Just because rappers don't get the recognition they deserve doesn't mean they're no good. Here are 27 of the most underrated rappers and some of their most fire lyrics.
E-40 (Vallejo, California)
"I be more hipper than a hippopotamus / Get off in your head like a neurologist / Pushin more weight than Atlas / Got a partner by the name of 2Pacalypse"
Childish Gambino (Los Angeles)
"And yes I'm in the building like a horror movie killer / I gotta stay sick, I'd be dead if I was iller / Is it weird going hard when these n----s goin pillow? / Yep, my life is great, I changed my stars / I re-arrange fate when I rap on bars"
--"I'm On It"
Meek Mill (Philadelphia)
"I used to pray for times like this, to rhyme like this / So I had to grind like that to shine like this / In a matter of time I spent on some locked up shit / In the back of the paddy wagon, cuffs locked on wrists"
--"Dreams and Nightmares"
Kevin Gates (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
"Full time father, full time artist / Asked God, he said "grind harder"/ Learn from every time you ever fail / If it never fail just grind smarter"
--"I Don't Get Tired"
Nipsey Hussle (Los Angeles)
"Young Nipsey Hussle ain't some shit that you should sleep on / Rich before rap had to let the streets go / Faith in my transition I know I’ll be back in beast mode"
Gza (Brooklyn, NY)
In mic fights I swing swords and cut clowns / Shit is too swift to bite you record and write it down / I flow like the blood on a murder scene, like a syringe / On some wild out shit, to insert a fiend
Big L (New York)
"The iron horse is the train and champagne is bubbly / A deuce is a honey that's ugly / If your girl is fine, she's a dime / A suit is a fine, jewelry is shine / If you in love, that mean you blind / Genuine is real, a face card is a $100 bill / A very hard, long stare is a grill"
Aceyalone (Los Angeles)
“By the powers vested in me, I digested MCs / Food for thought, caught on to the end of the rope and swung / Then stood stiff, as if I was on a cliff / Knobby knee sticks, my feet are made of bricks / When I walk, my footprints indent cement"
Kurupt (Hawthorne, California)
"Psychosomatic, automatic static / Catatonic, supersonic, bubonic chronic addict / Astronomical in the Thunderdome center / In the depths of the dungeon, dangerous, dastardly"
-- "I Call Shots"
Jadakiss (Yonkers, NY)
"'Kiss hit you with consecutive hot shit / Therefore nobody ever gon' spit like I spit / Get money just to walk through, off the books / So when you mention my name, shit is off the hook"
--"Put Ya Hands Up"
Del the Funky Homosapien (Oakland)
"Volatile with my profile, like Molotovs / MC's must be on auto-pilot, waddle silent / Like some platypuses, Del is down with data pushers / With top secret floppy disk and battle armor and Mecha / Plus all the rhymes that I'm bangin are double-decker, to check ya"
-- "Oakland Blackouts"
Wale (Washington, D.C.)
"Chip on my shoulder, big enough to feed Cambodia / See, I never fit into they quotas / Sneakers wasn’t fitting and my knees needed lotion / Long before I knew the significance of a comb / I roam like phone with no vocal reception / Immigrant parents had me feeling like a step-kid / And black Americans never did accept me"
Lupe Fiasco (Chicago)
"Your child's future was the first to go with budget cuts / If you think that hurts then, wait here comes the uppercut / The school was garbage in the first place, that's on the up and up / Keep you at the bottom but tease you with the upper crust"
--"Words I Never Said"
Big Pun (Bronx, New York)
"Dead in the middle of Little Italy, little did we know / That we riddled two middlemen who didn’t do diddly"
-- "Twinz (Deep Cover 98)"
DJ Quik (Compton, California)
"The producer get funky down to the last ounce / And I'm creative too - so I don't need "Mo' Bounce" / But to you suckas in my city claimin' I got a "Def Wish" / You should try again fool, you ain't hittin' near this"
--"Way 2 Fonky"
Beanie Sigel (Philadelphia)
"But still I cry tears of a hustler / Wipe tears from my mother, pull out beers for her brothers / That's above us, make beds for the babies / Tuck kids under covers, buy cribs for their mothers / Shit, I'll probably be wilding with their fathers / Tell Ms. Robert, tell Anajmah that I'm riding for her father"
-- "What We Do"
Soopafly (Long Beach, California)
"Recoginiz, I let you kick it / You let me stick it, then I ric it / Say you law fit, toss it, its gone / I don't like to talk on the phone"
-- "Dat Whoopty Woop"
Q-Tip (Queens, New York)
"People give your ears so I be sublime / It's enjoyable to know you and the concubine / N----s, take off your coats ladies, act like gems / Sit down, Indian style, as we recite these hymns / See, lyrically I'm Mario Andretti on the mo-mo / Ludicrous, we speedy, or infectious with the slow-mo"
-- "Award Tour"
Keith Murray (Long Island, New York)
"I launch tomahawk missiles when I talk / With promiscuous intelligence like Mr. Roarke / From New York into the world over / I walk MC's like Jesus walked on water"
MF Doom (London, England)
"Torn in, poor men sworn in / Cornish hens switching positions, auditioning morticians / Saw it in a vision, ignoring prison / Ignoramuses enlist and sound dumb"
Black Thought (Philadelphia)
"It's the elephant in the room / Created by a collision of the sun and the moon / My sonogram was an image of a gun in the womb / That was soon to be doper than heroin in a spoon"
-- "Bird's Eye View"
Masta Ace (Brooklyn, New York)
"I breathe down shit so hard you can see sound / And beat down these rap clowns in like three rounds / My pen 'bout as sharp as a dagger, walk with a swagger / Tie your wife to the back of a black Jag and I drag her"
Royce the 5'9" (Detroit)
"I’m the verbal-spit Smith-Wesson / I unload with sick spit / The quick wit could split a split-second / Bomb with a lit wick expression / You hear a tick-tick then you testing"
Redman (Newark, New Jersey)
"Throw your hands in the air, and wave em like you just don't care / And if you haven't been f-----, by the soopaman luvaLet me hear you say, oh yeah yeah! / Oh yeah yeah! Funkadelic, hit you with the irrelevant"
--"Tonight's Da Night"
Pharaohe Monch (Queens, New York)
"It's my terminology that strike up mind and rips this beat apart / You know the many styles I choose will bruise crews from the start / I flow awkwardly cause awkwardly I flow fast to the rhythm / Incisions are made into the brain and then I begin to give em a lobotomy, follow me I'm shapin’ your brain…like…pottery"
-- "Bring It On"
Crooked I (Long Beach, California)
"I spot a victim / The plot'll thicken when the clock is ticking / I caught him slipping / I gotta give him a shot I hit him / With proper spitting, hottest writtens and compositions / So competition's a contradiction"
-- "The Cypher"
Ras Kass (Carson, California)
"Extraterrestrial poet, my pen stroke is grotesque / Rugged n----, abrasive to any foe flesh / So let’s paint 1,000 words worth a picture / Panoramic though, more esoteric than hieroglyphs and scriptures / Chemical mixtures, spit yours, not just kick words / Spit swords when we joust from the mouth, dog"
-- "Van Gogh"