Key Song: Angelous "A.N.G.E.L."

It's obvious, given his revered status, but Jay-Z has inspired more imitators than anyone since 2Pac. Angelous was one of the strangest, embracing the comparison in the hopes that the controversy would help propel him to fame. His vocal tone was already so similar, so why not go the whole way? He courted the comparisons: his ad-libs, his flows, his beats: it was all Jay-Z-based. "A.N.G.E.L." utitilzed the same beat as "Blueprint 2," and even referenced other Jay soundalikes (Sacario and Bathgate) in the song. Of course, sounding essentially identical to Jay to the point of duplication isn't enough when the artist can't put together the actual content to save his life. Despite his protestations to the contrary in this surreal 2003 MTV feature, Angelous does not have "the lyrics behind it." After the Jay comparisons first sparked controversy, Angel's plan was to "carve out his own niche," according to the decade-old interview. —David Drake