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
87,644 46,829
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
112,985 56,325
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
75,986 35,413
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
53,551 39,320
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
44,606 45,583
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
63,926 29,667
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

7
49,671 32,965
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

8
49,951 34,375
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

9
49,150 28,368
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
29,557 31,026
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
40,015 36,731
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
33,930 23,480
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

13
32,801 24,473
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

14
32,606 24,379
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
33,532 20,319
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
25,118 22,906
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
28,674 20,690
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
22,520 20,592
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
20,983 18,722
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
20,361 19,033
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ludacris Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time

21
17,774 19,847
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

The Best Dressed Rappers

22
16,757 16,051
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

23
15,911 17,530
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

24
14,788 18,748
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
14,759 13,469
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

26
14,002 16,315
Common is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

27
14,963 15,223
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
17,417 9,597
Drake is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Drake Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

The Worst Rappers of All Time

29
12,646 12,875
Redman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

30
14,851 9,518
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

31
12,863 7,933
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
ASAP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

32
14,267 11,540
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

33
12,512 13,494
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

34
10,458 7,341
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
12,633 10,100
The Game is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

The Best Sneaker Websites

36
11,953 12,238
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

37
12,927 10,227
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

38
9,827 7,672
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Sean Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

39
14,695 9,808
Logic is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

40
10,482 6,230
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 40 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

41
10,538 8,409
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Wiz Khalifa Rolling Papers, O.N.I.F.C., Deal or No Deal

42
9,821 11,860
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 42 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

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

43
9,961 11,194
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

44
9,558 10,589
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

45
9,667 10,122
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
9,821 7,515
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
8,653 11,076
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
8,011 6,245
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tyler, the Creator Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

49
9,170 11,480
Lupe Fiasco is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1

50
7,698 6,322
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Schoolboy Q Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron