Jada's vocal presence is unarguably one of the best in the game. (That raspy voice, coupled with the trademark "Aha!!" cough, is unforgettable.) Throw in his penchant for punchlines, freestyle prowess, and unique delivery, and you're left with an emcee's emcee.
Best Album: Kiss of Death
39. Queen Latifah
A high-flying poet teeming with self-respect, Latifah laid the foundation for future femcees like Lauryn Hill and Da Brat.
Best Album: All Hail the Queen
As A Tribe Called Quest's lead-MC, Tip helped pioneer the jazz-rap subgenre. And as part of the positivity-hinged Native Tongues, Tip managed to raise a handful of socio-conscious discussions without ever raising his voice. That requires skill.
Best Album: Midnight Marauders
36. Busta Rhymes
One of the founding principles of emceeing is the ability to move the crowd. And who can say they've never been compelled to move to the beat by Busta's favorite grunt: "Whoo-HA!" Extra points for being the most energetic live performer in hip-hop history.
Best Album: Extinction Level Event (Final World Front)