Whether it is Brooklyn or Bronx, New York is the origin of urban hip-hop culture. The legacy is carried forward by the greatest rappers, music artists, and producers and their united musical effort. While the debate goes on who is better in which, let’s get to know about the top 5 rappers from NYC.
The “Queen of Rap”, Nicki Minaj is a rapper, singer, songwriter, model, influencer, or in a nutshell, a Trinidadian-born performer. She is one of the best-selling female artists and rappers worldwide with more than 100 million records sold. Her distinctive flow, use of alter egos and the British cockney accent make her tracks sound fun and quirky. Inspired by Jay Z and Foxy Brown, this philanthropist rap mogul has dropped numerous single and did many collaboration projects which tantalized listeners with diversity and skills of adapting. She has released a total of four studio albums namely ‘Pink Friday (2010)’, ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)’, ‘The Pinkprint (2014)’ and the ‘Queen (2018)’. Each of them is a platinum hit.
Recommended track: ‘Anaconda’, ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”, etc to name.
Imagine a world without 50 Cent going to the movies, premiers, UFC, or any inauguration; you can’t. He is being noticed and endorsed by listeners and artists for his media potential and commercial acts. As a rapper, his prolific writing skills and attitude have pushed his musical career to the top. He has the ability to make devastating disses yet his unwavering personality kept the smile-through-fangs style intact. Listening to his mixtapes and early records in the 2000s, it hits hard with desperation and an attitude that does not care about anyone. His debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’’ was the initiation of his musical journey and he is still gaining at. His consistency to craft ad mentorship made him Eminem’s favorite.
Recommended track: Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – “Life’s on the Line”
American record producer, DJ, and musician DJ Premier have changed contemporary hip hop music with his exquisite sense of original music. Born in Texas, the artist moved to Brooklyn in New York and nurtured his skills even further as he grew up. He is one of the most talented hip-hop producers in the scene who made Gang Starr with rapper Guru and PRhyme with Royce Da 5’9”. Gang Starr Foundation has significantly worked with Christina Aguilera, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Ludacris, Mac Miller, Limp Bizkit, and the list keeps going on. He is better known for sampling funk, jazz, and soul for the artists. He released, ‘DJ Premier Presents Get Used To Us’ (2010), followed by a collaboration with Bumpy Chuckles ‘Kolexxxion’ (2012), ‘PRhyme’ and ‘PRhyme 2’ (with Royce da 5’9″).
Recommended track: ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ with Christina.
Mason Durell Betha, better known as Mase is one of the uber-talented rappers who changed the whole hip hop scene in the late ‘90s. This American rapper come songwriter has recorded under the label of Bab and Atlantic records. He maintained his place in the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles six times. In 1997, he released an album named Harlem World which was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA. The other albums by this artist like ‘Welcome Back’, ‘Double Up’, etc also received double platinum and gold. Kanye West has described Mase as his favorite rapper and many other would agree with him as he influenced everyone like a role model.
Recommended track: ‘Lookin’ at Me’ from Harlem World
American rapper Darryl Hill, also known as Cappadonna is a member of the well-revered hip-hop team, the Wu-Tang Clan. He has performed along with his crew and even soloes too. Throughout his persistent career, he has offered solo albums like, ‘The Yin and the Yang’ (2001), ‘The Struggle’ (2003), ‘The Cappatilize Project’ (2008), etc many others. Some of the collaboration projects like, ‘Ironman’ featuring Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, ‘718’ with Theodore Unit, and so on. Each of these musical representations reflects his talent, skill, and sheer individuality.
Recommended track: “Slang Editorial” from 1988
If it was not about the five best rappers, then the list could have continued with Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z, Nas, Prodigy, Method Man, Rakim, GZA, and many others.
Alicia Parker is a fashion enthusiast studying at the University of California. She contributes to Daily Music Roll as a music blogger and writes a review of various music on a daily basis