Even though you probably know this already, it still has to be stated: Rappers come, and rappers go, and only a few really influence the genre and make a lasting impression on it.
Dr. Dre did it so did folks like Jay Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Too $hort, for example. All of those rappers’ contributions are still being felt today, and MCs from all over the world have been inspired by them.
Then there are those who’ve made even bigger contributions to hip-hop, although they’ve never picked up a microphone or spit any bars. We’re talking about folks like Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, Jermaine Dupri, Sean “Puffy” Combs and others.
Of course, you couldn’t leave out probably the most influential two, DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, who started this whole thing. Who knows where we’d be without them.
But besides those legends, who else have made contributions that are still being felt today? Because sometimes certain things in hip-hop are so commonplace, it’s easy to forget where they originated from and who started them.
So to refresh your memory, we’ve selected five rappers or groups whose music, style, approach or fashion sense have changed hip-hop forever. Of course, there are way more than just five, but we had to start somewhere.
Click from 1 to 5 to see all.