HM- Fat Joe and Big Pun. Fat Joe has definitely done enough in the hip hip arena to have made this list. His influence got him movie roles, guest appearances on albums, and the ultimate. a protege. A longer list would have definitely landed him a spot.
Big Pun on the other hand, came out the gates hot but a heart attack cut his career short. His short lived career is what keeps him off the list.
HM- Master P. Before Cash Money Records, there was No Limit. If you ask me, I would say that No Limit set the mold for Cash Money. But back to Master P, his influence went from music, to movies, to the Toronto Raptors, to Nickelodeon and his kids going to Nickelodeon.
Now let's get into the top ten.
9- Public Enemy. Putting the Flava back into your love, Public Enemy is no. 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, okay I'll stop. Before Public Enemy was Public Enemy, Chuck D. was working at a New York radio station when he did a song called "Public Enemy Number One." It was a song based on the fact that Chuck D was a target for battle rappers. He went from Spectrum City to Public Enemy signed to Def Jam and released "Yo! Bumrush the Show." A year later, "It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," their first platinum album.
But I'm Going, Going, Back, Back, to Biggie, (I'll quit with the rapping.) Biggie did put New York back on the map after so many west coast rappers became dominate in Hip Hop. This would be lead to the infamous East Coast/West Coast feud. As this rivalry built up, Tupac got shot five times and was robbed at a recording studio. Tupac would blame Sean "Puffy" Combs and Biggie of having knowledge of the robbery before it went down.
The stage was now set. In this corner wearing all black is Biggie Smalls and in the other corner... Back to business. "Ready to Die" went four times platinum. Sadly, Christopher Wallace would not live to see the release of his second album. Life After Death was released sixteen days after he was murdered in a drive by shooting. " Life After Death" in its own is one of the rarities in Hip Hop to reach diamond status. I can see why he is considered the greatest.
6- Boogie Down Productions' KRS-ONE. Although the Teacha hasn't received higher than gold status with his music, he still earns a place here. He said it himself, "Respect, will out last a paycheck." The album "Criminal Minded" (required listening for rappers) set the stage for the up coming birth of gangsta rap.
The next albums focused on a more political stance in rap.
Regardless, with that said Jay has one of the maddest flows and happens to be like the most requested for guest appearances. What do you expect? If it says featuring Jay Z, it's gonna get air play.
3 Run DMC. The holders of the first platinum rap album, (King of Rock.) And holders of the first multi-platinum rap album (Raising Hell.) Run DMC took rap music mainstream. Their music featured the use of electric guitar more than other rap groups at that time giving birth to a fusion of rap and rock (groups like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.)
"Rock Box" was the first rap video played on MTV. This helped their self titled album obtain Gold Status. With this success the group wanted to take it up a notch when it came to "The King of Rock" album. And the rest is history.
2- 2pacalypse Now! 2 be the greatest, you definitely need to be the hardest working man in show business. Tupac definitely worked hard. From a roadie of Digital Underground to the rap games Elvis. Dead or alive, people couldn't decide and people have debated. But as promised, let's compare his legacy against Biggies.
Although, Biggie has a diamond album, he only had two albums released after his death. After Tupac's death, there was over two hundred songs previously recorded and unreleased tracks of Tupac stored in a vault . This would lead to seven records released after his death. All but one have made platinum status at least once. He also had three movies released after his death. Pac worked too hard to not be considered the greatest in the game.
1 Kurtis Blow. Everyone wants to be the first at something. And when your the first, no one can ever take that from you or get the jump on you. So our number one, is the first successful rapper in Hip Hop. The first to have proven you can make a living making rap albums.
Kurtis Blow was the first rapper to sign with a major label. He was the first to have a gold record. He was the first to perform overseas. Regardless of what you may think, that's too many first to not be number one.