The Roots is an American hip hop band, formed in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The Roots are known for a jazzy and eclectic approach to hip-hop featuring live musical instruments. Malik B., Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, and Josh Abrams were added to the band (formerly named “The Square Roots”).
Since its first independent album-length release the band has released 10 studio albums, two EPs, two collaboration albums (with other artists), and also collaborated on recordings and in live shows with a wide variety of artists in many musical genres. The Roots served as the house band on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014, and in the same role (and accompanying show guest artists) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since 2014. The Roots’ work has consistently been met with critical acclaim. ThoughtCo ranked the band #7 on its list of the 25 Best Hip-Hop Groups of All-Time, calling them “Hip-hop’s first legitimate band Read more
Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (often stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, and actor.
Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States. Throughout his career, he has had 10 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. With 47.4 million albums sold in the US and 220 million records globally, he is among the world’s best-selling artists of all time and is consistently cited as one of the greatest and most influential artists in any genre. Additionally, he is the only artist to have eight albums consecutively debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Rolling Stone ranked him 83rd on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, calling him the “King of Hip Hop”. Read more
The Black Eyed Peas (originally simply Black Eyed Peas) are an American musical group, consisting of rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo, and formerly Fergie. Originally an alternative hip hop group, they subsequently changed their musical sound to pop and dance-pop music. Although the group was founded in Los Angeles in 1995, it was not until the release of their third album, Elephunk, in 2003, that they achieved high record sales. Since that time, the group has sold an estimated 76 million records (35 million albums and 41 million singles), making them one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time. As of 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the Black Eyed Peas were the second-best-selling artist/group of all time for downloaded tracks, behind Rihanna, with over 42 million sales. Read more
The Beatnuts are a New York-based hip hop group and production duo from Queens, New York City. Its current members are JuJu and Psycho Les. JuJu (born Jerry Tineo on December 14, 1968) is Dominican American from Corona and Psycho Les (born Lester Fernandez on April 10, 1970) is a Colombian American from Jackson Heights. The Beatnuts are the only Latino members of the Native Tongues collective. Although only peripheral members, they are routinely acknowledged by Q-Tip. The Beatnuts were originally a trio before Fashion, now known as Al’ Tariq, left the group to start a solo career. V.I.C. (Groove Merchantz, Ghetto Pros) was also a member of The Beatnuts’ production team for a while. Read more
Cappadonna (also known as Cappachino, Strong Hands, Milk these cows) was known to the future members of the Wu-Tang Clan, and had been U-God’s mentor. However, Cappadonna went to prison and was replaced in the group by Method Man.
Cappadonna made his recording debut as an affiliate of the Wu-Tang Clan on Raekwon’s 1995 single “Ice Cream” on Only Built for Cuban Linx…. He was also a guest star, along with Raekwon, on Ghostface Killah’s solo debut album, Ironman. He made his first appearance on a Wu-Tang Clan album in 1997 on Wu-Tang Forever on the single “Triumph”. Following his appearance on Forever, he contributed significantly to the group’s third studio album, The W, at which point his appearances were no longer marked with “Featuring Cappadonna”, as they had been on Forever. After a falling out with RZA the next year over royalties, he did not appear at all on the group’s subsequent album Iron Flag. He eventually reunited with the group for their concert at 2004’s Rock the Bells, and appeared on 2007’s 8 Diagrams. Read more
N.W.A (an abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Los Angeles, California. They were among the earliest and most significant popularizers and controversial figures of the gangsta rap subgenre, and are widely considered one of the greatest and most influential groups in the history of hip hop music. Active from 1986 to 1991, the rap group endured controversy owing to their music’s explicit lyrics, which many viewed as being disrespectful to women, as well as to its glorification of drugs and crime. The group was subsequently banned from many mainstream American radio stations. In spite of this, the group has sold over 10 million units in the United States alone. Drawing on their own experiences of racism and excessive policing, the group made inherently political music. They were known for their deep hatred of the police system, which sparked much controversy over the years.
The original lineup formed in 1986 consisted of Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. DJ Yella and MC Ren joined later, with Arabian Prince eventually leaving shortly before the official release of Straight Outta Compton, which came out in 1988, and Ice Cube following suit in December 1989. Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and Dr. Dre would later become platinum-selling solo artists in the 1990s. Their debut album Straight Outta Compton marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre. NWA’s second album Niggaz4Life would be the first hardcore rap album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 sales charts. Rolling Stone ranked N.W.A number 83 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2016, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following three previous nominations. Read more
Scum is a Russian-American rapper from Denver, Colorado. He is recognized for his extremely violent, grotesque, horror-themed lyrics. Read more
Earl Stevens (born November 15, 1967) better known by his stage name E-40, is an American rapper. He is a founding member of the rap group The Click, and the founder of Sick Wid It Records. He has released twenty-seven studio albums to date, appeared on numerous movie soundtracks, and has also done guest appearances on a host of other rap albums. Initially an underground artist, his 1995 solo album In a Major Way opened him up to a wider audience. Beginning in 1998, he began collaborating with more mainstream rappers outside the Bay Area. He rose to even higher mainstream popularity in 2006 with his single “Tell Me When to Go” which was produced by Lil Jon. Read more
Kendrick Jeru Davis, known as Jeru the Damaja (born February 14, 1972), is an American rapper best known for his 1994 debut album, The Sun Rises in the East, ranked as one of the 100 greatest hip-hop albums of all time by the editors of About.com. He has worked extensively with Guru and DJ Premier of Gang Starr, whom he has known since he was in high school. Read more
In 1998, when she was just 19, Diam’s signed a development deal with BMG Music Publishing France. With the publisher’s help, Diam’s worked on her craft and signed with Universal Records in 1999. She appeared in a song on DJ Mehdi’s 2002 album “(The Story Of) Espion”.
2003’s Brut de Femme was her breakthrough, reaching gold and spawning the top 10 single “DJ.” In concert at the 2004 Dour Festival in Belgium, people threw objects at Diam’s when she began singing. In 2005, she cemented her importance as a songwriter with “Ma Philosophie”—a huge number one hit for Pop Idol star Amel Bent.
In 2005, she collaborated with Indonesian singer Anggun for her song “Juste Être Une Femme” (Just to be a Woman), which is featured on the French version of her current studio album Luminescence.. Read more