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.

1
+ - 55,539 28,138
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eminem United States of America

The Greatest White Rappers of All Time The Best German Beers

2
+ - 43,663 23,777
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
TuPac United States of America

3
+ - 39,345 18,578
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Notorious B.I.G. United States of America

4
+ - 29,516 18,180
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas United States of America

5
+ - 25,016 16,233
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube United States of America

6
+ - 21,367 24,112
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Jay-Z United States of America

7
+ - 23,643 16,335
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Snoop Dogg United States of America

8
+ - 24,890 15,660
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Dr. Dre United States of America

9
+ - 27,713 15,791
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar United States of America

10
+ - 18,029 14,837
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Rakim United States of America

11
+ - 17,540 11,732
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 United States of America

12
+ - 16,736 12,142
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eazy-E United States of America

13
+ - 18,618 20,557
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West United States of America

14
+ - 15,277 13,202
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
50 Cent United States of America

15
+ - 13,830 11,033
DMX is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
DMX United States of America

The Best Rappers of the 2000s 16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

16
+ - 11,755 10,136
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes United States of America

17
+ - 13,268 9,555
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
J. Cole United States of America, Germany

18
+ - 11,475 8,864
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Method Man United States of America

19
+ - 10,421 9,766
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def United States of America

20
+ - 9,380 9,348
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
KRS-One United States of America

21
+ - 10,519 9,267
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ludacris United States of America

22
+ - 8,628 8,251
Common is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common United States of America

23
+ - 8,993 9,044
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J United States of America

24
+ - 9,575 10,841
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lil Wayne United States of America

25
+ - 8,798 7,291
Big L is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

26
+ - 9,019 8,753
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. United States of America

27
+ - 7,671 6,645
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah United States of America

28
+ - 7,277 6,184
Redman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman United States of America

29
+ - 7,350 6,306
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun United States of America

The Rappers with the Dirtiest Rhymes The Most Demeaning Expectations of Women

30
+ - 6,143 5,622
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill United States of America

31
+ - 6,635 4,545
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nate Dogg United States of America

32
+ - 5,834 6,009
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Slick Rick United States of America, United Kingdom

33
+ - 6,999 5,102
Aaron Dontez Yates is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne United States of America

34
+ - 5,662 5,325
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon United States of America

35
+ - 5,898 5,790
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Daddy Kane United States of America

36
+ - 6,228 5,831
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface United States of America

37
+ - 5,496 5,011
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ol' Dirty Bastard United States of America

38
+ - 6,041 4,660
Jayceon Terrell Taylor is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game United States of America

39
+ - 5,562 6,210
Lupe Fiasco is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lupe Fiasco United States of America

40
+ - 4,292 3,042
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Chance the Rapper United States of America

41
+ - 4,315 2,854
Logic is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

42
+ - 4,588 4,910
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Talib Kweli United States of America

43
+ - 4,783 4,482
RZA is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
RZA United States of America

The Worst Rappers of All Time The Best PS3 RPGs of All Time

44
+ - 4,618 3,478
Ranker Video v

45
+ - 4,662 4,661
GZA is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
GZA United States of America

46
+ - 4,204 3,222
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

47
+ - 4,006 4,074
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Q-Tip United States of America

48
+ - 3,813 3,495
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice-T United States of America

49
+ - 4,312 2,635
Easy E is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

50
+ - 4,072 4,126
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Immortal Technique United States of America