The first major hip hop crew from Iceland was Quarashi, who were inspired by the rock hybrid music of The Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine. Around the same time Quarashi released their first album a lot of rap groups were formed such as Subterranean which are considered to have released Icelandic hiphops biggest classic, Central Magnetizm. Other groups were Team 13 (later became Twisted Minds), Multifunctionals, Bounce Brothers and Hip Hop Elements (later named Kritikal Mazz). They all rapped in English except for one song from Multifunctionals called "Númer 1". The second generation were artists such as XXX Rottweiler (formerly known as 110 Rottweilerhundar) who along with Sesar A had the first all Icelandic hip hop albums published in Iceland (2001). Later (2002) they were followed by a decent amount of rappers following their lead and rapping exclusively in Icelandic. Bæjarins bestu, the freestyle battle champs of Iceland in one unit, Móri, a gangsta rapper who uses Icelandic, Afkvæmi Guðanna (The Offspring of the Gods), Bent og 7Berg (Bent and 7Berg), Skytturnar, Hæsta Hendin (The Highest Hand) and Forgotten Lores. Icelandic lyrics are usually very direct and aggressive, with battle raps forming a sizeable portion of Icelandic hip hop.
XXX Rottweiler hundar released their debut album in 2001. With their aggressive lyrics about having sex with mothers of others, killing people or "wack MCs," hard politics, as well as their blasphemous song "Blaz Roca Achbar," they created massive discussions all over Iceland along with turning many youngsters on to rap music. They released their second album "Þú skuldar" in 2002 and a DVD in 2003 with a documentary plus all their videos (one of them starring Porn-star Ron Jeremy). Their albums have been praised by critics and have received all music awards available in Iceland (Íslensku tónlistarverðlaunin, Hlustendaverðlaun FM 957, Tónlistarverðlaun fólksins and Tónlistarverðlaun Undirtóna og Radio X). Their albums sold platinum and gold. Their music was used in the US-Korean film In Between days and the group starred on MTV's hip hop show The Lick. They have played all around Iceland and in Germany and Sweden as well.
Forgotten Lores released their debut album "Týndi Hlekkurinn" in 2003 and their second album "Frá Heimsenda" in 2006. The albums are two of the most critically acclaimed Icelandic rap albums and "Frá Heimsenda" received a 5 star rating in the national newspaper Morgunblaðið.
One of the largest hip hop events is Rímnaflæði in Miðberg, a freestyle competition where young MCs and rap bands (usually sixteen and younger) compete by rapping a single song on stage. The first jury was made up of Sesar A, BlazRoca (XXX Rottweiler hundar) and Omar Swarez (Quarashi).
Icelandic hip hop culture also includes active groups in other parts of the culture.
Graffiti The graff scene first took off in Iceland around 1991 with writers such as ONE, Pharokees, Atom, Sharq, Kez and Youze. Crews such as SR (Stash Riders) and LCF were the first big influentials. Then around 1995 TMC (Twisted Minds Crew) broke out with members Senze and Natur being the most active. Since then TMC's have been the leading crew in Icelandic street art. With the arrival of writer SAR (later SER/.../Nores, member of TMC) in 1998 the style took a big step forward and he's the most potent individual for Icelandi Graffiti. Foreign artists who've temporarily lived in Iceland have also made a huge impact, f.eks. Kegr and Jiroe. A few other noteable artists who've made big step in Icelandic Graffiti: Short, Lopez, Noem, Mint, Starz, Barok, Soda, Trek, Does, Wyh, Kyte ...
DJ/Turntablism Most successful and skillful turntablists are: Fingaprint, Intro, MAT, Big Gee, Nino, B Ruff and Magic.
Most influential person in Icelandic Hip hop is without a doubt DJ Rampage, who started the first local Hip hop radioshow (Chronic) and has hosted more concerts with foreign acts than any other.