DAR Hip Hop: The Most Underrated Rappers Of All Time

(Compiled By @TrueGodImmortal, @IUseCondoms, @JADBeats, @Peagle05, & @hab_r1ch)

When looking at the history of hip hop, we know plenty of legends in the game who are universally loved. Even still, there are some names that never get the real recognition that they deserved. Over the years, many rappers have dropped classics and solid albums yet they didn't get the love that the popular rappers dropping subpar projects received. Well today, we are here to talk the most underrated rappers in hip hop history. We decided to do this in a roundtable format with multiple opinions from different perspectives and see what we come up with. If you don't see an artist that you consider underrated on here, that's fine. That's what opinions are all about. Let's get into it.

*Black Thought
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal, @hab_r1ch, and @IUseCondoms)

-The Roots are legendary. I mean they even include it in their name (Legendary Roots Crew). However, what makes him so special as a MC is his amazing lyricism, his aggressive flow, and in some ways, his voice. Black Thought is one of the smoothest rappers of our time and there's no denying that he should probably be on everyone's top 20 list of MCs. He isn't matched lyrically by too many in hip hop.

Hab- Black Thought is consistently seen as one of the best in the game, and for good reason. I've never heard a bad verse from him.

IUseCondoms-  Black Thought is a super lyricist. He is probably one of the most complete emcees of all time, from wordplay to punchlines, having the right rhyme sequence, and a great voice. His lyrics are very complex to the point where you are just amazed by it every time you hear him rap.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal, @JADBeats, and @IUseCondoms)

-This Brooklyn MC is revered in many circles and loved by many in the hip hop world. It's criminal that he remains to be so underrated as he dropped a classic debut, had one of the greatest verses on a track (Nas' Life's A Bitch), and he lyrically reigns supreme on every project he's crafted. AZ is definitely one of the most underrated, it's not even a question IMO.

JADBeats- AZ from Brooklyn, who is best known for his verse on Nas' "Life's A Bitch", has released a lot of great material including his debut album "Doe Or Die" along with his hit "Sugar Hill". AZ has an untouchable unique flow that hardcore hip-hop heads praise. Overseas they love him, but in the USA I don't know where the disconnect lies with the majority. Maybe it was the lack of radio exposure or that he was kind of in Nas' shadow.

IUseCondoms- The most slept on rapper ever. Not only is he one of the most talented lyricists to ever touch the mic, he recorded arguably the greatest verse ever, on the song "Life's A Bitch" with Nas. AZ has released solid projects in his career (9 Lives, Aziatic, etc) and has not gotten the recognition he deserves.

(Chosen By @IUseCondoms)

-It is rare the a legend ever gets considered to be underrated, but in the land of hip hop, generations change with who they think are the best or the ultimate. Sometimes KRS gets lost in the 80s shuffle under Run DMC, LL, Big Daddy Kane and of course Rakim, and that's unfair. He's a legend, a pioneer and the author of one of hip hop's greatest disses. Pay homage.

IUseCondoms- I would've chosen Kool G Rap for my choices too, and I almost wanted to take KRS off, because real hip hop fans know these two emcees are toe to toe some of the best lyricists ever. Kool G Rap is everybody's favorite rapper's favorite rapper, and KRS is symbolized as a emcee god. So why are names like these legends on this article? Because that's the problem. Only real hip hop heads know them and appreciate them. Casual fans usually show love to the real known legends like Biggie and Jay-Z, but not to some rappers that are arguably better lyricists than both.

*Masta Ace 
(Chosen By @JADBeats)

-Another Brooklyn MC, Masta Ace is one of the more overlooked rappers in the genre. He's got some dope albums and his wordplay and lyricism is top notch. If you've never heard a Masta Ace project, fix that ASAP and you will not be disappointed.

JADBeats- Masta Ace reppin Brooklyn is one of the original MCs to use that multi syllable stye. He is also witty and a very skilled storyteller. He was clearly the influence of Eminem's style, but he doesn't get the credit for that.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal and @Peagle05)

-If there is a man who defines the term underrated, Phonte is the one. He's one of the best MCs in the history of the genre and he gets slept on because he wasn't pushed as hard by Atlantic Records when signed to them. The sound that a lot of us love from Kanye and Drake was inspired by Phonte. He is one of the unsung heroes of hip hop and his catalog is pretty much flawless. An underground legend of course.

Peagle- It's not a lot of MCs that have a catalog like Tigallo. He's got one of the most consistent discographies between LB, FE, and solo projects. You'd be hard pressed to find a bad project from him really. It's impossible.

*Royce Da 5'9
(Chosen By @IUseCondoms)

-Detroit has some amazing artists, but one who is vying for the crown for King of Detroit is this MC. Lyrically one of the most gifted in his city and he always contributes solid verses every time he raps.

IUseCondoms- The REAL best rapper from Detroit IMO (move over Slim Shady). He's one of those rappers that will never get boring from start to finish in a new album. He might truly be one of the best to ever do it. It is sad the fight he had with Eminem ruined any chances of him going mainstream during his prime.

*Styles P
(Chosen By @hab_r1ch)

-The Ghost is one of those artists who is well known for his work in a group, but his best work honestly comes from his solo music. His albums and mixtapes are actually better than the Lox mixtapes and albums, which speaks volumes to his talent as an artist.

Hab- His voice, his lyrical ability, his aggression. Styles is one of the most slept on but also one of the best. From his solo work to his work with the Lox, Styles never disappoints.

(Chosen By @hab_r1ch)

-The Jazzamatazz and Gangstarr rapper is truly a slept on voice in hip hop. With his top tier lyricism on the Gangstarr projects and his Jazz inspired albums helping to lead the way for the Jazz hip hop wave, Guru is a pioneer and was a force to be reckoned with during the Gangstarr heyday.

Hab- His voice is really impeccable and I don't think too many could duplicate his sound or style. Lyrically he was a force as well. You can't front on Guru man.

(Chosen By @hab_r1ch)

-For many, The Genius is one of the best rappers in the Wu Tang. I wouldn't disagree. With his work with the group and of course, the legendary Liquid Swords album, GZA has earned himself a title. He's underrated but we all know his skills aren't something that should be slept on.

Hab- One of the best spitters in the Wu Tang Clan and truly a lyrical genius. There's no way to have a solid list of underrated MCs without GZA. He's one of the most slept on, but his skills speak for themselves.

*Pharoahe Monch
(Chosen By @Peagle05 and @TrueGodImmortal)

-The Queens based MC has been one of the best lyricists to come from NY, and is one of the underground kings. He didn't catch the wave that catapulted Mos Def, Common, and Talib Kweli to higher levels of stardom, but Monch is just as dope as them and possibly even more dope. He is an underground legend, since the days of Organized Konfusion.

Peagle- For me, Monch is one of those consistently great rappers that flew under the radar, but lyrically and album wise, he's always delivered.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal, and @Peagle05)

-This is my pick for the greatest West Coast MC ever. He's one of the rare rappers that manage to lyrically show up every track and maintain his level of consistency through albums. From Below The Heavens to Good 2 Be Home, Blu has delighted fans with true to life lyrics, a smooth flow, and a good ear for production. He's one of the most slept on ever for sure.

Peagle- I've said this in regards to Phonte and I'll say it again here as it applies to Blu: these two are the most consistent MCs lyrically and album wise IMO. Blu is able to rap about his regular life and make it sound engaging.

*Immortal Technique
(Chosen By @IUseCondoms)

-One of the most aggressive and revolutionary rappers in the game, Immortal Technique is lyrically gifted, military minded, and his music definitely goes slept on. He's one of the leaders of the underground in terms of rappers.

IUseCondoms- He is overlooked probably because of his heritage. Latino rappers are typically very, very lyrical (Big Pun, Joell Ortiz) in hip hop history. However, instead of showing him love, we show Fat Joe love and he's not nearly as gifted. Immortal has explained through his complex lyricism how we must stop promoting mediocre music and promote real shit. That's why he's so underrated.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal and @hab_r1ch)

-New Jersey breeds a lot of great lyricists and rappers. One of the best is the man named Reggie Noble, who has classic albums under his name and a ton of infamous verses in hip hop. You can't talk Jersey hip hop without Redman.

Hab- I think that Redman is underrated because he has longevity, lyrical ability and humor within his music. He's a legend, but an underrated legend at that.

*Ras Kass
(Chosen By @JADBeats)

-The West Coast underground legend is loved by many on the DAR team. Holding a hip hop classic in his catalog with Soul On Ice, Ras Kass is one of the nicest MCs we've seen come from the West Coast. It's a shame his name isn't mentioned much more.

JADBeats- Ras Kass, straight out of Carson, Cali is lyrically gifted and has always been nice with the delivery, witty punchlines, wordplay and metaphors. His concepts were deep. He's definitely the best ever out of the West IMO. I mean he had to be nice if he was a part of The Horsemen with Canibus, Killah Priest and Kurupt. If anything ever held him back, it was production and lack of radio exposure, but lyrically he never lacked.

(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-This is a personal pick that some might agree with. Since the days of Death Row, I've been a fan of Kurupt Young Gotti. His verses on the Dogg Pound album as well as the timeless Death Row albums are what made him one of my favorites growing up and I know a lot of his popular verses word for word.

(Chosen By @Peagle05)

-This DC native is a super dope MC/producer and though his name has been buzzing more than ever recently, his name has been around for years. He's worked with a number of artists and produced for a large number,  but his talents as a rapper cannot be denied as well.

Peagle- He's really a slept on rapper because his production is so fire, but his raps don't lose out because of his production. Solid MC all around.

*Big K.R.I.T.
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-Another personal choice that's at the top of the list for me. K.R.I.T. is my favorite rapper of this era, and he's got a near flawless catalog as well. He has a knack of bringing soulful concepts and southern fried flavor together, while making songs that can hit your soul and get you into a deep vibe. K.R.I.T. is one of the best southern artists in hip hop EVER already, and deserves more love from the masses. Now that he's a free agent, maybe he will get the credit he deserves.

(Chosen By @Peagle05)

-I recently got familiar with this artist after Peagle brought his music to my attention. I'm NEVER a fan of Canadian hip hop per se, but this dude is actually very talented. His 4 albums are dope, but he has gotten more into radio now, so it's no shock he's slept on.

Peagle- This dude has 4 albums and most of these albums are dope. Flying Colours is really dope, as is TSOL. He'll likely be the most unknown artist on this list to most people but he's dope.

*Kool G Rap 
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal and @JADBeats)

-Queens Get The Money. Kool G Rap is one of the pioneers of Mafioso rap and he's a true legend. So why is he here? Kool G doesn't get quite the love he deserves for being a pioneer for many of the rappers we love today. He's a lyrical beast and one of the best MCs to come from Queens.

JADBeats- Kool G Rap representing Queens is known for his rapid multi-syllablic flow and often using multis within multis. His breath control was amazing. Credited for creating Mafioso rap, he's influenced some of the MCs that we call great from Nas, Jay, Big, Rae, Pun and so on. He's released a plethora of work and never lost a step.

*Big Pun 
(Chosen By @JADBeats)

-The Bronx ended up with their newest hip hop legend in this amazing lyricist. The Latino wordsmith was one of the most talented lyricists I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. His debut album Capital Punishment was a hip hop classic and though he passed before he could reach his full potential, his first two albums showcase that he could have been one of the best.

JADBeats- Big Pun reppin Bronx had a rapid fire fatal multi-syllabic flow and could hang with or out-rap a lot of the MCs of his time. He had radio hits and his lyrics were really dope. "Capital Punishment" was crazy and made him the first latino rapper to go platinum. After him, an influx in Latino rappers were inspired like Joell Ortiz and Emilio Rojas, just to name a few, who are underrated in their own right. He is a legend, but Pun's hardly in any top 5 or 10 lists when mentioned, which is why he is here on my choices.

(Chosen By @Peagle05 and @TrueGodImmortal)

-The Detroit MC that rose to prominence as a member of the updated Slum Village, Elzhi is one of the most gifted wordsmiths ever in hip hop. With his albums and verses maintaining his status in the underground hip hop world, Elzhi to me is the absolute best MC to come from Detroit, even over Eminem and Royce.

Peagle- I have always felt that Elzhi is probably a top 3 lyricist from Detroit, and he being able and willing to take on Illmatic and try to make it his own can't be overlooked.

There are more artists who could have made this list, but we would have been here all day. These are the artists that deserve more love in hip hop and more recognition. If you've not given some of these names a listen, please do so now and you'll be glad you did.



  1. R.A. The Rugged Man, Percee P, Last Emperor, Gift Of Gab

  2. All y'all niggas slept on the Jacka. Rip king jack


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