90s The Dopest Rappers of the '90s  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
216k votes 24.5k voters 1.2M views 144 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
7,089 2,124
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The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

See: The Best Eminem Songs

2
6,019 2,136
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The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

See: The Best Dr. Dre Songs

3
11,282 2,912
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All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

See The Best Tupac Shakur Songs

4
9,160 2,634
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Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

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

5
6,103 2,032
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Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

See: The Best Snoop Dogg Songs

6
7,429 2,433
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Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

See: The Best Nas Songs

7
4,205 878
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Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life, Greatest Hits

See: The Best N.W.A Songs

8
6,670 1,638
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AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

See: The Best Ice Cube Songs

9
5,415 1,475
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Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams

See: The Best Wu-Tang Clan Songs

10
3,728 1,419
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It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

See: The Best DMX Songs

11
4,321 1,365
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Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

12
1,546 476
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Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

See: The Best Nate Dogg Songs

13
2,484 856
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When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

See: The Best Busta Rhymes Albums

14
1,474 509
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bigolooch added Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

See: The Best Cypress Hill Albums

15
2,651 1,214
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The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

See: The Best Rakim Songs

16
3,017 1,151
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E. 1999 Eternal, BTNHResurrection, The Art of War

See: The Best Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Songs

17
3,267 2,373
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Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

See: The Best Jay-Z Songs

18
1,198 460
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WesleyJacob added Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

19
2,877 1,360
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Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

See: The Best Songs Featuring André 3000

20
2,080 983
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Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

See: The Best LL Cool J Songs

21
2,739 1,469
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The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

See: The Best Big L Songs

22
2,152 759
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The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

See: The Best Mobb Deep Songs

23
2,087 508
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Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2

See: The Best Method Man and Redman Songs

24
1,536 1,034
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Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

See: The Best Raekwon Songs

25
1,679 614
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The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

See: The Best A Tribe Called Quest Albums 

26
2,164 1,036
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Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

See: The Best Big Pun Songs

27
1,500 510
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Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock

See: The Best Run–D.M.C. Albums

28
1,827 417
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Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

See: The Best Method Man Songs

29
1,270 620
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but chickens double d added Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

See: The Best Beastie Boys Songs 

30
1,995 999
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Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

See: The Best Mos Def Songs

31
1,674 919
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The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

See: The Best Scarface Songs

32
1,274 654
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Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

See: The Best Ghostface Killah Songs

33
1,409 682
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Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

See: The Best KRS-One Albums

34
1,336 533
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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

35
1,596 888
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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

See: The Best Lauryn Hill Songs

36
1,282 832
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Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

See: The Best Common Songs

37
1,105 210
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GabrielDylanArteaga added Stankonia, Aquemini, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

See: The Best Outkast Songs 

38
1,064 787
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3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

See: The Best De La Soul Songs 

39
804 315
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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 

40
1,082 821
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H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2

See: The Best Prodigy Songs

41
928 801
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The Naked Truth, Hard Core, The Notorious KIM

See: The Best Lil' Kim Songs

42
1,158 445
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Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, Anthem Inc., Poverty's Paradise

See: The Best Naughty By Nature Songs 

43
1,171 644
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Under Construction, Supa Dupa Fly, Miss E ...So Addictive

See: The Best Missy Elliot Songs

44
825 574
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The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

See: The Best Q-Tip Albums

45
875 515
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The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

See: The Best Slick Rick Songs

46
530 549
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Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, Labcabincalifornia, Cydeways: The Best of The Pharcyde

47
521 381
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bigolooch added House of Pain, Same as It Ever Was, Rhino Hi-Five: House of Pain

48
701 360
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Master_C_15 added Life Is... Too $hort, Born to Mack, Gettin’ It (album number ten)

See: The Best Too $hort Albums 

49
764 624
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Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz

50
535 403
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bigolooch added Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup

See: The Best Onyx Songs