Category:Alternative hip hop musicians
Pages in category "Alternative hip hop musicians"
The following 113 pages are in this category, out of 113 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 113 pages are in this category, out of 113 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. 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.
2. 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
3. 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.
4. 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
5. 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
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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
10. 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.
11. 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
12. 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.
13. 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
14. 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
15. 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.
16. 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
17. 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
18. 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
19. 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)
20. 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
21. 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.
22. 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
23. 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
24. 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
25. 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
26. 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
27. 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
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. 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
31. 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
32. 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
33. 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
34. 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