The names you'll find here are musicians whose artistic ability - genius, in some cases - has dwarfed their limited commercial success. So don your white robes and join us as we count down the 20 gods of cult.
Meanwhile, head to NME.COM/video to hear NME writers discuss these artists - and don't forget to let us know your own personal cult heroes.
The most gifted MC ever?
In hip-hop, so often you don't know what you got 'til it's gone. Never more true than with Lamont Coleman, dead by bullet at 24, possibly in a tragic case of mistaken identity.
When you hear L in full flow it's easy to see why he's often cited by the more gangsta-rap fraternity as the most gifted MC ever. L had an utterly baffling sense of rhyme acrobatics, together with a mastery of metaphor and simile, but also a fire, speed, and intensity that was just the right balance of spectral street prophet and stone-cold psychopath.
Lyrical genius and slamming beats. Simple as that.
- Aug 1, 2000