Hip-hop has had a huge impact on popular culture. Some might even go so far as to say that hip-hop IS popular culture. Musicians began incorporating rapping into their songs in the early 1970s, what are now referred to as old-school flows. Rapper Rakim, of the duo Eric B. and Rakim, is widely credited with bringing about the new school flux and is considered one of the greatest MCs of all time.
During the 1980s, rap diversified and spread around the world thanks to NWA, Run DMC, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Ice-T and Big Daddy Kane. During the 1990s rap continued to flourish and the decade spawned one of the genre’s biggest rivalries – East Coast (Notorious BIG) vs. West Coast (2Pac). Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, rap was seen intermingling with other musical genres, even top 40 pop, with rappers Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Jay-Z. And today, rap is more celebrated than ever, thanks to contemporary heavyweights like Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Nas X.
In honor of rap’s rich and ever-evolving history, check out 50 tattoos of the greatest rappers of all time. Then let us know your favorite rapper from this list in the comments section on social media.