Eminem may seem like the obvious top choice to a lot of people. Eminem can be described as the best underground rapper to ever make it mainstream. His lyrics and multi-syllable rhymes cannot be touched by any rapper. What makes him even more exciting is that he made a name for himself while battling in the Rap Olympics and other various rap freestyle competitions. Eminem became a fan-favorite because he came into the game with an attitude—saying whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. His flow and rhyming technique are so original that there could never be another Eminem.
Notable lyrics from “Run Rabbit Run”
Fuck the clock, I’ma make ’em eat this watch,
Don’t believe me, Watch, I’ma win this race,
And I’ma come back and rub my shit in your face, b*tch
I found my nitch, you gon’ hear my voice,
‘Til you sick of it, you aint gonna have a choice.
Known by many as the king of the underground, his lyrics break the monotonous topics of drugs, cars, and bling that are featured in most rap songs. Considered a political rapper, his rhymes often address current problems with the government and the people. His voice is unique and goes great with his punch-line flow. Immortal Technique is years ahead of most mainstream rappers.
Notable Lyrics from “The Cause of Death“
And you can’t fathom the truth, so you don’t hear me
You think illuminati’s just a f*cking conspiracy theory?
That’s why Conservative racists are all runnin’ sh*t
And your phone is tapped by the Federal Government
Shout out to the B.I.G. who makes it at number three on this list. His flow and lyrics are one-of-a-kind with clever rhyme schemes that have not been mimicked to this day. His unique view of the world and life on the streets, combined with the joy of making it big, makes this New York king truly one of the best. Showing he was multi-dimensional, he had an array of both radio hits and underground grimy raps. B.I.G. was the original Don of hip-hop. Add in the greatest hip-hop feud of all time with Tupac and you have a true rap legend.
Notable Lyrics from “Unbelievable“
Also known as the bon appetit
Rappers can’t sleep need sleepin Big keep creepin
Bullets heat seekin, casualties need treatin
Dumb rappers need teachin
Ever since he released his debut album, Illmatic, at 17 years old, NaS has been acclaimed as one of the best rappers from New York. His mix of intelligent lyrics with awesome production creates a great mix for any hip-hop fan. His lyrics tell of life on the streets from the eyes of a drug-dealer. Known for his compound rhymes, he is truly one of the best artists to touch a mic.
Notable Lyrics from “The World is Yours“
My strength, my son, the star, will be my resurrection
Born in correction all the wrong sh*t I did, he’ll lead a right direction
How ya livin’ large, a broker charge, cards are mediocre
You flippin’ coke or playin’ spit spades in strip poker
The youngest and yet unproven on this list is Earl Sweatshirt. Being sent away to discipline school by his mother after only having released one album just adds to his mystique. His super group, Odd Future, can be heard yelling “Free Earl!” in some of their recorded songs as well as all of their live performances. Regarded by many to be the best rapper ever by the age of 17, Earl has a reputation for hardcore lyrics with amazing flow.
Notable Lyrics from “Earl“
Yo I’m a hot and bothered astronaut crashin’ while
Jacking off to bufferin’ vids of Asher Roth eating applesauce
Sent to Earth to poke Catholics in the ass with saws
And knock blunt ashes into their caskets and laugh it off
6. Hodgy Beats
The second rapper from the super group, Odd Future, Hodgy Beats is largely unknown, but is one of the sickest artists to ever grace the mic. His laidback style, exhibited through his sub-group, Mellow Hype, is perfect for any age. His rap skill is still pretty raw, but considering that he is only 20 years old and just coming up in the game, he has plenty of time to improve. His rap lyrics pay homage to drugs, skill, and his Odd Future lifestyle.
Notable Lyrics from “Black Magic“
Yeah, you make me feel like I’m trash
Like I’m failing and staying in the back of the class
I thought school was whack being cool was whack
And n*ggas thought I was cool, how cool is that?
7. Wiz Khalifa
Wiz Khalifa is the definition of cool. Making himself famous by only rapping about drugs, he has quickly turned into a college favorite. In the past, he proved that he could also rap as fast and as hard as anyone, with flows more violent and less radio-friendly than the Wiz Khalifa of today. Overall, he has mastered the ever-so-popular chill rap and the real touch rap, which takes immense skill.
Notable Lyrics from “No Sleep“
Last night I let the party get the best of me
Wakin’ up in the mornin’, two ho’s layin’ next to me
Plus I heard an officer arrested me
Good weed and cold drinks, that’s the mothaf*ckin’ recipe
Another underground rapper on this list, Diabolic is the label mate of Immortal Technique. He has a flow of his own, with lyrics that are second-to-none using metaphors and similes. He also is known to use some political lyrics in his songs. Considered an intelligent rapper, his songs are full of more than the generic rap song.
Notable Lyrics from “All Evils Inside“
You can perceive what you need
But be rigorous of greed
It’s dangerous, unwilling
Some find it fulfilling
9. The Game
The Game’s album, The Documentary, is one of the greatest albums of all time, with every song being a hit. Hailed as the West Coast King, The Game is a crazy rapper from Compton who is often associated with the Bloods street gang. He is the king of beef, known for rapping about gang violence and activities. His production has gone along with his flow and lyrics in an enticing way. When The Game collaborated with 50 Cent, he was untouchable in rap.
Notable lyrics from “My Life“
Walk through the gates of hell, see my Impala parked in front
With the high beams on, me and the devil sharin chronic blunts
Listenin to the Chronic album, play it backwards
Shootin at pictures of Don Imus for target practice
10. Tech N9ne
Tech N9ne, the newest king of the underground, who claims to have sold over 1 million records as an independent artist, is undoubtedly the most mainstream underground rapper at the moment. His record label Strange Music is a perfect self description. Having a weird voice, flow, and rhyme scheme in general, Tech N9ne is either a hit or miss for most people. Even if you aren’t feeling him as an artist, you can’t deny his success and rap-ability.
Notable Lyrics from “The Ring“
Who think of having figures, they get to grapping triggas
They can’t imagine villains, when they come back and get us
We get to whacking n*ggas, I ain’t never wanted no part of this