1 The Watts Prophet (1967) is best known for combining jazz and spoken word into their performances, forerunning contemporary hip hop music.
2 Lovebug Starski (1971-2018) is best known for coming up with the term "hip hop" and DJing at the Disco Fever club in 1978.
2 DJ Hollywood (1972) is best known for being the father of "Hip Hop style" rapping and is the first DJ to bring turntables and a mixer to perform at the Apollo Theater.
3 DJ Kool Herc (1973) is best known for hosting and DJing at his "back to school jam" August 11th, 1973 in the Bronx at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue.
4 Coke La Rock (1973) is best known as being the first ever emcee in Hip Hop history and In 2010 he was inducted into the High Times Counterculture Hall Of Fame.
5 Afrika Bambaataa (1977) is best known for being one of the originators of "breakbeat" DJing and forming a group of socially and politically aware rappers, break dancers, graffiti artists and others involved in hip hop culture, Universal Zulu Nation.
6 MC Sha Rock (1977) is best known for being the first female emcee and being a member of the hip hop group Funky 4 + 1.
7 Funky 4 + 1 (1977) is best known for being the first hip hop group to be offered a record deal and the first hip hop group to appear on national television, "Saturday Night Live".
8 Grand Wizzard Theodore (1977) is best known for being the inventor of the scratching technique and mastered the needle drop.
9 Kool Moe Dee (1978) is best known for being one of the forerunner's for the "new jack swing" sound in hip hop and was a member of the pioneering hip hop group, The Treachous Three.
10 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (1978) are best known for the development of Hip Hop music and being the first rap group to be inducted into the Rock Hall. Members include Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Keef Cowboy, and others.
11 Melle Mel (1978) is best known for being a member of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five and his classic single "The Message" being one of the first examples of conscious rap.
12 Grandmaster Caz (1978) is best known for being a member of the Cold Crush Brothers and the main writer for the Sugarhill Gang's record, "Rappers Delight"
13 The Sugarhill Gang (1979) is best known for their rap single "Rapper's Delight" which is credited as popularizing hip hop as a musical genre.
14 Lady B (1979) is best known for being a radio DJ for WHAT radio station in Philadelphia, PA and being one of the first female rappers in early hip hop.
15 Kurtis Blow (1979) is best known for being the first rapper to sign to a major label and releasing his 1980s hit single "The Breaks".