You'd be hard pressed to find better wordsmiths in the music industry than the Cunninlynguists. Their name says it all. They make puns out of puns, then use double entendres to make you both laugh and think at the same time.
The Southern-State duo (turn trio, turn duo, turn trio) not only write and record everything themselves, but also make nearly all of the music for their albums as well.
Although, while producer/emcee Kno has been labeled as "one of the top loop miners east of the Mississippi", his style has progressed significantly in later albums, which include hired studio musicians, and more complex arrangements.
This new, less loop-based style comes to fruition on the Cunninlynguist's third album "A Piece of Strange."
So, while I do enjoy their later albums more than I do their first two, the fact that I heard "Will Rap For Food" first, the fact that their wordplay on this album is unmatchable, and the fact that it contains possibly the best hip-hop sample in all of the world (video below), makes this album one of their most influential.
Make sure to download this album for free here, then go out and buy 'A Piece of Strange' today. It's amazing.
Other great Cunninlynguist albums include "SouthernUnderground", "A Piece of Strange", and "Dirty Acres".