Hip Hop Artists The Best '80s Rappers  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
35k votes 5.6k voters 284.8k views 68 items

These are the best 80s Rappers as voted on by you, the 80s rap fans. 80s hip hop, or "old school" hip hop obviously plays a huge role in where rap is today. The "scene" wouldn't exist without these artists. These are the best rappers that basically defined hip hop culture and brought rap to the forefront of the music industry.

Make sure to vote up your favorite 80s rappers and see if they can take the top spot and vote down any rappers from the 80s that you think might be getting a little too much credit. If you think any important, game changing, genre defying and defining old school rappers are missing from this list, add them!
list ordered by

1
1,788 402
Run–D.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock

2
2,136 590
N.W.A is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life, Greatest Hits

3
1,379 439
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black

4
1,525 445
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

5
1,343 405
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

6
1,366 400
Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Paid in Full, Let the Rhythm Hit ’em, Don’t Sweat the Technique

7
916 432
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion

8
943 400
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

9
954 262
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
but chickens double d added Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

10
909 306
Grandmaster Flash and the Furi... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
The Message, The Message, The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash

11
879 275
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

12
830 315
Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Very Necessary, Hot, Cool & Vicious

13
718 351
The Sugarhill Gang is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Rapper's Delight, Sugarhill Gang, Jump on It!

14
674 304
Heavy D is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Vibes, Waterbed Hev, Heavy

15
559 185
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

16
637 327
Too $hort is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Life Is... Too $hort, Born to Mack, Gettin’ It (album number ten)

17
631 256
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prin... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper, Homebase

18
189 17
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
IsaiahPittman added AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

19
618 398
MC Hammer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, Let’s Get It Started, Too Legit to Quit

20
530 277
EPMD is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Strictly Business, Business Never Personal, Unfinished Business

21
480 329
Tone-Lōc is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Lōc-ed After Dark, Cool Hand Lōc, Wild Thing

22
431 279
Whodini is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Escape, Back in Black, Funky Beat: The Best of Whodini

23
340 174
Geto Boys is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
We Can't Be Stopped, The Foundation, The Resurrection

24
364 161
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

25
463 248
MC Lyte is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Lyte as a Rock, Seven & Seven, Act Like You Know

26
405 274
Afrika Bambaataa is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Afrika Shox, Planet Rock: The Album, World Destruction

27
265 167
Kurtis Blow is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Claire Jones-Hughes added Kurtis Blow, The Best of Kurtis Blow, America

28
310 158
Boogie Down Productions is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Criminal Minded, By All Means Necessary, Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop

29
168 24
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
IsaiahPittman added The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

30
316 136
Sir Mix-a-Lot is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
David Toulson added Swass, Baby Got Back, Mack Daddy

31
267 271
3rd Bass is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Derelicts of Dialect, The Cactus Album, Dust To Dust

32
266 113
Doug E. Fresh is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
David Toulson added Doin' What I Gotta Do, The World's Greatest Entertainer, Play

33
263 128
Biz Markie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
aja-craig added Goin' Off, The Biz Never Sleeps, Weekend Warrior

34
189 263
Kool DJ Herc is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '80s Rappers

35
155 71
Kool Moe Dee is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
MC Diet Pepsi added How Ya Like Me Now, Kool Moe Dee, Funke Funke Wisdom

36
144 70
Kid 'n' Play is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
2 Hype, Face the Nation, Kid ’n Play’s Funhouse

37
162 282
Raheem is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
The Invincible, The Vigilante, Can't Get No Tighter

38
103 137
Jungle Brothers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
MC Diet Pepsi added Straight Out the Jungle, Done by the Forces of Nature, Raw Deluxe

39
163 90
Fat Boys is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Californiaadam added On and On, Coming Back Hard Again, Crushin'

40
142 73
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Vitor Santos added Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

41
82 21
tribe called quest is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
eduardorobinson added tribe called quest

42
216 146
Rob Base is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
David Toulson added The Incredible Base

43
158 94
Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
RichardBeecher added Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die

44
177 306
J. J. Fad is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Supersonic, Not Just a Fad, Way Out

45
176 136
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
1488989579613 added Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

46
147 107
Kris Kross is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Totally Krossed Out, Young, Rich & Dangerous

47
45 20
2 Live Crew is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
1519704292721 added As Clean as They Wanna Be, Banned in the U.S.A., Goes to the Movies: Decade of Hits

48
24 6
Nas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
chgamingthing added Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

49
35 25
Special Ed is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
eduardorobinson added Youngest in Charge, Revelations, Legal

50
84 99
MC Shan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Connor Gregory added Born to Be Wild, Down by Law, Play It Again