hip-hop The Dopest Rappers of the '90s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
205.6k votes 23.2k voters 1.2M views 147 items

List Rules Only rappers whose peak years came in the 1990s.

The best '90s rappers and rap groups brought us some of the best rap songs of all time with artists like Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, and the Notorious B.I.G. dominating the decade. Often described as the "golden age" of hip hop and rap, the 1990s introduced many rappers and rap groups that would go on to become the best rappers of all time.

During the beginning of the decade, prominent acts and rappers like Ice Cube, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy led the charts as their fame, first established in the 1980s, continued. Each brought something new and interesting to the rap world, such as Ice Cube's 1991 release of "Death Certificate," which dealt with real-world issues like racism, Los Angeles gangs, and drugs.

As the decade continued, one of the best rap albums of all time came along in 1992. Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" made the now-legendary producer and rapper's name, along with the name of another up-and-coming rapper, Snoop Dogg, known around the world. Snoop and Dre represented the West Coast of the United States and alongside the late Tupac Shakur and the rest of the Death Row family, these rappers dominated the genre for the next several years. But there was another coast ready to battle for that top spot on the charts.

Enter the Bad Boy family from the East Coast with top names like Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace. These two sides were crucial in the East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry that not only produced some of the top rap music of the decade but also ultimately ended the lives of 2Pac and Biggie, as both were tragically murdered.

All of these rappers and their music influenced and ushered in a new generation of rappers, the best rappers of the 2000s, and put up a good fight for the best decade for rap music ever. Which 90s rapper is your favorite? Vote for the ones you like the best below or add your favorite to the list!

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10,765 2,748
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Tupac Shakur All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

See The Best Tupac Shakur Songs

2
8,782 2,524
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The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

See: The Best The Notorious B.I.G. Songs

3
7,131 2,348
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Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

See: The Best Nas Songs

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5,693 1,960
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Dr. Dre The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

See: The Best Dr. Dre Songs

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5,835 1,929
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Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

See: The Best Snoop Dogg Songs

6
6,410 1,581
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Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

See: The Best Ice Cube Songs

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6,663 1,931
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Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

See: The Best Eminem Songs

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5,183 1,410
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Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams

See: The Best Wu-Tang Clan Songs

9
3,931 833
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N.W.A Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life, Greatest Hits

See: The Best N.W.A Songs

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4,120 1,314
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Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

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3,526 1,349
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DMX It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

See: The Best DMX Songs

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3,129 2,289
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Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

See: The Best Jay-Z Songs

15 Amazing Roles Almost Played by Nicolas Cage

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2,511 1,160
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Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

See: The Best Rakim Songs

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2,913 1,099
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Bone Thugs-N-Harmony E. 1999 Eternal, BTNHResurrection, The Art of War

See: The Best Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Songs

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2,766 1,305
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André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

See: The Best Songs Featuring André 3000

16
2,639 1,425
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Big L The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

See: The Best Big L Songs

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Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

See: The Best Busta Rhymes Albums

The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

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LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

See: The Best LL Cool J Songs

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Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

See: The Best Mobb Deep Songs

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

See: The Best Raekwon Songs

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2,093 999
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Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

See: The Best Big Pun Songs

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but chickens double d added Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

See: The Best Beastie Boys Songs 

The Top Thirteen 90s Teen Starlets Who Stayed Hot

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bigolooch added Cypress Hill Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

See: The Best Cypress Hill Albums

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

See: The Best Method Man Songs

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Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

See: The Best Mos Def Songs

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A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

See: The Best A Tribe Called Quest Albums 

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Method Man and Redman Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2

See: The Best Method Man and Redman Songs

The Hottest '90s Supermodels (Then & Now)

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Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

See: The Best Scarface Songs

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

See: The Best Run–D.M.C. Albums

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Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

See: The Best Ghostface Killah Songs

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KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

See: The Best KRS-One Albums

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Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black

See: The Best Public Enemy Songs

Every Song in Newsies, Ranked by Singability

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1,025 200
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GabrielDylanArteaga added Outkast Stankonia, Aquemini, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

See: The Best Outkast Songs 

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Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

See: The Best Lauryn Hill Songs

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1,404 433
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Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

See: The Best Nate Dogg Songs

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1,247 810
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Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

See: The Best Common Songs

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1,023 766
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De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

See: The Best De La Soul Songs 

The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time

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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)

See: The Best Ol' Dirty Bastard Albums 

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

See: The Best Naughty By Nature Songs 

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1,051 797
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Prodigy H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2

See: The Best Prodigy Songs

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1,130 626
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Missy Elliott Under Construction, Supa Dupa Fly, Miss E ...So Addictive

See: The Best Missy Elliot Songs

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Lil' Kim The Naked Truth, Hard Core, The Notorious KIM

See: The Best Lil' Kim Songs

The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

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Q-Tip The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

See: The Best Q-Tip Albums

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846 500
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Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

See: The Best Slick Rick Songs

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669 343
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Master_C_15 added Too $hort Life Is... Too $hort, Born to Mack, Gettin’ It (album number ten)

See: The Best Too $hort Albums 

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730 428
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Gang Starr Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

See: The Best Gang Starr Songs

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499 367
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bigolooch added House of Pain House of Pain, Same as It Ever Was, Rhino Hi-Five: House of Pain

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740 606
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Guru Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz

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695 467
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MC Ren The Villain in Black, Shock of the Hour, Ruthless for Life

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bojanthebest added Coolio Gangsta's Paradise, My Soul, El Cool Magnifico