Part anthropologist, part philosopher, Nas has earned his spot on this list.
Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, is a versatile talent, a rapper turned actor also famous for his notable role as Brother Sam in Dexter.
Talib Kweli teamed up with Mos Def to form Black Star, a conscious rap duo who discussed politics in smart, provocative style.
Immortal Technique, a Peruvian rapper raised in Harlem rapped about racism, religion, and class struggle.
Ludacris is a rapper, entrepreneur, and actor from Atlanta who is also graduate of Georgia State. He is the co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace, a subsidiary of Def Jam Records.
We could have selected many members of the Wu-Tang Clan, but it all comes back to RZA, the creative and emotional leader of the seminal hip hop collective who produced their epic 36 Chambers.