T Nation

Most Underrated Mainstream Emcees


because i know this that if i make a thread about the most underrated emcess everyone is going to name their friend down the street or Mc Just In Time 4 Dinner whos been out for 23 years but no one has ever heard of him.

id have to say Lupe Fiasco is the most underrated well known emcee but since a lot of other people do recognize his greatness ill take it a step further and say Q-Tip is pretty underrated too.


I think MC Donalds is pretty underrated, and really mainstream.

Millions and millions are served every day.


Don Pardo


Nah son, you know BK is the man to see when it comes to flavor.


Bun B(UGK)
Royce Da 5'9
Ray Cash
MF Doom
Big L(R.I.P)
Immortal Technique
Joe Budden
Big Boi(Outkast)
Killah Priest
Wise Intelligent(Poor Righteous Teachers)
Jean Grae
Black Thought(Roots)
Little Brother(more so Phonte)


Hammer Time!


I'll say that when he is actually on topic and doesn't stray too much Lil' Wayne is a great MC. Listen to his drought mixtapes and his ryhme from Fat Joe's "We Takin Over" he is on fire at times.

Also Sheek Louch from the Lox.


Big Boi is the only mainstream person you listed. mf doom and killah priest are also ass...ok i cant really hate on MF Doom i like his songs Rhinestone Cowboy and All Caps

but anyway the point is to discuss mainstream.


Ok..I misread the premise....BUT look again,if you think Big Boi is the only mainstream artist on my list...pathetic.

With that,add Busta Rhymes,Mos Def,and since someone mentioned Sheek..I'll add Jadakiss as well.


i know who all those people are, but that doesnt take away from the fact theyre mostly underground emcees. AZ hasnt been known since he was doing shit with Nas in the 90s although i do like a few songs from him. i guarauntee you id have to ask 50 people off the street who Phonte, Black Thought, Jean Grae and Killah Priest were before i got the right answer.


^my case for Q-Tip

and Sheek Louch isnt underrated...he just plain sucks and i wouldnt call him mainstream either. He did have a video on mtv maybe a year ago but even still, it was probaly 8 years before that since you ever heard em.


I seriously doubt you'd have to ask 50 people before you found someone who knows of Black Thought...hello,The Roots! And Bun B...come on now.


of course theyll know Bun B but the Roots really arent that well known, trust me i know a lot of people who get their hiphop knowledge from MTV and top 40 radio. honestly i think The Roots should be a lot more recognized than they are, even though they arent really my favorite group.


Well it has been about 8 yrs since he released a album before Silver Back Gorilla. Also he is well known in NYC and gets major play. He is far better than 50 cent IMO and has street cred to back it up.

Did you create this thread to trash all our picks, or are we supposed to pick from a small group on YOUR list.

And if you havent heard the album Heavy Mental by Killah Priest you are missing some serious moments of hip hop at its greatest. You are too quick to judge my friend.

Add Cam'ron to that list as well the boy has lyrics.


it does seem like im trashing on a lot of picks but im really stressing the point of keeping in MAINSTREAM. Killah Priest is in no way mainstream. if you showed me a picture of 5 random emcees, one of which being him i wouldnt be able to tell who was who and i know more abour rap than joe 6pack.

i do think Camron is good though, have you heard Aura?


So, by default, underrated has to mean non-mainstream, right?

Otherwise, how could a mainstream person be underrated if they are so widely recognized to begin with?


for example i nominated Q-Tip, hes well known but isnt always given the recognition he deserves.

i see what youre saying though and i guess theres a fine line between underground and underrated mainstream.


Sounds like a viagra commercial.


Nah you got a link?