With Straight Outta Compton taking the nation by storm, we’ve had hip hop on our minds as of late. Never more prominent in the popular consciousness than it is now (the genre’s enormous fan base is still growing rapidly, with stellar new acts emerging on an yearly basis), hip hop is often misunderstood by those on the outside; as such, we here at Goliath thought we’d take a look at some of the greatest hip hop acts of all time and give you an idea of their best work, so as to know where to start. So here’s the 10 greatest hip hop artists of all time, as ranked by us (we understand this list may be a bit divisive, so feel free to sound off in the comments and let us know what kind of job we did!).
10. Beastie Boys
Formed in New York City in 1981, the Beastie Boys are an interesting case study in the world of hip hop. We chose them to kick off our list because, despite some attempts, their musical style and the subsequent success it brought them has been nearly impossible to replicate in the world of contemporary music. Originally a hardcore punk band, the Beastie Boys eventually abandoned the traditional instrumental elements of music and drifted into the world of rap rock and hip hop, where they scored a major success with their first album, Licensed to Ill (1986). That was all she wrote, as the band went on to have further success in the genre with albums like Paul’s Boutique (1989) and Hello Nasty (1998). Widely cited as an influence in both hip hop and in the rock rap genre, the Beastie Boys are undoubtedly one of hip hop’s most important artists and a good band to kick off the discussion of hip hop’s greatest artists.