The fifty greatest rap groups of all time: 50-26
Seeing a Heiro show is kind of like seeing a cypher on a street corner: Their style is free-associative and off-the-cuff like an off-the-dome freestyle session, but without the inevitable occasional wack line. Though Del tha Funkee Homosapien is the only artist out of Heiro to be successful by himself, the whole group is solid together, having constructed an aesthetic that they can all be successful in.
44. Das EFX
Das EFX has only recently been discovered by the younger generation thanks in part to numerous references by Dave Chappelle and a great sample of "They Want EFX" by Beautiful Lou for A$AP Rocky's Live Love A$AP mixtape. To the older generation, Das EFX is well known for their unique stiggidy style, which, at one point, everybody in the game tried and failed to duplicate.
43. The LOX
Comprised of Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Lounge, the LOX is one of the more talented ensembles in recent memory. Before they each launched solo degrees to varying success, they were a renowned group known for their cutting realism. They were originally signed to Bad Boy but made waves by launching a widespread "Free the LOX" protest for their release, which eventually worked and allowed them to move to Ruff Ryders before later starting their own label, D-Block.
42. Three 6 Mafia
Perhaps more descriptively known as Triple 6 Mafia, this Memphis group is notorious for their amoral themes and dark atmospheres in their early music. Eventually, they lightened up, sacrificing their blatant wantonness for a more friendly lewdness. The group has seen several rotations in their lineup, but founding member Juicy J remains influential as a producer, hypeman and occasional rapper.
41. Black Star
People often forget that before Mos Def and Talib Kweli existed as solo artists, they were together as Black Star, whose self titled debut was one of the best albums of the year and included the powerful "Thieves in the Night" track which borrowed themes from Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. They would almost certainly be higher on the list had they remained together, but their second project, for whatever reason, remains in limbo.