hip hop artists The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
89,739 47,866
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

2
115,382 57,848
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
77,602 36,323
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
54,473 40,678
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
45,667 46,841
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

6
65,729 30,404
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

7
51,244 35,231
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

8
50,966 33,884
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

9
50,209 28,962
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Dr. Dre The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

10
41,085 37,538
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

11
29,877 32,096
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

12
34,806 24,086
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
33,482 25,008
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
33,379 25,228
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

Celebrities Who Were Rich Before They Were Famous

15
34,715 20,851
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
J. Cole Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

16
29,840 21,157
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lil Wayne Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

17
25,570 23,617
DMX is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
23,041 21,200
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

19
21,316 19,392
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

20
20,927 19,589
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
18,044 20,502
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

The Best Dressed Rappers

22
17,196 16,517
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

23
16,200 18,053
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

24
14,931 19,330
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

25
15,022 13,960
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

26
14,215 16,824
Common is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

27
15,129 15,767
Big L is listed (or ranked) 27 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

28
18,487 10,044
Drake is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Drake Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

The Worst Rappers of All Time

29
15,627 9,881
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

30
13,579 8,243
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
ASAP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

31
12,814 13,378
Redman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

32
11,023 7,657
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kid Cudi Man on the Moon: The End of Day, Indicud, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager

33
14,632 11,968
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

34
10,349 7,929
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Sean Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

35
12,677 13,980
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

The Best Sneaker Websites

36
15,348 10,145
Logic is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

37
12,948 10,431
The Game is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

38
13,152 10,562
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

39
11,054 8,654
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Wiz Khalifa Rolling Papers, O.N.I.F.C., Deal or No Deal

40
11,035 6,504
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
JustinK.Day added Donald Glover Because the Internet, Utterances of the Heart, Love Letter in an Unbreakable Bottle

41
12,144 12,630
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

42
9,954 12,240
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 42 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

The Best Songs on Anne-Marie's Album Speak Your Mind

43
10,087 11,540
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

44
9,647 10,946
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

45
9,797 10,458
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 45 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)

46
10,019 7,799
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

47
8,457 6,487
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tyler, the Creator Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

48
8,730 11,395
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
7,980 6,528
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Schoolboy Q Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron

50
9,330 11,752
Lupe Fiasco is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1