8. Missy Elliott Missy Elliot is one of the best-selling MCs of all time, male or female, and she possesses one of hip-hop's most unique, inimitable styles. Each one of her first five albums went platinum, with her sixth and latest, 2005's The Cookbook, going gold, an even more impressive feat considering that she's executive-produced all of them with the help of Timbaland. She's won five Grammys along with a boatload of other awards and nominations. In addition, she created one of rap's most unforgettable tracks, "Get Ur Freak On," best remembered for its twangy synth loop, Elliott's distinctive hollers and pauses and the indelible image of her hawking a loogie into an unsuspecting man's mouth in the video.
7. Ludacris Ludacris burst onto the scene in 2000 with "What's Your Fantasy," a fatuous, borderline gross aphrodisiac of a song that nevertheless demonstrated Luda's well-refined flow, lyrical dexterity and magnetic charisma and humor. By the time his second single, "Southern Hospitality," hit, Ludacris's talent for writing stone-cold hits was evident. His debut, Back for the First Time, would go on to sell over three million copies, which would then be eclipsed by his sophomore effort, Word of Mouf. Luda has sold more than thirteen million albums, acted in several films and owns his own label and cognac company, making him one of the South's first true hip-hop superstars.