Let's be honest, if rappers were athletic, there's a good chance they wouldn't be rapping (and if athletes could rap, well ... they've tried that a few times). Of course, that's not to say that every rapper has the same body type. There are the jacked-up muscular guys (50 Cent, Flo Rida), the skinny tiny dudes (Big Sean, Lil Wayne), the surprisingly tall (2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa), and plenty of others who just seem to lack much athleticism (Jay Z, Drake).
There's also the best type of rapper, the significantly overweight lyricist who revels in the size of his belly. Here are 10 of the best fat rappers in history.
10. Rick Ross To be honest, Rick Ross should probably be higher on this list, but he's lost (and gained) a ton of weight over the course of his career, so we knocked him down a few spots. If you've owned a radio over the last decade, you've probably heard Ricky Rozay's songs (or at least his guttural grunt on someone else's song). No one would confuse him for a great lyricist, but the amount of hits he and his crew has put out over the last bunch of years has to be respected.
9. Biz Markie Biz Markie was on the cusp of irrelevance for quite some time. He hadn't had a hit since the '80s, and he was best known to the younger generations for his time on reality TV shows. Then, one of the best things that can happen to any one-hit wonder occurred. and Heineken used his song "Just a Friend" in a commercial that ran during nearly every commercial break. The spot ingrained the classic hip-hop anthem into ears everywhere, and Biz Markie became instantly beloved by people who weren't even born during his first bout of relevancy.
8. E-40 Speaking of older overweight rappers who were professionally helped by likable commercials, E-40's "U and Dat" (as performed by a nerdy guy in a bathroom) was featured in a cellphone commercial. The Bay Area legend might have made a more lasting cultural impact with his use of slang, but his music has passed the test of time as well. When the (digital) Mount Rushmore of Bay Area hip-hop is created someday, E-40 will no doubt be a large part of it.
7. Fat Joe In the mid-'90s, Fat Joe made the decision to link himself to Big Pun (don't forget that name). On one hand, that decision would guarantee his spot in the history books of the New York rap scene. On the other, it meant that Joe would never be the best overweight Hispanic rapper on any page about him in those history books. Although he certainly had his fair share of misses, Fat Joe has already left his mark on New York hip-hop, and, like any good New Yorker, moved to Florida as soon as he got rich.
6. Action Bronson Staying in New York, the Queens-based, half-Jewish, half-Albanian rapper/former chef might be the most interesting man in music right now. Although his looks and sense of humor caused some critics to not take him seriously at first, Bronson has continued to deliver gem after gem on back-to-back albums (and a few mixtapes). With the recent release of Mr. Wonderful and its singles like "Easy Rider," "Actin' Crazy," and "Baby Blue," it's clear that Bronson is still ballooning as an artist.
5. Raekwon At this point, there are a few different members of Wu-Tang Clan who could qualify for an overweight rappers list, but Raekwon still fits the best. Much like the rest of Wu-Tang, the third straight Empire State product on this list (hint: He's not the last one) mastered the balance between lyrical genius and classically gangster content. Considering that Wu-Tang might be the best and most influential rap group to ever exist, it's hard to argue that Raekwon doesn't deserve a spot among the top rappers in his size bracket.
4. Twista Twista is one of those rappers who gets forgotten about a lot, but he also released a handful of extremely solid albums, including a gem in 2004's Kamikaze. Although he's best known for the speed at which he can rap, Twista can actually put together quite the song, as demonstrated on Kamikaze's hits, "Overnight Celebrity" and "Slow Jamz." When it comes down to it, Twista might not be remembered as one of the great rappers of the era, but just about any of his albums will hold up against his contemporaries.
3. Scarface When it comes to oversized Southern rappers, Scarface isn't alone, but he's certainly at the top. The legendary lyricist gained fame as a replacement member of the Geto Boys, but quickly became more popular as a solo artist. Starting with The Diary, Scarface released three of the hardest-hitting Southern rap albums known to man, all while keeping his lyrical ability clear on each song.
2. Big Pun Remember how Fat Joe was overshadowed by Big Pun? That's not a knock on Fat Joe, that's just how good Big Pun was. Probably the best Hispanic rapper to ever walk the planet, his weight eventually did him in. When a heart attack took the iconic rapper's life, he weighed in at nearly 700 pounds, but that wasn't before recording a pair of the greatest hip-hop albums to ever come out of New York. Pun somehow gets looked over from time to time when talking about the best rappers of all time, but anyone who knows his music knows just how special of a talent he was.
1. Notorious B.I.G. Was there really anyone else who could top this list? Biggie might not just be the best overweight rapper in history, but the best rapper of any size. Aside from his incredible flow and genre-defining delivery, Christopher Wallace put out some of the most historic songs not just in hip-hop, but in all types of music. Sure, he might be remembered best for classics like "Juicy" and "Big Poppa," but it's the depth of Ready to Die and Life After Death that makes him one of the greatest rappers to ever live. Aside from a couple of the posthumous tunes, it's really tough to argue that Biggie Smalls ever even put out a song that wasn't great.
Editor's Note: This article originally published on May 4, 2015, and was updated for publication on August 22, 2016.
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