92% Of People Cannot Identify These Famous Rappers From The '80s and '90s! Can you?

By: Craig

About This Quiz

The late '80s and all of the 1990s saw rap music begin to dominate the charts. This musical genre has only gone on from strength to strength thanks to the talented artists who were prepared to push the boundaries. But do you think you can identify them from a single image? Yo! Let's go!

Wu Tang Clan is comprised out of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Ol' Dirty Bastard and Ghostface Killah. They are recognized as one of raps most influential groups. The group formed in 1992 and have recorded six studio albums with another set for release soon.

Before he was a massive film star, Will Smith, or the Fresh Prince as he was known, started life as a rapper. Smith actually started rapping at the age of 12. At 16, he met Jazzy Jeff and the two joined forces to form DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. In the late '80s, the duo had a number of Billboard hits, including Girls Of The World Ain't Nothing But Trouble. They won a Grammy in 1989 for Best Rap Performance. Smith eventually went solo.

Largely acknowledged as one of the greatest rappers of his generation, Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996 at the age of 25. Although his murder remains unsolved, many believe it stemmed from the conflict between himself and east coast rapper, Biggie Smalls. Tupac recorded his first song in 1991. It appeared on the soundtrack to the movie, "Nothing But Trouble." The rest, as they say, is history. Shakur released five albums before his death.

Kurtis Blow is considered to be rap's first commercially successful artist. In fact, he was the first to release an album on a major label - 1980s "The Breaks." Blow had many more firsts as well, including the first rapper to go on an international tour and the first to be signed up for an endorsement deal. He released six albums between 1980 and 1988 by which time N.W.A and Gangsta rap, in particular, were starting to take over.

The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls (born Christopher George Latore Wallace) was shot and killed in 1997. Many believe that his death was a revenge killing for that of west coast rap rival, Tupac Shakur, a year earlier. The two had been friends at one point, but Shakur thought Smalls was behind an attempt on his life in 1994. Smalls released two albums before his death. Both were massive hits.

Born Joseph Williams Jr, Just-Ice started his rap career in 1986 with the release of Back to the Old School. Ice was not like rappers at the time. His style definitely more gangsta. After he was found not guilty of a murder, he released six more albums over the next 12 years without any major success.

Nasir Jones -- or Nas -- was a powerful force on the rap scene in the 1990s. His first album, "Illmatic," hit the shelves in 1994. It immediately proved to be a hit, climbing to #12 on the US charts and receiving a five-star rating from influential hip-hop magazine, The Source. His follow-up, "It Was Written," was released in 1996 with collaborations from Dr. Dre, Foxy Brown and Lauren Hill. Further albums followed and Nas still records today.

Big Daddy Kane released his first album, "Long Live The Kane," in 1998. Kane lived the rap game to the full and was known for his massive wardrobe and gold jewelry... lots of it. Later in his career, Kane duetted with Barry White but never really managed to hit the mainstream success of other artists. All in all, he released seven albums up until 1998.

Hailing from Texas, Ghetto Boys released their first album in 1988. It was entitled "Making Trouble," but it didn't trouble the charts. This rap group, however, didn't steer away from controversy and some of its themes bordered on the macabre. In 1991, member Bushwick Bill was shot in the face, eventually losing an eye from the ordeal. He was featured on the cover of the group's next album, "We Can't Be Stopped," being wheeled out of the hospital by the other group members.

Snoop Dog (Calvin Broadus) burst onto the rap scene in 1993 with the incredibly catchy single, "What's My Name." An album followed, "Doggystyle," which went straight to #1 in the US and sold over 11 million copies worldwide. His next two albums also went to number one and The Dogfather continues to release music, remaining popular the world over. He has had 17 Grammy nominations but never won one.

Louis Eric Barrier -- or Eric B -- formed part of the rap duo, Eric B and Rakim. In 1987, they released their first album, "Paid in Full," with Eric handling production and Rakim the rhymes. Three more albums followed before the duo split up in 1993. Eric went solo, releasing an album in 1995. It was not well received.

Ol' Dirty Bastard -- or Russell Tyrone Jones to his mom -- was a founding member of the influential rap group, Wu Tang Clan. ODB, as he was also called, had a successful solo career. He died of a drug overdose a few days before his 36th birthday. ODB took his name from a 1980 movie, "Ol' Dirty and the Bastard."

O'Shea Jackson, or Ice Cube as he is known in the world of hip hop, was a member of N.W.A. He left the group in 1989 to start his own successful solo career but has branched out into acting, producing, writing and directing. Cube has sold over 38 million albums worldwide.

Beastie Boys were formed in 1981, initially as a punk band. They branched into hip hop in 1985, becoming one of the most respected groups in the genre. The band consisted of Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "MCA" Yauch and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz. They continued to release albums throughout the '80s, '90s and into the new century. Yauch died of cancer in 2009.

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, or Eminem (sometimes Slim Shady,) burst onto the rap scene in 1999. His second album, "The Slip Shady LP," produced by Dr. Dre, went four times platinum, selling over 16 million units worldwide. Eminem went on to release a host of other albums, appear in D12, a group of rappers from Detroit, and even tried his hand at acting in "8 Mile," a story about his life. He is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in America and has sold close to 200 million albums worldwide.

Called the Clown Prince of Hip Hop for his humorous lyrics, Biz Markie only had one really notable hit - 1989's "Just a Friend." He ran into trouble in 1991 for using a sample from Gilbert O'Sullivan who took him to court. This hurt his career significantly. Today he appears on the children's TV show, "Yo Gabba Gabba!" and works as a DJ.

Too Short (Todd Anthony Shaw) released his first album, "Born to Mack," in 1987. He is largely regarded as one of the pioneers of hip hop on the West Coast. To date, he has released 17 albums. His latest work has not been as well received as his early records.

Often called the pioneers of Gangsta rap, N.W.A. consisted of Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and MC Ren. Their debut album, "Straight Outta Compton" is recognized as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. They released only one more album before the group split with members embarking on their own solo careers.

James Todd Smith, or LL Cool J, is a rapper from New York who released his first album in 1985. To date, he has recorded 13 albums and even branched into acting. LL Cool J stands for Ladies Love Cool James.

Eazy-E (Eric Lynn Wright) was a member of N.W.A. and one of the founding fathers of the Gangsta rap scene. Eazy supported himself by selling drugs in the Compton area before N.W.A. struck it big. He founded Ruthless Records and released solo material after N.W.A. disbanded. He died in 1995 as a result of complications from AIDS.

De La Soul formed in Long Island, New York, in 1987. The trio comprises of Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo. They hit it big from the start, with their debut, "Three Feet High and Rising," considered to be one of the greatest debut albums ever released in the genre. By the end of the '90s, they had released another three critically acclaimed albums.

DMX (Earl Simmons) released his first album, "It's Dark and Hell is Hot," in 1998. He has released seven albums in total, selling over 30 million records worldwide and making him one of the most successful rappers of all time. He also branched out into acting, starring in a number of movies, including "Romeo Must Die" and "Cradle To The Grave."

Richard Martin Lloyd Walters, or Slick Rick as he is known, started his rap career in 1982. He released four albums between 1988 and 1999 and is best known for the singles, "La Di Da Di" and "Children's Story." Much of his work has been used as samples in other artists's songs, including Snoop Dogg and The Notorious B.I.G.

Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) is one of the most recognizable rappers in the world today. Since "Reasonable Doubt," his debut in 1995, he has released a total of 13 albums, sometimes collaborating with other artists, including R. Kelly and Kanye West. His music has won him 21 Grammys over the years and he is widely regarded as one of the richest rappers in the world.

Founded in Queens, New York, in 1981 by Joseph "Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell, Run DMC is one of the first hip hop groups ever formed. They are recognized as having a massive influence on the genre. They were also the first group or solo artist from the rap scene to achieve gold sales status for an album - 1984's "Run-D.M.C._ - and were only the second-ever rap group to be inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

The brainchild of Chuck D and Flava Flav, Public Enemy is one of the pioneering rap groups from the 1980s. In fact, their first four releases, issued between 1987 and 1991, reached gold or platinum sales status thanks to their politically-charged lyrics.

Big L (Lamont Coleman), a rapper from New York, released his debut recording, "Lifestylez of da Poor & Dangerous," in 1995 after he originally came to the fore in the Diggin' in the Crates Crew as well as appearing on a remix of a song by Lord Finesse. He was shot and killed in 1999. His killer has never been found. A posthumous second album, "The Big Picture," was released in 2000 and achieved gold sales status.

Together with Big Boi, Andre 3000 formed the group Outkast in the early 1990s. They released three albums in the decade with all three achieving platinum sales figures. It was their 2000 release, "Stankonia," that sent them into superstardom. Andre 3000 also takes times out from the rap game to produce as well as act.

Prodigy (Albert Johnson) was part of the hip hop duo, Mobb Deep, along with Havoc. While both were still teenagers, the pair released their debut single, "Juvenile Hell," in 1993. Their first album, "H.N.I.C.," came out seven years later, however, even though they had built up a large underground following and were involved with the revival of the east coast rap scene. Mobb Deep continued as a group through the 2000s and continued releasing material. Prodigy, however, died in 2017 after a battle with sickle-cell anemia.

Raekwon (Corey Woods) is a founding member of one of the hip hop world's most loved groups, Wu Tang Clan. He has a very successful solo career as well, releasing seven albums since 1995. Raekwon also owns his own record label, ICEH20.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mos Def (Yaslin Bey) started his career in a hip hop group called Urban Thermo Dynamics. In the late '90s he, together with Talib Kweli, formed the group Black Star, He has also released four solo albums. Mos Def is extremely active regarding social and political causes.

Brad Terrence Jordan, or Scarface as he is known in the world of hip hop, is a member of the group, Ghetto Boys, and active from the late 1980s. Other than the albums released by the group, Scarface has recorded 11 solo offerings. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers ever.

MC Hammer quickly shot to success on the back of his third studio album, "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em," and the lead single, "You Can't Touch This," in 1990. Sales of this album reached diamond status, making Hammer the first rapper ever to achieve this distinction. Although many consider his style more pop rap than anything else, there is no doubt he helped bring the genre into the mainstream.

Like MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice's catchy beats and less aggressive lyrics brought him into the mainstream in 1990, thanks to the success of his hit, "Ice, Ice Baby," from his second album, "Too The Extreme." His success was short-lived after his record company, in an attempt to give him some street cred, fabricated stories about Ice coming from a gang background. During the height of his fame, he dated Madonna for six months.

Big Pun (Christopher Lee Rios) got his start in the New York underground scene and appeared as a guest artist on a few established rappers's albums before landing a recording contract of his own. He released two albums, 1998's "Capital Punishment" and 2000's "Yeeah Baby" (released after his death). Pun died of a heart attack on February 7, 1990. He was just 28.

Clifford Smith, or Method Man as he is known to the hip hop community, is a member of hip hop supergroup, Wu Tang Clan. Other than recording with the Clan, Method Man has released seven studio albums of his own with more in the works. He is considered to be one of the greatest rappers of all time.

Redman (Reggie Noble) came to prominence in the '90s the East Coast collective, Hit Squad as well as Def Squad. To date, Redman has released seven studio albums and a host of collaborations, of which those with Method Man having been well received. Redman has also stepped into the world of acting.

KRS One was a member of the 1980s hip hop collective, Boogie Down Productions. After he left the group in 1992, he embarked on a successful solo career, releasing 14 solo albums and six collective efforts. His real name is Lawrence Krisna Parker.

Ghostface Killah (Dennis Coles) is a member of rap supergroup, Wu Tang Clan. He is known for his fast, loud flow and has had a number of his solo albums critically acclaimed. Killah has released a total of 16 albums other than his Wu Tang output. He sometimes goes by the alias of Tony Starks.

Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., or Common as he is known in the hip hop world, is a rapper and actor from Chicago.Common has released 14 solo albums and won three Grammys for his work, as well as an Oscar. He has seamlessly made the crossover into acting and appeared in movies such as "Suicide Squad" and "American Gangster."

Nate Dogg released three albums over the course of his career, collaborating with hip hop royalty such as Snoop Dog, Tupac, Dr. Dre and others. He was also a member of 213, a trio from Long Beach. Nate Dogg died from multiple strokes in 2011. His real name was Nathaniel Dwayne Hale.

Lauryn Hill was a member of the critically acclaimed group, The Fugees. It was her solo album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," that shot her into superstardom. Not only did it reach 31 in the US and the UK, but it went platinum eight times over.

Missy Elliot announced herself to the world of hip hop in 1997 with the release of her debut album, "Supa Dupa Fly." It went straight in at 33 on the US charts, making it the highest debut ever for a female rapper. She has released an additional five solo efforts with all of them either reaching platinum or gold status.

Lil' Kim was a member of Junior M.A.F.I.A., a group affiliated to Biggie Smalls. Their first album, 1994's "Conspiracy," produced three hits. Kim left the group to go solo, releasing "Hard Core" in 1996. It easily went platinum and led to three big hits, including "No Time." Kim went on to release three more solo albums but spent time in prison in 2005 for lying to a jury in a previous court case.

Together with Andre 3000, Big Boi formed the group, Outkast, in the early 1990s. They released three albums in the decade with all three achieving platinum sales figures. It was their 2000 release, "Stankonia," that sent them into superstardom.

William Michael Griffin Jr., or Rakim, formed part of the rap duo, Eric B and Rakim. In 1987 they released their first album, "Paid in Full," with Eric handling production and Rakim the rhymes. Three more albums followed before the duo split up in 1993. After the split, Rakim has gone on to release five solo albums.

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