The 50 Most Slept-On Rappers of All Time

28. Akinyele

From: Queens, NY
Signature Song: Akinyele "Put It in Your Mouth" (1996)

Akinyele wasn't the first rapper to make ignorance an artform, but he was one of the best. He's been overshadowed a few times, first by a Nas guest spot on "Live at the BBQ." Then by his biggest hit; "Put It In Your Mouth," a relentlessly catchy, extraordinarily subtle sexual suggestion, the song overshadowed the then-budding rapper from Queens, New York.

None of his other material attained that level of success and he's known to mainstream America as a particularly lewd one-hit wonder. But he's known to hip-hop heads as a particularly lewd character with a solid discography, a distinctive rap style, and an amusing, over-the-top-albeit frequently offensive-lyrical approach.

On his debut, a tribute to gynecological health entitled Vagina Diner, he was matched with one of the best producers of his era, Large Professor. Xtra P's gift for early '90s sample-based beats were at their zenith on this record, from the wirlitzer-laced "I Luh Her" to the "Psychedelic Shack"-sampling "Outta State." And from his distinctive barked delivery to concept tracks about dealing with pregnancy (poorly), avoiding exercise, and being a passive aggressive, controlling boyfriend ("No Exit"), Akinyele was a unique case of how great art can be made from very, very bad ideas.

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