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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 top hip-hop 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 of all time.

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26
Logic is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, known by his stage name Logic, is an American rapper. He was born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He has amassed a large Internet following and is a member of ...more
27
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name ASAP Rocky (stylized as A$AP Rocky), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is a member of the hip ...more
28
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He is known for pioneering hip-hop tracks such as "I Can't Live Without My Radio", ...more
29
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
dylansher added
Chancelor Bennett, better known by his stage name Chance the Rapper, is an American hip hop recording artist from the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. In 2013, he began to gain major ...more
30
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, known professionally as Big Sean, is an American rapper from Detroit, Michigan. Big Sean signed with Kanye West's GOOD Music in 2007, Def Jam Recordings in 2008, ...more
31
Big L is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Lamont Coleman, best known by his stage name Big L, was an American hip hop recording artist, born and raised in Harlem, New York City, New York. Coleman embarked on his career in rapping, with ...more
32
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Christopher Brian "Chris" Bridges, better known by his stage name Ludacris, is an American rapper, entrepreneur and actor. Along with his manager, Chaka Zulu, Ludacris is the ...more
33
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
JustinK.Day added
Donald McKinley Glover, also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, is an American actor, writer, comedian, rapper, singer, and producer. He first came to attention for his work with Derrick ...more
34
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Aaron Dontez Yates, better known by his stage name Tech N9ne, is an American rapper. In 1999, Yates and Travis O'Guin founded the record label Strange Music. He has sold over two million albums ...more
35
Redman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Reginald "Reggie" Noble, better known by his stage name Redman, is an American MC, rapper, DJ, record producer and actor. He came to fame in the early 1990s as an artist on the Def Jam ...more
36
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, better known by his stage name Kid Cudi, is an American recording artist and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. After moving to Brooklyn, New York, with aspirations of ...more
37
Royce da 5'9
Ryan Daniel Montgomery, better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is an American rapper from Detroit, Michigan. He is best known for his longtime association with Eminem as well as his ...more
38
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Jacques Webster, better known by his stage name Travis Scott, is an American hip hop recording artist and record producer from Houston, Texas. In 2012, Scott signed to Epic Records before ...more
39
Common is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Lonnie Rashid Lynn, better known by his stage name Common, is an American hip hop recording artist and actor from Chicago, Illinois. Common debuted in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar? ...more
40
2 Chainz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
malmrphy added
Tauheed Epps (born September 12, 1977), known professionally as 2 Chainz (formerly Tity Boi), is an American rapper. Born and raised in College Park, Georgia, he initially gained recognition for ...more
41
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Cameron Jibril Thomaz, better known by the stage name Wiz Khalifa, is an American rapper. He released his debut album, Show and Prove, in 2006, and signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2007. His ...more
42
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., better known by his stage name T.I., is an American rapper, record producer, and actor. He signed his first major label record deal in 1999, with Arista Records ...more
43
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Lawrence Krisna Parker, better known by his stage names KRS-One, and Teacha, is an American rapper and occasional producer from The Bronx, New York City, New York. KRS-One rose to prominence as ...more
44
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Lauryn Hill is an American singer–songwriter, rapper, producer, and actress. She is best known for being a member of the Fugees and for her solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Raised in ...more
45
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Christopher Lee Rios, better known by his stage name Big Pun, was an American rapper and actor, the first Latino rapper to attain Platinum sales status as a solo act. Big Pun emerged from the ...more
46
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
s8715106 added
Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was an American rapper, singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Plantation, Florida, Onfroy spent most of his childhood in ...more
47
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Tyler Gregory Okonma, better known by his stage name Tyler, The Creator, is an American rapper and record producer from California. Born in Ladera Heights, he rose to prominence as the leader ...more
48
Joey Bada$$ is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott (born January 20, 1995), better known by his stage name Joey Badass (stylized as Joey Bada$$), is an American rapper, actor, and record producer. Raised in Brooklyn, New ...more
49
Pusha T is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Terrence Thornton, better known by his stage name Pusha T, is an American hip hop recording artist from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is also known as one half of hip hop duo Clipse, alongside ...more
50
Hopsin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All-Time
Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known by his stage name Hopsin, is an American rapper, record producer, director and actor from Los Angeles, California. In 2007, he was signed to Ruthless Records, ...more