Category:Alternative hip hop musicians
Pages in category "Alternative hip hop musicians"
The following 112 pages are in this category, out of 112 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 112 pages are in this category, out of 112 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. 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
3. 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
4. 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.
5. 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
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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
9. 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
10. 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
11. 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
12. 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
13. 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
14. 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
15. 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.
16. 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
17. 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
18. 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.
19. 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
20. 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
21. 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
22. 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)
23. 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
24. 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
25. 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
26. 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
27. 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
28. 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
29. 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
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. 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.
33. 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
34. 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
35. 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
36. 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
37. 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
38. 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)