Music

The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups  

Reference
10.6k votes 2.7k voters 109.5k views 106 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. 

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list ordered by
1
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
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
Big L is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop
4
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
Jedi Mind Tricks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Tarekh Lacio added Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop
6
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop
7
Atmosphere is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Indie
8
Pharoahe Monch is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Makumim added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop
9
Aesop Rock is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop
10
R.A. The Rugged Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Dirty rap
11
Hopsin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Horrorcore
12
Madlib is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Disco
13
$uicideboy$ is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
GabEJohnston added
14
Army of the Pharaohs is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap
15
El-P is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Makumim added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop
16
Earl Sweatshirt is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Horrorcore
17
Eyedea & Abilities is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop
18
Brother Ali is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music, Rap music
19
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
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
Ras Kass is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop
22
Action Bronson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
danman082200 added Hip hop music
23
Blu is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, West Coast hip hop
24
Killer Mike is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
DonTeaford added Hip hop music, Southern hip hop
25
Lords of the Underground is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop