The pioneers of hip-hop started to surface around the mid 70's. The different components to Hip-Hop were Dance, DJs, and MC's. Some say it originated in the Bronx, NY, with DJ's like GrandMaster Flash who invented different techniques on the mix board. He later joined up with a group of rappers call Furious Five and created hits like "The Roof is on Fire."
Another Influential Hip-Hop Artist includes Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels, also known as Run and D.M.C. The combination of the two and Jam Master J created several of hits and paved the way for other artist. Infact Run's brother Russell Simmons went on to (Co-Found) Def Jam.
Public Enemy who was formed by Chuck D also helped pave the way for Hip-Hop today. Chuck D and Flava Flav used their music to help people be aware of political issues in their own communities. They put out hit songs like "Fight the Power"
Ice Cube along with Easy-E, Dr.Dre, Arabian Prince, the D.O.C, and DJ Yella formed a (short -term) group called N.W.A which stood for Nigga's With Attitude. With there brashness and controversy, they gained a lot of popularity and a pretty big fan following. After about 3 or 4 years the group split apart and everyone went there separate way. The biggest names to come out of the group are Ice. Cube and Dr. Dre. Easy-E contracted AIDs and ended up passing away, but not before making amends.
Although he had the shortest career, the most legendary would have to be Tupac Shakur. Although he was only in the Hip-Hop game for 5 years he ended up putting out five albums and also five movies. He was an influential rapper in the Hip-Hop scene. His fued with East Coast rapper Notorious B.I.G led to a string of controversial events when Tupac ended up dying in a drive-by shooting. Not but 5 months later Legendary rapper B.I.G also died in a drive-by, leaving only memories of arguably two of the greatest legends of the Hip-Hop Movement.