Happy Independence Day: The Top 30 Independent Artists in the Game

1 of 33
  • #Kid-Ink
  • #beaniemarkee
  • beanieintro
    As we take today to celebrate our nation’s day of independence, it’s only right that we also pay tribute to Hip-Hop’s crop of independent emcees. Sans the support and deep pockets of a major, these artists have managed to thrive, both as mainstream acts and those with niche followings. Whether it’s from touring, selling merchandise, or moving units, succeeding in the independent grind is no easy feat. So enjoy your 4th of July and join us as we tip our hats to the Top 30 Independent Artists in the Game. — <i>XXL Staff</i>
  • While his buzz seems to have suffered from a decline, The Based God continues impacting the blogosphere day in and day out. His tireless Internet grind (Have you checked out his recent 848 track mixtape?), puzzling style and charismatic personality have kept the Berkley, CA native as one of the more recognizable artists in the game, whether we like it or not.
  • 29. Trae Tha Truth
    29. Trae Tha Truth
    Trae Tha Truth had a monstrous 2nd half of 2011, poking his head out of the underground to work with everyone from Rick Ross, to Big Boi to Wiz Khalifa on his June 2011 independently released, <i>Street King</i>. His resurgence was particularly impressive after his 2010 beef with local Houston radio station, KBXX, which blacklisted him from his station. Since <i>Street King</i> ‘s release, Trae has remained a staple of Houston rap, releasing a slew of mixtapes and popping up as a featured guest on the records of mainstream favorites like Jadakiss.
  • 28. MF DOOM
    MF Doom has been an underground favorite since establishing himself as rap’s super villain on 1999’s Operation Doomsday. Though not always acknowledged in the mainstream, the man also known as Metal Face, Viktor Vaughn and King Geedorah’s influence on the game is undeniable. Mos Def calls himself DOOM’s no. 1 fan and you need your ears checked if you’re not reminded of his gravelly voice and unorthodox flow when listening to Odd Future ringleader Tyler, the Creator. Despite having already cemented his place in the indie hall of fam, Doom drops down this year's list, having not released a project since 2009's <i>Born Like This</i>
  • 27. Jean Grae
    27. Jean Grae
    Quiet as kept, Jean Grae has put together a lengthy and acclaimedcareer without any major label ties. From her early days as a member of Natural Resource (when she went by the name What? What?) to her acclaimed Jeanius album with 9th Wonder to her recent mixtape, <i>Cookies or Comas</i>, Jean Grae stays on your best female rapper—and rappers, period—lists.
  • 26. Brother Ali
    26. Brother Ali
    Brother Ali, who’s known and praised for the sincerity of his verses, has been steadily molding his stature as one of indie rap scene’s most recognized voices. The Minneapolis rapper’s allegiance to Midwest powerhouse, Rhymesayers, immediately placed him amongst some of the game’s most recognized names including Atmosphere. Both 2007’s <em>The Undisputed Truth</em> and 2009’s <em>Us</em> have garnered critical praise, and reached respectable positions on the Billboard charts. With his long-awaited <em>Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color</em> expected to come out on August, the legacy of the poignant MC shall continue to thrive (beyond his albino complexion).
  • 25. sean-price-6
    25. Sean Price
    The gravelly voiced Duck Down legend has left fans eagerly awaiting his upcoming LP, <i>Mic Tyson</i>. Despite not having released an album since 2007’s <i> Jesus Price Supastar</i>, P struck gold again in 2011 with <i>Random Axe</i>, his critically acclaimed collaborative LP with Guilty Simpson, produced entirely by Black Milk.
  • 24. Immortal Technique
    24. Immortal Technique
    While the Harlem MC’s independently released outputs have never sold large numbers, Immortal Technique was able to leave a dent in hip-hop’s infrastructure with his left-wing, social-political, and revolutionary lyrics. His expose of the U.S. government’s dirty deeds, and history-driven references are unmatched by any other artist claiming to put out conscious or politically driven music. His latest output, <em>The Martyr</em>, received positive reviews, and Technique continues to draw large crowds of avid supporters worldwide. Plus, him actually building an orphanage in Afghanistan, and actively partaking in rallies, showcase Technique’s belief in taking things beyond music.
  • 23. Statik Selektah
    The Lawrence, Massachussetts native has worked with the likes of Eminem, Nas, Q-Tip, Saigon, Termanology, Freeway, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, Mac Miller and Obie Trice just to name a few off his who’s who list of collaborations. He’s also made himself viable as the CEO of Showoff Records, even hosting a <i>Showoff Radio</i> program.
  • 22. Smoke DZA
    22. Smoke DZA
    Smoke DZA lands on this year’s list after a particularly impressive year highlighted by his joining Curren$y’s Jet Life roster and two particularly notable releases, <i>Rolling Stoned</i> and the Harry Fraud produced <i>Rugby Thompson</i>. The latter of which resulted in his strongest outing yet, a darker project featuring cuts with other indie mainstays such as Sean Price and Action Bronson
  • Juve
  • 20. Danny Brown
    <h2>"I Will"</h2>
    "Slobbing on that pussy after that I don't cuddle/I put that dick up on her make her sleep in the puddle"
  • 19. Styles P
    19. Styles P
    P has been killing it on the independent circuit for some time now. Since releasing his <em>Time Is Money</em> in 2006 on his then Interscope label home, Styles has went on to release a slew of independent projects including 2007’s <em>Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman)</em>, 2010’s <em>The Green Ghost Project</em> and last year’s <em>Master of Ceremonies</em>—among others. Despite never matching the commercial success of his 2002 debut <em>A Gangster and a Gentleman</em> and it’s “Good Times” single, SP has managed to stay afloat through his continuous output of music.
  • 18. Hopsin
  • 17. Macklemore
    17. Macklemore
    Forget not having a major label. Without a manager, publicist, orlabel of any sort—independent, major, imaginary, orotherwise—Macklemore threw his home city of Seattle on his back, with the Pacific Northwest and later other parts of the country not far behind. With a spoken word-like delivery and knack for storytelling and brutal honesty, the 2012 <em>XXL</em> Freshman has sold shows across the country and secured a substantial and growing following. His new album, alongside producer Ryan Lewis, is due out later this year.
  • 16. MURS-1
    16. MURS
    Left coast lyricist MURS has won acclaim over the years for his acrobatic lyrics and high-energy live act. However, his solo show is only half of the equation: collab projects with 9th Wonder, Terrance Martin and Dame Dash's DD172 have helped to upped MURS' profile, along with his involvement in the underground fest, Paid Dues. Looks like that (indie) marketing plan is him.
  • 15. Chris WEbby
    15. Chris Webby
    After crashing Datpiff's servers from a mixtape release, the self proclaimed "Best In The Burbs," Chris Webby has been on a bit of a tear of late, releasing his first digital album <i>There Goes The Neighborhood</i>, and embarking on a 40 date National Tour this past Spring. His December digital album hit the No. 1 spot on both the iTunes Hip-Hop charts, as well as the Billboard Heatseeker chart.
  • 14. Dom Kennedy
    <h2>Dom Kennedy</h2>
    The West Coast local legend's fame has slowly but surely grown since his 2008 debut, and he's amassed something of a cult following in his hometown of LA. His <em>From the Westside with Love</em> skyrocketed his notoriety, and its followup <em>From the Westside With Love II</em> peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Rap Album charts.
  • 13. Kid Ink
    13. Kid Ink
    Like many of the today's new-age indie artists, Kid Ink built his buzz largely through touring, and an online presence focused on fan interaction. That paid off for the 2012 <em>XXL</em> Freshman this past June, when he released his debut album, <em>Up & Away</em>. With major labels heavily courting the Los Angeles native, who currently reps Tha Alumni Music Group, there's certainly a chance he'll remove himself from the running for a spot on this list by this time next year.
  • 12. Raekwon
  • 11. DJ Drama
    11. DJ Drama
    Drama ended the month of June like he hopes the rest of the summer will go—with a bang! That’s because he released “My Moment,” a bubbling banger featuring 2 Chainz, Meek Mill and Jeremih, which is scheduled to be a part of his upcoming album, Quality Street Music. Add his growing penchant for delivering solid music under his name and the fact that doing a Gangsta Grillz mixtape with him still holds weight and fans can realize pretty rapidly why Drama is who he is to the independent scene and hip-hop overall. He stays on what’s hot.
  • 10. Lecrae
    Without (until recently) much recognition but with plenty of fanfare, Lecrae has built an indie powerhouse of sorts with his Reach Records over the last half decade. Offering up a roster of technically gifted rappers who happen to value their Christian faith greatly, the Reach team boasts successful acts like Trip Lee and Tedashii. The anchor, though, is 'Crae, who has topped the <em>Billboard</em> Gospel, Christian, and Independent charts since dropping his first album in 2004. Quickly gaining acceptance into more mainstream circles of hip-hop over the last year or so, the Houston native dropped the Don Cannon-hosted <em>Church Clothes</em>, his first mixtape, earlier this year, and will be follow up with his album <em>Gravity</em> later this year.
  • 9. Atmosphere
    The Minnesota duo of Slug and Ant is a not only a perfect musical team, they've also paved the way for a lot of independent artists in their on-their-own-terms success. Their most commercially successful record came in 2008 with <em>When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold,</em> which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 charts.
  • 8. Fat Joe
    8. Fat Joe
    Joey Crack’s radio presence has hardly diminished since the Bronx Bomber has made the transition from majors to indies. His 2010 release, <em>The Darkside Vol. 1</em> was well received, and he’s garnered steady spins for his two singles, “Another Round” featuring Chris Brown and the star-studded, “Pride N Joy.” His as-yet-titled 11th album will surely continue to cement Crack as an oft-overlooked indie powerhouse.
  • 7. El-P
    Indie hip-hop stalwart, EL-P, has experienced a renaissance recently thanks in part to contributions to works by Killer Mike, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire and his own solo effort, Cancer 4 Cure (Fat Possom Records). The former Company Flow front man and Definitive Jux head helped usher in the golden era of independent hip-hop as a Rawkus recording act, along with Mos Def and Talib Kweli, among others. His second act has been just as impressive.
  • 6. Odd Future
    His ideas are definitely simple, but are getting better.
    "One song, 'Trashwang,' features normally nonrapping Odd Future affiliates rapping, the sort of tossed-off concept a group of teenagers come up with during a late night basement sleepover. And the Odd Future show on Adult Swim, the protean-but-improving 'Loiter Squad,' is pure juvenile slapstick, not much more than a few friends, their inside jokes and some cameras to capture it all."
  • 5. Killer Mike
    5. Killer Mike
    Once thought of as an heir to OutKast, Atlanta's Killer Mike has prevailed not with the Billboard dominance of the Dungeon Family's favorite sons, but instead with a tried-and-true formula: Grindin' it out. After a series of impressive mixtapes and releases, notably KM's Pledge series, this year he teamed with Brooklyn's El P to work on a full-length collaborative LP that won over fans and critics alike. His latest reinvention has proven to be his best: Underground king.
  • 4. E40
    4. E-40
    The Bay-Area legend and slang pioneer has used the independent game to set an unmatched example of longevity in hip-hop. Through his Sick Wid It label, The Ambassador of the Bay has slung music to fans nationwide since 1987. After releasing double albums two years in a row, 40 stepped it up in 2012, releasing 3 albums on the same day (All three of which landed on the Billboard charts). Next up, he's got a double disc album with fellow Bay originator Too $hort entitled <i>The History Channell</i>. 40 Water's not going anywhere.
  • 3. Childish Gambino
    Childish Gambino - "Outside" <i>Camp</i> (2011)
    "Dad lost his job, momma works at Mrs. Winner's/Gun pulled in her face, she still made dinner/'Donald, watch the meter so they don't turn the lights off'/Working two jobs so I can get into that white school."
  • 2. Tech N9ne
    2. Tech N9ne
    The Strange Music general’s No Days Off motto is still intact. Riding the momentum of his successful <em>All 6’s and 7’s</em>, Tech dropped, <em>Welcome to Strangeland</em>, a compilation of collaborations primarily showcasing his camp. Tech continued to raise the bar with his live show. He closed 2011 by performing for the U.S. Troops as part of the USO tour and set a record for his Hostile Takeover trek—a run that had Tech and Machine Gun Kelly perform 90 shows in 99 days. Tech also continued to strengthen his Strange Music brand with successful releases from ¡MAYDAY! Krizz Kaliko and Stevie Stone.
  • 1. Mac Miller
    1. Mac Miller
    Mac Miller took independent success to new mainstream heights in the past year. He scored two certified gold singles in “Knock Knock“ and “Donald Trump.” His highly anticipated debut, <em>Blue Slide Park</em>, released last November, became the first indie release to debut at No. 1 on the <em>Billboard</em> 200 since Dogg Pound’s <em>Dogg Food</em> in 1995. The LP has moved 331, 245 units to date. Mac’s also landed coveted guest spots on Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger (Remix)” and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend (Remix)” alongside 2 Chainz and Asher Roth. The Pittsburgh MC’s also been relentlessly touring the world with his 70-city Blue Slide Park run last fall, domestic and oversees legs of his Macadelic tour at the top of the year and more recently, his Under the Influence trek with Wiz Khalifa. Let’s not forget his Mountain Dew endorsement. Last fall, <em>XXL</em> reported that Mac raked in roughly 20 to 25, 000 per show. Word is that figure has significantly ballooned since then. With numbers that rival that of major-label artists, Mac’s proven himself as the top independent artist in the game this year.


Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • X

    mac miller, scarface and tech n9ne in the same picture… one of these rappers is not like the other… come on xxl step your shit up mac miller shouldnt even be on this list

    • Michaelll

      That’s E-40, not Scarface

      • X

        yea i know son just early in the morn & forgot that Scarface was on rap a lot and those two dudes look exactly the same lol

    • http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/07/independence-day-the-top-30-independent-artists-in-the-game/?replytocom=2906309#respond mitchell

      mac miller needs to get off this page if tech n9nes name is on it… he dousent even compare to him…. what so ever

    • 24codyc

      mac miller absolutely belongs on this list…hes definitly not in techs league,but he is a lot better than he gets credit for,and he IS independent.hes not a bad lyricist and he makes real music,he just gets a bad rap from being grouped with trash like wiz khalifa and other signed guys.

      • Basco

        Mac-Miller a “great lyricist”? lol. lolololol.
        Just like those “dope rhymes” he laid out on that joke of a group, cobra starship’s, song middle finger. He’s not anywhere near most of these people on this list.

    • Vorheez

      I think youre in the wrong place “rap fan”. thats E-40.

    • kerby rok

      thats e40 son step yo game up

    • Blackrain

      Well, Mac Miller is White, the other two are collered… I like E40 and Tech, just heard of Mac just now, so it seems musically and lyrically, Tech does the most different in sound…. Tech also raps faster than I ever heard E40 do (honestly, I haven’t heard much from E40 though).

      I would’t worry about you confusion of E40 and Scarface, until a few months ago, I couldn’t really tell apart E40 and Rick Ross!

      • X

        thats a little extreme- Rick Ross is the one with the beard… and he sucks- E40 and Scarface both have the same face type and build but have vastly different music styles (40 being from Oakland and Face from H town). I don’t normally make that kind of mistake- I just saw the picture, assumed it was Scarface with the backwards hat (saw a similar picture linked to his collabo with Beans on this site) and just typed scarface- everyone’s just gotta cool it it’s just a slip

        • zonedout559

          E-40 is from Vallejo C.A not Oakland

    • B_iLLreppin515

      Homie ur trippin, numbers don’t lie, if he was a bad artists he wouldnt be nearly as succesful as he is.

  • X

    should have gone thru the whole thing… mac miller actually won what the fuck this is why i dont take xxl seriously

    oh and that’s e40 scarface is signed to J Prince label rap a lot

    • Ash

      theres no way mac should win. he’s popular with a buzz while tech n9ne’s a way better musician. tech is not only more experienced, but absolutely kills tracks while mac simply rides the beats.

      • SMH

        Tech N9e fans are all hypocrites,,its funny they talk how great he is an how horrible everyone else is (when they only ever heard cats from strangemusic or thru stranges Collabs::hint,,Hopsin,E-40,Kaliko,Mayday) but if a fucc says sumin about Tech i bet these marks would try DirectMessaging strangemusic tellin em bout it,,thinkin they connected … I liked Tech N9ne untill I ACTUALLY listend toHipHop…. Vote SEAN P

  • BogdanYEZ

    great team

  • Adam

    Tech’s been indie for his whole career so how the fuck is mac miller the top independent artists. Tech never had any video or radio hits and still sells album and tours all year.

    • will chambers

      THANK YOU!

  • Brent

    Ahh, nice to see the Mac Miller fan boys doin their thing.

    Not only is Tech N9ne 100x the rapper Mac is, he’s been way more successful for a LONG period of time.

    And Miller is not really independent, we all know that…

  • Seriously XXL?

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. E-40
    3. Childish Gambino
    4. Hopsin
    5. Trae the Truth

    30. Mac Miller

    • Gabby

      hahahhaa true true!!

    • jj

      Hopsin isnt inde

      • http://www.myfunkvolume.com Hopsin

        Yes actually I am.

        • darian

          dude, his ranking is vicious. u thankin’ it isn’t?

        • X

          yo hop when knock madness comin man

  • tj

    wtf dizzy wright has to get more recognition xxl! if hes not on freshmans 2013 im just never even paying attention to xxl anymore

  • EMAN

    Tech should have easy been #1, he’s the king of independent. Look at his albums, all his work in the game, his expressed motto, his world record breaking tour! Even his fellow Strange label mates should have made this list. Mac Miller shouldn’t have won this at all

  • really xxl?

    how is dizzy wright not even on the list, and odd future is!?!? and hopsin is 18.?
    1.Tech N9ne
    2. E-40
    4.Dizzy Wright
    5. Macklemore

  • EMAN

    plus Hopsin at #18??

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Immortal Technique
    3. ¡MAYDAY!
    4. Hopsin
    5. Krizz Kaliko

    My list

    • wordman


    • Brutal

      Why the hell would you put ¡MAYDAY! Immortal and Hopsin in front of Krizz? Are you out of your mind? In fact, why would you even put Tech N9ne in front of Krizz?


      I think MAYDAY should be number 2, and Kaliko should be pretty close to Tech. They need more recognition! MAYDAY ecspecially should have more recognition!

      • Lil Bruhh

        Tech N9ne fans kill me,,its funny they talk how great he is an how horrible everyone else is (when they only ever heard cats from strangemusic or thru stranges Collabs::hint,,Hopsin,E-40,Kaliko,Mayday) but if a fucc says sumin about Tech,I bet these marks would try DirectMessagin’ strangemusic tellin em bout it … I liked Tech N9ne untill I ACTUALLY listend toHipHop…. Vote SEAN P

  • Technician

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Hopsin

  • RLove2110

    That is NOT scarface.. If you dont know e-40, you shouldn’t be commenting on this period! e-40 is respected by mainstream & indie… Mac miller is over rated..
    ~~P.S… Cant wait for the TECH show tonight!!~~~

  • Biff Buffwell

    LOL…XXL is a joke. They have serious issues with ACTION BRONSON. Anybody who follows Hip Hop today knows that this man should be on that list. Webby, Hopsin, Lil B, Atmosphere, Kid Ink? All these clowns and no Bronson. You guys are completely irrelevant. Congrats! Happy 4th of July to the white people deciding this crap.

    • Swan

      Atmosphere? they deserve to be ranked higher. They arent clowns.

  • SweettPeaPod

    Who the hell came up with this list? This is supposed to be the top indies?! Nope, try again. Tech and E-40 are probably the only two I’d take from this.

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Master P
    3. Insane Clown Posse
    4. Three 6 Mafia
    5. E-40

    The numbers show. These guys have had some of the greatest success independently and have been in the rap game for over 10 years.

    • Swan

      I’d have thought Twiztid would make the list higher than ICP just because while ICP has gone down recently, Twiztid keeps going up.

  • shara

    I guess they missed the fact that Tech is like 5 shows away from finishing the worlds longest rap tour in history..smfh.
    Tech should be number one, no questions fucking asked.
    He would slaughter Mac.
    Fat Joe? Does he even still rap anymore!?
    and why the fuck is he above hospin.. FUCK XXL
    you guys are a joke.

  • Josh

    How about Logic? He has to be at least on the list, come on xxl.

  • fizzlesworth

    How are they gonna have Mac Miller as an independent artist when he’s completely signed?!?

  • wille skandalz


  • Technician

    Tech N9NE !!!

  • dylan dorion

    tech n9ne, hopsin, and chris webby are my top three.

  • timm

    Tech N9ne by a long shit
    1. Tech
    2. Immortal Technique
    3. Atmosphere
    4. El-P
    5. Doom
    Honorable mention: Hopsin (only because he is so new!)

  • BraxtonA

    Tech N9ne sent me! He’s the obvious choice unless, even if you are deaf you know he is king!

  • Tim Eriksson

    Only one can be the greatest and he is by FAR, sure alot of the other are dope but they are on a whole diffrent level.
    TECH N9NE!!!!

  • Hazmatik

    Where’s The Jokerr?

    • Zeus

      The Jokerr is the incredibly wack…

  • Alexx

    Chris Webby all day!!! #NinjaSwag Bitches!!!

  • Dylan

    to bad mac miller isnt independent

  • Bake Lo

    Tech N9ne All The Way! No One Else Can Even Stand Up To The Role Like Tech!

  • Rachel

    Tech N9ne is the hardest, fastest rapper of anyone on this list!! Mac is sick, but Tech murders anyone on any track.

  • Desire

    Technician to the core… TECH NINE!!!!

  • tupac shakur

    Tech N9ne!

  • Stabby J

    You damn right!!! Tech N9ne baby!!! Strange Music for life!!!!

  • Antonio Baca

    Hopsin by far !

  • Buttpoop

    Mac Miller!!!!!!!!!!

    • Technician

      Mac Miller sucks.

  • kilroy

    not even an argument, tech all the way every year

  • Matt

    Da Da Dannt
    Tech N9NE

  • David Gilman

    Tech all the way. Gotta honor the king.


  • Vlad

    where the hell is Chamillionaire?

  • Mr. Miyagi

    I cant believe Mac Miller is even listed here..

    IF Tech dont win, i’ll never open another XXL again.


  • Los Drastic

    Tech N9ne all the way. these others dont compare. Enough said..

  • T

    Tech brought me here !

  • Desiree

    tech n9ne! hands down the best.

  • mongar

    TECH N9NE is the greatest Independent artist In The game and always will be there aint no contest here lmao

  • Jessica

    *Tech brought me here* Tech N9ne is AWESOME!!

  • david geiger

    yoooo tech is a beast cant be compared to anyone bro

  • Shawn Pierson

    Tech brought me here!:D

  • Nate

    Why is everyone saying mac won Tech has 38% and thats the highest in the vote i know he is why im here


    abu dhabi my nigga!!! TECH N9NE THE IS NO OTHER!!!

  • johnny

    Tech N9ne brought me here!

  • Subhead

    tech n9ne sent me!!!!!!

  • http://www.datpiff.com/mixtapes-detail.php?id=368433 steven madonia

    im a fan of quite a few people on here, but tech n9ne being the greatest. technicians stand up!

  • Joe

    Together we are a powerful force
    As one mind, body, and soul.
    Let no evil enter nor attempt to reduce us
    Because of the beliefs we hold.
    And with this love, combined with our strength,
    We ward off pain and stress.
    Technician I am, wholeheartedly,
    In life and in death!

  • Ryan Carr

    Hell ya GO TECH N9NE

  • Josh

    1. Tech N9ne
    Number one ofcourse!
    2. Immortal Technique
    Always kept it real
    3. Krizz Kaliko ,OH IT SAID MAC MILLER? i though it said KRIZZ KALIKO, anyhow fuck mac miller and krizz is on the list! no diss to mac he makes chill music but hes more like whiz good style chill music but it aint really hiphop you know.

  • Abel

    Tech Sent Us!

  • Skeeter Sanchez

    I think I’m the only one that voted for Metal Fingers

  • brandon

    IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE *And if you can’t acknowledge the reality of my words
    You just another stupid mother fucker out on the curb
    Trying to escape from the ghetto with your ignorant ways
    But you can’t read history at an illiterate stage
    And you can’t raise a family on minimum wage
    Why the fuck you think most of us are locked in a cage* IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE

  • brian

    im glad after 1550 votes, the standings go 1) tech 2) mac miller 3) chris webby 4) hopsin 5) immortal technique….im totally disregarding odd future cuz theyre all a buncha crackheads

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wizard-x/344234808925118 Wizard x

    TECH N9NE ! All The Way

  • Andy L

    Tech should have this in the bag, why is this even a concern for them hahaha. I mean cmon….

  • Sylentthabeatmaker

    Yoooooooo Tech N9ne Strange Music all day!!!! Psyched to be at the show in Louisville on Independence Day!

  • alex james

    TECH N9NE BROUGHT ME HERE, Tech n9ne is the best then Hopsin!

  • http://facebook derek hampton

    it has to be tech n9ne juss from the independant stand point he made his own lane with no help from any major lables

  • MCShove_It

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Hopsin

    I could care less about the others.

  • http://facebook richard san dymond

    tech n9ne

  • Layzie

    You kow it’s TECH N9NE

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/HasnLucidDreamsMusic Hasn

    tech n9ne and the whole strange music for that matter..
    mac miller
    brother ali
    immortal technique
    chris webby

    in no particular order.. they’re all good!

    (tech n9ne got me here btw ;)

  • sam uel

    it’s a shame that atmosphere doesnt have more votes, but i guess he i just above your “game”

  • Jacob Fox

    Tech N9ne Brought me here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Micardi

    List shouldn’t even been made… Tech N9ne created it, still doing.

    >> Strange Music All Day All Night <<

  • karl marzella


  • Jason J

    Tech N9ne is the king of Independent Artist. I like a lot of these other MCs but This is a no Brainer! TECH N9NE!!!!!



  • McBeefy

    tech is the greatest….. no body raps better

  • sam uel




  • Rico

    Tech N9ne sent me =)

  • xoshawniemarie

    tech n9ne IS the number 1 independant artist.. should be no debate.

  • J-Den Da Descender

    Tecca Nina all day baby!!! Technicians stand up! ANd I came on this bitch because of Yates, too! Da Da Da DA, TECH N9NE!!!!!

  • Jessica

    tech n9ne sent me :)

  • fadded23

    yo tech n9ne is the top there is no other no one on this list has anything tech n9ne

  • Bell

    Tech for sure


    Tech brought me here!!!
    #1 Tech N9ne
    #2 Hopsin
    #3 E-40

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/the187mob Sikka


  • Chavezoli

    TECH N9NE IS and ALWAYS be #1 Independant Rap Artist in the game! FTI!!!! Keep it STRANGE, Technicians!

  • Kristie


  • NBK

    Tech N9ne. Strange Music touring the nation.

  • JManDime

    Tech N9ne is unstoppable! Those mini coopers can hate on this monster truck!

  • ionmyke

    Um, you guys forgot Mac Lethal.

  • A’Lisa

    Tech N9ne all the way!!!!

  • Randeezy

    So no Chamillionaire? but Mac Miller, Kid Ink, and Odd Future? Everyone knows techs numero uno but this shits a fucking joke with all these artists who been around for maybe 2 years? if that…

  • Ari

    What about Joey bada$$? he has one of the illest releases of the year so far AND hes only 17. def shouldve been on the list, probably pretty close to the top



  • Anonymous

    how is Immortal Technique not higher up. How does Brother Ali and Jean Grae have higher percentages. And you wonder why people say rap sucks, when the shitty artists are voted up even in the independent scene. Tech deserves his spot though

  • http://facebook DaRealScarface

    Techa Nina brought me here.

  • AZtechnician

    /^S^\ Strange! Music! Tech N9ne brought me here

  • Genocidal one

    all great rappers but tech n9nes at the top

  • Kyle

    Tech sent me! TECH N9NE!!!!

  • desal

    TECH N9NE!

    although, doom, atmosphere, dom kennedy, and immortal technique are pretty dope, too.

    gotta go with tech though.

    51% ! fuck mac miller, that’s why he’s at 17%

  • tech fan

    tech brought me here

  • Aforsyth

    Listen to all 6s and 7s all the way through. pay attention.
    NOW. name ONE rapper in the history of hip-hop music who, bar-for-bar, flow-for-flow, has as many rhymes as tech n9ne.
    Nobody. period. His production is mediocre at best but his LYRICS are the best any human being has come up with yet, in history. This is not dick riding either, this is straight up truth. also why is papoose not on this list. WTF?

  • G.silva

    1.tech n9ne
    4.immortal technique
    5.trae the truth

    my list!:)

    mac miller shouldnt be on here.

  • Mike

    Tech N9ne sent me bitches

  • Logan


  • Daniel

    Tech N9ne!!!

    who’s Mac Miller

  • Joe

    Tech N9ne has the #1 Independent label in the world, how would he not win this by a landslide.

    not to mention the fact that Mac Miller’s debut flopped horribly when Tech hasn’t flopped in 10 years on an album

  • Lamar

    Tech N9ne!!!

  • keikdasneek

    WTfeezy? E-40 only has 1% votes? He’s been doing it big before have most of these niggas been alive. I got love for Tech but common now, 1%?

  • Bryanz



  • Rach

    Tech N9ne Baby!!

  • Unknown

    For those of who didn’t choose Immortal Technique, eat a dick. If Immortal Technique became mainstream, he’d be the only who could still spit real. He’d change the world.

  • Richard 9

    Tech N9ne the powerful independent rapper is the top he will stay there as well!!!! Technicians!

  • ArealniggaLAmeniggabquiet


    tech cheatin on fb to get votes and hes too old for XXL

  • http://@ggodnoops Spoon

    Nobody voted MURS?? That’s fucked up.

  • http://facebook DaRealScarface

    Tech N9ne deserves this. Like really who deserves it more than him, I’ll tell ya who nobody.

  • Blake

    TECH N9NE sent me

  • Witchbone

    Mac Miller should be a lot lower, and Immortal Technnique, Brother Ali, and El P need to be moved up a biiiiit. But, that’s my opinion.

  • Mac Marc

    How are most of the artist on this list on top of E-40? He been underground from the gate and still is today. Mac Miller is unheard of I don’t know who he is. E-40 is known all over the world and got more albums then everybody on this list. Show some fucking respect!

  • Carmen

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Atmosphere
    3. Hopsin
    4. Immortal Technique
    5. E-40
    6. Mac Miller

    My list.

  • Juan



  • wolf

    I came here for one reason and one reason alone. To support my nigga, Tech N9ne. Aint no competition to that mofo so why ya’ll still tryin to compete?

  • http://leafgang.com TeeJayB

    Tech N9ne sold out, he’s not the best, Hopsin rides Tech and Eminems dick, Mac Miller…need I say more, Fat Joe is old as hell, Odd Future is selling out as we speak (like Tech), and Lil B and Smoke Dza are just real niggas, the rest suck,

    Kid Ink doesn’t sell out, or copy anyone!

  • Jake

    1. Mike Stud
    2. Hoodie Allen
    3. Hopsin
    4. Tech N9ne
    5. Chris Webby

  • Dac

    TECH N9NE is not only the Best Independent Artist He is far better at making music than ANYBODY in the game!!! Twin Cities got mad love for TECH N9NE!!! We out here drinking Caribou Lou and KC TEA with a twist of TC (I’ll have to show you when you come back) Technicians Repin….

  • GoHard916

    Nina is the shit. I just cant believe that 40 water does not have more votes. E-40 be gettin done…

  • totus

    mac miller blows… why does he even have a name in this industry?

  • https://www.facebook.com/htetmyetsaw DK

    TECH 9 is the BEST UNDERGROUND in the GAME in my opinion .

  • tonedeff4lyfe

    where the f*** is tonedeff? yall wanna be impressed listen to the first rapper in wwkya tour by cunninlynguists

  • njtechn9cian

    Tech N9NE all day and all night

  • XXmedium

    Tech N9ne is King. Been around for much longer than most who claim independence…will still be around 10 years from now, still be relevant and maybe, a little more Strange<3

  • Athena

    Tech N9ne sent me to this page! He is the #1 independent rapper IN THE WORLD & always will be! Tech will never go mainstream, mainstream will go tech!! – TECHNICIAN!!!

  • VikDaBaron

    Is this a joke? None of these artists have come close to achieving what Tech N9ne has. The excellence doesn’t stop coming when you are a Technician. It goes up baby!!!! Strange Music Bitch!

  • james topley

    mac miller you fuckin suck. youre the justin bieber of rap you peon..my votes for Tech 9 bitches!

  • amar

    i dont fuckin get it…the same people who make the xxl magazine cover made this list and put chris webby ahead of both hopsin and macklemoore on this list yet both macklemoore and hopsin are on the xxl magazine cover but chris webby isnt on xxl 2012 if he isnt there next year i riot

  • Eli

    Tech is a beast. He ain’t just the best independent rapper, he’s the best rapper period.

  • Saif Sardar

    Tecca sent me here, it’s good to see he’s destroying everybody else as well

  • Dylan Roz

    Hahahaha Mac Miller ahead of Tech N9ne?! That’s hilarious! Must have something to do with those “coveted” (lmao) guest spots on Maroon 5 and Justin Bieber songs

  • Jenbob

    Tech brought me here!

  • landon816

    Tech N9ne #1 independent artist in the world! STRANGE!!! ^S^

  • Shaun


  • lewiz


  • 2tall513

    TECH N9NE! definitley the most independant rapper in the country hands down no questions asked

  • technicianzzzz

    you cant compare tech n9ne to the rest of these foooos. make him his own list plz

  • El_Matador

    Mac Miller ain’t even a rapper. He’s a joke. Tech N9ne took the lead. He’s defo #1 independent artist. Oh, and he brought me here

  • Edward

    Tech, Fonzarelli and Z-Ro. 1.2.3.

  • http://youtube.com/KingzKingdom1 ESFK*KING

    Tech N9ne) ayy yall shuld check me out though n i kno ill be on
    E-40) here one of theze dayz. i aint tryna spam jus lookin
    Hopsin) for support n listeners jus like all theze rappers did
    DJ Drama) check me out at youtube.com/KingzKindom1

  • 24codyc

    there are soo many great artists on this list,i wish i could just make a top 10 list for votes instead of just 1.tech n9ne is #1 on any hip hop list of mine,but hopsin,brother ali,murs,immortal technique, and atmosphere are favorites of mine…
    1.tech n9ne
    3.Ces Cru (yes i know they arent on the voting list)
    4.Brother Ali
    5.Immortal Technique

  • Dan

    Techn9ne and Hopsin built their own empire, E-40 spits some real shit as well, but if Macs on there why not Kalifa?

  • Brad Adams

    Tech N9ne sent me to this page, if he hadn’t i wouldnt have known today was the day to vote. He deserves to win and it seems most the people on here are paying attention to real music. Tech N9ne, and the rest of strange music is known, the industry is unknown.

  • DeathCereal

    Tech N9ne! He’s a mental Giant

  • Kirstie

    Tech all the way!!

  • Spencer

    Tech Fucking N9neeeeee!!!!!!!

  • DamienX

    Yep! Techa Nina blowin all them out the water! How it should be! Strange Music baby!!! He’s a mental giant!

  • Stricly strange

    Techn9ne will be number 1 I am for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Droog

    No contest. After E-40, Tech N9ne blazed the trail for independent success. He’s the guy that we all look to now when we think “Independent”.

  • mike

    ok people first of its not saying mac miller is number one hes just at the top of the list to vote on. so idk why everyone is flipping out. if u voted u would see that tech n9ne is winning

  • Madbro

    How does Lil B have more votes than the majority of the people on this list? smh

  • Tinz

    TECH N9NE!!!!!! that mother fucker did almost a 2 hour set in ATL in a hot ass room, sweating like crazy and still brought the best show ever. You can tell me anyone else in the game is better than TECH TECH N9NE N9NE!

    TECHNICIAN I am wholeheartedly in life and in death!!!!!!

  • all 6s and 7s

    STRANGE MUSIC all day all night

  • TreYeezy_

    Smh odd future on worldwide tours, got a TV Show, Clothing Line & They Go Platinum… I Dont even fuck w/ Em but You gotta Keep It 100 Fanhood Aside

  • Gary

    best independent artist HANDS DOWN is Immortal Technique, HANDS DOWN! he talks about shit that EVERYONE can relate to. all mac miller does is talk about sex, drugs, liquor, lean. he sounds the same as everyone else, how do people feel his shit? I aint racist or anything, but mac aint that good, I’d rather roll with Immortal Technique, he’s the fuckin man!!!!!

  • http://www.djprezzident.com DJ Pre

    First off, lets not put Mac Miller on that list, or at least not for the damn picture… Top Indy artist?? Tech N9ne. You are a fool to think otherwise, stats & numbers dont lie.

  • Justin

    1.Tech N9ne
    2.Mac Miller
    3.Odd Future
    5.Kid Ink

  • JadeStoneMusic

    LECRAE misspelled….smh

  • anghellic210

    1. tech n9ne
    2. ¡MAYDAY!
    3. Krizz Kaliko
    4. CES CRU
    5. Brotha Lynch Hung

    AHOO! AHOO!! AHOO!!!

  • http://www.yahoo.com D-PRIDE

    TECH brought me here

  • LD

    1)Tech N9ne
    2)Immortal Technique
    5)Jean Grae

    Not to say these are my favorites from the list, but the ones who deserve it most.

    From that list at least, though I think Dizzy should be on there.

    Straight up anyone who knows REAL hip hop would have all these rappers in the top 5. They’ve been on the scene for a long time and are still around today. Plus all of them make good music.

    • LD

      Oh yeah. Tech brought me here! TECHNICIANS!!!

  • Mike

    Tech N9ne All day All Night 2 whooop! No one else has to vote tech’s got it in the bag!

  • BIG B

    Strange Musik Where bullshit aint nuthin!!

  • Kmel

    Why is mac miller even here? BASEDGOD! lol

  • JakeDaJuice

    Technicians best vote for Tech N9ne!!!

  • Hyzenburg

    Tech N9ne and it’s not even close. Name one other rapper with as dedicated a following…Tech writes about real life, none of that mainstream YOLO mess, and he has never compromised his style for anyone.

    • Miles Partridge

      Amen to that.

  • william crow

    fuck mac miller.. not even close to being mentioned on any rap list. tech is by far the top mc hands down

  • Tanner Heaton

    Tech N9ne has an always will be the number 1 independent rapper in the world!! Tech N9ne is my favorite rapper of all time and will be tell the day i die! Tech N9ne was my very first concert i ever went to back in 8th grade when his Everyready tour came through Salt Lake City and i have never ever missed a Tech concert in Utah since! Keep on Keepin Tech Strange Music all fuckin day!!

  • Miles Partridge

    Tech definitely deserves the top. It’s still not by a big enough difference though. E-40 and Hopsin deserve to be above Mac Miller too.

  • HoodedLove

    1. Childish Gambino
    2. Tech N9ne
    3. Odd Future

    Only rappers I feel really deserve it. These rappers are all changing the game and have unique styles. The rest are basically the same, and never have much to them. They are okay to say the most. Those three up there are amazing artists who are all doing it and will probably in the future still have the most recognition later to come and always.

  • Aduuuahah

    Whoaaaa. Tech N9ne belongs on top, no dispute with that, but I definitely expected Immortal Technique to have a higher percentage then THAT.

  • Zanotti

    tech n9ne by far .. alot of these people shouldnt be on here but im lookin forward to see whos fans show the most support

  • Marc

    Tech N9ne, hands down

  • Nino

    1) Tech9
    2) Odd future
    3) Kid Ink
    4) Hopsin
    5) Immortal tecnique
    6) Chris webby
    7) Smoke dza
    8) Childish Gambino
    9) Mac miller
    10) Statik selektah

  • James

    Tech N9ne!

  • Montricie

    Where is Chamillionaire at on this list, he been putting in work for the past few years!!

  • Pete

    Tech N9ne! #1 all the way. most dont scratch the surface of tech’s skill level let alone his long history in music too dope.

  • jnut

    THANK GOD! When tech n9ne posted this on his wall it showed that mac miller was ahead of him. I’m so glad tech is winning now, fuck mac miller and all his preppy fans!

  • mike

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Chris Webby
    3. Hopsin
    30. Mac Miller

  • elliot

    tecca ninaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/iam2shy StrangeChris



    Tech N9ne is and always will be the no1 independent artist, not even a discussion.

  • chris

    why the fuck isnt Eligh on this fukin list….n who says mac miller isnt a good lyricist he may not be the best but he’s independent n most independent artists dont ever get radio play or tv videos…n if u know wat a good lyricist is then get the fuk up and u become famous oh u cant cause ur to busy hatin on erybody that u cant get urself a grind homie….yall dick riders

  • http://Facebook.com Trenton

    tech in this bitch

  • The Event

    1. Hopsin
    Childish Gambino
    Deph Naught

  • Tech

    Tech N9ne!

  • Jake

    0% for Trae Tha Truth and Styles P? But somehow WHACK Miller gets 12%? Y’all are stupid as fuck and should be ashamed. If Tech N9ne wasn’t winning I’d say all of you are retarded, but at least a few people know what rap is.

  • Sleepy D

    Tech N9ne sent me here bitchez!!!
    Shout out to Hopsin and FV #turnitup!

  • Ty

    TECH N9NE!!!

  • m.focus


  • aiquoy

    Mac Miller? Dafuq? That allegation alone already undermines XXL’s credibility.

  • dylan

    tech n9ne is the best on this list hands down. he’s a lyrical genius.

  • maxx osborn

    Tech is the number one, he has paid his dues on every level and no one can match his lyrically genius mind

  • daniel

    hopsin should be ahead of mac miller wtf

  • TSpizzie

    You guys are forgetting Mac lethal. Tech definitely is number one. Then Odd future, Mac lethal, hopsin, and krizz kaliko. Mac Miller makes songs for white girls to jam out to with other white girls. Everyone else makes music.

  • logan terry


  • PsychoB9tch

    We All Knw Tech N9ne Is Da # 1 Come Now!!! BTW Tech N9ne Sent Me!!! CHAAAAAAA!

  • http://techn9ne mark quinton

    TECH N9NE !

  • Eisforerock

    Tech sent me here. Proudly voting for him as the greatest indie rapper in the game

  • Zavier

    Hell 99% of people here have just listed Tech N9ne as at LEAST in their top 5 so of course he deserves this. and it’s sad to say for the other artist that their fan base isn’t as supportive as Tech’s fans (Technicians). So Tech deserves this

  • http://Twitter.com Germ

    Shut yall fat neck hatin ass up Mac is the best rapper ever to live.. If you dont like him you dont get no pussy or your just lame listen to macadelic & you’ll hear deep real music better then half of these rappers out.. Wiz,Curren$y,A$AP Are good ass artist as well ..

  • Bennie

    Tech N9ne all day!!!

  • http://thisis50.com mark

    uhm is this even a discusion.. lynch should be on the list aswell

  • thibsy

    wow all these comments and no talk about my dude webby. I got the most respect for all these dudes and the rest of em who arnt up there. but got to give credit to my dude Webby . hes been killin it in the past years and hes only getting better. Shout out to all the other ninjas out there!


  • str8slammin

    how is chamillionaire not on this list? not that i think hes the best just sayin he should be in there

  • http://www.WindyCityBboys.com CHICAGO

    Mac Miller is hot garbage

    my top ten:

    1. TECH N9NE
    2. Immortal Technique
    3. Doom
    4. Atmosphere
    5. Fat Joe
    6. Raekwon
    7. El-P
    8. Hopsin
    9. Murs
    10. Jean Grae

  • heisenberg23

    TECH TECH N9NE N9NE! ! ! ! !

    The master

  • http://www.WindyCityBboys.com CHICAGO


    just because you’re a marketable little fucker, and you can ride a beat and hit some witty lines, doesn’t mean you should even be mentioned on a prestigious list like this

    @ werm

  • edsanchezt


  • Renee

    Tech Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kariboulou.lette Kariboulou_Lette

    tech n9ne sent me here

    TECHN9NE is #1

  • Jake

    Tech brought me, Brother Ali got my vote though.

  • Noble Savage

    Tech got his name on that Billboard Mogul List……that’s why!

  • SamG–Technician


  • EastsideYoungin


  • http://hotmail.com brendan

    tech n9ne all the way man fuck mac bitch miller and his hurtin boring same ass flow for each song tech kills any beat any flow any one and any day

  • Dustin

    1. Chris Webby
    2. Tech N9ne
    3. Hopsin
    4. Childish Gambino
    5. Brother Ali

  • Jason

    TECH N9NE All Day All Night!

  • Kimmy

    Tech ought to win this.

  • Dsquigle

    Tech all day!

  • cer

    tech n9ne!!!!!

  • Techaneena

    What the f*** is mac miller doing on the list, let alone that picture?

  • DurrHurr

    What in all hell…? Does no one appreciate Dirty South anymore? Or next you’re gonna tell me that Trae is terrible at dirty south. Might as well tell me that 8Ball and MJG are new artists.

    Anyways, Tech n9ne no doubt, Hopsin, Trae, E-40.

  • javier

    tech n9ne is the best keep it going

  • Al

    Tech N9ne brought me here yo!

  • robw

    TECH N9NE!!!

    STRANGE…….. MUSIC………


  • http://facebook.com Sam

    Tecca Ninna!

  • Preston

    Tech N9ne erry day son.

  • cam

    The fact that Atmosphere only has 1% of votes is fucking retarded. Tech and few others may be higher then atmosphere at the current moment, but there was decade span where Atmosphere and Rhymesayers was the without a doubt TOP indy Group and Label. Period.

  • beefdurka

    Macklemore, lecrae and brother ali. and of course tech

  • Mr. iLL

    1. Childish Gambino
    2. Tech N9ne
    3. Hopsin

    • 457wy

      I approve this. also
      4. milo
      5. macklemore

  • Broey

    TECH N9NEEEE!he got this shizzz!

  • insanegrl24

    (\S/) strange music baby Strange Music is thee best EVER not just as an Independent Record Company <3 Tech n9ne, Mayday, Kutt Calhoun, Krizz kaliko, Stevie Stone, Prozak, Cescru, Jay Rock, and more

  • j

    Wow… this is some bullshit…. where is R.A. the Rugged Man?
    And Sean Price has no votes… I really cant believe how lame folks are these days… Not mad at Tech9 been a fan for years. But this is some wack shit. R.A. Sean P are prime examples of most under rated ALL-TIME. Is the underground/independent scene effected by main-steam garbage now. Dig for your music… Be real. and grow up crumb ass kids….

  • Jamie

    The Complete Technique of N9ne!

  • just sayin

    mac miller sucks, tech is hands down #1 and i think danny brown and childish gambino will have the same success tech has had

  • Sierra Erickson

    TECHN9NE sent me!!!! one love

  • KillaClownin’

    tech n9ne all day. he’s every one of these rappers combined.

  • nobody can beat tech. period.

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Hopsin
    3. Mac Miller
    4. Immortal Technique
    5. Atmosphere

  • Sean

    tech n9ne is obviously top independent artist. He sent me here.
    “tech wont go mainstream, mainstream will go tech.”

  • momuda

    Mac Miller is probably the most over rated piece of trash in the game right now, second possible to mgk or wiz.

    Mac Lethal should be on this list instead.

  • Davida

    Tech sent me

  • http://fb kyle

    Tech N9ne fa sho.. mac miller hahahaha yeah right must be trippin..

  • http://therealtechn9ne.com luke

    Come on now Mac Miller, really wtf…Tech N9ne and Hopsin kings of the independent labels…

  • antonio

    damn, this is a hard vote… Tech N9ne, E-40, Hopsin or Immortal Technique… If i could vote for 2 I would vote Tech and 40 but since i only get one vote… Imma have to give it up to TECH N9NE

  • GuillermoG.

    TECH N9NE!!!!!!!! #1, so u betta run…….
    Tech brought me here!

  • Alucard

    TECH N9NE!

  • Arigiss

    Tech all the way

  • Daniel

    Tech brougth me here because he’s the best independent out there, end of discussion!

  • JH

    Haystak not on the list.. Shame on XXL!

  • TheRealest

    tech tech tech n9ne n9ne n9ne all the way gtfo who even heard of half the other artists and who the fck is mac miller i never heard of him till today?

  • dylon

    tech brought me to this page.. and my vote went to him.. i mean he is original from his beats to his rymes he truly is the best independent rapper in the game..

  • realkillert9x

    seriously mac miller on this is a joke, tech has been independent his WHOLE career no only is he 100x the artist of any of these guys but he shows it in his music his style his lyrics everything screams tech whoever votes otherwise have no clue what music actually is and needs to step it up tech will win this without a dought but still he should be in a category much his own

  • stefan


  • fuckit

    tech n9ne brought me here TECH N9NE!

  • Nunez

    man fuck u X ur just a hater they are all great artist

  • sjh1212

    Skill has little to do with being on the list. The point is that all these artist are Independent. I myself had a struggle choosing Tech or Hop, but I went with Hop just cus im feeling him more. But they are the highest on the polls. Besides Fag Miller

  • Nick Leavitt

    Tech N9ne

  • Nick Leavitt

    I would also add Big Scoob, take away Hopsin, that’s just my personal taste, I don’t know enough about them to say who really deserves to be on top, all I know is Tech is incredible.

  • andrea

    TECH N9NE!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Neck-Kutta/200995533270695 Neck Kutta

    Tech N9ne no question and no contest though I do have to say that Slugg/Atomosphere is dope and would be my second pic.

    • Nick Leavitt

      Slugg is sick

  • Nick Leavitt

    Would B Legit legit be on this list? was he indie??

  • ekowon

    itz tech n9ne no contest

  • Øyvind

    Techa Nina!

  • Sergio

    Tech N9ne!

  • Tino

    How in the world does Immortal Tech only got 3% of votes.. He just might be the greatest rapper of his time, maybe even all time. Maybe it’s just because you ignorant americans can’t spot the difference between rap and commercial-often-considored-as-rap-pop.

  • Shiann


    TECH N9NE <3

    • Jon Dog

      Einstein, TECH N9NE. DWAM!

  • Chase

    *Looks at #1*
    OH BOO! Thats just sad

  • Broward954

    No Logic on here? Come on XXL. The kid did over 200,000k downloads on a mixtape completely independent.

  • kevin

    so lil b makes this list and ICP arguably the greatest independent story of our time doesnt? fuck this world

  • LJax

    Tech brought me here! 6688846993

  • Jon Dog

    Why is everyone sayin Tech shoulda won. He fuckin did. Vote, and see the results. He killed it. And rightfully so.

  • Anaru Shaw


  • J T Quick

    Tell me who you came to see??

  • Stance

    itz gotta b tech 9

  • iKawasaki

    Tech n9ne is waaayy better than any of these people.
    Technician for life!

  • Jeremey Kay

    Tech’s defs the best, then hopsin ryt up his bum, wtf Mac Miller? i always see him on TV how tha fuck is he indie?

  • KillaCam

    Wheres’s Chamillionaire on this list. He’s def one of the best independents.

  • Anaru Shaw


  • zachary bryce robinson

    tech n9ne goes harder than anyone. period. there has never been someone like him that switches the flows like him, no one puts on better shows, no one does more shows. period. F.A.N.S

  • http://xxl.com darkcaesar

    1.immortal technique
    2.lowkey (uk rapper)
    5.odd future ( earl sweatshirt)

  • John

    Im a technician at heart and i think Tech N9ne deserves it but honestly I think Atmosphere is right there behind him seriously he is very poetic and talented

  • http://facebook.com Tech N9ne!

    Tech N9ne!

  • Dude

    I like tech n9ne but his songs are too weird and depressing for me. Mac Millers is just right cause his goes good.

  • Milkshake

    Tech brought me here TECH N9NE!!!!!!!!!!!

  • theycallmerayj

    I have respect for Mac, but come on Tech has been in the game for years, and has been running shit. People only just now start to recognize, because he has gained mainstream popularity. Tech is THE #1 independent artists. Hands down.

  • matt

    Strange Music all day all night and big shouts out to TECH N9NE

  • Mike

    Is this even a question…. I’m a fan of a few of these guys, but Tech is THE biggest independent artist in the game. No question.

  • Everready

    Elbow Macaroni

  • wesdogg

    I would vote Insane Clown Posse. They are the EPITOME of independence. But I’ll do the next best thing with Tech N9ne.



  • guy

    tech n9ne is the best on this list anyone who says otherwise is too stupid to understand tech

  • Amber Allen

    TECH9ICIANS STAND UP!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SpiketheImmortal

    Tech N9ne overall best independent backed by strange music can’t be stopped. Technician reporting in

  • Cwillim

    The only reason XXL put Mac at number 1 is because he IS the most popular independent artist in the game right now. that’s a fucking fact that no one can deny. while Tech N9ne is definitely OG , he doesn’t have the buzz that Mac does right now.

    he clearly should be on this list. in fact, if he weren’t, then someone at XXL would be getting fired.

  • A. Person

    Hopsin and Tech n9ne both of them deserve it.

  • http://facebook grayve grymmstone

    yup i was brought to this page by tech and by far THE top indie artist in the game Whoop Whoop juggalo’s

  • ilz

    Tech N9ne is and will always be number 1
    IT GOES UP!!

  • bighomie

    if you subtract everybody that was already in the game..rae.styles.40.doom.juvie.sean price etc..that list is horrible…now subtract the dj/producers..and what we got?…smh


    Tech brought me here!

  • Psy8ern3t1k

    Tech N9ne deserves the #1 spot in this poll b/c since the first Tech song I heard, I haven’t heard one I didn’t like! Hopsin should be 2nd.

  • Alec

    I never got into rap till a friend showed me the ways of Technicians my sophomore year! Hell I’m still not tired of hearing Be Warned and Strange Music Box! You can’t compare the rest to Tech N9ne, and I was so excited once I heard Klusterfuk on the radio. Bottom Line is Tech has become a LEGEND and he’s still goin strong.

  • Junior Cole

    Good to see my man Lecrae gettin some props. ONE ONE SIX!

  • Vincent

    Tech N9ne Brought me here!!!! TECHNICIANS!!!

  • bob dobalina

    xxl you suck. your articles are garbage, your magazine is flopping, and Mac Miller has no place on this list. The only reason he is popular is because he is another damn white boy with exposure. Tech kills it, we all know it. Tech is the peoples champ. And Mac Miller is the corporate poser boy. Soooo. Fuck you XXL get your shit straight.

  • Rayzor Blade

    TECH N9NE!!!!

  • hip hop

    mac miller ? are you serious i dont have anything against mac he’s cool but i dont think he should be number one HELL NO no way should he be infront of legends to be like Tech N9ne, Immortal Technique ect. who have been doing it since before miller was hearing dr. seuss rhyme’s and by the comments that everyone is posting you fuckked up xxl

    • aldskfj

      thats true but just cuz somebody is a legend doesnt mean a new guy cant be above them right now…just like how kendrick lamar is above all the old west coast legends RIGHT NOW. thats just how the game works. old rappers step down no matter how legendary they are…or they get stepped on like canibus. lol

  • RGII

    Tech N9ne————–nuuf said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Trigg

    TECH N9NE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Derick Stewart

    Saw you live and met you and shook your hand and everything Tech so im gonna have to go with you for a badass VIP session and a sick show. There I voted and commented now come back to Bloomington or Peoria so we do it again.

    Everyother person commenting wishes their ding dong was as long as the 52% bar for Tech hahhahahha. Suck my heuvos SORRY & SHIT!

  • $nake

    Tech N9ne sent me here

  • Dizzy


  • Mateo420

    Mac Miller, but no Mac Lethal? Something is wrong with this poll.

  • asldkfj

    yall are FUCKIN STUPID for sayin mac doesnt belong. did u not read the numbers he’s doin??? no other indy artist is touchin that. stop actin like the list is called MOST TALENTED INDY ARTIST. and even if it was u still shouldnt hate cuz obviously whatever he is doin works. keep ur bitch ass opinion to urself if u cant do nothin besides give some ignorant ass input.

  • Jordyn

    kendrick lamar

  • http://xxl Travis

    Where my nigga Chip Tha Ripper at? smh

  • dk(techn9cian)

    tech n9ne- strange music 4 life.

  • j0w

    Tech N9ne is the shit. Best independent in the country for years and counting. TECH N9NE!!!!!

  • devin fisher

    tech n9ne is the best to me TECHNICIANS!! ahooo ahoo ahoo

  • https://www.facebook.com/david.hardwick.56 KBNA-DARKSTAR


  • Wade

    I really appreciate lists like this, because I’m always searching for new artists. Tech N9ne by far deserves this spot but I came here from a Chris Webby tweet. Immortal Technique is definitely ill and Hopsin is one of the best in the game. MURS is very unappreciated as is the whole Legends crew. Childish Gambino is way SICKBOI and Macklemore is underrated. I am a little disappointed that Jon Connor didn’t make the list.

  • Kevin (SkyScrape) de Geus

    TECH N9NE sent me this way. Recommended that we all need to vote for the tope Independent artist. & well…. TECH N9NE is bringing it hard!!!!

  • Wack Miller Sucks

    Mac Miller the best independent artist in the game? You can’t fucking be serious. Tech is an independent LEGEND for years with his own successful label. Mac Miller is a Wiz Khalifa clone and the flavor of the week. Every artist signed to Strange and Funk Volume deserve spots above him, as do most of the other people on the list.

  • Jeisun

    Tech Nine!

  • killacam

    this list is all jumbled to me. like allllll fucked up

  • matt

    childish gambino has got to be #1. He does it all

  • Davvid

    Tech N9NE!!!! Either him Or Hopsin! They shoulda put Hopsin on the cover.



  • STLiz

    TECHTECH all the freakin way. 10 Albums in 11 years. Wuz up?!?

  • KLW

    Tech Nizzle! Does the bizzle! Fo rizzle! My shizzle!

  • StrangeTakeover

    Tech is gonna murder this list! There is no comparison to the music he puts out

  • Jontell


  • okezie

    where is BIG KRIT?!!!

  • Alucard

    Mac Miller??? u have to be kidding. dont put garbage on the same list as greatness (Tech N9ne). Tech wins easy! it should just be a vote for 2nd.
    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Hopsin
    3. Immortal Technique
    4. Dizzy Wright
    5. Trea tha truth

  • http://facebook jose

    tech is the best e40 is ok tech is the one that sooths my mind and its weird casause must the stuff that comes out his mouth is like me i feel that way

  • L-Dub

    it is a very good list its just pointless to put tech in because nobody compares to him as an independent rapper and hopsin is the next best

  • jonussery116

    i love how everyone ALWAYS spells Lecrae’s name wrong. If people gone possibly recognize him for anything (in which case he does deserve alot) the least yall can do is actually get the man’s name right

  • Luther

    well considering that i only know tech n9ne, hospin, and e-40, its easy to choose, TECHNICIANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • YUP

    Sean Price.

    • Vote Sean Price

      VOTE Sean Price

  • Jeff

    Tech 9 is by far the best on the list, STRANGE Baby! Technicians!!! Oww!!

    • Shut Up

      Shut Up

  • BKSoldier

    Mac Miller?! Fuck outta here…

  • Turban

    where’s XV ?

  • Kyle

    So the first pic I saw was Lil B. There is no need to go any farther because obviously I cant take this list seriously. Lil B should only be on 1 list and that is #1 worst “rapper” of all time

  • cedric walker


    • Vote Sean Price

      You have obviously never heard of Heltah Skeltah or Sean Price for that matter….shame

  • cannedshrimp

    not a lot of knowledge from the voters if mac miller is at 11% and the likes of MF Doom and Brother Ali are at 1%

  • Kyle

    If Mac Miller is “Independent” why isnt Wiz Khalifa? They are on the same label!!!

  • tazman321

    El-P and Killer Mike get no votes.

    Y’all don’t know shit about independent hip hop;

    • P !

      Sean Price

  • Jami

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Krizz Kaliko
    3. Mayday

  • Steve

    Why is Lil B even on this list?

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Hopsin
    3. Trae

  • Alejandro

    This is soooooooo hard, but TECH is number one

  • fleezy

    Obviously u young cats never heard Sean P. Can nobody on that list compare!!!! BCC

    • Heltah_Skeltah

      was thinkin the same thing… Sean Mandela! BCC Bucktown

      • Kimbo Price / MIC Tyson

        Real Heads On The Rize … Vote Sean Price aka Ruck from Heltah Skeltah

    • Nocturnal


  • Evan Smith

    MUSIC IS DEAD, When a soft ass white boy who talks about gettin high, is beating out the KOD????? DA FUCK

  • nicole




  • skitzo

    TECH N9NE!!!!!!! but krizz kutt and Immortal Technique gota be 2 3 4 for me

  • Deez

    shiat… they all suck dick except tech and immortal and you busta’s all know that. Tech’s gonna be #1 just like he always is, that’s his title, no one can take it. Mayday suck’s dick fyi.

  • http://bvfgtrf YallDumb

    Chris Webby >


    WTF?! Why isn’t Rouzy Rouz on this list?! Such an underrated artist, along with SWIZZZ

  • Ruckus

    Mandela P!

    • Respect

      Vote Sean Price …. P !
      … BCC …

  • rdub

    This should only be people who are not signed to a lable

  • Joe

    ummmm where is krs

  • Sean Price

    that’s my top 5:
    1. Sean Price
    2. Sean Price
    3. Sean Price
    4. Sean Price
    5. Sean Price

    • You Da Man

      Keep Voting for that man Ruck …. Much Respect … P !

  • a1

    Wheres Tabi bonney?????

  • DuckDown Entaprize

    All the Real HipHop Heads ,, please vote ” Sean Price ” … This list is embarassing tho,,come on XXL

  • Page 7 of 31

    Vote Sean Price .. Read about him on Page 7 ..

  • Techn9cian!

    TECH N9NE!

  • Tom Madden

    Where the fuck is Big K.R.I.T.

  • DP

    Shit, only 1% of kats on here is real hip-hop fans…


    • BTU

      Right!? Thats what im sayin’ …
      Vote Sean Price

  • juan


  • Chaaw

    kinda hard to rate independent artists on a site predominantly viewed by people who like main stream music. come on tech nine has more votes then immortal technique, DOOM, and atmosphere. if that isn’t proof then idk what is.

    • Right?

      Thats The Truth..
      Vote Sean Price tho

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewS77903017 MeanKitty813

      Its a contest of the best indy rapper, not the best underground backpack douche

  • swavey

    they all dope in their own way but tech n9ne been independent for the longest fuckin time and he still got it, he def the top.

    • Ha Ha Ha

      You obviously dont know who Sean Price

      • MASSAKA#1FAN

        Sean Price doesnt even make that much lol

  • Brian McG

    Tech N9ne has to take the top spot. Mac Miller is on a nice streak but will he have longevity?

  • RECK

    1. Tech N9ne
    2. Immortal Technique
    3. Trae the Truth
    4. E-40
    5. Raekwon

  • wolf

    OCD: Moosh and Twist deserve to be on this list.

  • Erik


  • http://xxl jeff 225

    kevin gates

  • DeeZee

    Tech N9ne….”If silence is golden, then me makin noize is platinum” E-40….”Sheets for curtinz, socks for wash towels, I was happy as hell when my cousin gave me his handmedowns.” Top two fa sho.

  • avi

    tech n9ne all day everyday

  • Taylor

    Wheres Lep Bogus Boys at on the list arent they independent?

  • Andrew

    My List:
    Tech N9ne
    Chris Webby
    Immortal Technique
    (The Rest)

    Im A HUGE Chris Webby fan he has amazing flow amazing lyrics (lyrical genius) and I think tech n9ne is the only one better and webby deserve mad respect!!!!! He has done sooo much in a few years and never stopped! Does have a few weed song and party song BUT when it comes to a real life song he just kills it lyrically!!!!!! If haven’t heard him give him a chance and listen to him!!!! His new album”Bars On Me” July 31st and best and believe hes crashing datpiff AGAIN!!!

    • Shut Up

      Shut Up Kidd

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/JohnQualityakaQ John Quality

    I think there should be a choice to pick more than one. I picked Raekwon, but also I think Sean Price, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Redman, Styles P, ShowBiz & A.G., O.C., Sadat X, JadaKiss, Sheek Louch, Diamond D, and list of other emcees belong on the list. Mac Miller doesn’t belong on the list!!


      Its not the best rapper bro. its the #1 independant artist in the world. the owner drives a maybach. thats a 550K car. Tech N9ne surpasses all by far. its not even close

  • JeyJay

    hahahah 49 % on Tech N9ne ! hahah !

  • TeccaJuggalo

    Tecca ninna’s blowin em all away

  • NoCoasT

    This list is wack. Of course the majority of people will vote Tech N9ne, because that is what’s so called hot right now, \

    No one on that list can even compare to E-40, The true independant hustler, rappin since tech n9ne was unheard of.

  • rj


  • TR3

    Tech N9ne Handz Down!!! Mac n Hopsin are Sick but nowhere near Techs level

  • Violentgod1

    Raekwon with 1%…WTF?? I’m not saying stop in your tracks in the late 80′s and 90′s, but figure out where the true identities in hip hop came from in your generation and what they stand for. Immortal Technique should have been rated higher too. Maybe just too smart for main stream for todays hip pop.

    Find the roots of truth and plant a seed. Today we realize everything aint what it seems. So disappointing, but whats the loss when the fan bases faces remain glowing?

  • malik

    mac miller is better than all of them yall forgot he is only 20yrs old and you can name five songs by mac name five by the others nobody buys albums to hear people rap they buy to hear music mac sells records

  • http://www.facebook.com/massaka508 John Massaka Rhoades

    TECH N9NE is light years ahead of these artists as far as over all sales go. This list is for the #1 Independant Artist, NOT the best rapper. Fans live in this dream world were they think these rappers make crazy do. I can tell you that over half the people on that list are broke as fuck. Tech N9ne fans BUY albums NOT bootleg them for free. How do you expect legends like Sean Price, Raekwon, Styles P, Fat Joe etc. etc. to make earn a living when all you guys do is download everything for free (Which 90% of Tech fans do not do) + the people wont support there artist and pay $20 a ticket to see them live when they have a show. Tech N9ne also has a full clothing line where people religiously buy gear and they also tour over 250-300 DAYS A YEAR. When your record label owner gets chauffeured in a $550,000 MAYBACH you tell me whos making the most money…… End of discussion! Tecca Nina!!!

  • bonice


  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.herrero Justin Herrero

    who put this list together mac miler shouldnt even be on here or should fat joe

  • Wacko Paco

    Dudes, stop worrying about who’s the best and start listening to all of the valid messages these rappers are trying to convey.

  • TrueTrue

    VERY true.