“Yes yes y’all and it don’t stop.” And it hasn’t till date, regardless of how constantly evolving the global music industry has been.

On August 11, 1973, an eighteen-year-old Jamaican-American DJ, Kool Herc, threw a back-to-school jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York.

During his set, he decided to do something different. Instead of playing the songs in full, he played only their instrumental sections (or “breaks”).

During these “breaks,” his friend Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd with a microphone — and the reaction was epic. And with that, hip-hop was born.

Although the genre has gone through a great deal of evolution over the years, it has remained the same: dropping bars on a beat.

In celebration of its 44th anniversary, here are the 10 greatest hip-hop artistes of all time — in no particular order.

Nas

Through Nas and a few others before him, storytelling in rap became an art form. The New York rapper, however, took it to a new level in the 90s when he held sway and was untouchable by his peers.

His 1994 album, Illmatic, ranks among the top classic albums of all time. To many hip-hop heads, all the tracks on Illmatic were classics.

After two decades in the music industry, Nas remains a pivotal figure in rap, earning respect for his influence on present day rappers and expansive body of work.



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