The fifty greatest rap groups of all time: 50-26
The mighty men of Little Brother.
There's something great about a hip-hop group. From the beginning, it was never intended to be a solo endeavor; rap began in cyphers at block parties, and the first established rappers were components of a collective centered around the more important DJ. Even now that the rapper is the star, it's nice to have that change in voice, tone and perspective to give songs and albums depth of character that one MC simply can't provide. Keep reading for the first 25 of the 50 greatest rap groups of all time.
50. Odd Future
Love 'em or hate 'em, Odd Future has reignited the independent hip-hop world in a way not seen in quite a while. Their fans are rabid, possibly literally, so they wont be going anywhere any time soon, either. Tyler, the Creator, though a mediocre rapper and producer, is a cult-type leader and one of the best visual artists hip-hop has seen since Hype Williams. Musically, Earl is one of the best rhymers today, while Domo Genesis and Hodgy Beats are also solid, Frank Ocean exploded last year with Channel Orange and Left Brain is an apt producer.
49. People Under the Stairs
People Under the Stairs are the only group I've found thus far where I can put the entire discography on shuffle and be content not to skip any songs all the way through. Both Thes One and Double K each have a consistent, old-school flow that never really amazes but never disappoints either. Thes One handles all of the duo's production, and that, too, has reached a high level of consistency, never seeming forced and dependably communicating the laid-back vibe that PUTS fans know so well.
48. Black Moon
Stylistically, Black Moon doesn't stand out much from the other acts coming out of New York in the mid-'90s, particularly the Wu-Tang Clan, but that be interpreted as a compliment because, lyrically and sonically, at their best as on Enta da Stage, they can go toe-to-toe with the Wu. They haven't been as consistent as the Wu, though, nor do they have a comparably immense catalog. Still, their contribution with that one album is enough.
47. Binary Star
Binary Star began with a budget of $500, and though they only ended up releasing one full-length original album, Waterworld, which was remixed and remastered to create Masters of the Universe, a critically acclaimed and essential piece of the Midwest underground. The duo reunited to release an EP less than a month ago to celebrate their 15th anniversary.
46. Souls of Mischief
Souls of Mischief was eventually subsumed into the larger collective, Heiroglyphics, and though the two crews are similar in sound and style, Souls should be remembered both for its innovation, without which Heiro could not have existed, and debut album 93 'til Infinity, whose title track is one of the best produced in hip-hop history.