Rappers are obsessed with royalty. Many have declared themselves king at some point in their career, but few have taken the proclamation as seriously as T.I. The Kang gained credibility for his claim via the cosign of fellow kings like Scarface and Bun B, but he still had to make good on the title. And so he did, dropping hit after hit, juking past rivals, and keeping the street happy simultaneously. T.I.'s best songs are often the ones where the trap meets the charts. Thanks to this foolproof recipe, T.I. has enjoyed multiple platinum successes, including the million-selling King and double platinum Paper Trail.
Essential: Trap Muzik
As the voice of Gang Starr (DJ Premier helmed the duo's production department), Guru played a major role in pumping substance into the game. Extra credit goes to Baldhead Slick for being one of the premier jazz-rappers. And who could ever forget that velvet voice?
Essential: Daily Operation
43. Beanie Sigel
With a distinctive delivery and a tested battle pedigree, Beans followed in the long line of Philly-bred greats. He was one of Roc-a-Fella's brightest alongside Jay Z and Kanye West. There must be a special formula in the waters of Philadelphia.
Essential: The Truth
DMX is made a name for himself with the ever peculiar mix of spirituality and passion. 1998 was a highlight in his career, as the Yonkers MC released two albums in one year. Both flew straight to numero uno.
Essential: It's Dark & Hell Is Hot
41. Snoop Dogg
Not too many rappers have been able to create mainstream hits while still keeping it "G". Apart from wielding the slickest of slick flows, Snoop has also supplied some of the most captivating hooks hip-hop has ever witnessed.