rap sidekick (n.), a lesser rapper, traditionally a hypeman or junior-most crew member, whose reputation is, or was, contingent upon a more prominent hip-hop figure.

That's our definition, at least. Fonzworth Bentley and DJ Jazzy Jeff aside, the unsung heroes we're commemorating here today are the hypemen, the hook geniuses, the vocalist homies who don't quite shine on their own, and maybe they'll never go platinum, but they put on for the big homie. For instance: Ma$e may have been the Notorious B.I.G.'s understudy, but Lil' Cease was Biggie's sidekick in the truest spiritual sense. This distinction is crucial.

A junior hypeman or freelance wiseguy often yields a youthful, exuberant contrast to the big homie's otherwise impenetrable aura; see Public Enemy, see Dipset, et al. As a tribute to lil homies worldwise, we've ranked the ten greatest sidekicks in rap history. The list spans two-and-a-half decades and a million Henny-soaked memories.