Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered as one of the greatest American rappers of all time. Talent and trouble went hand in hand in Shakur’s journey to fame; the higher Shakur rose in his iconic status, the deeper he became entangled in gang violence and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely demise.
The Notorious B.I.G. was a rapper and songwriter and is considered one of the best ever. His debut album Ready to Die in 1994 was critically acclaimed. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in September 1996. His album Life After Death was released two weeks after his death.
Widely regarded as the godfather of gangsta rap, Eazy-E was a rapper and record producer. He played a major role in popularizing gangsta rap and West Coast rap by forming N.W.A, which is considered one of the most influential and greatest hip hop groups of all time. Eazy-E died at the age of 30 after being diagnosed with AIDS.
4 J. Cole
German born American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer J. Cole is considered one of the most respected and influential rappers of his generation. Interested in music from a young age, he decided to become a singer when he was just 12. His debut mixtape was a hit, and he went on to release many other successful mixtapes and albums.
Rapper, singer, and songwriter, Young Thug, is considered to be one of the most influential rappers of his generation. Famous for his eccentric vocal style, he has inspired many others in the music industry. His debut studio album peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 and earned him international fame.
Bobby Shmurda is one of the most popular American rappers to serve a prison sentence. After releasing his debut EP, he was arrested on charges of conspiracy to murder, reckless endangerment, and weapons possession. Initially sentenced to seven years in prison, his term was later reduced to five years. In 2017, he claimed that he was writing music in prison.
10 Fetty Wap
11 Lisa Lopes
Lisa Lopes, popularly known as “Left Eye,” was a member of the Grammy-winning hip-hop/R&B girl band TLC. Apart from rapping and singing, she also co-wrote songs and managed the band’s outfits, album titles, and artworks. Lopes died in a car accident in Honduras, leaving behind her incomplete second solo album.
Grammy-winning hip-hop/rap artist Nelly began his career with St. Lunatics. He became a household name after the release of his debut solo album, Country Grammar, in 2000. He ranked third on Billboard’s list of the Top Artist of the Decade and has sold 21 million albums in the U.S.
14 Soulja Boy
16 Big Pun
Big Pun was an American songwriter and rapper. Well-known for his heavy use of alliteration and exceptional breath control, Pun was also widely regarded as one of the best MCs ever. He struggled with weight issues and obesity throughout his life, which eventually led to his death caused by respiratory failure and a heart attack at the age of 28.
17 Lil Durk
Lil Durk is an American singer-songwriter and rapper. He is credited with founding a rap collective and record label called Only the Family (OTF). Over the years, Lil Durk has faced many legal issues, including his arrest for unlawfully carrying a weapon. He has also been involved in feuds with other rappers, such as Tyga, The Game, and Tay600.
18 Big L
20 CeeLo Green
23 Trey Songz
24 Mike Shinoda
25 MC Ren
26 Swizz Beatz
27 The D.O.C.
28 Remy Ma
30 Romeo Miller
Romeo Miller soared to fame with the single My Baby and his Billboard 200-charting album Lil' Romeo. He also worked on the soundtrack of the movie God's Gift. In 2007, he accepted a basketball scholarship from the USC Trojans. He had his own show and has starred in films, too.
31 Craig David
Australian actress and rapper, Abbie Cornish is best known for her role in the film Bright Star. She developed a fascination for acting early in her life and began her career when she was a teenager. At the beginning of her acting career, she also ventured into music. She is an ambassador for the Australian animal rights group, Voiceless.
33 Killer Mike
34 Dej Loaf
35 Lil Jon
37 Mike D
Yo Yo Honey Singh is an Indian rapper, music producer, pop singer, composer, actor, and lyricist. He is currently one of the most successful and highest-paid musical artists in the music industry in India. He has received several prestigious awards including an MTV VMAI Award, MTV EMA Award, UK Asian Music Award, BritAsia TV Music Award, and Zee Cine Award.
40 Scott Storch
41 Joe Budden
44 Foxy Brown
46 Heavy D
48 Jay Sean
49 Ronnie DeVoe
Douglas Glenn Colvin, or Dee Dee Ramone, was a co-founder, bassist, and singer of the punk rock band The Ramones. He had also written some of the band’s hits such as Wart Hog and Rockaway Beach. He had a lifelong struggle with heroin addiction and died of a drug overdose.