hip hop artists The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time  

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List Rules 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.
list ordered by

1
+ - 4,586 708
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

The Best West Coast Rappers The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

2
+ - 3,588 605
Nas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

3
+ - 2,931 490
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams

4
+ - 1,703 535
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

5
+ - 1,999 806
DMX is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
DMX It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

6
+ - 2,162 1,215
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

7
+ - 1,742 474
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

8
+ - 1,688 546
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

9
+ - 1,229 292
Big L is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Big L The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

10
+ - 1,225 584
Run–D.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Run–D.M.C. Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock

11
+ - 1,558 526
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

12
+ - 1,659 629
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

13
+ - 1,022 528
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black

14
+ - 1,072 385
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

15
+ - 1,156 293
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

The Greatest Rappers of All Time The Greatest Fictional Singers

16
+ - 1,100 417
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
J. Cole Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

17
+ - 1,041 331
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best East Coast 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)

18
+ - 894 280
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

19
+ - 590 328
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

20
+ - 591 110
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

21
+ - 1,052 287
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Gang Starr Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

22
+ - 692 153
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

23
+ - 949 518
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

24
+ - 677 243
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

25
+ - 533 86
Redman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

26
+ - 555 136
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Joey Badass Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

27
+ - 765 304
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

28
+ - 503 169
GZA is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
GZA Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

29
+ - 621 265
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Immortal Technique Revolutionary Vol. 2, Revolutionary, Volume 1

The Best Underground Rappers People Who Most Deserve Tips, But Don't Get Them

30
+ - 725 256
RZA is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
RZA RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet

31
+ - 836 236
Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Eric B. & Rakim Paid in Full, Let the Rhythm Hit ’em, Don’t Sweat the Technique

32
+ - 516 324
Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Kool G Rap Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die

33
+ - 531 240
Onyx is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Onyx Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup

34
+ - 569 260
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

35
+ - 956 244
Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Method Man and Redman Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2

36
+ - 322 102
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Talib Kweli Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

37
+ - 535 250
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Q-Tip The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

38
+ - 504 364
Jadakiss is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Jadakiss The Last Kiss, Kiss of Death, Kiss tha Game Goodbye

39
+ - 739 388
A$AP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
A$AP Rocky At. Long. Last. A$AP, Long. Live. A$AP

40
+ - 452 120
Logic is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

41
+ - 778 279
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

42
+ - 278 154
Inspectah Deck is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Inspectah Deck Uncontrolled Substance, The Resident Patient, The Movement

43
+ - 256 103
Das EFX is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Das EFX Hold It Down, Dead Serious, How We Do

The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead The Best TBS Original Shows

44
+ - 324 201
Fabolous is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Fabolous From Nothin' to Somethin', The S.O.U.L. Tape 2, Street Dreams

45
+ - 235 132
Heavy D is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Heavy D Vibes, Waterbed Hev, Heavy

46
+ - 279 57
Guru is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Guru Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz

47
+ - 262 51
AZ is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
AZ Doe or Die, Final Call (The Lost Tapes), Aziatic

48
+ - 257 117
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Chance The Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

49
+ - 386 227
M.O.P. is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
M.O.P. Firing Squad, Warriorz, 10 Years and Gunnin' (Greatest Hits)

50
+ - 217 98
Smif-n-Wessun is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Smif-n-Wessun Dah Shinin', Smif 'n' Wessun: Reloaded, Smif-n-Wessun: The Album