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
172,044 86,801
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
134,943 72,417
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
115,280 54,452
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
76,476 67,385
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
104,970 46,741
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
77,773 52,281
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

7
74,347 42,440
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
77,164 52,429
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
68,709 70,534
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
64,250 56,750
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

11
52,535 39,787
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

12
53,134 38,127
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
46,883 40,040
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
39,150 50,039
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

15
59,804 32,006
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
54,356 32,545
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
35,670 37,486
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
32,731 34,195
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
28,528 32,511
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
30,003 33,256
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
22,555 28,807
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
22,908 31,863
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
20,921 16,308
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
24,848 27,885
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

25
28,346 16,759
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
41,503 23,871
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
21,082 22,750
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

28
30,134 19,216
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
30,061 19,227
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
22,756 16,723
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
21,406 14,957
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
18,328 28,858
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
19,296 16,835
The Game is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

34
20,738 19,358
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

35
23,214 13,390
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
4,698 2,374
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

37
18,478 16,209
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
19,108 24,083
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
17,973 25,742
Common is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

40
16,090 20,337
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
16,305 7,371
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Owl Pharaoh

42
16,625 19,113
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
12,635 7,968
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
20,753 9,149
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
s8715106 added

45
16,146 20,819
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

46
17,031 12,779
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

47
7,824 7,137
Royce da 5'9
Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain

48
13,728 9,437
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

49
14,465 12,011
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
13,621 11,114
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron