Christopher Edward Martin (born March 21, 1966), better known by his stage name DJ Premier (also known as Preem, Premo, or Primo), is an American Record Producer and DJ, and was half of the hip hop duo Gang Starr—alongside the emcee Guru—and forms half of the hip hop duo PRhyme, together with Royce Da 5’9″. Read more
Dilated Peoples is an American hip hop group from Los Angeles, California. They achieved notability in the underground hip hop community, although they have had little mainstream success in the US, with the exception of the song “This Way”, a 2004 collaboration with Kanye West, Xzibit, and John Legend appearing in the music video. They reached the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart with two tracks, “This Way” and “Worst Comes to Worst.” Their members include DJ Babu (producer/DJ), Evidence (MC/producer) and Rakaa (MC). The group also received a publicity spike after their songs were featured in the 2003 video games Need for Speed: Underground and NBA Street Vol. 2. Read more
UGK (short for Underground Kingz) was an American hip hop duo from Port Arthur, Texas, formed in 1987, by Chad “Pimp C” Butler and Bernard “Bun B” Freeman. They released their first major-label album Too Hard to Swallow, in 1992, followed by several other albums charting on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, including the self-titled Underground Kingz album, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, in August 2007. The duo has also been featured on hit singles by several other artists, such as on “Big Pimpin'” by Jay-Z and “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” by Three 6 Mafia. Pimp C founded UGK Records in late 2005. On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead in a West Hollywood, California hotel room. Read more
Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones (/nɑːˈsɪər/; born September 14, 1973), better known by his stage name Nas /ˈnɑːz/, is an American hip hop recording artist, record producer, actor and entrepreneur. The son of Olu Dara, Nas has release 8 consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and has sold over 25 million records worldwide. He is also an entrepreneur through his own record label; he serves as associate publisher of Mass Appeal magazine and is the owner of a Fila sneaker store. He is currently signed to Mass Appeal.
His musical career began in 1991, as a featured artist on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbeque”. His debut album Illmatic (1994) received universal acclaim from both critics and the Hip-Hop community and is frequently ranked as the greatest Hip Hop album of all time.Nas’s follow-up It Was Written debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, stayed on top for 4 consecutive weeks, went Double Platinum in 2 months, and made Nas internationally known. From 2001-2005, Nas was involved in a highly publicized feud with Jay-Z. Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006. In 2010, he released Distant Relatives, a collaboration album with Damian Marley, donating all royalties to charities active in Africa. His 11th studio album, Life Is Good (2012) was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
Nas is often named as one of the greatest hip-hop artists. MTV ranked him at #5 on their list of “The Greatest MCs of All Time”. In 2012, The Source ranked him #2 on their list of the “Top 50 Lyricists of All Time”. In 2013, Nas was ranked 4th on MTV’s “Hottest MCs in the Game” list. About.com ranked him first on their list of the “50 Greatest MCs of All Time” in 2014, and a year later, Nas was featured on “The 10 Best Rappers of All Time” list by Billboard.
In 2016, Nas narrated The Get Down and rapping as Adult Ezekiel of 1996. Read more
Camp Lo is an American hip hop duo, formed in 1995, which hails from The Bronx, New York. The duo consists of rappers Sonny Cheeba (Salahadeen Wilds) and Geechi Suede (Saladine Wallace), both of Muslim upbringing. The duo is perhaps best known for their 1997 hit, “Luchini AKA This Is It.” Read more
Christopher Lee Carlos Rios (November 10, 1971 – February 7, 2000) better known by his stage name Big Pun (short for Big Punisher), was an American rapper. Emerging from the underground hip hop scene in The Bronx borough of New York City, in the early 1990s, he was the first Latino rapper to have an album certified platinum as a solo act. He first appeared on tracks from Fat Joe’s second album Jealous One’s Envy in 1995, and The Beatnuts’ second album Stone Crazy in 1997, prior to signing to Loud Records as a solo artist. Pun’s lyrics are notable for technical efficiency, having minimal pauses to take a breath, heavy use of alliteration as well as internal and multi-syllabic rhyming schemes. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time.. About.com ranked him #25 on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of All Time, while MTV2 ranked him #11 on its list of the “22 Greatest MCs”. In 2012, The Source ranked him #19 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. Read more
Living Legends is an American hip hop supergroup consisting of six indie hip hop artists from California. Beginning in the early 1990s, the crew garnered a following by recording, promoting and performing their music independently through Legendary Music.
The crew is considered by LA Weekly to be “one of the biggest success stories of the indie-rap movement, having sold close to 300,000 units of their various solo and group efforts — all by them-damn-selves.” Read more
RBL Posse (also known as Ruthless by Law) was a 1990s gangsta rap group from Hunters Point in San Francisco, California. Read more
Tracy Lynn Curry (born June 10, 1968), better known by his stage name The D.O.C., is an American rapper from Dallas. In addition to a solo career, he was a member of the hip hop group Fila Fresh Crew and later collaborated with gangsta rap group N.W.A, where he co-wrote many of their releases as well as Eazy-E’s solo debut album Eazy-Duz-It. He has also worked with Dr. Dre, who is one of the founding members of N.W.A and produced two of his solo albums.
After Fila Fresh Crew split up in 1987, The D.O.C. went on to pursue a successful solo career. In 1989, he released his debut album, No One Can Do It Better, which reached number-one on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for two weeks and spawned two number one hits on the Hot Rap Songs chart: “It’s Funky Enough” and “The D.O.C. & The Doctor”. The album went platinum five years after its release. In late 1989, months after the release of No One Can Do It Better, The D.O.C. almost died when a car accident resulted in the crushing of his larynx, permanently changing his voice. Since his recovery, he has released two more albums, Helter Skelter in 1996 and Deuce in 2003. Since 2006, The D.O.C. has been working on new material for his fourth album Voices. Read more
Lost Boyz is a hip hop group from South Jamaica, Queens, New York City. The original group members were lead MC Mr. Cheeks, backup MC and promoter Freaky Tah (1971–1999), DJ Spigg Nice and Pretty Lou. Read more
Foesum is an American hip hop group whose members included T-Dubb, MNMsta and DJ Glaze. They recorded an album on Penalty/Tommy Boy Records called Perfection, released on October 22, 1996. Read more
Tha Eastsidaz is a hip hop trio consisting of Snoop Dogg, Tray Deee and Goldie Loc. Their first appearance was on Tommy Boy Records’ The Ride: Music from Dimension with Crooked Eye Q on a Battlecat-produced song called “Feels So Good” in 1997. Read more
Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Khari Wynn, DJ Lord, and the S1W group. Formed on Long Island, New York, in 1982, they are known for their politically charged music and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community. Their first four albums during the late 1980s and early 1990s were all certified either gold or platinum and were, according to music critic Robert Hilburn in 1998, “the most acclaimed body of work ever by a hip hop act”. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called them “the most influential and radical band of their time.”
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Public Enemy number 44 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, the highest ranking for a hip hop act. The group was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The band were announced as inductees for the 2013 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on December 11, 2012, making them the fourth hip-hop act to be inducted. Read more
Algernod Lanier Washington (born July 1, 1976), better known by his stage name Plies, is an American hip hop recording artist. He is the founder of Big Gates Records. Born in Fort Myers, Florida, Washington was a wide receiver on the football team of Miami University in Ohio in 1996 and 1997 before he became a rapper. After dropping out of college, he founded Big Gates with his stepbrother. Signed to Slip-n-Slide Records, from 2007 to 2008 he released three albums. Plies debuted in 2007 with The Real Testament with successful singles “Shawty” and “Hypnotized”. Plies also released two albums in 2008, Definition of Real and Da REAList, and later released Goon Affiliated in 2010. Read more
Khaled Mohamed Khaled (born November 26, 1975), known professionally as DJ Khaled, is an American record producer, radio personality, DJ, record label executive, and author. He previously went by the name Arab Attack, but changed it after the 9/11 attacks, as he did not want to appear insensitive. He was a radio host for the Miami-based urban music radio station WEDR and the DJ for the hip hop group Terror Squad. From 2004 to 2006, Khaled assisted in the production of the hip-hop albums Real Talk by Fabolous, True Story by Terror Squad, All or Nothing and Me, Myself, & I by Fat Joe.
In 2006, Khaled released his debut studio album Listennn… the Album. He went on to release We the Best (2007), We Global (2008), Victory (2010), We the Best Forever (2011), Kiss the Ring (2012) and Suffering from Success (2013). In 2009, Khaled became the president of record label Def Jam South and he is also the CEO and founder of We the Best Music Group. Khaled released his eighth studio album, I Changed a Lot, on October 23, 2015. In July 2016 he released his ninth studio album Major Key, and on June 23, 2017, his tenth studio album, Grateful, was released. Read more