Latifah Muhammad

15 People Who Merged Rapping With Singing (Before Drake) [GALLERY]

Photo: All HipHop

Ye dropped an entire album of dedicated to the very same auto-tuned singing that Drake thinks he started.

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Comment Comments: 118 Tags Tags: drake, 50 cent, snoop dogg, dmx, pharrell williams

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  • Can’t forget Wyclef Jean

  • Laura

    Bone Thugz in Harmony!

  • Yung Pimpin

    Black folks kill me. Aint none of the folks listed above doing it big like Drizzy! The dude is only 25 and got the game on lock! None of the people listed has the lyrical skills of Drizzy!

    • what? are you dumb and delusional like your favorite rapper too? drake is not more lyrical than bone thugs, mos def, andre 3 stacks N lauryn Hill. STOP TROLLING

    • None of the people listed has the lyrical skills of Drizzy!”
      if you think drake is better than the likes of andre3k, mos def, and others listed you may as well be stupid

    • RandomTandem

      They might not be doing it big like Drizzy NOW but many of them did it big like Drizzy at one point! Just because theyre not doing it big now doesnt negate all that they have done in the past! Drake won’t be doing it big forever! Someone else will come along and people will forget about him, and if he is LUCKY he will be featured on a list like the one above. Black folks kill ME forgetting so easily!

    • john doe

      3 stacks is an ok singer.. its more comical than anything, but singing a hook isnt what he’s talking abou. he’s talking about singing a hit song & then another hit song & another.. some of these ppl listed are a joke. 50 cent is not a singer. being able to sing & being able to croon a good melody are 2 diff things

  • LadyLeo

    Queen Latifah!

  • Manny

    Nelly…shoot, Eminem sings his own hooks

  • Please don’t forget my boys The Crash Crew! They’re from the EARLY 80’s but well worth listening to. Excellent list!

  • Rishae

    Nelly is also major player… I remember Ja Rule and Nelly would always get asked abt their “sing-song” rhyme styles when they 1st came out.

    • damnairfresh

      That’s right JaRule was the king of that.

  • None of those people are doing it in the same manner as Drake. You’d have to listen to the whole Take Care album to understand where he’s really coming from.

    • Ci Sam

      Id hate to hear your list of favorite artists of all time

      • RandomTandem

        I bet Soulja Boy is on that list! lmao

      • I bet he thinks 2 chains is break out artist of the year

  • kr.

    jurassic 5!!

  • How you guys didn’t put Nate Dogg here is a mystery.

    • PuffPuffPass

      Don’t forget Warren G aswell


        Nate Dogg NEVER RAPPED and Warren G NEVER sang!! Nate ONLY sang hooks on rap songs.

      • shelly is dumb liar lol

        you people are morons if you don’t think nate dogg rapped.

  • Emerald13

    That funny looking thing can’t ”RAP or SING” How about that!!!! He done lost his darn mind! He’s getting paid for NOTHING! Sound like S%#t live!

  • kennynyce

    you forgot the late great fat pat the south gets no love

  • kennynyce

    and devin the dude

    • WTF

      Already…we still bumpin him in Dallas!

  • Proph

    They all came before, but very few artists on this list are both well versed as both rapper and singer. Not that Drake is an exceptional singer, but he can sing. I don’t believe any of these artists singularly changed Hip Hop culture to an extent where it became popularized to rap and sing. For example, during the time auto tune was used extensively many emerging artists jumped on the band-wagon to start auto-tuning their voice. Of course, many artists have used it decades prior to the trend but it wasn’t really popularized as a tool in Hip Hop until the 2000’s. In a sense, I believe that’s what Drake was trying to say.

    • RandomTandem

      Drake is not well versed as a rapper! So what are you talking about?

      • RandomTandem

        I meant he is not well versed as a singer! and i still dont know what you’re talking about though! because all of the above artists helped to shape and change hip hop culture! Drake has no hand in shaping or changing anything! He is just banwagon jumping doing some ish people have been doing for years and he is not even doing it as well as they did! Drake is aight but he needs to sit down with that BS acting like he is an innovator! boy please!

      • Proph

        Of course they changed Hip Hop culture. I can’t argue against that or say Drake is a progenitor of that style as he said. But none of them influenced it in a way where others begin to followed suit, or better yet, stayed relevant unless you count Kanye and Cudi as far relevance is concerned. But Kanye wasn’t innovating new when he did an entire album’s worth of auto-tune singing. He used what existed before him, and made a successful album.That’s why I used auto-tune as an example. I don’t believe Cudi to be a strong rapper or good singer but I ef with him. I say to the writer and whoever bashes me for siding with Drake, name one rapper who popularized rap-singing who is still relevant today commercially.

      • WPTH

        Kanye West aka the dude Drake stole his entire act from. Kid Cudi, Nicki MInaj, his labelmate, Naming Kanye and Kid Cudi doesn’t make them less relevant especially as they both came before Drake.

      • Rwall03

        Dont forget 3000 and Cee-lo

      • WPTH

        You are absolutely correct about Ceelo & 3Stacks. And I shouldn’t even bring up Pac who has outsold all of the above combined. There’s too many rappers that can sing and better than that Canadian actor.

      • noirevixen

        Drake hasn’t even been in the business that long, so how could he claim to have popularized anything? And if so many people did it before he was even thought of and more successfully I might add, what the hell is his point? How old are some of you? He needs to learn music history because he has admitted himself that there are artists he never even heard of. For instance, Domino, Here We Go, which was a popular song.

    • Kris50

      You’ve got to be kidding. Ja Rule sold over 30 million records with his singing/rapping. How many has Drake sold? Not 30 million I know that much.

  • RandomTandem

    Y’all forgot Queen Latifah! She sings very well

  • remey

    lauryn hill anyone?

    • kattzmeow

      Thats what I said. Ppl r namin thoses Who do hooks. Not true singers and rappers.

  • What about Biz Markie?

  • Bredwinna

    Whoodini, Bone, nate dogg, crucial conflict, the dove shack

  • xecksx58


  • Leciab27


  • Beyonce could be up here.

  • Kris50

    I don’t need to click through 15 pages to know that he is dumb and delusional. He needs to check his ego and go sit down somewhere.

  • lucky

    Tina marie as well!

    • kattzmeow

      TM is not a rapper

      • jp

        listen to square biz…

      • Alicia Stephens

        Learn your music genre history! It is often documented that she was the first female to successfully put a rap down on record in 1981. And prior to that in 1978 and 1979, in “lost” tracks in the Motown archive. Their quality control division was just reluctant to accept this new “trend” which proved to be a mainstay in contemporary American culture. I suggest you read a few of Nelson George’s books on this very topic. And I do believe the article reads “people who merged…,” not “rappers who merged…”. But it wasn’t just Square Bizh there’s Here’s Lookin’ At You, It Must Be Magic, and a few others in more recent.

        But there are so many others like Millie Jackson, Gil Scott Herron, The Last Poets, Bell Biv Devoe AND New Edition, Bobby Brown and, of course Ralph Tresvant. Don’t they call Drake the “Ralph Tresvant of Hip Hop?” In fact an article from 2011, former Editor-In-Chief of On The Rise Magazine, Aisha K. Staggers wrote a series of articles about the members of New Edition, including Michael Bivins and Ralp Tresvant and she did pose this question, successfully.

        And let’s not forget Ma$e and Fabolous, not shining examples, but examples nonetheless.

        And we CANNOT forget “The Godfather of Soul,” Mr. James Brown….”Say It Loud (I’m Black and Proud)n” in 1968.

        As for Drake,I am not sure if he is including his time on Degrassi and his rhymes were whack, or if he meant to say “the first from Toront,” but he would be wrong there, too, not just Canadian Reggae, but Snow, produced by MC Shan had a #1 merge in 1993…and he was before Em. Perhaps Drake “misspoke.” Perhaps he meant to the first to do it and reach the same level of success from the YMCMB camp, but wouldn’t that be Wayne?! I will just continue to believe that he was high at the time he said this and got the real world confused with the “reel” world that keeps playing over and over in his head.

      • Alicia Stephens

        And please excuse all of my spelling errors. I’m trying a new dictation software and it SUCKS!

      • UTFO Roxanne Roxanne

    • WTF

      Square Biz!

  • num nummys

    PM DAWN!?

    • Kelea

      Finally!!! I feel like a few things that drake does, even down to parts of his flow and his style, PM Dawn did long before him.

  • Will

    yeah he is wrong with his statement but most of these people didn’t do it very well (note that i didn’t say all)

  • Nobody did it better in the 90s than Wyclef Jean

  • Olldskoolbetterthanewskool

    Why didn’t anyone mention Erykah Badu, she was a local MC before becoming a singer? Drake is delusional to think he can sh#t on legendary Hip Hop like he does! Isn’t it his duty to study and give respect to those who paved the way for him?

    • Aaron

      Not really, no.

  • I’d like to add to this list Crash Crew, The Sequence, Cold Crush Brothers, The Furious Five, Funky Four +1, Kurtis Blow, Force MC’s AKA Force MD’s, UTFO, Whistle, Breeze The Singing Emcee, Erick Sermon (EPMD), Devin The Dude, Smooth Bee (of Nice N’ Smooth), Nate Dogg, Smooth (back when she was MC Smooth), Big Shug, Saukrates, K-Os, Queen Latifah, Black Thought, Tiye Phoenix, Free (AKA Marie Antoinette), Phonte (Coleman) and the list goes on & on…

    • NLB

      Phonte, hands down….he would destroy Drake!!!! FE!!!

      • DoRoSa

        FINALLY! I was wondering when someone would mention him. In case, nobody knows, he was a member of the Hip Hop Group Little Brother and is currently 1/2 of Foreign Exchange. Also Mos Def-My Umi Says.

  • thefindmag

    Speech (Arrested Development)

  • X254

    Slimkid3 of The Pharcyde was doing it in the early 90s

    • Kelea

      and PM DAWN

  • Cruel summer kid

    Where’s Left Eye? She was doin it way before wheelchair jimmy ever made his television debut

  • IknowYouknow

    Lil Wayne sings a lot of hooks too….even on featured songs.

  • Cory

    Maybe he meant he was the first one from Young (Dummies With) Money to do so. Simple misunderstanding

  • Callie

    Honestly, I think he probably meant the first male rapper to sing that actually can sing well and do runs with his voice! Those male rappers you listed sound terrible!

  • JackBuer

    Montel Jordan!!!

    • JackieBauer

      Once upon a time in ’94
      Montell made no money and life sure was slow!

  • bones rich

    how come ya’ll 4got akon he d best in singin an rappin..need new staffs

  • amethyst

    you guys forgot Nelly

  • Ja Rule is the king of sing-rap

  • TLC….Blaque….702…Boz 2 Men…..Pretty Ricky

  • Boogafoot

    What about Whodini???

  • gasoline

    where the f is smooth on this list? she may not have sold crazy records, but after lauryn hill, there’s nobody who could do both equally well…hiphopwired, thought u guys did your research..

  • PrealNasty

    how could ya’ll not add in nelly? C’mon son Ride w/ me, E.I., Country Grammar, DELIMA! Like Nelly was sing rap! Nobody on this list has sang songs and sold more records than nelly!

  • bullet

    Correction on pg 16 its snoop lion

  • damnairfresh

    Drake is clearly feeling himself.

  • rico from Nebraska

    NICE & SMOOTH is funky oooh so hip hop junkies all we wanna do is unh unh & you

  • Young Aaron

    Where is Pimp C? Drake claimed in the past that he opened the way for him and now . . . he’s a bit too cocky, don’t make an UGK roll over in his grave. Lil’ Kim & Wyclef too, even T.I. before Paper Trail

    • Alicia Stephens

      Do or Die (“Po Pimp”), Crucial Conflict, Tela…Even The Notorious B.I.G: “Playa Hater” is nothing but singing, albeit bad and “Another” both from “Life After Death”. And how can we forget Lil’ Kim. Even MJB (What’s the 411″) and Faith Evans (You Gets No Love)…I could keep going, but it is tiring, can we all just agree the money has gone to his head? People swhen you stop feeding stray dogs, eventually they get the message and quietly go away.

  • Cant forget that big moe he even called his style “rapsingin”.
    Houston Legend

  • Tf lol nobody from Texas got any love lol .. it started in the South .. nearly every artest from the South Sings & Raps .. like Nov 18th from drake .. June 27th freestylin Big Moe Sings While Freestylin.? yall triippin lol

  • MmmHmm



  • Dmack

    Trey Songz Shudda Been Up There

  • AngryBlackGod

    Can’t forget Angie B aka Angie Stone of The Sequence.

  • E$

    Y’all forgot to mention Mix Master Spade!

  • Northside

    LOL…You didn’t add “The Greatest to EVER Do it”….NELLY ?… WOW

  • Queen Latifah, Heavy D, & the very 1st Rakim & Jody Watley

  • Sneak

    50 Cent, DMX, Kanye West, Biz Markie? Are you serious? I don’t think anyone would call what they did singing. How about Queen Latifah, Everlast, Z-Ro?

  • The Pharcyde!

  • Ya’ll to report and add the queen as in Queen Latifah to this list! That’s a shame.

  • Riddler

    Bone Thugs n Harmony. “THE ORIGINATORS”

  • Daniel Asamota

    How ya’ll didn’t put Daniel Asamota here is a big mystery!

  • Daniel Asamota

    I’ve been doin’ it for years too. Now I wanna’ do it with Missy, and I ain’t talkin’ bout no singin’ and rappin’!lol

  • linda

    Drake is aight but he needs to sit down with that BS acting like he is an innovator! boy please!~ blackwhiteplanet _℃om ~~~~~ is for thousands of upscale men and beautiful
    women, who understand that ambition, success, and glamour are key elements of
    attraction. It’s worth a try!if I see you doing the same, I’m inclined to believe that’s a facet of
    your personality. Whether I decide to engage with it is another thing.

  • great list with great examples but why is phonte from little brother not on here?!

  • Z-RO!!!!!!! this list is not complete without the King Of the Ghetto.
    Relvis Presley
    Rother Vandross

  • CEDeathRow

    i agree. Nate Dogg is the greatest. . G FUNK! but how does drake not think of bone thugs n harmony? Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige. 1000 others!!! Oh and to correct “Drizzie” he’s the first rapper to sing and NOT rap.

    • bobbigballs

      to correct you lol. hes not much of a singer either

  • Cant forget Timbaland…

  • Slickyluv

    I cant believe they didnt put Domino from the west coast on here !!…. true rap/singer baby….

  • Fiasco

    Missing Chamillionaire

  • Benall

    Don’t forget Queen Latifah.

  • Lesbihonest

    lol….drake is easily the most successful rapper/singer…he never said he was the first…just the most successful…guy sells albums…most of these people on the list don’t even come close to what Drake has done.

    • Lauryn Hill. Come on, son.

      • Ellis Watson

        She did one brilliant album and went all weird and anti-corporate on us. She’s not more successful than Drake.

  • terri

    How about mclyte, goodie mobb,and atribe called quest( bonita applebaum) clearly a cult classic.busta rhymes done it to. Definetly big boi and andre3000.

  • yall forgot nate dogg and eminem did it a couple of times

  • Quality Control

    Jurassic 5?? Harmonizing their lyrics, singing the hooks (in harmony)? If you’re talking singing rappers rapping while they sing, J5 goes WAAAY up the list.

  • yall muhfuckas sayin these ppl listed cant compare to drizzy are fuckin slow af lmao too fried DRIZZY DRAKE CANT COMPARE TO THEM!!!!! PERIOD.

  • Cucu

    You guys are licks forgetting about max b the best at that style

  • Alex

    Most of these dudes washed up

  • The list of artist are great examples of talented people who rap and sing…. Although the key word in the title is “Merged” …. Which Drake is the first Artist to get singing successfully accepted by public view as synonymous with rap.

  • City

    What about Phonte? The man Drake openly accredited to fathering his style. Or GemStones, a much better singer and rapper, than almost ANY singer/rapper.

  • devin

    I hate drake i think he is the first one to churn out auto-tuned/souless rap with with terrible lyrics. He talks about “starting from the bottom” when he was an upperclass kid who was a tv star on some canadian high-school teenage drama. The most struggle drake ever went through was probably when his character on degrassi was shot.. his music is soulless. Most cooperate artist ever. I would say he is a sell out but he wouldve had to have come out with good songs at one point to be considered a sell out.

  • article maker is a dass

    what about the gratest of all time eminem

  • Aidan Culver

    Max B

  • “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” has some of the best vocals in the history of popular music. From smooth ballad to raspy gospel belt to dope rhymes, Lauryn Hill is the queen.