Das EFX and Fu-Schnickens
Put these artists as one. Same era and they're similar, but definitely came with their own style of music with crazy cadences and melodic flow.
Mikah 9, Aceyalone, P.E.A.C.E., Self Jupiter, Project Blowed/ATU and Abstract Rude, to name a few, were some of the bricklayers of melodic and harmonious flow. Some say Bone Thugs-n-Harmony emulated their style and ran with it. Newjacks, do your homework!
DITC (Diggin in the Crates) Crew
Showbiz and AG, Big L, Lord Finesse, Fat Joe and O.C., to name a few—representin' the NYC with a rugged eloquence and the serendipitous synergy of dope sampled beats and in-pocket flows with ill metaphors. DITC stood for getting your fingers dirty with dust from your grandpa's old vinyl up in the attic; searchin' for that one special snatch to throw on the SP-1200 and flip the sample to produce a masterpiece to spit on!
Black Thought (MC) and ?uest Love (drums), the dual juggernauts, planted the seed and erected an organic sound with live instruments and Dope MCing. Pick up the Do You Want More?!!!??! record. Straight classic, like Nas' Illmatic and Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt.
Had to put all in one because these are the groups who came in hot in their era; they snowballed hip-hop in an industry that tried to shut down the whole genre and say it wasn't real music. Yet, to their dismay, hip-hop is not only a culture and a way of life, but now an enormous global revenue stream that made many urban millionaire moguls.
Newjacks, pay homage and do some homework. Hip-hop/rap/whatever you want to call it is not just what you hear on the radio through mainstream corporate frequencies. In an era where corporations fund watered-down, brainless, feeble attempts at hip-hop (with repetitive, porous hooks and verses with no substance) to displace quality independent releases, it's up to you to search for alternative sources and seek out authentic music. Please do!
I am no guru when it comes to hip-hop, but I am playing my part as a catalyst to get authentic, quality music to the forefront!