The Greatest Rappers of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Greatest Rappers of All Time

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942,289 votes 64,946 voters 690,275 views 588 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only individual rappers, not rap groups or collectives.

Finally, a definitive list of the best rappers of all time, ranked by fans all over the world. From the early '80s to present day, this list counts down rap's best lyricists and game changers in history. Lil' Wayne, Method Man, Jay-Z, Eminem, Andre 3000, and T.I are among the artists that appear on this amazing countdown. Rappers from all cities, both genders, and all races are all vying to be crowned the greatest rapper ever.

What makes a rapper great? There are a number of differing definitions and philosophies. Rapper J. Cole (who finds himself on the Ultimate List below) cites consistency as the most important attribute, and says it's important to look both for the big humorous "punch" lines as well as the underlying message of the rapper's songs. Nas (another MC featured on the list) focuses as well on the meaning of the songs, as well as the scale and ambition of the rapper's narratives and storytelling. (He has also gone on the record as saying that there is no such thing as the "best rapper" or "Greatest of All Time" - often abbreviated as G.O.A.T.)

Numerous different skills and attributes all must come together to make a truly legendary MC. Obviously, a rapper must display a sense of rhythm and an ability to compliment the beat in unpredictable and exciting ways. A gift for lyricism and vocabulary is similarly essential - you can have the flow of the century, but if the words don't come together to tell a compelling story or present a unique point of view, it's still not going to translate into a great hip-hop song. But of course there's also an intangible element that elevates some rappers into the ranks of the greatest of all time. Who are these rappers who stand heads above the competition? You tell us, by voting for your favorites below or making your own list of Top Rappers.


List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 24549
    - 14703

    most listed
    All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day ...

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  2. 2
    + 26972
    - 15519


    The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

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  3. 3
    + 20931
    - 12405


    Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

    ;
  4. 4
    + 17489
    - 11070


    Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

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  5. 5
    + 13035
    - 12742

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

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  6. 6
    + 14081
    - 9726


    AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

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  7. 7
    + 13410
    - 9616


    Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

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  8. 8
    + 13704
    - 9560


    The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

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  9. 9
    + 13056
    - 8789


    good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

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  10. 10
    + 10748
    - 8413


    The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

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  11. 11
    + 11481
    - 11024

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout ...

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  12. 12
    + 9953
    - 7520


    Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

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  13. 13
    + 9543
    - 7240


    Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

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  14. 14
    + 8096
    - 6679


    It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

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  15. 15
    + 9073
    - 7843


    Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King ...

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  16. 16
    + 6844
    - 6103


    When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

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  17. 17
    + 6494
    - 5801


    Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

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  18. 18
    + 5922
    - 5536

    often listed
    Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

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  19. 19
    + 6725
    - 5352


    Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

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  20. 20
    + 7272
    - 4887


    Stankonia, Aquemini, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

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  21. 21
    + 5991
    - 4764


    Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

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  22. 22
    + 5700
    - 5130


    Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

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  23. 23
    + 5296
    - 4847


    Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

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  24. 24
    + 5982
    - 5507


    Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time

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  25. 25
    + 5534
    - 5005


    King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

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  26. 26
    + 4869
    - 4008


    The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the ...

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  27. 27
    + 4474
    - 3872


    Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

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  28. 28
    + 4169
    - 3725


    Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

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  29. 29
    + 4077
    - 3637


    Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

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  30. 30
    + 3868
    - 3496


    The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

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  31. 31
    + 3603
    - 3533


    The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's ...

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  32. 32
    + 3573
    - 3353


    Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

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  33. 33
    + 3371
    - 3149


    Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, ...

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  34. 34
    + 4168
    - 5652

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

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  35. 35
    + 3219
    - 3025


    The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

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  36. 36
    + 3363
    - 3620


    Food & Liquor, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, ...

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  37. 37
    + 3623
    - 2961


    Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

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  38. 38
    + 3057
    - 2827


    Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations ...

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  39. 39
    + 3471
    - 2614

    added by Fendarr
    Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

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  40. 40
    + 2776
    - 2672


    Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

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  41. 41
    + 3115
    - 2742


    Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

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  42. 42
    + 2999
    - 2508


    The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

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  43. 43
    + 2832
    - 2631


    RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet

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  44. 44
    + 2770
    - 1802

    ranked low on reranks
    Notorius BIG

  45. 45
    + 2809
    - 2972

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

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  46. 46
    + 1937
    - 1542

    added by scruffenstein
    The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

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  47. 47
    + 2224
    - 1818
    Cypress Hill


    Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

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  48. 48
    + 2077
    - 1977


    At the Speed of Life, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, Restless

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  49. 49
    + 2117
    - 2261


    The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

    ;
  50. 50
    + 2059
    - 2439


    Autobiography of Mistachuck, Rock da Funky Beats / Dance With You, An ...

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