Hip Hop Artists The Best '80s Rappers  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
35.4k votes 5.7k voters 290.1k 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
1,807 410
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
2,164 596
N.W.A is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life, Greatest Hits

3
1,393 446
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
1,543 452
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

5
1,358 410
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

6
1,381 403
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
925 435
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion

8
952 405
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
970 263
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
918 308
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
885 277
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
837 318
Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Very Necessary, Hot, Cool & Vicious

13
728 354
The Sugarhill Gang is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Rapper's Delight, Sugarhill Gang, Jump on It!

14
678 306
Heavy D is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Vibes, Waterbed Hev, Heavy

15
208 17
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
IsaiahPittman added AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

16
566 188
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

17
641 330
Too $hort is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Life Is... Too $hort, Born to Mack, Gettin’ It (album number ten)

18
634 259
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prin... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper, Homebase

19
625 399
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
533 280
EPMD is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Strictly Business, Business Never Personal, Unfinished Business

21
483 331
Tone-Lōc is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Lōc-ed After Dark, Cool Hand Lōc, Wild Thing

22
343 175
Geto Boys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
We Can't Be Stopped, The Foundation, The Resurrection

23
434 281
Whodini is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Escape, Back in Black, Funky Beat: The Best of Whodini

24
371 163
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
467 250
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
407 275
Afrika Bambaataa is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Afrika Shox, Planet Rock: The Album, World Destruction

27
272 167
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
315 160
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
181 25
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
320 137
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
268 272
3rd Bass is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Derelicts of Dialect, The Cactus Album, Dust To Dust

32
269 114
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
268 129
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
160 71
Kool Moe Dee is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
MC Diet Pepsi added How Ya Like Me Now, Kool Moe Dee, Funke Funke Wisdom

35
191 265
Kool DJ Herc is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '80s Rappers

36
146 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
147 73
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Vitor Santos added Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

38
164 282
Raheem is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
The Invincible, The Vigilante, Can't Get No Tighter

39
105 138
Jungle Brothers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
MC Diet Pepsi added Straight Out the Jungle, Done by the Forces of Nature, Raw Deluxe

40
166 91
Fat Boys is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Californiaadam added On and On, Coming Back Hard Again, Crushin'

41
87 21
tribe called quest is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
eduardorobinson added tribe called quest

42
160 94
Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
RichardBeecher added Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die

43
217 148
Rob Base is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
David Toulson added The Incredible Base

44
178 307
J. J. Fad is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Supersonic, Not Just a Fad, Way Out

45
181 140
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
148 109
Kris Kross is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
Totally Krossed Out, Young, Rich & Dangerous

47
49 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
29 6
Nas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
chgamingthing added Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

49
36 25
Special Ed is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '80s Rappers
eduardorobinson added Youngest in Charge, Revelations, Legal

50
86 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