29. Talib Kweli
Label: Rawkus Records
From: Brooklyn, NY
Active Since: 1995
Career Highlights: His work with Mos Def as Black Star has gained critical acclaim. His debut solo album Quality peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. His single "Get By" gained positive reviews, and his second album The Beautiful Struggle debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard Top 100.
There's no question that hip-hop has been running in Talib Kweli's blood. You can hear it in his rapid, but always coherent and conscientious flow. He's been behind some of the last two decade's most essential tracks. He may not have had a lot of mainstream hits, but he speaks the truth.