50 Rappers Who Changed the World

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50 Rappers Who Changed the World profiles some of the genre's biggest influencers, from the 1970's until the present day. From Bronx-based legends Afrikaa Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash in the 70's, to Run-DMC and Public Enemy in the 80's, Biggie, Tupac and Snoop in the 90's, and Eminem and Jay-Z in the 00's, this is a history of music for anyone who loves rap. Featuring MC's like Melle Mel, West Coast legends including N.W.A. and Ice-T, and countless women who changed the game, like Salt-n-Pepa, MC Lyte and Missy Elliot. And today, we have a new breed of artists who are dominating the charts, from J. Cole to Kendrick Lamar, Logic and Cardi B.

Filled with stylish illustrations and a short biography of each artist, this book is a celebration of the musicians who shaped the genre and changed the world.

Museum Story

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) hosted its inaugural Hip-Hop Block Party in 2022, to celebrate the first anniversary of the release of the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. More than 8,000 people attended in person and thousands more watched online. The event featured performances by local and national talent, presentations and activities that explored hip-hop music's origins and cultural influence for 12 hours. In 2023, the tradition returned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop.


  • Hardcover
  • 112 pages
  • Color illustrations throughout
  • 7" x 5.65"
  • Written by Candace McDuffie