The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

71k votes 7.8k voters 547k 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.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

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  2. 2
    + 2,770
    - 448


    Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

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  3. 3
    + 2,256
    - 378


    Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams

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  4. 4
    + 1,329
    - 373


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

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  5. 5
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    - 928

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

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  6. 6
    + 1,535
    - 619


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

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  7. 7
    + 1,370
    - 338


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

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  8. 8
    + 844
    - 162

    added by CapoAssKickerMikey95
    The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the ...

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  9. 9
    + 1,289
    - 414


    When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

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  10. 10
    + 955
    - 410


    Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock

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  11. 11
    + 851
    - 400


    It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, ...

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  12. 12
    + 1,173
    - 411


    The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

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  13. 13
    + 871
    - 285


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

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  14. 14
    + 1,153
    - 478

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

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  15. 15
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    - 214


    The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and ...

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  16. 16
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    often listed & added by CapoAssKickerMikey95
    Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

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  17. 17
    + 724
    - 201


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

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  18. 18
    + 825
    - 258


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

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  19. 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

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  20. 20
    + 697
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    added by SeenaMavaddat
    Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

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  21. 21
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    Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

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  22. 22
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    - 90


    Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

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  23. 23
    + 376
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    Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

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  24. 24
    + 637
    - 257


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

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  25. 25
    + 369
    - 113

    added by CapoAssKickerMikey95
    Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

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  26. 26
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    The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's ...

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  27. 27
    + 602
    - 207


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

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  28. 28
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    - 53


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

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  29. 29
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    Paid in Full, Let the Rhythm Hit ’em, Don’t Sweat the Technique

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  30. 30
    + 427
    - 197


    Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup

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  31. 31
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    Revolutionary Vol. 2, Revolutionary, Volume 1

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  32. 32
    + 434
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    Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die

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  33. 33
    + 289
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    added by Guðmundur Smári Pétursson
    Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

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  34. 34
    + 452
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    3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

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  35. 35
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    ranked low on reranks
    Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2

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  36. 36
    + 414
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Last Kiss, Kiss of Death, Kiss tha Game Goodbye

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  37. 37
    + 417
    - 208


    The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

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  38. 38
    + 213
    - 69

    added by JahleelNorwood
    Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

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  39. 39
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    - 236


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

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  40. 40
    + 196
    - 115


    Uncontrolled Substance, The Resident Patient, The Movement

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  41. 41
    + 176
    - 69


    Hold It Down, Dead Serious, How We Do

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  42. 42
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    - 289
    A$AP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

    added by GannonReilly
    At. Long. Last. A$AP, Long. Live. A$AP

  43. 43
    + 162
    - 100

    added by coreyhut
    Vibes, Waterbed Hev, Heavy

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  44. 44
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    - 169

    added by 1426448767
    From Nothin' to Somethin', The S.O.U.L. Tape 2, Street Dreams

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  45. 45
    + 306
    - 201


    Firing Squad, Warriorz, 10 Years and Gunnin' (Greatest Hits)

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  46. 46
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    added by azazelbadazz
    The Reason, The B. Coming, The Truth

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  47. 47
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    Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, Anthem Inc., Poverty's Paradise

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  48. 48
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    Dah Shinin', Smif 'n' Wessun: Reloaded, Smif-n-Wessun: The Album

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  49. 49
    + 139
    - 61

    added by nicolae-silviu-rizoiu
    Die Rugged Man Die, Legends Never Die, Legendary Classics

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  50. 50
    + 169
    - 31

    ranked low on reranks & added by Anne R.
    Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz

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