Iconic Hip-hop Artists And What Makes Them Great

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Hip-hop started in 1973 in West Bronx, New York City, and has become one of the most popular music genres since then. The world has seen countless award-giving ceremonies featuring the best hip-hop artists, their music, and their performances: from BET Awards to American Music Awards to Grammy Awards. 

The most iconic hip-hop artists rose to fame because of the help of their hip-hop managers, but it is not the only reason. We’ve listed some of the most iconic hip-hop artists below and why they’re among the best in the industry.


Net worth: $230 million

Greatest hits: Lose Yourself, The Real Slim Shady, and Not Afraid

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is considered one of the pillars of hip-hop. He is credited for popularizing hip-hop in middle America and has released songs to break racial barriers for the acceptance of white rappers in hip-hop. He released his debut album, “Infinite,” in 1996 and has won countless Grammy Awards, Academy Awards, and Billboard Music Awards since he started. 

He’s great because: Eminem is considered a rap god because he can rhyme syllables instead of just rapping words and phrases. He has a huge vocabulary and powerful lyricism. 

Kanye West

Net worth: $2 billion

Greatest hits: Heartless, Love Lockdown, and Black Skinhead

Kanye Omari West, who recently changed his screen name to Ye, is an American rapper and record producer. He is considered one of the most influential hip-hop artists of all time and one of the greatest musicians of his generation. Kanye rose to fame after releasing his debut solo album, “The College Dropout,” in 2004, which won a Grammy Award for the best rap song in the following year. 

He’s great because: Kanye is an excellent hip-hop artist because of his ability to sell records fast. He has seven platinum albums, six of which are solo albums. He has sold 21 million albums and has accumulated more than 100 million digital downloads.  

Dr. Dre

Net worth: $800 million

Greatest hits: Keep Their Heads Ringin’, Still D.R.E, and In Da Club

Andre Romelle Young or professionally known as Dr. Dre, is a record producer, American rapper, and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Beats Electronics and the founder of Aftermath Entertainment. His career in hip-hop began when he became a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru in 1985 and then transitioned to N.W.A, a popular gangsta rap group, in the following year. He released his first solo album, “The Chronic,” in 1992 and became one of the best-selling hip-hop artists of 1993. 

He’s great because: Dr. Dre helped popularize gangsta rap. He also has an eye for talent like nobody else. He signed Eminem and 50 Cent before they became famous and produced all of their debut albums. 


Net worth: $1.3 billion

Greatest hits: the Empire State of Mind, 99 Problems, and Big Pimpin

Besides being the husband of Queen B, Jay-Z has made a name for himself as an American rapper and record producer. He released his debut studio album, “Reasonable Doubt,” in 1996, and became a widespread success. He has more than 140 million records sold and has won 24 Grammy Awards.

He’s great because: He’s considered one of the best lyricists because he can make songs with a good flow and cool punchlines.   

Update Your Playlist ASAP

Now that you know who are the most iconic hip-hop artists, start looking for their songs and download them to your device right away! Their music will give you a better idea of why these artists are considered one of the best during their times!

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