rappers The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

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List Rules Only individual rappers, not rap groups or collectives.

Finally, a definitive list of the best rappers of all time, ranked by fans all over the world. From the early '80s to present day, this list counts down rap's best lyricists and game changers in history. Lil' Wayne, Method Man, Jay-Z, Eminem, Andre 3000, and T.I are among the artists that appear on this amazing countdown. Rappers from all cities, both genders, and all races are all vying to be crowned the greatest rapper ever.

What makes a rapper great? There are a number of differing definitions and philosophies. Rapper J. Cole (who finds himself on the Ultimate List below) cites consistency as the most important attribute, and says it's important to look both for the big humorous "punch" lines as well as the underlying message of the rapper's songs. Nas (another MC featured on the list) focuses as well on the meaning of the songs, as well as the scale and ambition of the rapper's narratives and storytelling. (He has also gone on the record as saying that there is no such thing as the "best rapper" or "Greatest of All Time" - often abbreviated as G.O.A.T.)

Numerous different skills and attributes all must come together to make a truly legendary MC. Obviously, a rapper must display a sense of rhythm and an ability to compliment the beat in unpredictable and exciting ways. A gift for lyricism and vocabulary is similarly essential - you can have the flow of the century, but if the words don't come together to tell a compelling story or present a unique point of view, it's still not going to translate into a great hip-hop song. But of course there's also an intangible element that elevates some rappers into the ranks of the greatest of all time. Who are these rappers who stand heads above the competition? You tell us, by voting for your favorites below or making your own list of Top Rappers.
list ordered by

1
56,041 28,845
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tupac All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

The Greatest White Rappers of All Time The Best Kinds of Tea

2
74,331 35,482
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

3
48,996 22,179
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

4
36,121 22,333
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
31,432 20,045
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

6
27,376 28,753
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

7
29,917 19,922
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

8
32,130 19,068
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Dr. Dre The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

9
36,064 19,606
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

10
21,798 17,957
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

11
21,890 13,977
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

12
20,891 14,833
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

13
24,137 25,220
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

14
19,606 15,600
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

15
16,993 12,969
DMX is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
DMX It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

The Best Underground Rappers 30 Famous People Who Once Were in Marching Bands

16
14,761 11,977
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

17
17,101 12,185
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
J. Cole Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

18
14,252 10,428
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

19
12,609 11,325
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

20
13,201 11,132
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ludacris Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time

21
11,144 10,995
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

22
11,008 10,544
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

23
10,265 9,773
Common is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

24
13,071 13,388
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lil Wayne Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

25
10,872 8,737
Big L is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big L The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

26
9,527 7,739
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

27
9,050 7,102
Redman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

28
10,878 10,269
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

29
8,908 7,450
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

The Worst Rappers of All Time 51 High-Paying, Flexible Jobs

30
8,451 5,566
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

31
9,013 6,261
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

32
7,663 6,776
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

33
6,979 6,994
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

34
6,856 6,225
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

35
7,343 6,748
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

36
6,838 6,717
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

37
6,759 5,887
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
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)

38
7,651 5,744
The Game is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

39
5,784 3,939
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

40
6,327 4,574
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

41
6,378 4,314
Logic is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

42
5,935 4,244
Ranker Video
Cypress Hill Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

43
6,576 7,343
Lupe Fiasco is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1

The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead The Greatest Vloggers of All Time

44
4,959 4,241
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice-T Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion

45
5,817 5,247
RZA is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
RZA RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet

46
5,549 5,400
GZA is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
GZA Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

47
5,405 5,708
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Talib Kweli Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

48
4,873 4,840
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Q-Tip The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

49
4,752 3,628
Warren G is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Warren G Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel), I Want It All

50
4,947 4,398
Xzibit is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Xzibit At the Speed of Life, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, Restless