1 of 12

1979: Melle Mel
THE VISIONARY
First to escape the cul-de-sac of simplistic Old School rhymes.

Photo: Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty Images

1979: Sugarhill Gang
THE POPULARIZERS
Finally captured early rap’s lyrical ferment on record with the fifteen-minute megahit “Rapper’s Delight.”

Photo: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1984: Run-DMC
THE ORIGINAL SUPERSTARS
Turned rap into a global phenomenon, but not the strongest rhymers.

Photo: Michae Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1987: Rakim
THE FIRST POET
“God MC” brought a new level of lyrical artistry, particularly internal rhymes.

Photo: Michae Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1988: Big Daddy Kane
THE RADICAL
Erected crazy towers of stacked rhymes, including rhymes across multiple words.

Photo: Richard Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1988: N.W.A
THE GANGSTAS
Ushered in West Coast sound of Dr. Dre: violent content, simple style.

Photo: Janette Beckman/Redferns/Getty Images

1994: Notorious B.I.G.
THE GREATEST?
Arguably the widest lyrical range of any MC; one of the first to articulate his rags-to-riches story.

Photo: Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

1996: Chino XL
THE METAPHOR MEPHISTOPHELES
A “punch line” rapper whose relentless cleverness has earned him a cult following.

Photo: Newscom

1996: Jay-Z
THE GOLDEN MEAN
A lucrative fusion of Rakim-style complexity and Old School appeal.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Wire Image

1998: Canibus
THE METAPHYSICAL ABSTRACTIONIST
A master of gnomic weirdness: “The Law of Attraction is attracted to me.”

Photo: Hayley Madden/Redferns

1999: Eminem
THE CROSSOVER TITAN
Best-selling artist of the aughts and king of the compound rhyme.

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

2006: Lupe Fiasco
THE NEW GUARD
Keeping literary lyricism alive in an era of hook-driven “ringtone” rap.

Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Sam Khaled Hindy (left) Base of the Manhattan Bridge. On November 16, 2007, Hindy was run over after mistakenly entering a Manhattan Bridge lane reserved for cars.

Habian Rodriguez Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing. On September 1, 2007, Rodriguez collided with a city bus and died 30 minutes later.

Elizabeth Padilla (left) Fifth Avenue and Prospect Place, Park Slope. Commuting to the Brooklyn Bar Association on June 9, 2005, Padilla swerved to avoid the open door of a parked P.C. Richard’s truck. She lost control of her bike and fell underneath the wheels of an ice-cream delivery truck.

Juan Luis Solis East Gun Hill Road and Bouck Avenue, the Bronx. Attempting to pass a double-parked car on June 22, 2007, Solis was struck by a box truck and died of severe head trauma. The truck did not stop.

Jeffrey Moore (left) Chauncey Street and Rockaway Avenue, Bed-Stuy. According to witnesses, on May 29, 2007, Moore was run over (twice) by his girlfriend Jeanine Harrington. She was indicted on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon (her Nissan Pathfinder).

Derek Lake Houston Street and La Guardia Place. On June 26, 2006, Lake reportedly skidded on a steel construction plate and was crushed underneath the wheels of a passing truck.

Elijah Armand Wrancher (left) Springfield Boulevard and 130th Avenue, Springfield Gardens. On August 28, 2007, 12-year-old Wrancher attempted to ride his bicycle while holding onto a moving truck. He lost his grip and fell under the truck’s rear wheel.

David Smith Sixth Avenue and 36th Street. On December 5, 2007, Smith was biking up Sixth Avenue when the passenger-side door of a parked pickup truck opened unexpectedly. He was knocked into the path of an oncoming truck.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Fall Fashion Features

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.

 

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.
Advertising