Top Ten Favourite Rap Groups

Kudos to you if you clicked on this one! I know a bunch of you are dyed in the wool rawkers, so the hip hop may not do much for you. But I’ve got a real melting pot going on around here, and rap is just another of the components of my complete breakfast, so for me a post like this ain’t much of a surprise.

I know what I like when I hear it, and I was idling wondering if I could make a Top Ten artists list. Sure I can!

Now, I know that these are tricky waters. Some will say “where is Public Enemy, or Run-DMC, or Grandmaster Flash…” or any of the other classics. Or there’ll be newer artists or whole genres of hip hop I’ve skipped, etc etc. Well, those are surely great too. But this is my list of what I would choose to put on, when the mood moves me. Many were considered. And so it goes.

Alright, here we go:

1 The Roots
2 Wu-Tang Clan
3 Beastie Boys
4 Jurassic 5
5 A Tribe Called Quest
6 US3
7 Common
8 Mos Def
9 2Pac
10 Notorious B.I.G

Bonus Round!

11 Honourable mention goes to: Eminem*

12 The artist I most need to get to (but haven’t yet): Talib Kweli**

13 The new artist I most want to try: Kendrick Lamar***

14 The one I should probably include but I just don’t feel it when I hear him: Jay-Z****

* Eminem has a lot to say, and he pulls no punches. But I can’t do his anger all the time, so he doesn’t hit my 10 list because sometimes he just makes me tired.

**And by extension, since I’ve already included Mos Def, I should also get to Black Star.

*** I have no idea if this is a wise decision, his is just a name that keeps coming up.

**** This is probably an unpopular choice, but so what. I don’t dig Jay-Z enough. Go make your own list.

In Sum:

Based on that Top Ten list, you can tell I like it when rappers have something to say, and I like it jazzier and with a sense of fun. I don’t have any time for violence for the sake of violence, which is why 2Pac and Biggie sit at the bottom of the list – only about half of their stuff is brilliant for me. I also have zero time for a lot of the empty, plastic, boastful rap that seems to be popular ad nauseum.

What are your faves? Do you agree with this list? Disagree? Are you ambivalent?


My list is a total sausagefest, so if anybody can recommend any great lady rappers that might fit my likes, drop a comment!

Do you have suggestions for any other acts I need to check out? Let me know!

29 thoughts on “Top Ten Favourite Rap Groups

  1. stephen1001 says:

    Nice melting pot post! I’d argue PE fits into the something to say category, and Ice T’s OG had more social consciousness than I expected.
    I’m with you on Eminem in moderation, I often think of a joke I heard: “I like that Eminem song where he’s yelling”


  2. J. says:

    Let’s see … Wu-Tang, Mos Def, Public Enemy, The Fugees, Beastie Boys, Nas, Common, Run DMC, De La Soul, early 50 Cent, and Jay-Z (when he’s good he is good) … Kanye West could have been a contender, but he’s so scattershot it’s really bordering on parody.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Nas is another one I need to get to, thanks for the reminder! I have Illmatic here but it’s been ages…

      Another vote for De La Soul! That’s it, I gotta get into it with them!

      I’ve never heard a Kanye song all the way through, I don’t think. Huh.


      1. J. says:

        Illmatic is a great album. Been tempted by the anniversary LP a few times, but there’s always other records …

        I get the raised eyebrow each time I suggest it, but Kanye West does have some startlingly good music. it’s just that it’s overshadowed by him being … well, being him!


        1. keepsmealive says:

          I had a look at that Anniversary edition of Illmatic, and it looked to me like it was a bunch of radio appearances and stuff that made me think having the plain ol’ album was enough. Guess I’m not a big enough fan to need every beat and fart.

          I don’t even register Kanye, honestly. It’s like, I know he’s there, but my level of not caring is so high that it starts and stops at name recognition. I couldn’t care less about his life or what he does with it. But you say there is good music to be had… is there an album that’s worth it, or is it just a track here and there?


          1. J. says:

            Yeah – Illmatic on its own is a slice of brilliance. The bells and whistles aren’t really required. The anniversary edition LP is just the original album with a download card for the bonus cuts, I believe. That’s good enough for me.

            Kanye: The College Dropout and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy are, in my opinion, simply brilliant. I’ll stand by that …


  3. 1537 says:

    For me it’s Public Enemy, Beasties, Eric B & Rakim all the way, with Run DMC and De La Soul bringing up the rear.

    I’d completely recommend Northern State as a group of female rappers, I love some of their stuff.

    I find Eminem totally hateful, I can’t see beyond his homophobia – although ‘Stan’ is a guilty pleasure of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      De La Soul! Daaaamn I need to get more into those guys. I even had a download (through James, I think) on their page where we got all their albums for free. Imagine! Yup, I need to get on that.

      Yeah, Eminem makes me tired too, though I had to mention him because there’s no denying that when he nals it, he bloody nails it!

      Great additions! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. DanicaPiche says:

    Rap to me is about poetry and my favorites among your list are Beastie Boys, Mos Def, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G and Eminem, with the latter likely topping my list.
    My favorite females would be considered more hip hop than rap.


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