hip hop artists The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
3.1M votes 228.2k voters 1.7M views 615 items

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
108,454 53,775
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

2
84,093 45,086
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
73,311 33,898
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
52,022 37,011
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
42,768 43,494
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
47,269 31,468
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

7
47,737 32,869
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
60,851 28,521
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

9
47,258 27,446
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
29,055 29,139
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
38,166 35,448
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

12
31,839 23,064
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

13
32,363 22,549
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
31,084 23,405
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
31,544 19,434
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
24,280 21,635
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
26,675 19,914
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
21,626 19,478
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
20,369 17,528
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
17,337 18,596
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
19,340 18,071
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
15,361 16,619
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
16,022 15,195
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

24
14,533 17,698
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
14,305 12,560
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

26
13,659 15,363
Common is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

27
14,665 14,255
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
12,346 11,979
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
15,591 8,889
Drake is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Drake Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

30
12,225 12,565
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

31
13,575 8,880
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

32
13,594 10,833
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

33
11,632 7,415
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
ASAP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

34
11,647 11,462
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

35
12,549 9,647
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

The Best Sneaker Websites

36
12,092 9,531
The Game is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

37
9,464 6,888
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
13,558 9,227
Logic is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

39
9,542 5,728
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
8,985 7,233
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Sean Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

41
9,623 11,202
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
9,754 10,600
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

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

43
9,384 10,012
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

44
9,582 8,020
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Wiz Khalifa Rolling Papers, O.N.I.F.C., Deal or No Deal

45
9,434 9,544
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
9,519 7,020
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
8,515 10,498
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
8,895 10,955
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
7,310 5,828
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tyler, the Creator Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

50
7,158 5,950
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Schoolboy Q Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron