Rappers The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

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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
171,726 86,651
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
134,671 72,345
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
115,084 54,394
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
76,339 67,306
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
104,792 46,653
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
77,644 52,205
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

7
74,213 42,366
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
77,044 52,366
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
68,590 70,456
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
52,431 39,714
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
64,151 56,644
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
53,038 38,069
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
46,803 39,991
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
39,073 49,988
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

15
59,687 31,945
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
54,242 32,476
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
35,616 37,438
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
32,671 34,147
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
28,477 32,458
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
29,957 33,183
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
22,512 28,760
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
20,886 16,260
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

23
22,873 31,830
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

24
24,823 27,835
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

25
28,279 16,722
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
41,423 23,778
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
30,080 19,168
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

28
21,032 22,724
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

29
30,011 19,173
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
22,709 16,678
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
21,366 14,922
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
19,260 16,804
The Game is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

33
18,302 28,825
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

34
23,154 13,358
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
20,703 19,329
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

36
16,242 7,335
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Owl Pharaoh

37
18,444 16,192
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
4,641 2,348
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

39
19,072 24,067
Big L is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
17,950 25,721
Common is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

41
16,066 20,313
Redman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

42
16,598 19,087
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
12,611 7,937
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
20,662 9,085
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
s8715106 added

45
16,122 20,795
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

46
16,993 12,752
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

47
7,801 7,116
Royce da 5'9
Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain

48
14,428 11,996
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

49
13,698 9,423
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

50
12,802 17,968
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back