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
167,210 84,407
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
130,850 71,068
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
112,121 53,287
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
74,398 65,911
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
102,413 45,330
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
72,367 41,205
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

7
75,932 51,040
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

8
75,269 51,457
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
66,816 69,329
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
62,622 55,070
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
50,910 38,643
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
51,679 37,169
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
45,679 39,185
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
58,072 31,097
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

15
38,097 49,221
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

16
52,780 31,562
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
34,847 36,671
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
31,987 33,392
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
27,835 31,809
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
29,400 32,290
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
20,297 15,426
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
22,016 28,100
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
24,382 27,125
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

24
22,447 31,232
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

25
40,328 22,445
Drake is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

26
27,412 16,084
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

27
29,404 18,483
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
22,097 15,980
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Rolling Papers, O.N.I.F.C., Deal or No Deal

29
20,493 22,244
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

30
29,102 18,466
Logic is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

31
15,422 6,717
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Owl Pharaoh

32
20,840 14,406
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
18,758 16,354
The Game is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

34
20,247 18,878
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

35
22,448 12,845
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
3,774 1,869
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

37
17,958 28,400
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

38
17,995 15,864
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

39
17,672 25,323
Common is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

40
18,664 23,701
Big L is listed (or ranked) 40 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

41
15,741 19,964
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
12,292 7,453
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
19,566 8,192
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
1519232093569 added

44
16,204 18,735
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
16,538 12,320
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

46
15,774 20,495
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

47
13,341 10,817
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron

48
13,320 9,142
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

49
7,294 6,867
Royce da 5'9
Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain

50
13,950 11,785
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