hip-hop The Dopest Rappers of the '90s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
199.8k votes 22.6k voters 1.1M views 145 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!
list ordered by

1
10,476 2,641
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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
8,559 2,444
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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
6,970 2,234
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Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

See: The Best Nas Songs

4
5,480 1,899
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Dr. Dre The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

See: The Best Dr. Dre Songs

5
6,247 1,517
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Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

See: The Best Ice Cube Songs

6
5,621 1,881
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Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

See: The Best Snoop Dogg Songs

7
6,443 1,859
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Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

See: The Best Eminem Songs

8
5,052 1,330
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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
3,779 802
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N.W.A Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life, Greatest Hits

See: The Best N.W.A Songs

10
4,009 1,281
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Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

11
3,422 1,304
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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

12
3,058 2,239
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Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

See: The Best Jay-Z Songs

Famous Schizophrenics

13
2,456 1,112
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Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

See: The Best Rakim Songs

14
2,863 1,060
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Bone Thugs-N-Harmony E. 1999 Eternal, BTNHResurrection, The Art of War

See: The Best Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Songs

15
2,721 1,273
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André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

See: The Best Songs Featuring André 3000

16
2,611 1,387
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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

17
2,289 770
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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

18
1,948 907
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LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

See: The Best LL Cool J Songs

19
1,997 698
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Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

See: The Best Mobb Deep Songs

20
1,459 964
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Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

See: The Best Raekwon Songs

21
1,186 553
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
but chickens double d added Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

See: The Best Beastie Boys Songs 

22
2,065 962
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Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

See: The Best Big Pun Songs

The Top Thirteen 90s Teen Starlets Who Stayed Hot

23
1,320 431
Cypress Hill is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
bigolooch added Cypress Hill Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

See: The Best Cypress Hill Albums

24
1,705 379
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

See: The Best Method Man Songs

25
1,909 948
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Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

See: The Best Mos Def Songs

26
1,554 568
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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 

27
1,968 470
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Method Man and Redman Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2

See: The Best Method Man and Redman Songs

The 40 Sexiest Sets of Hot Celebrity Twins

28
1,604 876
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Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

See: The Best Scarface Songs

29
1,406 467
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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

30
1,205 617
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Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

See: The Best Ghostface Killah Songs

31
1,336 640
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KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

See: The Best KRS-One Albums

32
1,267 490
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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 Spamalot, Ranked by Singability

33
993 186
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GabrielDylanArteaga added Outkast Stankonia, Aquemini, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

See: The Best Outkast Songs 

34
1,513 836
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Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

See: The Best Lauryn Hill Songs

35
1,357 421
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Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

See: The Best Nate Dogg Songs

36
1,232 791
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Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

See: The Best Common Songs

37
1,009 747
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

See: The Best De La Soul Songs 

The Very Best of the Disappointing Childhood Friend Meme

38
743 276
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
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 

39
1,100 417
Naughty by Nature is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
Naughty by Nature Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, Anthem Inc., Poverty's Paradise

See: The Best Naughty By Nature Songs 

40
1,035 782
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Prodigy H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2

See: The Best Prodigy Songs

41
1,111 614
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Missy Elliott Under Construction, Supa Dupa Fly, Miss E ...So Addictive

See: The Best Missy Elliot Songs

42
883 755
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Lil' Kim The Naked Truth, Hard Core, The Notorious KIM

See: The Best Lil' Kim Songs

The Greatest Guitar Rock Albums of All Time

43
787 536
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Q-Tip The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

See: The Best Q-Tip Albums

44
657 323
Too $hort is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
Master_C_15 added Too $hort Life Is... Too $hort, Born to Mack, Gettin’ It (album number ten)

See: The Best Too $hort Albums 

45
832 485
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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

46
489 349
House of Pain is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
bigolooch added House of Pain House of Pain, Same as It Ever Was, Rhino Hi-Five: House of Pain

47
718 412
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
Gang Starr Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

See: The Best Gang Starr Songs

48
736 589
Guru is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
Guru Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz

49
679 455
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MC Ren The Villain in Black, Shock of the Hour, Ruthless for Life

50
507 376
Onyx is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Dopest Rappers of the '90s
bigolooch added Onyx Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup

See: The Best Onyx Songs