Hip Hop Artists 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
158,632 80,646
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
124,011 68,647
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
106,778 51,343
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
71,027 63,307
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
98,018 43,034
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
72,897 48,741
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

7
63,731 67,269
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

8
72,116 49,878
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
68,954 39,376
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

10
60,033 52,046
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
48,151 36,853
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
49,351 35,535
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
43,635 37,717
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
36,442 47,737
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

15
49,924 30,030
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

16
55,267 29,603
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

17
33,434 35,241
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
30,750 32,051
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
26,741 30,571
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
28,389 30,693
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
19,173 13,908
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

22
21,100 26,964
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

23
21,722 30,179
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
23,573 25,885
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

25
25,902 14,913
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
28,143 17,188
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

27
38,257 20,228
Drake is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

28
19,556 21,375
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

29
19,923 13,438
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
20,885 14,778
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
27,392 17,251
Logic is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

32
21,160 11,967
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
17,363 27,566
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
19,388 17,949
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

35
17,907 15,596
The Game is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

36
17,183 24,579
Common is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

37
17,137 15,247
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
17,996 23,015
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
2,162 1,011
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

40
14,107 5,799
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Owl Pharaoh

41
15,205 19,292
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
11,657 6,636
2 Chainz is listed (or ranked) 42 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

43
15,678 11,480
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

44
15,470 18,071
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

45
17,534 6,770
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
1519232093569 added

46
15,188 19,800
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

47
12,876 10,183
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron

48
12,625 8,603
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

49
12,126 17,205
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

50
13,165 11,377
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep