1. Jay Z
Jay is at the top of this list because more than anyone else he is so unequivocally hip-hop. Start with his classics. Albums like Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint and The Black Album contain more style, storytelling ability and raw lyrical prowess than most rappers pack in their entire discographies. His signature style blends ruggedness with class; refinement with braggadocio in a way that no other rapper has been able to copy, although many have tried.
In interviews Hov is always the coolest one in the room, with an air of experience reflected in his rhymes. With an astonishingly diverse flow and vivid stories of coming up the streets of Brooklyn, Jigga is unstoppable at what he does. His status in the rap game comes not only from his music but his empire, with an estimated net worth of $610 million, he’s an MC-turned-mogul that’s still a legend on the mic.
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