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Top 5 Underrated Rappers

May 19, 2012 · Posted in editorial · 66 Comments 

The only thing worse than a corny rapper is an underrated rapper. Given the root of anger doesn’t stem from the same tree, I still detest both type of rappers. It’s just frustrating when such a great rapper is over looked. When talking about “underrated rappers,” five names come to mind. Unless you can read minds (don’t look above) and know who I’m talking about, hit the jump.


Look up Fabolous’ Wikipedia discography right now. No seriously look it up. I’ll be here when you return 30 minutes later. Yeah, I’ll still be here after you look at his discography and say, “oh that’s a Loso track? Let me listen to that.” In case you ain’t know so, Loso is responsible for “Breathe,” “Make Me Better,” “Baby Don’t Go,” “Throw It In The Bag,” “Everything, Everyday, Everywhere,” “You Be Killin’ Em,” “Body Ya,” and “Lights Out.” Those are just songs too. Let’s not even talk about his TINC mixtape series with Dj Drama. Loso’s metaphors can go head to head with any rapper in the game. He has some serious knockout punchlines. But that doesn’t mean that you should go all Antonio Margarito on us. Don’t act like you don’t see nobody.

Tech N9ne

The one they call Tech N9ne is undoubtedly the underground king. Strange Music is a blueprint for all labels in the industry, whether they’re major or independent. Not only is Tech N9ne an underrated entrepreneur, he’s an underrated MC. Maybe it’s because of his speedy delivery, but you guys don’t seem to catch his lyricism. He can do anything that your favorite rapper can do. Internal rhyming, club tracks, go ham tracks, deep tracks, suicide tracks, whatever you want. Killer and All 6’s and 7’s are huge pieces in Tech’s catalog. Tech N9ne is also the first independent artist to sell 1 million albums. Stop treating Tech like he has a red nose. You know what I’m sizzlin’?


E-40 has been in the game since, damn, probably before you were born. E-four-oh has been rapping since 1990, and he’s still working hard, and he’s still relevant. Just a few months ago, E-40 dropped 3 albums in one day. E-40 has also been an instrumental piece in the development of Bay Area hip-hop, most notably the hyphy movement. His linguistic skills can also amaze the deafest person. However, longevity is probably the only reason I’m writing this. E-40 is a true legend. How many 44 year old rappers can successfully pull off a track like”Function?”

Lloyd Banks

Has Banks ever dropped a limp album? Most of his work goes hard. Sometimes 50 Cent overshadows Lloyd Banks, but pay attention. Hunger For More 1 was slept on and HFM 2 followed in its predecessors footsteps. Even Kanye West thinks Banks is underrated! Although, he might not be a top 5 MC like Mr. West claims, Banks is a superb rapper. Just because he looks like he’s sleeping, that doesn’t mean that you should sleep on him. Be on the lookout for V6 as well. G-G-G-G-G-G-Unit!

Ice Cube

Without Ice Cube, N.W.A. would’ve simply been another rebellious group. They would’ve had a lot of street cred, and great production, but their raps would’ve been below par. Nothing against MC Ren, but Ice Cube is responsible for writing most of N.W.A.’s hits. Eazy-E also owed a lot of his solo success to Cube since he wrote “Boyz-N-The-Hood,” and most of  Eazy-Duz-It. Aside from his ghostwriting, and group work, Cube has had a legendary solo career. Sadly, he’s never mentioned as one of the greatest MC’s. I don’t even think he’s mentioned in top 10 lists. Honestly, a lot of east coast rappers receive too much credit because they’re from NY. I won’t mention any names though. I’ll just keep it Drake subliminal for now. What would hip-hop do without “It Was A Good Day,” “Jackin’ For Beats,” “Check Yo Self,” “Wicked,” and “We Be Clubbin’?” Gangster rap would have a huge hole in it without Ice Cube. He was as important as 2 Pac in the development and success of west coast gangsta rap. Don’t wait until his death to include him on top 10 greatest MC lists. Give the man is credit. Check yo self befo’ you wreck yo self.

Of course, this is a top 5 list, meaning that only 5 rappers can make the list. You’ve heard from me, now it’s your turn. Who are some of the most underrated rappers in hip-hop?

Written by @QuezKHH, like me on facebook.


66 Responses to “Top 5 Underrated Rappers”

  1. Luminous Story on May 19th, 2012 4:34 pm

    How can you guys make a top 5 underrated list and not add AZ…. AZ is probably the most underrated rapper of all time.


  2. Jake on May 19th, 2012 4:34 pm

    What about Joe Budden?


  3. safopaj on May 19th, 2012 4:35 pm

    i think pusha t shudv been on ther


  4. DrizzyNayne on May 19th, 2012 4:36 pm

    Totally agree.


  5. zack on May 19th, 2012 4:38 pm

    Eyedea is the most underated rapper of all time


  6. jay on May 19th, 2012 4:39 pm

    Disagree on MOST of them except Tech N9ne. At this point, Ice Cube is not even relevant anymore. Weak ass list.


  7. Mike on May 19th, 2012 4:41 pm

    Hopsin and joe budden too


    WTF Reply:

    @Mike, hopsin? nigga, he on the come up. dont worry bout him, he finally getting recognition with being on XXL freshman list. but definately joe budden my nigga.


  8. Hooba on May 19th, 2012 4:44 pm

    Still think Young Buck is better and more underrated than Banks. Ludacris and Common should be on that list aswell.


    Curb B Reply:

    @Hooba, I Agree With You, But honestly they both nice. Its A Shame They Broke up.


  9. Apollo on May 19th, 2012 4:44 pm

    now do an overrated list


    Ninon Reply:



    there, done


    ichyowie Reply:

    @Ninon, AYYEEE hell yeah


  10. Danny Haze on May 19th, 2012 4:45 pm

    Joe Buddens is the most underrated rapper ever, period! His wordplay, social commentary, and versatility is bar none. Listen to “When thugs cry”, “Just to be different”, and “Ordinary Love”. Also, Cassidy needs to replace E-40. The hyphy movement is felt in one small section of the country, shits whack and a fad. Check out Cassidy’s BET in the booth freestyles and then see if you think he’s underrated.


    dazzer6 Reply:

    @Danny Haze, PERIOD!! second place is los but he starting to get a lil recognition


  11. LikeThat on May 19th, 2012 4:45 pm

    CUBE!! with his crazy pyroclastic flow. Fab is hella underrated, banks to though. e40.. naahh. tech n9ne is a beast.


  12. Gino_Jerz on May 19th, 2012 4:47 pm

    No Joe Budden? Wtf this list is wack b!


  13. Brooklyn11223 on May 19th, 2012 4:50 pm

    The game, big boi, and ludacris should be here


    dazzer6 Reply:

    @Brooklyn11223, the game? are you stupid? you clearly no nothin naming him and luda


  14. Daz on May 19th, 2012 4:52 pm

    Cam’Ron. Juelz Santana. Pimp C. Bun B. Krayzie Bone.


  15. Pcrime on May 19th, 2012 5:19 pm



  16. naz on May 19th, 2012 5:22 pm

    The bay area go hard!! E40 is the king !!where is my homie Keak da Sneak now?we miss him and his voice


  17. Hooba on May 19th, 2012 5:30 pm

    Big boi sucks though. Budden, game, luda, busta, immortal technique.


  18. Bert on May 19th, 2012 5:36 pm

    Big L, Xv, and Sir Michael Rocks


  19. Nick on May 19th, 2012 5:49 pm

    Joe Budden, Pusha T, Asher Roth, Los, Fab. Tech N9ne shouldn’t be on this list. Everybody knows who Tech N9ne is and knows how beastly he is. He chooses not to be super mainstream famous because he raps for the love of it. But seeing as how he runs his own music label and has several artist under his belt, I’d say he’s not underrated.


  20. memo on May 19th, 2012 5:53 pm

    Ok some people dont understand the word “underrated”: Not given enough recognition for its quality. The game, UGK(PimP n Bun), Luda, Busta are NOT underrate, they all get/got the recognition they deserve. I agree with banks/tech/fab but ice cube is not relevant enough anymore to be considered underrated. Tech 9 will always be underrated because he’ll always be underground (although not as much lately).


  21. Immortal on May 19th, 2012 6:04 pm

    1. Logic
    2. Xv
    3. Big Krit
    4. Immortal technique
    5. Joe budden
    No order


  22. Listen To Charlie on May 19th, 2012 6:06 pm



  23. Ray13allday on May 19th, 2012 6:23 pm

    This is not a popularity contest. Just because a rapper is known or not known doesn’t mean they are underrated or not. For example Kendrick Lamar has a small fan base but everybody who actually listens to him say he’s top 5 right now this list is pretty good if they’re talking about rating lyricism so stop complaining


  24. MosDef on May 19th, 2012 6:26 pm

    Khh is falling offfffff lol


    Curt Reply:

    @MosDef, yeeaah…


  25. Matt on May 19th, 2012 6:27 pm n9ne
    2. Joe budden
    4.freddie gibbs
    6.asher roth
    Theres a few new rappers in that list that maybe could be takin off for not having years in the game but thats my list…i liked ur list to


  26. Kern on May 19th, 2012 6:33 pm

    ice cube sucks


  27. bbboy on May 19th, 2012 6:40 pm

    where’s obie trice & joe budden?


  28. Tierrah on May 19th, 2012 7:57 pm

    Big K.R.I.T., Los, Kendrick Lamar.


  29. no on May 19th, 2012 8:26 pm

    half of the rappers you name aren’t even underrated… everyone in Slaughterhouse was underrated until Shady signed them, so no Joe ain’t underrated anymore.
    Immortal technique must be one of the most underrated rappers alive, understandable cuz he doesn’t make one ‘commercial’ song, EVER
    maybe Talib Kweli? but he gets respect from every rapper in the game though.


  30. Spvcelyy on May 19th, 2012 8:39 pm

    Dizzy Wright should be on thia list..


  31. jrvGOD on May 19th, 2012 9:09 pm

    wheres Jay Electronica?!??! the mans a straightt up genius


  32. fuk waka on May 19th, 2012 9:50 pm

    most of the ppl u guys mention on comments actually made it so no need to be on this list!

    but like someone said Ice Cube is not relevant now… he should have made the list 10 years ago now.. u cant call him underrated now


  33. Mr. A on May 19th, 2012 9:54 pm



  34. big john on May 19th, 2012 10:23 pm

    joe budden most underrated ever point blank lmao


  35. AerOn on May 19th, 2012 10:35 pm

    by far the worst list.KKH is falling off…what is this shit. Ice Cube…Really…does he even rap anymore???? Loyd Banks??? wtf….Tech9 is far from underrated, hes rated pretty good if you ask me….and E40 is a joke in this list….. pathetic


  36. The Royal One on May 19th, 2012 10:57 pm

    Once again, Royce Da 5’9 is forgotten. Royce is a lyricial machine. His last album Success is Certain that dropped in 2011 was a good album but no body gave it credit.


  37. kp on May 19th, 2012 11:45 pm

    You guys are killin me with your comments!

    just cause somebody ain’t on mainstream radio don’t mean they’re underrated!

    XV isn’t underrated! He’s still makin his way

    Joe Budden is DEFF not underrated, Like Lil B stated in T-Shirts and Buttons “Rap like Saran wrap your model bitch saved you
    Put him on the internet because don’t nobody play you
    Performing at cafes
    You still underground
    How you go mainstream
    And run back underground”

    Kendrick Lamar isn’t underrated if Dre and other rappers already acknowledge him and do features with him…

    I honestly don’t think Fab is underrated, He just fell off and he makes TERRIBLE ALBUMS but the BEST MIXTAPES (S/O DJ Drama for hookin him up) and he does great features…He makes Singles and Mixtapes not albums

    Immortal Technique, In MY OPINION fell off after Revolution Vol. 2 or 3rd World

    I do agree Stalley is underrated BUT i think he could pump up his word play and metaphors just a lil bit more

    As a Dipset fan I can say the NEW Cam’Ron music is DEFF underrated, Cam was always looked down upon cuz of his goofy rap style and word play but his shit had science behind it..

    Banks is DEFF UNDERRATED..He nicer than 50 at times, that’s why 50 barely promoted that nigga, was scared he’d lose out to him…Bank should be up there just not the right ppl around him to make it hap

    Cassidy is a battle rapper and a 1 hit single wonder..ever since being locked up he hasn’t show progress to get back in the rap game…He is nice in the aspect of lyrics but when it comes to makin a hit…well he needs to call R. Kelly for help or somethin!

    Face it not many rapper are underrated, it’s either they been in the game for so long and just couldn’t make it to mainstream and prefer to be underground or w/e you want to call it

    I could say Dom Kennedy is underrated, WSWL I & II are great just need a boost to get noticed on mainstream or he just another Curren$y who don’t need mainstream and still top rappers


  38. Jon on May 19th, 2012 11:45 pm

    If all of you say Joe Budden should be on the underrated list, than it means he shouldn’t be on the list. Get it?


  39. Shawn on May 20th, 2012 1:28 am

    Have any of you heard of bow wow? He’s talented, been doing it more than any of the people you’ve mentioned, and is still underrated.. He’s album coming out soon is called underrated. And the fact none of you mentioned his name just goes to show how underrated he is


  40. Jake on May 20th, 2012 2:57 am

    Tyga (2008/2009)


  41. manny on May 20th, 2012 3:24 am

    ludacris and bun b should be on this list, they helped revolutionize the rap game and try dont get any credit these days. diddy isn’t bad either, people think the money ruined him but he killed same damn time which shows when he wants to he can be good which shows why he’s underrated


  42. J. O on May 20th, 2012 3:51 am

    everyone just shut up, this is Killerhiphops most underrated rappers list not yours, he asked if u agreed or disagreed not to submit ur list. as for me, i agree


  43. Hans Solo on May 20th, 2012 3:53 am

    I agree with this list, though I am not the biggest fan of Tech and E40, I get why they were there. They are important. However Lloyd banks and Ice cube are in my top 5 of all time But you really are missing another member of my top 5 of all time

    JOE BUDDEN!!!!!!!!!!


  44. joshua taylor on May 20th, 2012 4:01 am

    tech n9ne stalley big k.r.i.t starlio laws tha joker 8ightball 2 chainz ludacris yelawolf travis porter translee nation rocko pill the game papoose nas wale nipsey hussle gorilla zoe diamond french montana d.m.x aleon craft lil scrappy cassidy slim thug styles p sheek louch slaughterhouse sir michael rocks devin the dude the hots all of them but lil wayne i forget most of there names because they drop off the face of the earth these rappers are truthly unerrated


  45. RS on May 20th, 2012 6:29 am

    Agree with banks. I think the whole of slaughterhouse is underrated. Pusha t also.

    Someone who nobody even mentioned is AB LIVA, he runs with Pusha t and re up gang. LISTEN to BIG BANK, come back here and tell me you aint heard no better verse than that. The flow is INSANE.


  46. Curt on May 20th, 2012 8:43 am

    You guys do know that to be considered underrated you should at least have released 1 album right? The only guy that isn’t that good to me is Banks. He’s not bad I just can’t get into his music and the way he raps…. Just my opinions but I’d say Will Smith’s “Lost and Found” is underrated. Common’s album “Be”. Ronny Jordan’s “The Antidode”. Lupe Fiasco’s “The Cool” was 3 years before its time. Immortal Technique released “The Martyr” last year and that’s some Ab-soul type shit. Chamillionaire’s “Ultimate Victory” went over everybody’s head. Soo how many of you actually went and listened to Yelawolf’s “Trunk Muzik” when you heard about him being signed to Shady? Big Boi’s “Sir Lucious Left Foot” is probably my favorite rap album of all time.


  47. X on May 20th, 2012 9:35 am

    Pusha T

    AB LIVA!!! Listen to ‘Big Bank’ first verse is the definition of dope flow.


  48. Sky on May 20th, 2012 11:04 am

    Los, Hopsin, Dizzy Wright, SwizZz, and Chamillionaire


  49. jnswi on May 20th, 2012 12:25 pm

    chamillionaire, crooked i, royce 59, immortal technique, joe buddden


  50. ThatDude on May 20th, 2012 7:28 pm

    I agree wit Fabo being on the list because his metaphors and punchlines can compare with today’s biggest names but he’s now gettin more recognition like being on Tyga’s remix of rack city, on bottles and rockin j’s, and his mixtapes are always dope.

    I don’t think any young rappers can be underrated because they are just being discovered.

    Tech N9ne should be on this list because he is one of the 10 best rappers of all time! people perceive him as a good rapper but he is one of the dopest emcees. He can rap any style about anything and kill it.

    My final three would be: Immortal Technique, Los, and Lupe Fiasco


  51. swagg on May 21st, 2012 1:22 am

    i dont agree with this for the most part. i don’t think lloyd banks is underrated, he’s just not hot anymore…same thing for ice cube.

    hopsin and immortal technique should have deff been on here


  52. Pm1225 on May 21st, 2012 3:11 am

    Bun B, Crooked I, and Joe Budden


  53. Armando on May 21st, 2012 6:05 am

    I think the underrated rappers are the one that we are commenting, than the list above cause everybody knows them-.-

    Though Cinos should be up there


  54. T-HOT on May 21st, 2012 5:15 pm

    Yo where the hell is Lil B? Based God should be on the list to. This shit is whack.


  55. Phoenix on May 21st, 2012 8:01 pm

    1. Drakes not from NY, hes from Toronto…
    2. I think Nicki Minaj is a pretty underrated rapper. I dont like her music much but Ive gotta admit, she murders any track she features on


  56. dazzer6 on May 21st, 2012 8:59 pm

    to be honest i think its impossible to name 5!! i can think of atleast 20 without even havin to think to hard but joe budden (all of slaughterhouse infact), juelz, common, immortal, los, dave east, mysonne, lupe, chamillionaire to many to name! but people like hopsin xv chiddy bang all pretty new to the game give them chance


  57. Tom Ruch on June 7th, 2012 4:47 am

    i think this is a pretty good list but i dont think ice cube should be in it. He is without a doubt in my top 10 emcees and my favorite emcee. but like everyones saying there are a lot of underrated emcees out there that are really good.


  58. yungb318 on October 27th, 2012 10:49 pm

    Where is Z-Ro at on this list? He’s hands down one of the realist and most underrated rappers of all time.SMH


  59. johnnie on February 20th, 2013 3:17 am

    this is more like a list of the top 5 rappers that fell of with the exception of fab and tech 9. The top 5 underrated rappers today would be currency, smoke dza, styles p, big k.r.i.t, domo genesis


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