Earl Simmons (born December 18, 1970 – 09.04.2021), known professionally as DMX, is an American rapper, record producer, and actor. He began rapping in the early 1990s, and released his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot in 1998 to both critical acclaim and commercial success, selling 251,000 copies within its first week of release. He released his best-selling album,… And Then There Was X, in 1999, which included the hit single “Party Up (Up in Here)”. Since debuting in 1998, DMX has released seven studio albums, with the most recent being 2012’s Undisputed.
He has been featured in films such as Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave and Last Hour. In 2006, he starred in the reality television series DMX: Soul of a Man, which was primarily aired on the BET cable television network. In 2003, DMX published a book of his memoirs entitled, E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.
Alvin Nathaniel Joiner (born September 18, 1974), better known by his alias Xzibit (pronounced “exhibit”), is an American rapper, actor, television host, radio personality and record producer. He is known as the host of the MTV show Pimp My Ride, which brought him mainstream success. Before hosting the show, he achieved fame in the West Coast hip-hop scene as a rapper, debuting with his acclaimed At the Speed of Life and gathering chart success with his follow-up albums Restless, Man vs. Machine and Weapons of Mass Destruction, working with high-profile artists such as Eminem, Cypress Hill, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Knoc-turn’al, Timbaland, Limp Bizkit, Alice Cooper, Game, 50 Cent and Within Temptation, as well as being one of the first rappers to work internationally, collaborating with overseas acts such as Russian rapper Timati, Raptile from Germany and Bliss N Eso from Australia.
Mach-Hommy is a Haitian-American rapper and record producer from Newark, New Jersey.. He is noted for his collaborations with hip-hop artists, including DJ Muggs, Earl Sweatshirt, Your Old Droog, Knxwledge, The Alchemist, and Evidence. Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs described him in an interview with Complex as “one of the greatest talents to ever walk the earth”. Mach-Hommy has drawn attention for the high prices he charges for his work (between US$300 and $3000), as well as his anonymity and reclusiveness Read more
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, television producer, entrepreneur and investor. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the borough of Queens, Jackson began selling drugs at age twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. He later began pursuing a musical career and in 2000 he produced Power of the Dollar for Columbia Records, but days before the planned release he was shot and the album was never released. In 2002, after Jackson released the compilation album Guess Who’s Back?, he was discovered by Eminem and signed to Shady Records, under the aegis of Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. 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
Robert Matthew Van Winkle (born October 31, 1967), known professionally as Vanilla Ice, is an American rapper, actor, and television host. Born in South Dallas, and raised in Texas and South Florida, Ice released his debut album, Hooked, in 1989 on Ichiban Records, before signing a contract with SBK Records, a record label of the EMI Group, which released a reformatted version of the album in 1990 under the title To the Extreme, which contained Ice’s best-known hits: “Ice Ice Baby” and a cover of “Play That Funky Music”. “Ice Ice Baby” was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts.
Although he was successful, Ice later regretted his business arrangements with SBK, which had paid him to adopt a more commercial appearance to appeal to a mass audience and published fabricated biographical information without his knowledge. After surviving a suicide attempt, Ice changed his musical style and lifestyle. While his later, less mainstream albums failed to chart or receive much radio airplay, Ice has had an underground following. In 2009, Ice began hosting The Vanilla Ice Project on DIY Network. His latest album, WTF – Wisdom, Tenacity & Focus, was released in August 2011. After that, Ice signed to Psychopathic Records. Read more
Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, fashion designer and graphic designer. He rose to prominence as the co-founder and de facto leader of alternative hip hop collective Odd Future, and has performed on and produced songs for nearly every Odd Future release. Okonma has created all the artwork for the group’s releases and has also designed the group’s clothing and other merchandise. As a solo artist, Okonma has released one mixtape and five studio albums, often handling most or all production himself.
Following a large contribution to Odd Future’s early work, Okonma released his debut solo mixtape, Bastard, in 2009. After releasing his debut studio album, Goblin, under XL Recordings in April 2011, Okonma signed a joint venture deal for him and his label Odd Future Records, with RED Distribution and Sony Music Entertainment. Following that, he released his second studio album, Wolf, in 2013, which was met with generally positive reviews and debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, selling 90,000 copies in its first week. His third studio album, Cherry Bomb, was released in 2015, debuting at number four on the US Billboard 200. It received positive criticial reviews but a polarized reception from fans. In 2017, he released his fourth studio album, Flower Boy, to widespread acclaim. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. His next album, Igor, was released in 2019 and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, becoming Tyler’s first US number-one album.
In 2011, Okonma started the clothing company Golf Wang. In 2012, he began hosting an annual music festival named the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival. He created his own streaming service app named Golf Media; it ran between 2015 to 2018 and contained original scripted series from Okonma himself and the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival was annually streamed on the service. Read more
Joseph Junior Adenuga Jr. (born 19 September 1982), better known by his stage name Skepta, is a British grime MC, rapper, songwriter, record producer and music video director from Tottenham, North London. Skepta, alongside his younger brother Jme, joined Roll Deep for a short period of time before becoming founding members of Boy Better Know in 2006.
With Boy Better Know, Skepta clashed with fellow MC Devilman for the video release Lord of the Mics 2, in what is remembered as one of the biggest clashes in grime history. Skepta released his debut studio album Greatest Hits in 2007 and his second album, Microphone Champion in 2009, both independently; while his third studio album Doin’ It Again was released in 2011 by AATW. Skepta’s fourth studio album, Konnichiwa, was released on 6 May 2016 to critical acclaim, winning that year’s Mercury Prize.
His influence on contemporary British popular culture as a key figure in the grime scene saw him appear on Debrett’s 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK. Skepta’s younger brother, and Boy Better Know labelmate, is the grime artist Jme. They have collaborated many times, most recently on his album Ignorance Is Bliss . Read more
Odd Future, also known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All or OFWGKTA, is an American hip hop collective formed in Los Angeles in 2007. The collective was originally formed by Tyler, the Creator, Hodgy, Left Brain, Casey Veggies, The Super 3, and Jasper Dolphin. Later members include Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Mike G, and Syd. Outside music, Odd Future had an Adult Swim skit show called Loiter Squad and a clothing line named Golf Wang. Since 2015, the collective has been largely inactive as a unit. Many have speculated that the collective has broken up, although this has never been affirmatively announced. Read more