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There have been many rappers who have passed that were legendary.  The question will always remain “Are they legendary because of their death or because of the quality of their music?”  If you can still say “I want to hear another album or record from this person” then I think that is a pretty good indicator that they were of importance.  Also, did these rappers make a difference in the industry?  If they were never introduced to the industry would it have made a difference?  I can say that the following rappers truly did make a difference.  If it were not for the following, hip hop and rap would not have been the same.  They truly paved the way for the future and they just happen to not be with us anymore, but we sure wish they could be.

“Eazy E”

Eric Lynn Wright or, better known as Eazy E passed away in March of 1995.  During his years on this earth he blessed us with real west coast hip hop.  His sound was known worldwide.  Being apart of N.W.A was his most remembered accomplishment.  The album “straight outta compton” was their most controversial.  The hit single “straight outta compton” is still used today in varieties of ways.   Eazy E’s voice was undeniable and he had the whole package.  His sound was perfect. When you think of “90’s west coast hip hop” you think Eazy E.  If it were not for him the standard would not have been set.

“The Notorious B.I.G.”

Christopher Wallace or, Biggie Smalls as you may know him passed away March of 1997. The 90’s were obviously a great time for Hip-Hop but a horrible time for deaths. Biggie was an amazing talent. His music lives on to this day. I don’t know one person who doesn’t crank up “big poppa” once in a while. His sound was undeniable and his life was so interesting.  He was the first of many to work with P.Diddy and Tupac which is an obvious huge accomplishment.  His life is celebrated in the movie titled “Notorious”. It showcased who Biggie really was. It gave viewers a chance to get to know the man behind the music which is a beautiful thing. I can honestly say I could not see Hip-Hop without Biggie.

“Tupac”

Tupac is an obvious candidate for this category. When I think about his life and accomplishments I am almost speechless. This man truly paved the way for rappers today. He began the “I don’t give a f***k” movement. He said whatever he wanted to say in his music and that is what the fans loved about him. Even before he passed away in 1996 he spoke out in his music against the illuminati. It just so happened that right after it was released he was mysteriously shot. Same with his friend Biggie’s death, the shooters were never found.

East coast and west coast music was feuding at the time and I am convinced this is what caused the deaths. It is crazy to see how much things have changed. I think that if it were not for Biggie And Tupac, the violence between rappers would still be happening today. Their deaths were a wake up call.

“Proof”

Wow. What can I say about Proof. Not only did he make great music but he was apart of the group “D 12” which included Eminem. Em has said in many interviews that there were times when his best friend Proof was the only one to believe in his talent. Obviously I do not have to tell you how important THAT was.  I get goosebumps just thinking about the musical bond Eminem and Proof had together.  His death was so sad for me.  Proof was a character and had a true knack for rhyming. The music world definitely would not be the same without him.

Below is rare video footage of Eminem and Proof free-styling.

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