hip hop artists The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

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List Rules 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 ordered by

1
+ - 64,912 32,422
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

The Greatest White Rappers of All Time Vote: Your Globe Noms Picks for Best Supporting Actor, TV Miniseries or Movie

2
+ - 49,487 26,489
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tupac All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

3
+ - 43,889 20,688
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

4
+ - 32,543 20,862
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
+ - 28,368 18,534
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

6
+ - 24,430 26,937
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

7
+ - 26,928 18,548
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

8
+ - 28,633 17,858
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Dr. Dre The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

9
+ - 31,544 18,179
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

10
+ - 19,946 17,080
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

11
+ - 19,741 13,051
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

12
+ - 18,807 13,642
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

13
+ - 21,178 23,385
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

14
+ - 17,234 14,716
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

15
+ - 15,502 12,310
DMX is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
DMX It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

The Best Rappers of the 2000s Catchiest Viral Internet Songs of All Time

16
+ - 13,414 11,373
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

17
+ - 12,979 9,935
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

18
+ - 15,017 11,137
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
J. Cole Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

19
+ - 11,644 10,841
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

20
+ - 12,178 10,351
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ludacris Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time

21
+ - 10,338 10,535
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

22
+ - 10,171 10,093
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

23
+ - 9,594 9,388
Common is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

24
+ - 9,962 8,433
Big L is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big L The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

25
+ - 11,246 12,549
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lil Wayne Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

26
+ - 10,128 9,764
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

27
+ - 8,584 7,446
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

28
+ - 8,256 6,891
Redman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

29
+ - 8,165 7,138
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

The Dopest Rappers of the '90s The Most Ridiculously Simple Questions Women Can't Agree On

30
+ - 8,203 5,873
Aaron Dontez Yates is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

31
+ - 7,526 5,280
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

32
+ - 6,917 6,526
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

33
+ - 6,277 6,052
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

34
+ - 6,415 6,785
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

35
+ - 6,815 6,528
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

36
+ - 6,393 6,533
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

37
+ - 6,171 5,691
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ol' Dirty Bastard Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones, Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)

38
+ - 6,784 5,436
Jayceon Terrell Taylor is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

39
+ - 5,258 3,998
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

40
+ - 5,383 4,048
Ranker Video v
Cypress Hill Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

41
+ - 6,111 7,053
Lupe Fiasco is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1

42
+ - 4,903 3,756
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

43
+ - 5,105 3,730
Logic is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time The Best Vehicle Brands & Car Manufacturers Currently

44
+ - 5,159 3,158
Easy E is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

45
+ - 5,334 5,063
RZA is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
RZA RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet

46
+ - 4,472 4,007
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice-T Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion

47
+ - 5,083 5,241
GZA is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
GZA Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

48
+ - 4,472 4,630
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Q-Tip The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

49
+ - 5,012 5,534
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Talib Kweli Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

50
+ - 4,247 3,433
Warren G is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Warren G Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel), I Want It All