Music
28.2k voters

The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

Updated November 8, 2020 214.2k votes 28.2k voters 1.4m views136 items

List RulesOnly 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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  • 1
    Tupac Shakur
    12,498
    3,304

    Tupac Shakur

    All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap, West Coast hip hop

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  • 2
    Ice Cube
    7,129
    1,983

    Ice Cube

    AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap

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  • 3
    N.W.A
    4,361
    1,123

    N.W.A

    Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap, G-funk, West Coast hip hop

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  • 4
    The Notorious B.I.G.
    10,374
    2,947

    The Notorious B.I.G.

    Ready to Die, Life After Death

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Mafioso rap

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  • 5
    Wu-Tang Clan
    5,985
    1,695

    Wu-Tang Clan

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

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Mafioso rap

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  • 6
    Method Man
    2,150
    530

    Method Man

    Tical, 4:21... The Day After

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  • 7
    Nas
    8,329
    2,676

    Nas

    Illmatic, Life Is Good

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  • 8
    Snoop Dogg
    6,666
    2,309

    Snoop Dogg

    Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Pop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, Reggae

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  • 9
    Outkast
    1,479
    285

    Outkast

    Stankonia, Aquemini

    Genres (Music)Alternative hip hop, Dance-pop, Jazz, Electronica, Southern hip hop

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  • 10
    Eazy-E
    4,555
    1,591

    Eazy-E

    Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Gangsta rap, G-funk, West Coast hip hop

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  • 11
    Eminem
    7,228
    2,889

    Eminem

    The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP

    Genres (Music)Hip hop

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  • 12
    Method Man and Redman
    2,027
    551

    Method Man and Redman

    Blackout!, How High

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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    #48 of 235 The Best New York Rappers#17 of 80 The Best Music Side Projects

  • 13
    Mobb Deep
    2,312
    798

    Mobb Deep

    The Infamous, Blood Money

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Mafioso rap

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  • 14
    Dr. Dre
    6,276
    2,658

    Dr. Dre

    The Chronic, 2001

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, West Coast hip hop

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  • 15
    Busta Rhymes
    2,551
    1,002

    Busta Rhymes

    When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall, Hardcore hip hop, Pop music

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  • 16
    A Tribe Called Quest
    2,086
    789

    A Tribe Called Quest

    The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop, Rhythm and blues, Alternative rock

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  • 17
    DMX
    3,799
    1,563

    DMX

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

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop, Christian hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  • 18
    Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
    2,991
    1,217

    Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

    E. 1999 Eternal, BTNHResurrection

    Genres (Music)Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Midwest hip hop, Gangsta rap

    Buy buy button
  • 19
    Run–DMC
    1,465
    533

    Run–DMC

    Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C.

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Industrial hip hop, Rock music

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  • 20
    André 3000
    3,255
    1,549

    André 3000

    Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music, Electronic music, Rhythm and blues

    Buy buy button
  • 21
    Nate Dogg
    1,685
    676

    Nate Dogg

    Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul, Gangsta rap, G-funk

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  • 22
    Rakim
    2,782
    1,242

    Rakim

    The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  • 23
    Cypress Hill
    1,593
    683

    Cypress Hill

    Cypress Hill, Black Sunday

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Nu metal, Hardcore hip hop, Latin American music

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  • 24
    Ol' Dirty Bastard
    935
    355

    Ol' Dirty Bastard

    Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Rap music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Rhythm and blues

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  • 25
    Ghostface Killah
    1,309
    642

    Ghostface Killah

    Ironman, Supreme Clientele

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Contemporary R&B

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