Music
509.8k voters

The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

Updated November 6, 2020 6.8m votes 509.8k 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
    188,591
    98,551
    Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    Eminem
    231,322
    125,397
    Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    Kendrick Lamar
    141,279
    79,524
    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
    99,099
    71,606
    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
    101,546
    75,441
    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
    103,207
    78,908
    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
    88,739
    58,776
    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
    82,067
    56,037
    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
    106,593
    89,924
    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
    Jay-Z
    98,791
    85,773
    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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  • 12
    André 3000
    67,657
    58,715
    André Lauren Benjamin (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    Eazy-E
    71,708
    61,684
    Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as Eazy-E, was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    50 Cent
    75,483
    65,834
    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
    92,977
    81,884
    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
    29,615
    22,604
    Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Nicki Minaj (), is a... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 17
    Drake
    63,240
    56,766
    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
    32,826
    26,850
    Jacques Berman Webster II (born April 30, 1992), known professionally as Travis Scott, is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 19
    Kid Cudi
    31,743
    29,244
    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
    39,455
    32,524
    Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was an American rapper,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 21
    Royce da 5'9"
    17,069
    16,255
    Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    Childish Gambino
    38,218
    35,236
    Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 23
    Tyler, the Creator
    27,013
    24,900
    Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 24
    ASAP Rocky
    43,024
    40,065
    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
    32,615
    30,633
    Cameron Jibril Thomaz (born September 8, 1987), known professionally as Wiz Khalifa, is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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