rappers The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by
2.1M votes 161.2k voters 1.4M views 569 items Embed

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
56,151 28,924
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

37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball The Best Dressed Rappers

2
74,540 35,540
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
49,095 22,210
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
36,174 22,370
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
27,437 28,796
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
31,479 20,096
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

7
29,965 19,964
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
32,191 19,101
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Dr. Dre The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

9
36,152 19,628
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

10
21,839 17,980
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
21,926 14,002
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

12
20,924 14,856
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
24,181 25,258
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

14
19,654 15,620
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

15
17,017 12,984
DMX is listed (or ranked) 15 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

The Best Gospel Rappers The Best Reba McEntire Songs of All Time

16
14,774 11,998
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

17
17,143 12,201
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
J. Cole Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

18
14,275 10,437
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

19
12,623 11,338
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

20
13,214 11,159
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
11,159 11,011
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

22
11,020 10,556
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
10,275 9,788
Common is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

24
13,099 13,409
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lil Wayne Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

25
10,889 8,747
Big L is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
9,541 7,745
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

27
9,062 7,110
Redman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

28
10,885 10,281
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

29
8,920 7,460
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

The Best Rap Songs About Fathers The 13 Sexiest Psycho Girlfriends in Internet History

30
8,466 5,577
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

31
9,027 6,275
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

32
7,678 6,787
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

33
7,353 6,757
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

34
6,992 7,001
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
6,867 6,232
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

36
6,847 6,722
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
6,768 5,897
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 37 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)

38
7,665 5,750
The Game is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

39
5,801 3,945
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

40
6,347 4,584
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

41
6,402 4,324
Logic is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

42
5,943 4,254
Ranker Video
Cypress Hill Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

43
6,581 7,355
Lupe Fiasco is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Part 1

The Best EDM YouTube Channels The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

44
4,967 4,247
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice-T Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion

45
5,826 5,251
RZA is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
RZA RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet

46
5,554 5,407
GZA is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
GZA Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

47
5,409 5,713
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Talib Kweli Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

48
4,877 4,845
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Q-Tip The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

49
4,759 3,632
Warren G is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Warren G Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel), I Want It All

50
4,955 4,402
Xzibit is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Xzibit At the Speed of Life, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, Restless