5. Pharoahe Monch – Pharoahe Monch has been responsible for some of hip hop’s most fierce, stunning, and hard hitting multi syllabic raps the world has ever heard. Though record label woes have prevented him from releasing material on a consistent basis, whenever Pharoahe has gotten a chance to drop his vision on an album, such as the case with Internal Affairs and his most recent Desire, fans have not been disappointed and have been at awe at his natural ability to put words together. Slated to appear on the Roots next album, How I Got Over, and with an album of his own in the works that is set to hopefully drop by the end of this year, Pharoahe Monch fans have a lot to look forward to in the near future.
4. Blu – Probably one of the most down to earth rappers in a game filled with big egos, Blu dazed audiences with his debut with producer Exile a few years ago, Below the Heavens. Filled with striking rhymes about every day life, broke love, and a lot of other every day problems, Below the Heavens has been diagnosed as an instant classic by a bulk of the underground hip hop world. The laid back Los Angeles emcee has been gaining steam ever since his most recent Johnson&Jonson release with producer mainframe, and is considered one of the most promising young talents in hip hop’s future.
3. Eminem – One of the most controversial and out of control rappers the world has ever seen, Eminem’s lyrical ability has never been questioned. After disappearing from the world, Eminem returned this year with Relapse, filled with mind boggling, multi-syllabic, and downright sick rhymes. Is he nuts? No, he’s insane.
2. Mos Def – The charismatic Mos Def released two of the most classic hip hop albums of the 90s golden era in Black Star and Black on Both Sides. Though he has focused some of his attention on acting in films such as Be Kind Rewind and making guest appearances in shows like House, Mos Def’s recently released album, The Ecstatic, reminded fans of the rapper they fell in love with a decade ago.
1. Black Thought – The Dalai Lama of the mic, Tariq Trotter and the Roots have been doing it for years. The most consistent, most productive, and by far the best live show in the hip hop world, the Roots only seem to get better with time. Black Thought is also the most versatile emcee in the hip hop game, rapping about any topic you can imagine, spitting some of the most unbelievable punchlines ever without sacrificing the overall content of a song, doing it with one of the smoothest, most effortless flows of all time, and hell, even singing. With 10 consistently amazing albums under his belt with only more to come, Black Thought may not be your favorite rapper, but he certainly is your favorite rappers favorite rapper.