The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

46k votes 5.9k voters 484k views 135 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Rappers and hip hop artists who were based on the East Coast during the active years of their careers

East Coast rap originated in New York City during the 70s and established the city (and the Bronx more specifically) as a cradle for musical innovation. Since then, East Coast hip hop has only become more popular and has expanded outside of New York to include Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and other outposts. The so-called Golden Age of Rap saw a resurgence in East Coast hip hop during the early 90s where some of the best East Coast rappers of all time take over rap both critically and commercially. East Coast hip hop spans multiple generations and with its roots at the genre's earliest days, is one of the most important subgenres of rap music.

That said, who are the best East Coast rappers? Any list of East Coast hip hop artists has to include the likes of Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Jay Z, DMX, Busta Rhymes, Public Enemy, Gang Starr and Notorious B.I.G. These are widely recognized regarded as the best East Coast rappers and with good reason. Their slick rhymes, catchy beats and lyrics that range from party anthems to serious conscious rap. No matter whether you like East Coast rap or West Coast rap, the one thing you can't deny is the amount of respect than many in hip hop have for East Coast rappers.

So, it's up to you to determine who are the best East Coast rappers. If you notice a rapper isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best East Coast hip hop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest East Coast hip hop musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular east coast hip hop bands that you might've heard of.
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  1. 1
    + 2,660
    - 391
    The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  2. 2
    + 2,127
    - 327
    Nas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  3. 3
    + 1,669
    - 282


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,295
    - 581
    Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap

  5. 5
    + 1,200
    - 400
    DMX is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

  6. 6
    + 950
    - 266
    Rakim is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  7. 7
    + 729
    - 236
    Run–D.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

  8. 8
    + 940
    - 259
    Method Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  9. 9
    + 685
    - 229
    Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

  10. 10
    + 938
    - 311
    Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall

  11. 11
    + 903
    - 269
    Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  12. 12
    + 853
    - 245
    50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga
    Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

  13. 13
    + 601
    - 222
    KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

  14. 14
    + 487
    - 99
    Big L is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by CapoAssKickerMikey95
    Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

  15. 15
    + 615
    - 255
    LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  16. 16
    + 275
    - 64
    Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by CapoAssKickerMikey95
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  17. 17
    + 566
    - 195
    Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Rap music, Hardcore hip hop

  18. 18
    + 495
    - 152
    Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop, Mafioso rap

  19. 19
    + 561
    - 163
    A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

  20. 20
    + 408
    - 138

    added by SeenaMavaddat
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  21. 21
    + 435
    - 182
    Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  22. 22
    + 575
    - 184
    Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

  23. 23
    + 336
    - 159
    Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  24. 24
    + 474
    - 151
    Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Old-school hip hop

  25. 25
    + 397
    - 150
    RZA is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop

  26. 26
    + 319
    - 144
    Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  27. 27
    + 329
    - 167
    Jadakiss is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  28. 28
    + 293
    - 168
    Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop

  29. 29
    + 260
    - 142
    Onyx is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  30. 30
    + 185
    - 45
    Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  31. 31
    + 182
    - 65
    GZA is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by CapoAssKickerMikey95
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop

  32. 32
    + 602
    - 167
    Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  33. 33
    + 251
    - 121


    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  34. 34
    + 303
    - 143
    De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

  35. 35
    + 274
    - 136
    Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

  36. 36
    + 125
    - 58
    Fabolous is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    often listed & added by 1426448767
    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop

  37. 37
    + 142
    - 22
    Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

  38. 38
    + 265
    - 114
    A$AP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by GannonReilly
    Hip Hop, Rap

  39. 39
    + 428
    - 175
    Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

  40. 40
    + 164
    - 124
    The Lox is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  41. 41
    + 119
    - 20
    Redman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music

  42. 42
    + 189
    - 132
    M.O.P. is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

  43. 43
    + 175
    - 122
    Pete Rock is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

  44. 44
    + 81
    - 38
    Inspectah Deck is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music

  45. 45
    + 51
    - 31
    Heavy D is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by coreyhut
    Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, New jack swing

  46. 46
    + 84
    - 62
    Jeru the Damaja is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by CapoAssKickerMikey95
    Hip hop music

  47. 47
    + 108
    - 117
    Papoose is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time


    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop

  48. 48
    + 97
    - 88
    Lloyd Banks is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by ŽikaĐorđev
    Hip hop music

  49. 49
    + 111
    - 116

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  50. 50
    + 200
    - 113
    EPMD is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

136 +

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