This is a form of rapping where people rap outside the commercial world. These are mainly associated with independent artists who do this usually under their own label. These rap include usually socially conscious, positive or anti-commercial lyrics usually somewhat explicit. These underground rapping includes alternative hip-hop and horrorcore genres. These artists are not considered for any awards or records etc. While there are artists like Eminem, Lil Wayne, Flo-Rida, Jay Z, Sean Paul and many other best rappers in the world, the people mentioned here are also well-renowned and have a cult-following.
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Listed here is the top 10 richest underground rappers and the countdown follows:
10. Killah Priest
Known primarily for his affiliation with the Wu-Tang Clan (more on them later), Killah Priest is also known for having a very diverse vocabulary at 5,737 unique words used, including many rhymes referencing religion and strong political viewpoints. Although he has not had an album as commercially successful as his 1998 debut Heavy Mental – which peaked at #24 on the Billboard album charts – Killah Priest has been sharing the stage in recent years with Wu member Ghostface Killah.
9. Ghostface Killah
He’s the loudest, most high-pitched MC in all of the Wu-Tang Clan, and he’s also one of the most diverse in terms of vocabulary at 5,774 unique words. On top of that, he’s one of the Wu’s most critically and commercially successful breakout solo artists. Ghostface Killah has been regarded as one of the greatest storytellers in rap music, and his abrasive delivery and inventive lyrical skills have helped him transcend the confines of the group that made him famous.
8. The Roots
Once branded as “hip hop’s first legitimate band,” the Roots have earned a reputation lately for being Jimmy Fallon’s house band, but their overall reputation makes it hardly any wonder why Jimmy would have been so keen to bring them onboard. Not only are they one of the most lyrically diverse acts in hip hop thanks to the lyrical prowess of Black Thought – who uses 5,803 unique words.
7. Wu-Tang Clan
Even though several of the Clan’s emcees are on this list based on their individual work, the group as a collective has used 5,895 unique words in their first 35,000 lyrics. Consisting currently of RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah, U-God and Method Man (and formerly of the late, great Ol’ Dirty Bastard), the Wu-Tang Clan have come out of the slums of Shaolin to give people some of the most classic hip hop records.
He is often referred to as the Wu-Tang’s fearless leader, and it’s fairly easy to understand why: he produces much of the Clan’s work as well as the solo work of the members and their affiliates (known as the Killa Beez). He is also an actor and movie director (his directorial debut was 2012’s The Man with the Iron Fists) as well as a soundtrack composer, making the score for the Kill Bill movies. Lyrically, he has used 5,905 unique words in his first 35,000 lyrics; more than the Clan do as a collective. He is one amongst the Top 10 Richest Underground Rappers in The World 2017.
This trio of Kentucky and Georgia-bred rappers have stayed primarily in the underground for the duration of their existence, but their vocabulary is one of the largest in hip hop. With five albums and five mixtapes (their most recent of which was Strange Journey Volume Three, released in April of this year) under their belt, CunninLynguists have used 5,971 words in their first 35,000 lyrics.
Known mainly for his battle rapping abilities – although recent battle raps have been subpar at best and have shown him pulling out notepads. Canibus is also known for having a very diverse vocabulary, using 5,991 unique words in his first 35,000 lyrics. Despite his somewhat controversial history – being involved in feuds with rappers like Wyclef Jean and LL Cool J – the Jamaican-born rapper (real name Germaine Williams) has been regarded as one of the top rap lyricists of all time, as well as one of the top 50 MCs of our time by About.com.
3. Kool Keith
Known in part for being both a pioneer of the horrorcore genre as well as his role in the Ultramagnetic MCs, Kool Keith is not only a prolific rapper – he’s continued to consistently release albums at age 50 – but also one of the emcees with the biggest lexicons, at 6,238 unique words used. However, Kool Keith has more recently been known for collaborating with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and performing at the Gathering of the Juggalos.
Known as the “spiritual head” of the Wu-Tang Clan thanks to being both the first Wu member to get a solo record deal as well as the oldest member of the group, GZA is also one of the most intellectual and lyrically diverse rappers in not just the Clan, but all of hip hop. The Genius has used 6,426 unique words in the first 35,000 of his solo efforts, and has recently been doing talks at universities and working on initiatives to improve science education for youth in New York City. GZA also has a new solo album, Dark Matter, planned for this year.
1. Aesop Rock
Not to be confused with A$AP Rocky, Aesop Rock is a completely different beast from the similarly-named leader of the A$AP Mob as far as his rapping style is concerned. His penchant for using big words and complex punning (particularly homonyms) as well as his use of abstract lyrical themes help to make him the runaway winner of this top 10 list with 7,392 unique words used in his first 35,000 lyrics.
This was the list of the Top 10 Richest Underground Rappers 2017. These artists have also contributed a lot to music and have setup a genre for themselves. They have been entertaining, but are relatively less known. Rapping, as we all know is never going to lose its charm. New star rappers are being born and our acoustics are being served with some astounding rapping over the time. And tomorrow, no wonder that a new rapper is going to create a sensation.