Rappers The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
5.3M votes 369.1k voters 2.4M views 733 items

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

Ranker Video Greatest Rappers of All Time

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.

list ordered by

1
172,114 86,842
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

2
135,014 72,435
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

3
115,341 54,467
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

4
76,511 67,411
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
105,013 46,762
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

6
77,804 52,307
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

7
74,380 42,462
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

8
77,197 52,447
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

9
68,738 70,557
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

10
52,566 39,807
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

11
64,276 56,780
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

12
53,164 38,143
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

13
46,902 40,060
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

14
39,167 50,056
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

15
59,837 32,017
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

16
54,382 32,562
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

17
35,680 37,500
DMX is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

18
32,744 34,212
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

19
28,540 32,529
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

20
30,013 33,280
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time

21
22,562 28,825
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

22
22,912 31,879
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

23
20,937 16,318
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

24
24,859 27,903
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

25
28,370 16,768
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

26
41,523 23,902
Drake is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

27
21,092 22,765
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

28
30,150 19,232
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

29
30,083 19,236
Logic is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

30
22,770 16,733
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Rolling Papers, O.N.I.F.C., Deal or No Deal

31
21,419 14,967
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Man on the Moon: The End of Day, Indicud, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager

32
18,332 28,868
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

33
19,308 16,842
The Game is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

34
20,749 19,367
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

35
23,229 13,397
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
JustinK.Day added Because the Internet, Utterances of the Heart, Love Letter in an Unbreakable Bottle

36
4,712 2,384
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

37
18,486 16,216
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

38
19,111 24,092
Big L is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

39
17,974 25,752
Common is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

40
16,093 20,347
Redman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

41
16,318 7,381
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Owl Pharaoh

42
16,631 19,124
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

43
12,639 7,979
2 Chainz is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
malmrphy added B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, Beez in the Trap, T.R.U. REALigion

44
20,769 9,163
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
s8715106 added

45
16,149 20,825
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

46
17,037 12,787
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

47
7,833 7,142
Royce da 5'9
Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain

48
13,734 9,443
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

49
14,469 12,017
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

50
13,626 11,123
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron