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Today, Funkmaster Flex celebrated his fifty-second birthday by reflecting on one of his favorite aspects of rap culture - radio freestyles. Artists around the world aspire to spitting bars for Flex, who has served as an inspiring force throughout the years as a major source of inspiration to this genre.
These rappers proved why they're some of the greatest emcees in history with their impressive freestyles on Flex. These freestyles should be a must-listen for every hip-hop head.
Cyhi The Pharaoh has always been a master of language, but his appearance on Flex in 2022 was one of his finest freestyles I've ever witnessed. His powerful delivery and numerous references made for powerful, thought-provoking verse that will stay with me long after viewing them.
This is one of the finest freestyles I've ever heard, and if you weren't online at the time, chances are you wouldn't have heard it. A truly remarkable performance from an underrated rapper.
At only 25, Massachusetts rapper Token has already gained a dedicated fan base within the hip-hop community with his confident, fast-paced style. He made headlines in 2015 with the song "No Sucka MC's."
His single quickly went viral, earning him an invitation to perform on Sway Calloway's SiriusXM show. Later that year he self-released two albums titled Eraser Shavings and Between Somewhere.
He's also secured a distribution deal with Atlantic, leading to the 2022 release of Pink Is Better.
Flex has always had a passion for spinning records. He began by carrying records for Chuck Chillout at WRKS, before going on to spin for Kiss FM and Red Alert radio stations.
Ryan Montgomery, better known by his stage name Royce Da 5'9", is a Detroit, Michigan rapper best known for his collaborations with Eminem, membership in the hip hop collective Slaughterhouse and involvement in Bad Meets Evil alongside DJ Premier.
He also released several solo projects, such as Rock City and Independent's Day. With an illustrious freestyling career that rivals any MC in the game today, his legacy stands as one of success.
His latest project, Vinyl Days, is one of his finest efforts in years. The beats are impeccable and the rapping is unreal; unfortunately, Flex's ubiquitous hosting role feels cheap and ineffective.
Kanye West (born June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an award-winning American rapper, producer, singer-songwriter, fashion designer and author. He's renowned for his work as both a recording artist and producer as well as for his philanthropy work and political activism.
He has been a major force in the music industry for decades, earning 21 Grammy Awards and selling 130 million records worldwide. His music has had an immense impact on generations of artists, leading him to be recognized as one of the greatest rappers of all time.
His 2004 debut album, College Dropout, earned him 10 Grammy nominations including the coveted Best Rap Album award. Shortly after that came Late Registration which earned three more Grammy wins and remains one of hip-hop history's most influential albums. It marked a shift away from "Chimpmunk Soul" sounds towards more refined, upscale styles that have since become commonplace for rappers across genres.
Q-Tip, one of the founding members of A Tribe Called Quest, has had a profound effect on modern hip hop music. His eclectic taste in samples, laid-back rhythms and bohemian aesthetic have revolutionized this genre while providing inspiration to MCs seeking balance.
Since ATCQ's break-up, Q-Tip has been an active solo artist and producer, working with artists from around the globe. His productions can be heard on many renowned albums such as Beastie Boys, R.E.M., The Chemical Brothers, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams and more.
Q-Tip has produced for a number of notable rappers, such as Phife Dawg, Kanye West and Jay-Z. Additionally, he hosted his own radio show called Abstract Radio on Apple Music for several years. Furthermore, in addition to his solo work, Q-Tip served as A&R at both Motown Records and Museum Music.
Busta Rhymes is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, music producer and record executive renowned for his daring style and fashion choices captured in several innovative music videos. Additionally, his intricate rhyming technique has gained him a devoted fan base.
He began his career as a member of the group Leaders of the New School and later formed his own record label, Flipmode Entertainment. Additionally, he's collaborated with numerous rap artists and producers such as Dr. Dre, earning 11 Grammy Award nominations in total.
In 2002, he released his sixth studio album, It Ain't Safe No More. The record was moderately successful and produced the singles "Make It Clap" featuring Spliff Star and "I Know What You Want" featuring Mariah Carey.
He's currently working on his latest project, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, which will be released in 2020; however, he hasn't released any new music since then.
Raekwon joined the Wu-Tang Clan in 1992 and quickly earned himself a place of honor among fans for his unorthodox brand of gritty street rap. He delivered the opening verse on their 1993 debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and was an integral contributor to their gold-certified single "C.R.E.A.M."
Though he didn't achieve the level of fame his fellow Wu-Tang members Method Man and Ghostface Killah did, he continues to produce and executive produce albums for some of hip hop's biggest names. Aside from writing some memorable verses for Wu-Tang, he also produces and executive produces albums for other prominent artists.
Raekwon has become one of the most iconic emcees in Hip Hop history, consistently releasing albums that demonstrate his unfailing talent and perseverance. With 25 years under his belt, Raekwon's solo catalog speaks volumes about him, while still delivering his signature brand of Mafioso Rap.
Busta Rhymes and Rampage The Last Boy Scout have long been two of the most beloved emcees in hip-hop history. They've collaborated on numerous albums and projects together over the years.
In 1993, when Busta Rhymes' cousin Rampage The Last Boy Scout released his debut album 'The Coming', it achieved critical and commercial success. Additionally, guests appearances by members of the Flipmode Squad such as Busta Rhymes himself served to further cement its success.
The Flipmode Squad was one of the greatest rap groups of the early nineties and had plenty of great material for their fans to enjoy. Unfortunately, they failed to capitalize on this success by creating an unappealing 'Scouts Honor By Way of Blood' RIAA Gold certified album full of Z-grade production, questionable songs for women, and bizarre samples.
Unfortunately, the Flipmode Squad didn't put more effort into producing quality music; however, their best song is included on this album and definitely worth listening to.
Sway In The Morning is one of Hot 97's most beloved radio shows, featuring music and interviews with up-and-coming rappers. His show has gained notoriety for its outstanding host skills and he's widely considered to be an influential figure within hip-hop culture.
Sway's fame skyrocketed after the release of The Wake Up Show. His radio show was syndicated nationally, providing the world with many up-and-coming rappers.
Sway and King Tech were able to secure a deal with Interscope Records for their album This or That. Guests included Eminem, RZA, Xzibit, Kool G Rap, KRS-One and Tech N9ne. Nowadays Sway hosts his own show on SiriusXM Shade 45 as well as MTV show TRLAM. He has hosted live events at The White House and been known for his interviews with major celebrities - most notably Kanye West who experienced emotional breakdown during one live interview on Sway In The Morning.
Funkmaster Flex, best known for his iconic radio show Funk Flex, is one of the biggest names in New York City hip-hop. He began hosting a rap show on Hot 97 back in 1992 and it was his programming that brought hip-hop into the mainstream.
He would go on to release several classic albums and mixtapes, his most popular being 60 Minutes Of Funk which still sounds just as fresh today as it did 25 years ago.
This album showcases freestyles from legendary emcees alongside some of today's hottest beats, along with classic school joints and random interludes. It's truly a remarkable piece of work, so if you haven't already, I highly recommend checking it out.