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Life's best surprises often come from unlikely places. Twista knows this better than most. The pioneering platinum rapper put Chicago on the rap map and made the double-time rap style a rap staple. Despite selling millions of albums and popularizing a delivery incorporated by everyone from Jay-Z to Eminem, the Windy City rapper remains largely unheralded by the uninformed. That's why he's named his new album The Dark Horse.

Twista became even more popular in 2003 and 2004 when he teamed with fellow Chicagoan Kanye West and Jamie Foxx for the smash single "Slow Jamz." Twista's 2004 album, Kamikaze, earned him his first platinum plaque. Since then, Twista has remained one of rap's premier practitioners and in-demand collaborators. He's appeared on albums from Mariah Carey, Pitbull and Jay-Z, among others, and released a string of acclaimed albums and mixtapes.

But for Twista, it all comes down to the music. It's the reason he's remained one of rap's top talents for two decades. "It's the love of the music," he says. "I do other things and I have other business ventures that I do, but my love is really with the music. I keep doing it and staying in it because I love music. I still get excited every time I hear a beat or think of a different flow."

Kool G. Rap

If you ask any Hip-Hop fan to describe Kool G Rap, you would get answers like "the Godfather of gangster rap" or "he's your favourite rapper's favourite rapper", but if there was a more fitting word to describe this man, other than "inspirational", it would be a "legend".

Kool G Rap has fathered a whole genre of Hip-Hop with his gritty storytelling abilities painting vivid pictures of the daily struggles faced on the harsh streets of inner city New York. His complex multi-syllabalistic rhyme scheme was ground breaking when he first introduced it to the world. Since then many have tried to replicate his style, but most have fallen short.

His unique style and storytelling abilities wrapped with his cunning lyricism has come to inspire artists from the likes of Big Pun, 2Pac, Jay-Z and Nas to name but a few. Kool G Rap has been at the forefront of Hip-Hop for over two decades. He is still as inspirational and as hungry as ever with his ability to adapt his style, always remaining relevant, thus making him not only one of Hip-Hop's greats, but also one of music's most resilient artists.

Jeru The Dajama

Hip Hop has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. First introduced to him at age seven in the local parks of Brooklyn, New York he wrote his first lyrics at age ten.

Jeru the Damaja (born Jeru Davis) aka D. Original Dirty Rotten Scoundrel was born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn where the everyday occurrences around him from an early age later became the source from which his rhymes flow. Jeru created and took on the persona of "the Damaja" (because he damages the mic) that is part conscious truth teller and part true to the streets Brooklyn hard rock. Jeru hooked up with DJ Premiere and Guru, collectively known as Gangstarr, shortly after they moved to New York on the late 1980's.

Jeru introduced his unique "hardcore conscious" style to hip-hop audiences on "I'm the Man" a track on Gangstarr's 1992 Daily Operations album. In 1993 he cemented his place in the hip-hop world by releasing the now classic single "Come Clean" from his legendary album, The Sun Rises in the East. The Wrath of the Math was released two years later which included the hit singles "Ya Playin' Yaself" and "Me or the Papes" and Jeru was proclaimed one of the saviors of hip-hop due to his honest and straight forward critique of the state of hip-hop music. In 2000 Jeru released Heroz 4 Hire completely autonomously, from the production of the album to its release on his independent label KnowSavage Records. Jeru's second independent album Divine Design was released in 2004 and contained the new classics singles "WAR" and "Don't Get it Twisted" featuring Lil'Dap from the Group Home.

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