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15 Best Rap Groups || Famous Hip Hop Group Of All Time

rap hip hop groups
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Are you looking to know about the best rap groups? Well, hi there! This article will sure-sure quench your thirst for knowledge about the best rap groups of all time or the best hip hop groups of all time. 

Before diving into the article, let’s put some light on what are the characteristics of rap. Yes, it’s important to know about this in order to understand what actually makes a rap group the best rap group. Agree? 

Salient features of rap include metaphor, braggadocio, repetition, formulaic expressions, double entendre, mimicry, rhyme, and “signifying”. However, in order to make the rap groups as best rap groups, one needs to work on their chemistry, personalities, body of work, and a lot more. All the essential ingredients have to be in place. 

What i personally believe is that the best rap group comes in several shades and sizes.  Who doesn’t love N.W.A.? And Public Enemy? Well, they have changed the landscape of hip-hop with their activism. The very best of the best are the rap groups enlisted in this particular article. 

Note: these rap groups have been awarded based on cultural impact, originality, quality, and the consistency that they had served. 

So, without adding any other point let’s take you through the list of 15 best rap groups ever.   

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1- Wu-Tang Clan

There are plenty of reasons why this name is on top of the list. Foremost, They have introduced and launched the careers of numerous affiliated artists and groups, often collectively known as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees. The Wu-Tang Clan is often referred to as the greatest hip hop group of all time.

The Wu-Tang Clan first rose to prominence in 1993 following the release of the independent single “Protect Ya Neck”, which immediately gave the group a sizable underground following. 

Loud Records soon signed the Wu-Tang Clan to a deal that gave the group members creative control and the freedom to negotiate solo projects with other labels.

The group consists of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna. Ol’ Dirty Bastard was a member of the group until his death in 2004.

Guys, They were fearless in their approach. There’s a good reason no group has been able to successfully recreate their sound. The crew spawned countless loosely associated acts.

Their best hits include:

  • Wu-Tang
  • Protect Ya Neck
  • C.R.E.A.M.
  • Triumph

2- N.W.A.

N.W.A., Is second on our list of best rap groups. It was an American hip-hop group from Compton, California. 

It is widely considered one of the seminal acts of the hardcore hip hop and West Coast hip hop subgenres and is sometimes credited as the most important group in the history of hip hop music.

The group was subsequently banned from many mainstream American radio stations. 

In spite of this, the group has sold over ten million units in the United States alone. One of the most Famous Hip Hop groups of all time.

N.W.A was still in its developing stages and is only credited to three of the eleven tracks. 

Their best hits include:

  • Live intro 
  • Arrested
  • Gangsta gangsta
  • Fuck the police

3- Run – DMC 

Run-D.M.C. is a pioneering hip hop group from the 1980s founded by Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. 

The group had an impact on the development of hip hop through the 1980s, even collaborating with and covering one of the songs of the rock group Aerosmith, earning them great fame. 

The group is known for the infusion of hip hop and the rock genre in their songs. 

They were the first ever Hip Hop group to be heard on MTV, the first to go platinum and the second to be inducted into the Rock & Roll hall of fame after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

Their best hits include: 

  • It’s like that 
  • Walk this way
  • Run’s house
  • Beats to the rhyme

4- A tribe called quest

A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop group from Queens, New York.

the group was a central part of the Native Tongues Posse and experienced the most success out of all of the artists to emerge from that collective. 

A Tribe Called Quest is regarded as the iconic pioneer of both alternative hip hop music and jazz rap and has paved the way for many innovative artists. One of the most Famous Hip Hop groups of all time.

The group released five albums from 1990 until its first disbandment in 1998. The group made a prominent reunion in 2015 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and they decided to record one final album.

Their best hits include: 

  • I left my wallet in EL Segundo
  • Bonita Applebum
  • Can I Kick It
  • If The Papes come

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5- Public Enemy

Public Enemy is one of the famous American hip hop groups from Long Island, New York.

However, the band Formed in 1986, Public Enemy is known for its politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African-American community. 

Their first four albums during the late 1980s and early 1990s were all certified either gold or platinum and were, according to music critic Robert Hilburn, “the most acclaimed body of work ever by a rap act.”

Their best hits include:

  • Miuzi Weighs a Ton
  • Rebel without a pause
  • Night of the living baseheads
  • Black steel in the hour of chaos

6- de la soul

De La Soul is an American hip hop trio from Long Island, New York. 

The group is best known for its eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and contributions to the evolution of jazz rap and alternative hip hop subgenres.

With its lighthearted wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the group’s debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, is considered a hip-hop masterpiece. 

It is the group’s biggest commercial success to date, with their subsequent albums selling progressively less, despite receiving high praise from critics.

Their best hits include:

  • 3 Feet High and Rising 
  • Stakes Is High
  • Say No Go
  • The Grind Date
  • Eye Know

7- The Roots

The Roots are one of the American hip hop groups from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. 

The Roots are known for their jazzy and eclectic approach to hip hop and for the inclusion of live instrumentation.

Since its first independent album-length release, the band has released ten studio albums, two EPs, and three collaboration albums with other artists, and also collaborated on recordings and live shows with a wide variety of artists in many musical genres.

Their best hits include:

  • Game Theory
  • How I got over
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Rising Down

8- Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys were an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in early 1982. For the majority of its career, the group consisted of three MCs and musicians. 

After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop record “Cooky Puss”, the group made their transition to hip hop music in 1985 and released a string of successful singles.

The group has sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 million albums worldwide.

In 2009, the group released digitally remastered deluxe editions of their albums Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty. 

Their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was released in 2011 and received positive reviews.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012; the third hip hop groups to enter the Hall after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 2007 and Run-D.M.C. in 2009.

Their best hits include:

  • Intergalactic
  • Sabotage
  • Sure hot
  • So what’cha want

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9- Fugees

Fugees were an American hip-hop group that rose to fame in the mid-1990s. Their repertoire included elements of hip hop, soul, and Caribbean music, particularly reggae. The members of the group were rappers/singers/producers. 

However, The group disbanded in 1997 to work on their solo careers. Albeit, The group shortly reformed in 2004 and 2005.

Do you also agree with me that The Fugees are a Neapolitan treat, sweet in three layers: rhyme, sample, and groove? 

The Fugees’ roots in reggae give them a solid base in song and a basic philosophy that’s richer than the money-or-nothing ethic that dulls much of rap these days. 

Their best hits include: 

  • Happy Heads
  • Some Seek Stardom
  • Killing Me Softly
  • Ready or Not
  • Zealots

10- Geto Boys

The Geto Boys experienced success in the 1990s with several certified albums and singles.

The group was formed in 1987. Also, the group’s members were assembled by Rap-A-Lot founder James Prince using solo artists on his roster. 

Though the Geto Boys experienced numerous changes in its members during the group’s 30-year existence, its most well-known line-up consisted of Scarface, Bushwick Bill, and Willie D.

There used to be a loss of tension in the group which lead to temporary departures and additions, including Big Mike replacing Bushwick Bill in the mid-1990s.

Still, I would say that the band was great in terms of releasing its wonderful pieces of songs. 

Their best hits include: 

  • Balls and my word
  • Scarface
  • Mind playing tricks on me
  • Straight Gangstaism
  • Six Feet Deep

11- 2 live crew

The 2 Live Crew is an American hip hop group from Miami, Florida. They caused considerable controversy with the sexual themes in their work, particularly on their 1989 album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be”. 

In February 1994, the album Back at Your Ass for the Nine-4 was released under the name The New 2 Live Crew, a group that consisted of Fresh Kid Ice, Luther Campbell, and new member, Verb. 

It is the last 2 Live Crew albums to feature Campbell. The album was a moderate hit, peaking at 158 on the Billboard 200 and 9 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.

As long as the audience loved the songs released by the group, it was a win-win game for the band. 

Their best hits include:

  • More somethin’
  • The real one
  • Hoochie Mama
  • Do wah Diddy

12- Bone Thugs – N – Harmony

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is one of the popular American hip-hop groups from Cleveland, Ohio. It consists of rappers who are versatile enough. 

The EP included their breakout hit single “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”. In 1995, the group released their second album E. 1999 Eternal, which included the hit songs “1st of the Month” and “East 1999”.

Albeit, Their tribute to the recently deceased Eazy-E, “Tha Crossroads”, won a Grammy Award in 1997.

Later, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony officially returned with the release of their 2010 album Uni-5: The World’s Enemy on their own record label, BTNH Worldwide.

Their best hits include: 

  • Look into my eyez
  • Thuggish Ruggish bone
  • Tha crossroads
  • 1st of tha month
  • Look into my eyes

READ MORE – Rappers In Jail: 15 Famous Hip Hop Artists Who’ve Been In Prison 

13- Salt n pepa

Salt-n-Pepa is an American hip hop trio from Queens, New York.

Salt-n-Pepa changed the look of hip hop with their willingness to talk about sex and their thoughts about men.

The group entered the music industry at a time when hip-hop music was believed to be a fad and major record companies were reluctant to sign hip-hop artists.

After the success of the single, the group changed their name to Salt-n-Pepa and signed to the independent Next Plateau Records to release their debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious, in 1986.

Their second album, A Salt with a Deadly Pepa in 1988, sold moderately well, but their next two albums, Blacks’ Magic in 1990 and Very Necessary in 1993, sold 1.6 million and 7 million copies respectively.

Their best hits include: 

  • None of your business
  • Push it
  • What ya Man
  • Let’s talk bout sex
  • Do you want me

14- Black Moon

Black Moon is an American hip hop group, composed of members Buckshot, 5ft, and DJ Evil Dee, The group is most notable for their debut album Enta da Stage, and their affiliation with the Boot Camp Clik. 

Their best hits include: 

  • Who Got da props?
  • Buck Em down 
  • I got cha opin
  • Buck em down

15- Hieroglyphics

Hieroglyphics, also known as the Hieroglyphics Crew and simply Hiero, is an American underground hip hop collective based in Oakland, California. 

The collective was founded in 1991 by rapper Del the Funky Homosapien. 

It currently consists of rappers Del, Casual, Pep Love, producer/manager Domino, DJ Toure, and the four members of Souls of Mischief: A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, and Tajai.

Their best hits include:

  • You never knew
  • Make your move
  • At the helm
  • Oakland blackouts
  • Classic
  • Soweto
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