5 Most Influential Rappers of the Past Decade

top-5-influential-rappers-past-decade

The interwebs have been in frenzy with the return of Big Guwop tha Gawd. Even without major label backing in the recent years Gucci has carved a cult following quite like no other. Snapchat Atlanta even gave Gucci his very own ice cream cone filter. Without a doubt Gucci’s radiance has been absorbed by a multitude of rappers out today and partly due to that effect, the list below came into being. We take a look at the 5 rappers of the past decade that have shaped the game into the entity it is today

Kanye West

kanye

Hailed by many as a modern day hip-hop contemporary, genius,douche, narcissist, self-indulgent, turn a hoe into a housewife type nigga, Kanye has done more for the game than any of his fellow peers in the past decade or so.

He is certainly the most ambitious rapper in terms of pushing the genre’s sonic boundaries outside of the conventional cliché’s and he manages to cultivate this process gracefully, even on an abrasive project such as Yeezus. A diverse range of individuals cherish Kanye’s catalogue and perhaps that’s the greatest testament to his genius. Son is able to appease the oppers (the critics that is hip-hop blogger and critics and top the billboard.

In a time of Gangsta-Rap dominance, where everything was G-G-G-G-UNIT, Kanye was able to introduce introspection about the rapper façade, contemplation of the “good life” and its defeats. His humble nature most certainly diminished as he garnered more widespread acclaim, fame, money and hoes. Understandably so, it must be ‘hard to remain humble when you stuntin’ on the jumbotron.

The less threatening lyrical content and an emphasis on creative live performances ushered in a wave of fans less dedicated than the daily hip hop
head. They felt comfortable nodding their head to rap music. Thus invited suburbia and white kids to hip hop.

Yeezus Erotica (NSFW)

Drake – The introspection of simpdome at its utmost peak by a beloved heartthrob. As Kanye was slaying the mainstream charts, there was Drake nestled in utero in a city America was not exceedingly familiar with. Channelling his inner Phontigalo, Drake was on his young light skin shit, rocking a Chris Brown esque starter-kit as he hustled for his come up. No doubt indeed, Kanye West was a major precursor to allow Drake to pen the content that now dominates your girl’s IPod. His reception by middle class white America can also be paralleled with Kanye’s expansion into middle class and 5 senses. Aubrey is arguably the biggest rapper on the planet and the eye of the meme hurricane that resonates in cyber space. A single co-sign from “The Boy” could quite possibly realign your stars and land you in a realm of abundance, where the hoes flow plenty and money stretch like time-space curvature. Kanye mapped the direction towards sonic sentiville and Drake built a palace in it.

His ability to thrive this long can be credited to a multitude of factors allcollaboratively functioning to keep his light shining for as long as the Old godsand the New Gods may allow it. A squad of day 1 pals that manage their boy,omnipresent ear to the various regional epicentres coast to coast to sample thelatest wave and gracefully throw a splash of OVO on it. The open gates ofmelancholy melodies also opened the gates for his city to bless us with TheWeeknd and PartyNextDoor. Conversely this also invites the hordes of sentimale groupies as well.

Perhaps it is the age of Aquarius, which has been an excellent nest for Drizzy’s music to foster in. Whether you’re hailing a cab in Paris or in the club in your city, no matter where you are in the world you cannot escape the man’s music.

Chris Brown Doppelgänger Gang [circa ‘07]

Lil B – Many would argue that we are now living in the post-based era and they would not be far from the truth. Lil B operates in Based World, a realm of spontaneous creativity channelled from the subconscious where galaxies are made. He functions in a self-constructed environment of his own that allows him the freedom and independence that major label acts cannot afford the luxury of regardless of their lucrative contract stipulations. His music challenges the dedicated listener question the conventional structure of what rap music is.

The only rapper that can truly be compared to Tupac, Lil B is the rebel with an imposed focus that can be surmised in his based philosophies fostered around love and understanding. The freedom of expression that Based God has embodied through his music, online presence, and lectures and over all work ethic is what separates him as more than just a rapper/entertainer. The Based God introduced an entire new atmosphere into Hip hop with the advent of cloud rap which A$AP Rocky modelled his first mix tape Live Love A$AP after. His voracious appetite for churning out mix tapes, Lil B channelled more jewels than any one of his peers.

The sheer raw expression radiated by Brandon McCartney can be felt in his notoriously based live performances. He is the embodiment of the essence of Hip-hop. A natural alchemist from the Bay, The Based God has opened the floodgates for Avant-garde expression in the postmillennial hip-hop soundscape. Lil B liberating him self from rapper limitations further liberated the entire game and lifted the threshold of weirdness. The music industry has syphoned more from this young man than any other artist within the industry without paying homage. Paving the way for the aesthetics of many prototype rappers such as Trinidad James, Riff Raff, Yung Thug, and being the source of inspiration for many big acts such as A$AP Rocky, iLoveMakonnen, Danny Brown and Odd Future, Lil B has amassed a legacy that questions the traditional belief system of what we perceive to be rap music. The Based God on any given day can be seen rocking a bindi, to a pink bandana, to his dirty ol’ vans and an aura of positivity. Even at its most ratchet, Lil B manages to exude an enjoyable vibe if you’re truly based that is. On some Ziggy Stardust shit, his album output is intimidatingly numerous and with each new release he adds a new flavour, aesthetic or ad-lib to the ever growing hip hop lexicon.

*All Praise Due*

Gucci Mane – The Godfather of the stovetop, with a catalogue of music that makes you question your own work ethic and purpose in life, Big Guwop is the gift that keeps giving. Rap Game Nikola Tesla, aka Gucci Mane has provided the blue print for the southern trap rapper dynamic. Matter of fact, this influence radiates not just regionally but coast to coast. He’s elevated the Atlanta trap sound in a profound manner and his influence can be seen by the youth in hip hop today from Chief Keef in Chicago to Jimmy from the 6ix in Toronto.

Gucci is responsible for breaking through more artists than a whole gang of A&Rs combined. A whole list of Atlanta word flippers owe it to La Flare for their co-sign. He’s also an ode to the hustle of all independent artists curving the force of the majors to their submission. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”, and Big Guwop is testament to that statement when you wonder why your favourite “lyrical” rapper can’t put together a descent album. Gucci’s fanatical work ethic surpasses your favourite rappers because even when he’s in the confines of the bin, he’s still making waves and splashes in the game with his out of the blue red releases. Whether it is East Atlanta Santa, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, or Views From The Zone 6, Gucci keeps it moving on the chessboard one fire joint at a time.

The persona of Guwop in its self is much akin to The Joker. The playful self-
proclaimed “oddball” can get greezy on you at any moment. The omnipotent all pervading presence that can be heard through Atlanta sound can be traced back to The Trap God. Gucci is the Alfred Hitchcock of trap tales and it’s an art that he’s lived. His periodic yearning for the slammer is perhaps the fuel for writing and recording that keeps the engine running. This engine is responsible for a lot more than just the fuel for Gucci’s sound work ethic.

Big Guwop a.k.a Zone 6 Foodie

Max B – Before every one and their grand mama’s became “wavy”, there was Charlie Wingate in Harlem, had the mix tape circuit jumping. The infamous flare of Wavy Crocket will most likely die in a jail cell but his impact will reverberate for years to come. The short period of Max’s free days spent were filled with street classics and organic talent that the industry fails to replicate no matter how hard they try. Many would call him the Nate Dogg of the East Coast or perhaps the Drake to the streets, Wavy Crocket exuded the up-town swag from head to toe and through his vocal chords. The Silver Surfer’s music permeated the cd players and mp3 players across the East Coast. The first video, “Get High” by Rocky and Ferg was teeming with the wave. Artists such as Wiz, Drake and even Future have been admirers of Max’s steez. Max was mood music to the streets and it’s almost a damn shame that we now have French Montana to fill those shoes.

He had every hood in the East coast sippin’ Grand Cruz surfing on the coat tales of the silver surfer. The craving for a Harry Fraud/Max B mix tape has left many dismayed fans salivating at the mouth, patiently waiting for Obeezy to pardon the wave. All though harmonizing rap was in no way birthed by Max B (shout outs to Bone Thugs, Z-Ro, Eminem) Max’s hook carried a certain swagger and nonchalant reluctant attitude that lacked sympathy for political correctness.

To put it simplistically, the nigga was not a cornball, like many rappers that flirt with R&B for their lead single. His approach towards songs carries a melodic formula that is sure to hook your attention without having the cornball factor. After all, the dude lived his rhymes Also, the most disappointing fact is to see a budding star’s potential super nova before its prime due to unforeseen circumstances. Anytime that happens, the audience is always left wondering and wanting more.

Interesting Tidbit: An interesting fact to notice is that 3/5 rappers in this list have had prior or concurrent felonies indicative of the fact that Hip Hop is still primarily the voice of the marginalized and oppressed communities. Groups of individuals that practice modern day alchemy to whip a benz out that pyrex, the celebration of innovation and self-enterprise. As much as hip-hop has opened its perimeters up to other flavors, it is still the beating heart of the slums.

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3 Comments on "5 Most Influential Rappers of the Past Decade"

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8 months 19 days ago

Why is Kendrick Lamar not on this list?

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8 months 17 days ago

…kanye and drake deserve a spot, but the others most definitely do not.

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