Happy Veteran's Day! As the rest of the country celebrates our courageous troops and war heroes, XXLMag.com would also like to honor 10 rappers who've been in the game for over two decades and still remain relevant today. From Jay-Z to Nas to Busta Rhymes, and more, XXL pays homage to the hip-hop OGs during this national holiday. Salute.—Ralph Bristout @ralphieblackmon
Pete’s never missed a step since first entering the scene with partner C.L. Smooth on 1991’s critically acclaimed All Souled Out EP. Since then, he’s released a slew of albums and recently landed a production placement on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne.
Premier is no doubt one of hip-hop’s most legendary producers. His name is listed alongside a number of hip-hop classics like Nas’ Illmatic, Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, The Notorious B.I.G's Ready to Die and of course work with his own group, Gang Starr. And he continues to get called for work. Whether it be Mac Miller, Joell Ortiz or Drake, who apparently tried to get him for Take Care, there’s no stopping the Houston native.
He bumrushed the game with his classic verse on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” posse cut in 1991 and he hasn't stopped. Earlier this year the Dungeon Dragon wowed listeners with his phenomenal spot on Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now." Woo-Ha!
Despite The Chronic and 2001 being the only studio albums of his solo career—while Detox remains in limbo—it’s Dre’s production catalog that pretty much speaks louder volumes. From anchoring Snoop Dogg’s classic Doggystyle to Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP, 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', and not to mention his personal Beats By Dre headphone franchise, the Doc’s legacy reigns supreme.
Bursting onto the scene with N.W.A. back in 1980s, Ice Cube remains a viable force in the game, especially in Hollywood. Yay-yah!
Nasir Jones warned listeners on 1991’s "Live At the BBQ," that he shoots slugs out of his brain just like a rifle. Two decades later and he’s still shootin’. There's no doubt that XXL’s Nov. 2011 cover boy is as "nasty" as he was ever was.
Ever since first appearing on friend-turned-foe, Jaz-O’s, “Hawaiian Sophie” music video, Jigga’s not only managed to remain relevant for two decades but, he’s also become one of hip-hop most influential figures along the way. He may be over 40, but Jigga man still has a chokehold on the charts and onstage.
Whether it’s A Tribe Called Quest, his own solo catalog, or production placements, there’s no denying Q-Tip’s contribution to the hip-hop forefront. And the Abstract Poetic is still at it, landing a spot on Watch the Throne ("That's My Bitch").
The Oakland native has had one stellar since dropping Don’t Stop Rappin’ landing guest features alongside 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Kid Rock and more. Just recently he landed placement on Wiz Khalifa’s Billboard Top 10 rap single, “On My Level." He also currently working on a joint album with E-40 called, The History Channel.
Ice has had one interesting career. Since having a hand in anchoring the gangsta rap genre with his debut,Rhyme Pays, in 1987, Iceberg has dropped an array of controversial albums as well as starred in many films and television ventures. You can still catch him on Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit or E! or VH1 narrating the latest rap doc.