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The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

Updated September 21, 2020 6.7m votes 505.9k voters 3.3m views223 items

List RulesOnly 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 old school to the current top artists putting out today's biggest hip hop hits, this list counts down rap's best lyricists and game changers in history. Lil' Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Eminem, Andre 3000, and Tupac are among the top hip-hop artists that appear on this amazing countdown. Famous rappers from all cities, dead or alive, and all races, from white and Black to Asian and Hispanic, are all vying to be crowned the greatest rapper ever.

What makes a rapper great? There are a number of differing good definitions and philosophies. Popular 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 iconic 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" aka "GOAT." Including influential rappers and best-selling artists, this list features successful MCs who are still considered some of the hottest names in the game today. 

Numerous different skills and attributes all must come together to make a truly legendary MC. Obviously, a good 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 modern rappers into the ranks of the greatest of all time. Who are these rap legends who stand heads above the competition? Do you agree with the top 50 biggest rappers ever? You tell us, by voting for your favorites below or ranking your own list of top rappers of all time.

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  • 1
    Tupac is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    186,984
    97,389
    Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    Eminem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    229,268
    124,373
    Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    139,999
    78,670
    Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, songwriter, and record... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    98,285
    70,598
    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    100,653
    74,671
    O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    87,926
    57,765
    Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    81,239
    55,202
    Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known professionally as Lil Wayne, is an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    102,347
    78,144
    Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 10
    Nas is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    105,443
    89,484
    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, record... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    71,053
    61,064
    Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as Eazy-E, was an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 12
    André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    66,802
    58,215
    André Lauren Benjamin (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    97,704
    85,337
    Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z),... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    74,721
    65,242
    Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    Nicki Minaj is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    29,202
    21,146
    Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Nicki Minaj (), is a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    91,860
    81,304
    Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    32,196
    25,891
    Jacques Berman Webster II (born April 30, 1992), known professionally as Travis Scott, is an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    Drake is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    62,408
    55,932
    Aubrey Drake Graham, who records under the mononym Drake, is a Canadian singer, songwriter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 19
    XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    38,821
    31,459
    Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was an American rapper,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    31,290
    28,598
    Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi (born January 30, 1984), better known by his stage name Kid Cudi (;... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 21
    Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    26,631
    24,215
    Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 22
    Childish Gambino is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    37,844
    34,588
    Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    Royce da 5'9" is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    16,686
    15,815
    Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 24
    ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    42,614
    39,581
    Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name ASAP Rocky (stylized as... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 25
    Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
    32,300
    30,070
    Cameron Jibril Thomaz (born September 8, 1987), known professionally as Wiz Khalifa, is an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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