Today, July 20 marks the birthday of one of Hip-Hop’s most innovative emcees of all time, Kool G Rap. The Golden Era icon turns 50.

Also known as the Kool Genius of Rap, the Queens native of a spitter is a certified member of the Hip-Hop Legends club. Under Cold Chillin’ Records his 1986 debut single “It’s A Demo” was an enlightening demonstration of what he was capable of creating out of the identity of words. G Rap’s lisp and raspy voice was an automatic stand out and perfect approach for his material. Like most Golden Era rappers, the lyrical material was a reflection of a portion of a rapper’s reality. While Schoolly D and Ice-T spat about the what and how of hardcore endeavors, G Rap drew up vivid street narratives that eventually lead to the emergence of mafioso rap.

“I love the art of being able to still talk that gangsta shit, the street shit and still do it in a different way, which it keeps being interesting every time. When I hear another artist that does it well, I get it every time. It’s never repetitive. It’s always hot to me.” Kool G Rap via Rolling Stone

Along with DJ Polo, the Corona wordsmith was recruited into the Juice Crew by Marley Marl and launched his debut album Road to the Riches– solidifying the blueprint of mafioso rapping. With the use of stacked syllables and intense delivery, G Rap detailed the journey of the ideal Black male youth in New York City. Not just any young Black male. The Black male who was born into an impoverished foundation who wishes to embellish the lifestyle of a millionaire in a mob-like method. Owning the job to tell the New York street narrative, G Rap went on to lay out the blueprint for hardcore storytelling. His ability to paint the picture of an average day is deemed to be complex and the post-generation influence is evident on classics such as Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and Reasonable Doubt.

Last year, the Hip-Hop legend dropped his fifth solo album, Return of the Don, an overall comforting trip through his legacy as a mafioso rap pioneer. The album hoard several collaborations with renowned mafioso rappers in the likes of Raekwon, N.O.R.E., and Sheek Louch, which overall confirm G Rap’s grand influence. Without a shadow of a doubt, Kool G Rap is one of Hip-Hop’s most straightforward and complex rappers to ever contribute to the rap element and street tale spits are vital to his legend.

Happy Birthday to the Kool Genius of Rap, Kool G Rap!