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
166,839 84,201
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
130,510 70,961
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
111,852 53,205
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
74,220 65,806
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
102,200 45,227
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
72,204 41,090
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
75,790 50,935
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

8
75,120 51,370
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
66,662 69,221
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
62,489 54,928
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
50,786 38,546
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
51,572 37,086
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
45,564 39,101
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
57,916 31,021
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
38,002 49,148
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

16
52,640 31,479
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
34,771 36,601
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
31,937 33,303
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
27,771 31,741
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
29,353 32,191
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
20,239 15,338
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
21,965 28,036
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
24,332 27,050
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

24
22,402 31,165
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
40,234 22,321
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
27,325 16,024
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
29,345 18,417
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
22,034 15,907
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
20,444 22,194
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

30
29,022 18,393
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
15,338 6,665
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Owl Pharaoh

32
20,784 14,354
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
18,708 16,310
The Game is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

34
20,205 18,821
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

35
22,378 12,804
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
3,687 1,826
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time

37
17,932 28,349
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
17,949 15,826
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
17,646 25,276
Common is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

40
18,617 23,658
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
15,713 19,920
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
12,258 7,407
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
19,451 8,118
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
1519232093569 added

44
16,162 18,691
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
16,494 12,280
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

46
15,737 20,459
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

47
13,316 10,779
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron

48
13,272 9,109
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

49
7,255 6,837
Royce da 5'9
Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain

50
13,911 11,758
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