The ten best storytellers in hip-hop

The art of storytelling has existed since before recorded history, so it's somewhat surprising that the practice didn't take off in hip-hop, an originally oral tradition, until the late '80s. Since rappers discovered just how captivating a well-told story could be, the storytelling track has become a staple for almost any album. Like a rite of passage, you must be able to tell a good story if you want to be considered a top-tier rapper. Storytelling has only begun to explore the depths of its potential with weird, sci-fi adventures llike Deltron 3030 or Homer-esque epics like Lupe Fiasco's story of Michael Young History, but some rappers, even without venturing into especially unknown territory, have elevated themselves above the pack as exceptional storytellers. Keep reading for the ten best storytellers in hip-hop.

See also: - The ten best hip-hop lyrics of 2012 - The twenty best hip-hop shows of 2012 - Ten essential gangsta-rap albums