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
171,702 86,636
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
134,648 72,340
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
115,063 54,390
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
76,329 67,301
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
104,781 46,648
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
77,633 52,204
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

7
74,204 42,364
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
77,036 52,365
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
68,578 70,454
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
52,423 39,712
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

11
64,143 56,638
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

12
53,030 38,067
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
46,796 39,987
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
39,071 49,984
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

15
59,677 31,942
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
54,236 32,471
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
35,610 37,437
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
32,668 34,144
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
28,474 32,454
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
29,953 33,178
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
22,507 28,758
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
20,882 16,258
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

23
22,870 31,827
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
24,822 27,831
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

25
28,272 16,720
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
41,416 23,770
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
30,076 19,165
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
21,029 22,721
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

29
30,004 19,171
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
22,708 16,673
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
21,364 14,919
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
19,258 16,802
The Game is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

33
18,300 28,823
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
23,149 13,356
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
20,700 19,326
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

36
16,238 7,333
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Owl Pharaoh

37
18,444 16,190
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
4,637 2,345
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

39
19,070 24,065
Big L is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
17,950 25,719
Common is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

41
16,066 20,311
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
16,597 19,085
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
12,609 7,935
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
20,654 9,081
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
s8715106 added

45
16,121 20,792
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

46
16,989 12,749
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

47
7,799 7,113
Royce da 5'9
Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain

48
14,427 11,993
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

49
13,697 9,420
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

50
12,800 17,967
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back