A convert! Alright, quick, somebody send John a Britney Spears CD! Actually it's very cool that you kept an open mind and tried the CD.
I just wanted to say thanks to SFG for listing some underground talents. I've been meaning to check out some underground stuff, mainly because I heard that some of them have better (cleaner) lyrics!
I don't really have favourite artists, but off the top of my head, here are some I like:
Missy Elliot, of course!
Ja Rule, really unique voice