The 1990’s was the most crucial decade in the mainstream acceptance of hip hop as a viable art form. The genre’s fresh, energetic sound, coupled with an explosion of talent and one very tragic feud, allowed for rap music to assume a dominant position in popular culture. Some of the legendary acts that created the foundation for this success are still emceeing, and rapping with the same creativity and skill that was so instrumental to the genre’s breakthrough. To pay tribute to their longevity, here is our list of 90s era rappers who are still relevant in the second decade of the 21st century.

To make this list, the artists had to have 1) established themselves in the 1990s, 2) released a new album within the last two years, and ideally be working on new content right now. This, admittedly, is an imperfect rubric, but one that had to exist lest some disgruntled fan erupt over the absence of a rapper like 2 Chainz, whose career began in the 90’s but whose fame arrived only recently. Success, therefore, had to occur over three decades.  As a final caveat, given the highly subjective nature of making lists our definition of success leans towards favourable commercial and critical reception. This is not a ranking of talent, only relevance.