Music
517.6k voters

The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

Updated November 6, 2020 7.0m votes 517.6k voters 3.4m views235 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.

Photo:
...more
  • Tupac1
    191,724
    101,184
    Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Notorious B.I.G.2
    Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More The Notorious B.I.G. 

    A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous FeudThe Best Notorious B.I.G Songs of All Time

  • Eminem3
    235,693
    127,490
    Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Eminem 

    12 Messed Up Facts About Eminem's Troubled UpbringingThe Entire History Of Eminem And Kim's Relationship

  • Kendrick Lamar4
    143,851
    81,306
    Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, songwriter, and record...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Kendrick Lamar 

    The Best Kendrick Lamar Albums, RankedThe Best Rappers To Listen To If You Like Kendrick Lamar

  • Dr. Dre5
    100,803
    73,585
    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Dr. Dre 

    The Best Dr. Dre Albums, RankedThe Best Songs on Dr. Dre's The Chronic

  • Ice Cube6
    103,266
    77,050
    O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper,...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Ice Cube 

    The Best Ice Cube SongsThe Best Ice Cube Movies

  • Nas7
    109,038
    90,844
    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, record...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Nas 

    The Best Nas SongsThe Best Songs Feat. Nas

  • Snoop Dogg8
    104,843
    80,791
    Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Snoop Dogg 

    Hilarious Snoop Dogg Interviews That Prove He Can Still Drop It Like It's HotA Timeline Of Martha Stewart And Snoop Dogg’s Friendship

  • J. Cole9
    90,386
    60,708
    Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More J. Cole 

    The Best Rappers To Listen To If You Like J. ColeThe Best Songs Feat. J. Cole

  • Lil Wayne10
    83,623
    57,791
    Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known professionally as Lil Wayne, is an...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Lil Wayne 

    The Best Lil Wayne Songs of All TimeEvery Song On Lil Wayne's 'Funeral,' Ranked

  • Jay-Z11
    100,990
    86,686
    Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z),...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Jay-Z 

    Every Athlete Signed To Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, RankedThe Best Jay-Z Songs of All Time

  • André 300012
    69,357
    59,743
    André Lauren Benjamin (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More André 3000 

    The Best Songs Feat. Andre 3000#20 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

  • 50 Cent13
    77,023
    66,981
    Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More 50 Cent 

    The Best 50 Cent SongsThe Best 50 Cent Movies

  • Eazy-E14
    72,998
    62,836
    Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as Eazy-E, was an...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Kanye West15
    95,165
    83,023
    Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Kanye West 

    The Best Kanye West Albums of All-Time19 Of The Best Reactions To Kanye's Presidential Announcement

  • Nicki Minaj16
    30,299
    25,606
    Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Nicki Minaj (), is a...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Nicki Minaj 

    The Best Nicki Minaj Songs#45 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • Drake17
    64,923
    58,334
    Aubrey Drake Graham, who records under the mononym Drake, is a Canadian singer, songwriter,...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Drake 

    The Best Drake Albums of All-TimeThe Best Drake Songs

  • Travis Scott18
    34,026
    28,637
    Jacques Berman Webster II (born April 30, 1992), known professionally as Travis Scott, is an...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Travis Scott 

    The Best Travis Scott SongsThe Best Travis Scott Albums, Ranked

  • Kid Cudi19
    32,748
    30,504
    Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi (born January 30, 1984), better known by his stage name Kid Cudi (;...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Kid Cudi 

    The Best Kid Cudi Songs#28 of 70 The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

  • XXXTentacion20
    40,718
    34,598
    Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was an American rapper,...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More XXXTentacion 

    The Best XXXTentacion Songs, RankedThe Best Songs Feat. XXXTenatacion

  • Royce da 5'9"21
    17,789
    17,172
    Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • ASAP Rocky22
    43,852
    41,094
    Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name ASAP Rocky (stylized as...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More ASAP Rocky 

    The Best ASAP Rocky Albums, Ranked#7 of 144 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers

  • Childish Gambino23
    38,953
    36,396
    Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer,...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Donald Glover 

    Things You Never Knew About Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino#50 of 90 Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now?

  • Tyler, the Creator24
    27,873
    26,015
    Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Tyler, the Creator 

    The Best Songs on Tyler, the Creator's Album 'IGOR'The Best Tyler the Creator Songs, Ranked

  • Logic25
    46,642
    45,290
    Sir Robert Bryson Hall II (born January 22, 1990), known by his stage name Logic, is an...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Logic 

    The Best Logic Albums, RankedThe Best Songs Feat. Logic