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
79,671 42,511
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
101,828 51,009
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
69,941 31,748
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
50,030 34,148
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
40,577 40,814
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
45,000 30,922
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

7
57,239 26,802
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

8
44,228 29,715
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
44,935 26,286
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
28,351 26,928
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
30,536 21,384
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
36,003 33,716
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

13
30,479 21,428
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

14
29,255 22,219
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

Celebrities Who Were Rich Before They Were Famous

15
29,256 18,287
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
23,156 20,135
DMX is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
24,242 18,936
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lil Wayne Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

18
20,548 18,173
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
19,572 16,159
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
16,736 17,188
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

21
18,122 16,930
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ludacris Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time

The Best Dressed Rappers

22
14,744 15,442
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
14,216 16,487
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

24
13,774 11,535
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

25
15,047 14,328
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

26
13,214 14,291
Common is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

27
14,275 13,184
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
11,959 11,008
Redman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

The Worst Rappers of All Time

29
11,840 11,513
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

30
12,737 9,975
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

31
11,094 10,563
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

32
13,618 7,935
Drake is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Drake Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

33
11,986 8,887
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

34
11,431 8,856
The Game is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

35
12,175 8,156
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

The Best Sneaker Websites

36
10,363 6,847
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
ASAP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

37
9,359 10,365
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
9,498 9,834
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

39
9,136 9,270
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

40
8,432 6,334
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 40 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

41
12,336 8,505
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
9,091 6,397
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

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

43
8,449 5,132
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 43 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

44
9,120 8,846
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 44 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)

45
8,137 6,717
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Sean Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

46
8,351 9,759
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 46 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

47
8,558 7,552
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Wiz Khalifa Rolling Papers, O.N.I.F.C., Deal or No Deal

48
8,569 10,333
Lupe Fiasco is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1

49
6,106 4,118
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Joey Badass Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

50
7,775 7,625
RZA is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
RZA RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet