Hardo, and Staples Cutthroat Boyz co-member, Joey Fatts. Following Stolen Youths release, he toured as an act on Mac Millers The Space Migration Tour. On March 13,2014, he released his fourth mixtape, on March 2,2014, Staples began touring the US with Schoolboy Q and Isaiah Rashad on the Oxymoron World Tour, to support the release of Schoolboy Qs album Oxymoron. On August 15,2014, Staples released a video for Blue Suede. The track was made available on iTunes. On September 9,2014, Vince released another new song titled Hands Up via iTunes and he released the EP Hell Can Wait on October 7,2014. Prior to the EPs release Staples revealed during an interview with XXL Magazine that it would include guest appearances from A$ton Matthews and Teyana Taylor, along with productions from No I. D. On May 4,2015, Staples released Señorita as the first single from his album titled Summertime 06. On June 15, Staples released the single off the album. On June 22, he released the single Norf Norf, on February 23,2016, Staples was announced as part of the line up for the 2016 Osheaga Music Festival. On August 25,2016, Staples released the seven-track EP Prima Donna, featuring guest appearances by A$AP Rocky and Kilo Kish, on January 31,2017, he announced the single Bagbak would be released on February 3,2017Vince Staples – Staples performing in June 2015
51. Tyler, The Creator – Tyler Gregory Okonma, better known by his stage name Tyler, The Creator, is an American rapper, record producer, and music video director. Okonma creates all the artwork for the releases and designs the groups clothing. After releasing his debut album Goblin under XL Recordings, in April 2011, he signed a joint venture deal for him and his label Odd Future Records, with RED Distribution and Sony Music Entertainment. Following that he released his studio album Wolf, which was met with generally positive reviews. He has his own clothing company, called Golf Wang, started in 2011, and he runs his own streaming service Golf Media, Camp Flog Gnaw streams there yearly and contains original scripted series from Tyler himself. Okonma was born in Ladera Heights, California, to a Nigerian father and he has said that he has never met his father, and spent his early life living in the communities of Ladera Heights and Hawthorne, California. At the age of seven, he would take the cover out of an albums case, at the age of 14, he taught himself to play the piano. In his 12 years of schooling, he attended 12 different schools in the Los Angeles and he worked at FedEx for just under two weeks, and Starbucks for over two years. On December 25,2009, Tyler self-released his first mixtape, the mixtape was eventually ranked 32nd on Pitchfork Medias list of the Top Albums of 2010. On February 11,2011, Tyler released the video for Yonkers, the first single from his second album, Goblin. The video has received attention from online media outlets. An extended version with a third verse can be purchased on iTunes, after the release of Yonkers, Tyler announced that he had signed a one-album deal with XL Recordings. Tyler and fellow OF member Hodgy Beats made their debut on February 16,2011 when they performed Sandwitches on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On March 16, Tyler and Hodgy performed Yonkers and Sandwitches on the 2011 mtvU Woodie Awards, Goblin was released on May 10,2011. During an interview with Tyler for Interview, Waka Flocka Flame expressed his interest in collaborating with the Odd Future frontman to direct a video for him. Tyler first mentioned the album in early 2010 saying that he would have an album titled Wolf, in early 2011 he told fans through his Formspring account that his third album would be called Wolf and it was scheduled to be released in May 2012. The album will continue Tylers sessions with his fictional therapist, Dr. TC, as hinted by the track on his first album, Bastard. Tylers third album Wolf, released on April 2,2013, in August 2011, Tyler said that the album will be more focused on beats and have less rappingTyler, The Creator – Tyler, The Creator in 2012
52. Yolandi Visser – YoLandi Visser born Anri du Toit is an actress and the female vocalist in the South African electronic group Die Antwoord. Visser appeared in the 2015 film Chappie, Visser also co-starred in Umshini Wam and Tokoloshe, all three films co-starred bandmate Watkin Tudor Jones. Under her birth name, Visser made two films, Family Picnic and Spook Asem. Visser was a part of the music and art groups The Constructus Corporation, the former was a project that produced a concept album/graphic novel while the latter was a South African corporate hip-hop group in which Vissers role was portraying Max Normals personal assistant. She appeared in several of their music/art videos. is a South African rap group formed in Cape Town in 2008, the group was formed by rappers Ninja and Visser, and producer God. Die Antwoords image is based on a movement known as Zef in South Africa. Die Antwoord released their album, $O$, free online. After briefly signing with Interscope Records, in 2011 they founded their own label Zef Recordz and they released their fourth album, Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid, in 2016. At 16 she was sent to an all girls musical school and she has a daughter with her bandmate and former partner Ninja. Yolandi Visser at the Internet Movie Database Yolandi Visser Discography at discogs. com The Constructus Corporation Discography at discogs. com Zef RecordzYolandi Visser – Visser at the 2010 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
53. Kanye West – Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. Intent on pursuing a career as a rapper, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to widespread critical and commercial success. He went on to pursue a variety of different styles on subsequent albums Late Registration, Graduation, and 808s & Heartbreak. In 2010, he released his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to rave reviews from critics, West released his abrasive sixth album, Yeezus, to further critical praise in 2013. His seventh album, The Life of Pablo, was released in 2016, Wests outspoken views and life outside of music have received significant mainstream attention. He has been a frequent source of controversy for his conduct at award shows, on social media and he is the founder and head of the creative content company DONDA. His 2014 marriage to television personality Kim Kardashian has also been subject to media coverage. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time, three of his albums have been included and ranked on Rolling Stones 2012 update of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. He has also included in a number of Forbes annual lists. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015, West was born on June 8,1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. His parents divorced when he was three years old, after the divorce, he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. His father, Ray West, is a former Black Panther and was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ray West was later a Christian counselor, and in 2006, opened the Good Water Store and Café in Lexington Park, Maryland with startup capital from his son. West, was a professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, West was raised in a middle-class background, attending Polaris High School in suburban Oak Lawn, Illinois after living in Chicago. At the age of 10, West moved with his mother to Nanjing, China, according to his mother, West was the only foreigner in his class, but settled in well and quickly picked up the language, although he has since forgotten most of it. When asked about his grades in school, West replied, I got As. West demonstrated an affinity for the arts at an early age and his mother recalled that she first took notice of Wests passion for drawing and music when he was in the third grade. Growing up in Chicago, West became deeply involved in its hip hop scene and he started rapping in the third grade and began making musical compositions in the seventh grade, eventually selling them to other artistsKanye West – West performing at Lollapalooza in 2011
54. Adam Yauch – Adam Nathaniel Yauch was an American rapper, musician, film director, and human rights activist. He was best known as a member of the hip hop group Beastie Boys. He was frequently known by his name, MCA. Yauch founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film production and distribution based in New York City. As a Buddhist, he was involved in the Tibetan independence movement, born in Brooklyn, New York City, Yauch was the only child of a social worker, painter and architect. His father had raised a Catholic and his mother was Jewish. Yauch attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyns Midwood neighborhood, in high school, he taught himself to play the bass guitar. Yauch formed the Beastie Boys with John Berry, Kate Schellenbach and they played their first show—while still a hardcore punk band in the vein of Reagan Youth—on his 17th birthday. He attended Bard College for two years before dropping out, the Beastie Boys, a hip hop trio, released their first album Licensed to Ill on Def Jam Records when Yauch was 22. Yauch directed many of the Beastie Boys music videos, often under the pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér, in 2002, Yauch constructed a recording studio in New York City called Oscilloscope Laboratories. He began an independent film distributing company called Oscilloscope Pictures, Yauch directed the 2006 Beastie Boys concert film, Awesome, I Fuckin Shot That. Although in the DVD extras for the film, the character in A Day in the Life of Nathanial Hörnblowér is played by David Cross. He also directed the 2008 film Gunnin For That #1 Spot about eight high school basketball prospects at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic at Rucker Park in Harlem, Yauch produced Build a Nation, the comeback album from hardcore/punk band Bad Brains. In addition, Oscilloscope Laboratories also distributed Kelly Reichardts Wendy and Lucy, the Beastie Boys had sold 40 million records worldwide by 2010. In April 2012, the group was inducted into the Rock, Yauch was inducted in absentia due to his illness. His bandmates paid tribute to Yauch, a letter from Yauch was read to the crowd, in 2011, Yauch received the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College, the college he attended for two years. The award is given in recognition of a significant contribution to the American artistic or literary heritage and he became an important voice in the Tibetan independence movement. He created the Milarepa Fund, an organization devoted to Tibetan independenceAdam Yauch – Yauch in 2007
55. Yonas (hip hop artist) – Yonas Mellesse, known under the mononym, YONAS, is an independent hip-hop artist hailing from New York City. Yonas often claims that with his music, he hopes to bring content back to popular music, Yonas began his music career at the early age of 5, when he was enrolled into violin classes by his parents as an attempt to focus some of his otherwise wild energy. He was heavily influenced by brother Robert Swartz and he did just that, going on to study classical violin. After putting the violin down, and getting more into the culture of New York City, in 2009 he released his first EP The New Golden Era independently, winning a Billboard Songwriting Award for his single Banga. In 2010 he followed with his first mixtape produced by Sean Ross entitled I Am Us to the tune of 30,000 downloads, a little over a year later in 2011, he released his first album on iTunes, The Proven Theory. The music video for his hit single Shy Kidz was featured on MTVu, the Transition which is considered Yonas breakout mixtape was released in 2012 to the tune of 70,000 downloads in the first 2 months. Yonas was also featured as a Breakout artist in XXL magazine in June 2012, thanks to The Transitions success, Yonas was able to land a 50 city nationwide tour in the Fall of 2012, opening for musical group AER. Yonas has performed with notable musicians including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Wale, Juicy J, Timeflies, Gorilla Zoe, The White Panda. Fuse TV caught up with Yonas for a special 1 on 1 interview while on his nationwide tour, Yonas gained major momentum when his hit remix of Pumped Up Kicks also produced by Sean Ross went viral on YouTube with 6+ million views, which continues to climb daily. After the Transition Deluxe, Yonas released a series of remixes to popular songs titled Freemix Tuesdays. He released music videos for each of songs on his Youtube channel. On May 26 he released his EP, Going Places, a 5 track album available on iTunes, Spotify and it reached #22 on Top Hip-Hop/Rap Album Charts on iTunes. Jon Hope On My Mind Ft. O. N. AYonas (hip hop artist) – Yonas (hip hop artist)