The fifty greatest rap groups of all time

Categories: Lists

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There's something great about a hip-hop group. From the beginning, rap was never intended to be a solo endeavor; it 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 full list of the fifty greatest rap groups of all time.

See also:
- The ten most underrated rappers of all time
- The ten most enigmatic figures in hip-hop
- The 50 best rap lyrics of all time: Complete list

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 won't be going anywhere anytime 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 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 catalogue. Still, their contribution with that one album is enough.

47. Binary Star
Binary Star began with a budget of $500. Although it only ended up releasing one full-length original album, Waterworld, which was remixed and remastered to create Masters of the Universe, the duo became a critically acclaimed and essential piece of the Midwest underground. Binary Star reunited to release an EP less than a month ago to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary.

46. Souls of Mischief
Souls of Mischief was eventually subsumed into the larger collective Heiroglyphics, and although 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 its debut album, 93 'til Infinity, whose title track is one of the best-produced in hip-hop history.

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37 comments
Hackito
Hackito

Bitch is u retarded?? Wu is the best, period

Maitland
Maitland

Main source should be on there somewhere...

Kevin Crowe
Kevin Crowe

Odd future is alright but they shouldn't have cracked the top 50. I love outkast but Tribe,De La or Gangstarr should be number 1.

Kevin Crowe
Kevin Crowe

There are some groups on there that shouldn't be.

jmc.film
jmc.film

Naughty By Nature and the Fat Boys? Cannibal Ox's only album (The Cold Vein, produced by El-P) clobbers 1/3 of this list, by a longshot.

Brian Smith
Brian Smith

You forgot digable planets. Did I miss that? Binary star? They made one decent album. Gravediggaz? No Pete rock and CL?

Gabriel Velez
Gabriel Velez

No Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth or Atmosphere? But you put in Camp Lo?

Alayna Shaw
Alayna Shaw

Tribe and The Roots deserve at least top 5...

Ken Berquist
Ken Berquist

I didn't look at the rest of the list but Outkast? HELL YEAH! And I thought I was gunna have to drop a comment like "Why isn't Outkast in the top 10?!" Outkast=G.O.A.T.

Lupa Alexander
Lupa Alexander

All due respect to Outkast who deserve to be up there high, but it should have been Wu, and there were way too many unworthy groups ahead of tribe. Roots? NWA? Geto Boys? Come on now...

jernehriv
jernehriv

I Love my Bone Thugs but where the fuck are the Diplomats, b...i'm scrolling down here hoping to see a #4 or  atleast #5 written in pink doggie, shits irreplicable and that shit not even a word yo.lmao

antvolley
antvolley

Public Enemy NOT at number 1? getthefuckoutta here. BDP/KRS-ONE NOT in the top 3?!?!? GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. tribe not top 5? YOUR LIST HAS NO CREDIBILITY. Fuckin' herbs.

Nate
Nate

D12 deffo should be in there. I would place them in the top 5. D12 have dope beats and tight lyrics.

michaelf
michaelf

you forgot d12?? very underrated group, you have another detroit group slum village but d12 was eminem, big proof (rip), bizzare (who sucks and brings down the group), mr. porter, and then two underrrated lyrical assasins swifty mcvay and kuniva. They have some classics on Devil's Night and also on some of eminem's albums. Check out Proof- searching for jerry garcia, too it has one track called high rollers with two people that are in groups on this list, b real and method man. I think you slept on them too hard. Honestly, how are they below OFWGKTA when odd future has songs like my beach sack duck (if your know what i mean).

alexis64
alexis64

Not a bad list except 2 Live Crew was completely omitted & A Tribe Called Quest should have been deep in the top 10

Aaron McMurray
Aaron McMurray

You put ODD FUTURE but left off all of the aforementioned groups and deltron 3030. While they havent dropped a ton of material they are wayyy better than odd future and some other groups on here...

Capture The Noise Photography
Capture The Noise Photography

Living Legends???? or for that matter Three Melancholy Gypsies? Zion I? Cunninlynguists? Jedi Mind Tricks? Felt?

Gustavo D'Arthenay
Gustavo D'Arthenay

Good shit. Personally, Lords of The Underground are in my top 10.

zach.pasdoe
zach.pasdoe

Wait a minute.  The title is "Fifty greatest rap groups of all time."  Why then did you include hip-hop acts?

zach.pasdoe
zach.pasdoe

Wait a minute.  The title is "Fifty greatest rap groups of all time."  Why then did you include hip-hop acts?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Rap is CRAP.

Incontrovertibly.


s.webb88
s.webb88

Where is the "Clispe' ? Pusha T and Malice went hard. Also even though they went weren't together long.  I think the Hot Boyz were influential along No Limit records with putting on the New Orleans rap scene.

Joe_R
Joe_R

No D.I.T.C.?!? Yet you included Sugar Hill Gang, the biggest fraud boy band in rap history. And Salt-n-Pepa?? Come on son!! Stop with these silly lists.

AVIUS_PE
AVIUS_PE

Um, you didn't place Dilated Peoples in your top 50 over P.U.T.S, Jurassic 5, or Binary Star? Odd Future?  They haven't even been around for 5 years?  and Souls of Mischief and Heiroglyphics are three of the same members.  Just curious?

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