The Greatest Rappers of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Greatest Rappers of All Time

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957k votes 66k voters 717k views 586 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
  • 452 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 25,108
    - 14,915

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 27,648
    - 15,730


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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 21,375
    - 12,538


    Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

    ;
  4. 4
    + 17,830
    - 11,194


    Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

    ;
  5. 5
    + 13,259
    - 12,960

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

    ;
  6. 6
    + 14,332
    - 9,817


    AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

    ;
  7. 7
    + 13,646
    - 9,721


    Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

    ;
  8. 8
    + 13,951
    - 9,651


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

    ;
  9. 9
    + 13,388
    - 8,890


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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 10,925
    - 8,500


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

    ;
  11. 11
    + 11,674
    - 11,253

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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 10,123
    - 7,598


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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 9,728
    - 7,341


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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 8,243
    - 6,763


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

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  15. 15
    + 9,229
    - 7,942


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

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  16. 16
    + 6,948
    - 6,181


    When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

    ;
  17. 17
    + 6,577
    - 5,884


    Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

    ;
  18. 18
    + 6,003
    - 5,614

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

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  19. 19
    + 6,820
    - 5,425


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

    ;
  20. 20
    + 6,166
    - 4,838


    Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

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  21. 21
    + 7,421
    - 4,933


    Stankonia, Aquemini, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

    ;
  22. 22
    + 5,375
    - 4,909


    Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

    ;
  23. 23
    + 5,794
    - 5,185


    Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

    ;
  24. 24
    + 6,084
    - 5,571


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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 5,604
    - 5,062


    King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

    ;
  26. 26
    + 4,943
    - 4,052


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

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  27. 27
    + 4,543
    - 3,910


    Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

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  28. 28
    + 4,221
    - 3,765


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

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  29. 29
    + 4,138
    - 3,683


    Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

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  30. 30
    + 3,913
    - 3,534


    The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

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  31. 31
    + 3,658
    - 3,572


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

    ;
  32. 32
    + 3,613
    - 3,397


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

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  33. 33
    + 3,414
    - 3,189


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

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  34. 34
    + 3,284
    - 3,069


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

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  35. 35
    + 4,264
    - 5,769

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

    ;
  36. 36
    + 3,415
    - 3,671

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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 3,685
    - 3,000


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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 3,101
    - 2,870


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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 3,541
    - 2,637

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 3,179
    - 2,774


    Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

    ;
  41. 41
    + 2,809
    - 2,712


    Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

    ;
  42. 42
    + 3,071
    - 2,536


    The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

    ;
  43. 43
    + 2,862
    - 1,836
    Notorius BIG is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Notorius BIG

  44. 44
    + 2,864
    - 2,668


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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 2,833
    - 3,010


    Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1,986
    - 1,564

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 2,265
    - 1,844
    Cypress Hill is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time


    Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

    ;
  48. 48
    + 2,109
    - 2,014


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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 2,152
    - 2,292


    The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

    ;
  50. 50
    + 2,082
    - 2,468


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

    ;
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