Hip-Hop The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups  

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8.1k votes 2k voters 94.9k views 94 items

Unlike their mainstream counterparts, underground hip hop is exactly what it sounds like: rappers who haven't quite hit the mainstream, yet retain a strong, devoted following. The best underground rappers are generally independent rappers who are signed either to an indie label or no label at all and whose lyrical matter discusses either social issues, political issues and other types anti-excess subjects. Some of the best underground rappers are also known as conscious rappers and to some, as the forebearers of alternative hip hop. No matter what your definition of underground hip hop is, the best rappers in this genre are widely respected by their peers due to their ability to not give in to external pressures to strike it big, yet are remaining true to their underground rap roots.

So, who are the best underground rappers? When you think of underground hip hop artists, some of the big names (at least by underground rap standards) are Big L, Aesop Rock, Dead Prez, Madlib, El-P, Atmosphere and Blackalicious. These are some of the most respected names in rap music. Many of the best underground rappers are recognized for retaining the original hip hop ethos and message of change, and the top underground artists are critically acclaimed for producing original, refreshing sounds that deviates, yet doesn't encompass popular rap.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best underground rappers. If you think someone is missing from this list of underground hip hop artists, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best underground hip hop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest underground hip hop musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular underground hip hop bands that you might've heard of. 

list ordered by

1
423 85
Feloni is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
RealKnowledge added Hip hop music, Rap music, Alternative rock -

Unlike many artists who are given the opportunity to join mainstreem, Feloni remained indie by continuing to self-release music on her independant Detroit label, TrakDiamondRecord.com.   

2
247 98
Dead Prez is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop

3
338 157
Big L is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

4
257 130
MF Doom is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

5
305 163
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop

6
189 91
Atmosphere is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Indie

7
255 135
Aesop Rock is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop

8
280 154
Hopsin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Horrorcore

9
146 66
Pharoahe Monch is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Makumim added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

10
108 43
Jedi Mind Tricks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Tarekh Lacio added Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

11
101 44
R.A. The Rugged Man is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Dirty rap

12
135 71
Army of the Pharaohs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap

13
114 60
$uicideboy$ is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
GabEJohnston added

14
156 94
Earl Sweatshirt is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Horrorcore

15
116 64
Eyedea & Abilities is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop

16
96 49
El-P is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Makumim added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

17
93 48
Brother Ali is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Rap music

18
88 45
Madlib is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Disco

19
81 50
Blackalicious is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, West Coast hip hop

20
85 55
Onyx is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

21
72 50
Action Bronson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music

22
89 71
Yelawolf is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Ghettotech, Experimental music

23
63 47
Ras Kass is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

24
67 53
Blu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, West Coast hip hop

25
24 13
is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added

26
55 46
Non Phixion is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Underground hip hop

27
52 45
Lords of the Underground is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

28
42 40
Styles of Beyond is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rap rock

29
73 76
Machine Gun Kelly is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

30
52 54
Snowgoons is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop, Rap music

31
30 33
The X-Ecutioners is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rapcore

32
36 41
MF Grimm is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Underground hip hop

33
31 35
Guilty Simpson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Alternative hip hop, Midwest hip hop, Hip Hop

34
17 18
Night Lovell is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
akuma.g59 added

35
29 34
Dan the Automator is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Trip hop

36
15 17
scarlxrd is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
akuma.g59 added

37
11 12
KutMasta Kurt is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Christian Plattner added Hip hop music

38
25 30
Jarren Benton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
WyattBanham added East coast rapper signed to funk volume

39
20 24
Haiku D'Etat is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Alternative hip hop, Underground hip hop

40
26 32
C-BO is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk

41
18 24
Non-Prophets is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Underground hip hop

42
10 14
Qwel & Maker is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Spencer Wallack added

43
19 26
Asheru is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Underground hip hop

44
22 30
Astronautalis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Indie

45
14 20
Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap

46
10 15
88-keys is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Underground hip hop

47
13 19
Ranker Video
Doug Bradshaw added

48
21 30
Exile is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music

49
20 29
SwizZz is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
WyattBanham added Hip hop music - Justin Ritter (born September 28, 1987), better known by SwizZz. He is best known for significantly collaborating with childhood friend Hopsin, and being signed to his record label Funk Volume, which was co-founded by his older brother Dame Ritter. He has released various mixtapes including Haywire with Hopsin, and Good Morning SwizZzle. He is currently working on his untitled debut studio album.

50
20 29
Uncle Murda is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop