Music
510.2k voters

The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

Updated November 6, 2020 6.8m votes 510.2k 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
    188,791
    98,676
    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.
    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
    231,541
    125,504
    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
    141,420
    79,624
    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
    99,189
    71,722
    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
    101,650
    75,538
    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
    Snoop Dogg
    103,323
    78,994
    Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 8
    J. Cole
    88,831
    58,901
    Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 9
    Lil Wayne
    82,160
    56,155
    Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known professionally as Lil Wayne, is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 10
    Nas
    106,743
    89,978
    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
    André 3000
    67,761
    58,778
    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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  • 12
    Jay-Z
    98,926
    85,833
    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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  • 13
    Eazy-E
    71,774
    61,761
    Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as Eazy-E, was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    50 Cent
    75,563
    65,907
    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
    Kanye West
    93,095
    81,943
    Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 16
    Nicki Minaj
    29,660
    22,771
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  • 17
    Drake
    63,326
    56,858
    Aubrey Drake Graham, who records under the mononym Drake, is a Canadian singer, songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 18
    Travis Scott
    32,896
    26,939
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  • 19
    Kid Cudi
    31,790
    29,308
    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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  • 20
    XXXTentacion
    39,517
    32,642
    Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was an American rapper,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 21
    Tyler, the Creator
    27,078
    24,967
    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
    Royce da 5'9"
    17,102
    16,317
    Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    Childish Gambino
    38,280
    35,310
    Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 24
    ASAP Rocky
    43,078
    40,125
    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
    32,666
    30,700
    Cameron Jibril Thomaz (born September 8, 1987), known professionally as Wiz Khalifa, is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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