5 Genius Rappers Who Are Cruelly Overlooked
In the world of hip-hop, there are certain names that always get thrown around when it comes to the greatest rappers of all time. Some of those names include Eminem, Nas, Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G., and a handful of others that get all of the love. But what about some of the all-time greats that don’t quite get as much of the ballyhoo as the others do?
There are many fantastic rappers that didn’t quite land the mainstream success as some of the others that we mentioned, so now it’s time to give them the praise that they deserve. If you’re looking for something new to listen to and want to get deeper into hip-hop, here are five genius rappers who are cruelly overlooked.
Del the Funky Homosapien
Though his real name is Teren Delvon Jones, many know him as Del the Funky Homosapien, or simply Del. Jones was born in Oakland, California in 1972 and would start his hip-hop career during the late 1980s. At just 18 years old, he had his debut solo album and released three of them throughout the 1990s.
After releasing his fourth solo album in 2000, Del finally got some mainstream attention thanks to joining forces with Gorillaz on their 2001 self-titled album. Songs like “Clint Eastwood” and “Rock the House” were great introductions for Del, but if you want a taste of his solo work, you should check out tracks including “Catch a Bad One”, “If You Must”, and “Press Rewind”.
If you ask any rapper that’s famous in the mainstream these days who they consider the greatest lyricist of all time, there’s a good chance that they’re going to say Rakim. After all, he’s nicknamed The God MC. However, many casual fans in the modern era aren’t quite sure of Rakim’s body of work.
Rakim was one half of the duo Eric B & Rakim which were at the forefront of what many music historians consider to be the golden era of hip-hop. Out of the four albums that Eric B. & Rakim released in the late 1980s and early 1990s, none reached the top 20 of the Billboard charts. Rakim released two more solo albums in the 1990s, but has released just one since then with 2009’s “The Seventh Seal”. Do yourself a favor and listen to his duo and solo work.
The late MF DOOM is essentially in the same boat as Rakim, as many famous rappers consider him to be at the top tier of the genre even though he didn’t get much mainstream attention. Born as Dumile Daniel Thompson, he adopted the MF DOOM nickname and mask based on the comic book villain from the “Fantastic Four” series.
MF DOOM was known for his collaborative work over the years, but also released six solo albums between 1999 and 2009 under various names. This included his debut work, “Operation: Doomsday” and concluded with 2009’s “Born Like This” as simply Doom. Some of his best songs include “All Caps”, “Rhymes Like Dimes” and “That’s That”.
If the name D.O.C. sounds familiar, it’s because many of the best rappers in history have name-dropped him in their tracks, including Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Jay-Z. However, Tracy Lynn Curry didn’t receive as much chart success as those three with his own career.
The D.O.C. is a co-founder of Death Row Records and collaborated with a lot of West Coast rappers including Dre himself and Eazy-E. He was part of the Fila Fresh Crew and released three solo albums between 1989 (“No One Can Do It Better”) and 2003 (“Deuce”). His best tracks include “It’s Funky Enough”, “The Formula” and “Drink It Up”.
Royce da 5’9”
When you think of Detroit rappers, Eminem is always going to be the first name that comes to mind. When Eminem was coming up in the Detroit rap scene, though, he was part of a duo alongside Royce da 5’9” named Bad Meets Evil. Shortly after Eminem reached mainstream success as a solo artist, he offered Royce a deal with Aftermath Entertainment in favor of signing with Tommy Boy Records.
Royce then feuded with Eminem and his group D12 for several years and stayed mainly on the underground while also serving time in jail before reuniting Bad Meets Evil. Royce has released eight studio albums throughout his career, but none of them have reached the top 20 of the Billboard 200. Some of Royce’s best songs include “Boom”, “I’m the King” and “Caterpillar”, with songs such as “Lighters” highlighting his Bad Meets Evil time.