The Top 10 Male Rappers of All Time
By: David Thorpe
Since the birth of hip-hop, male rappers have been bringing their unique viewpoint to the art of rhyme. Today, we're shining some long overdue light on their important contributions to rap. We're proud to present our list of the 10 finest male rappers, from the smoking-hot hardbodies to the true lyrical innovators.
10. Ice Cube
Cube parlayed his fame as a male rapper into a series of major roles on the silver screen. Not only did he break barriers in the realm of male rap, he also showed that you don't have to be a rail-thin model to make it in the movies. Today, thanks in part to Cube's in-your-face look, it's not unusual to see male actors of all shapes and sizes in both comedic and dramatic roles.
9. 50 Cent
Another male rapper turned movie starling, 50 Cent's sizzling bod and husky voice proved that there's still room in the increasingly conscious male rap ranks for a little glamor and sex appeal. Though he can definitely "rhyme on a dime five times," as he likes to say, his slinky purrs and coos make it hard to forget that you're listening to a truly hot dude.
He's the hottest up-and-coming male rapper on the scene, but he's not just another pretty face. Those who look beyond this hip-hop chanteur's sultry style will find complex rhymes that address the trials and contradictions of being a male rapper in the 21st century. Keep your eyes on this one--and not just because he's easy to look at!
His debut album, Illmatic, is still regarded as one of the best rap albums ever recorded by a man. Extraordinarily, the album was created with a team of almost all male collaborators, including Q-Tip, DJ Premier, Pete Rock and fellow male rapper AZ. (Somehow, despite all the testosterone in the room, it didn't even wind up sounding like the score to a dick-flick.) Nas was hot enough--both on the mic and in that baby face of his--that even female artists took notice: he married singer Kelis in 2005.
From his boy-next-door looks, you sure wouldn't peg Eminem as superstar material. But put a beat behind him, and he turns from a feisty-cute Detroit blonde into a raging microphone demon. His autobiographical film 8 Mile is a riveting account of coming up as a male rapper in the inner city.