If you want to take a look at the origin of good old hip hop, you need to throw it all the way back to the harlequin times of the ‘70s. While disco was on the rise, hip hop was slowly becoming a thing too, and we don’t have to tell you that it was fire.
Moreover, raising a culture of social change, lewks,and slanguage, hip hop changed the music industry forever.
There are countless artists who have shared their hip hop talent and topped the charts, but only few have gone down in history as hip hop legends. From claiming their thrones at awards shows and breaking airplay records all the way to selling out stadiums and taking nightclubs by storm, we’re taking you guys on a journey to talk about 9 hip hop artists that made music history.
Let’s take it from the top and end it with a bang with hip hop legends that pioneered the game and hip hop legends who are dominating the charts as we speak.
Tupac Shakur needs no introduction. This man is the epitome of a hip hop legend, and no matter how much time passes by, his music will always slap harder than anything else.
Aside from being a hip hop legend, Tupac Shakur solidified his name in the industry as an actor and civil rights activist. Redefining what it means to be a rapper, he made unparalleled music that unapologetically tackled sensitive social issues, like poverty, racism, politics, and toxic masculinity.
Taking his savage work to the international stage, Tupac Shakur gained millions of fans and didn’t care who was salty about his unabashed honesty.
The Notorious B.I.G.
This talented music heavyweight is yet another pillar in the hip hop world. Known as the Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, this hip hop legend channeled the New York rap scene and gangsta rap concepts in his repertoire.
As the face of East Coast gangsta rap, The Notorious B.I.G.’s particular style is second to none. All that jazz-scat glitter and brilliant word play showcased the fact that he had a knack for combining swag and introspection. One of the greatest hip hop legends to ever pick up a mic.
Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. may have been the faces of the East Coast-West Coast hip hop feud, but the father of hip hop goes by the name of Kool Herc.
Being the inventor of hip hop, Kool Herc made history when he put 2 copies of the same record on a pair of decks and focused on the “break”, or the instrumental part of the song. This genius came up with the lit idea to repeat the break back and forth between 2 records with the goal of keeping people dancing longer.
He may not have known it back then, but that one move set the foundations for a brand new sound that would soon be known as hip hop. No doubt about it: Kool Herc is king.
Grandmaster Flash is the pioneer of scratching and beat mixing. That stuff might be a common occurrence at the club nowadays, but back in the ‘70s, it was snatching everybody’s wigs with novelty.
This master of the decks is most famous for his live-mixed single, “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel”.
Now, we just want to find a time machine and travel back to the ‘70s to get some first-hand experience on this hip hop legend’s groundbreaking music discovery.
Rakim is in the house, fam!
This hip hop icon was a whole new breed of MC, who wrote rhymes within words and not just at the end of lines. (See what we did there?)
His unconventional style involved meticulously crafted bars woven within the rhythms, giving profound importance to the moments in between.
With this hot new technique, Rakim slayed the hip hop game and is now known as one of the greats.
Dr Dre took hip hop and moulded it into the audacious blaze of modern gangsta rap. You can thank this doctor for establishing G-funk and for launching the careers of some of today’s biggest names in hip hop.
Aside from launching careers and collaborating with co hip hop legends, this superstar also ventured into the business side of it all by founding Aftermath Entertainment and turning his Beats headphones company into a multi-billion dollar money-making machine.
Eminem is a rapper whose duality has brought a variety of fiery hits to the table. When he’s not spitting dark truths in “Mockingbird” or “Lose Yourself”, he’s busy making comedy gold with D12 in “My Band” (That song still sends).
Being one of the hip hop legends who’s unique in a myriad of ways, Eminem is no stranger to shattering records. His track,”Rap God”, became the title holder for “Fastest Rap in a Number One Single” with 6.46 words per second. In 2020, he broke his own record with “Godzilla”, which busted out 7.5 words per second. (We don’t know about you guys, but “God” seems like a common denominator with this record breaking stuff.)
To top off Eminem’s hip hop legendness, Rolling Stone has dubbed him as “The King Of Hip Hop” in 2011, and he reigns as the best selling artist of the 2000s.
You’re just not ready for the awesomeness that Drake brings to the game, and that’s on periodt.
Gaining billions of streams and tons of radio spins, Drake is nothing short of hip hop royalty.
His charm comes from the fact that he cannot be fazed, both musically and style-wise. All you have to do is check out his Insta and smash that follow button to see how much of a fashion icon this chart-topping artist truly is.
If you want beats to vibe to while you get hit in the feels with emotional lyrics, Drake’s got your back, fam!
Ladies, Nicki Minaj represents in the hip hop world! Slaying all day everyday, this rap muse is a modern hip hop legend that sizzles with her unique style.
Everything Nicki Minaj does in the public eye is fearless, unpredictable, and 100% unapologetic. Her bold personality and haters-gon’-hate persona made fans stan her. Don’t even get us started on her unflinching lyrics that never back down on bashing the status quo or singing praises about quirky playful topics.
Dominating the Billboard Hot 100 tens of times, Nicki Minaj has reached a milestone that no other female rapper in history has ever achieved. Who’s gonna dethrone her?
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Hip hop legends can be seen in-person at concerts, followed on social media, and heard loud and clear at festivals and nightclubs.