We all know rap isn't just about music. In 2013, we don't just consume hip-hop with our ears; it's an all-immersive, multimedia experience. If we can't see something, it may as well not be happening.
Even the most stubborn rap purist can't lie: Image matters. As a result, what a rapper wears counts—big time. When Nas switched from fatigues to pink suits in the mid-'90s, he was saying something. Eric B and Rakim's Paid in Full is one of the most iconic album covers of all time, and a good deal of the credit goes to the unforgettable matching Dapper Dan jackets they were rocking. Kanye makes just as many headlines for the stuff he wears as for the music he makes.
We've already run down of the greatest rappers year by year since hip-hop first hit wax. But some of those legends don't belong anywhere near this list: The Most Stylish Rapper Alive, Every Year Since 1979. Read on, look back, and step up your wardrobe.