Hip Hop Artists The Greatest Rappers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
4.7M votes 327.4k voters 2.1M views 691 items

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 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.

1
152,315 78,409
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

2
119,534 67,108
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tupac All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

3
103,371 50,041
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

4
68,965 61,484
Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

5
95,234 41,470
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80

6
61,691 65,682
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

7
70,103 48,779
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

8
70,903 47,114
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

9
66,723 38,331
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Dr. Dre The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride

10
58,318 50,002
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Late Registration, The College Dropout

11
47,894 34,346
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

12
46,288 35,665
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

13
42,343 36,735
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
André 3000 Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing

14
35,439 46,695
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

15
47,837 28,925
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lil Wayne Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter

16
53,452 28,765
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
J. Cole Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

17
32,547 34,313
DMX is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
DMX It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

18
29,923 31,156
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

19
27,720 29,654
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ludacris Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time

20
26,035 29,782
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

21
20,498 26,201
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

22
36,942 18,804
Drake is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Subhan Sheikh added Drake Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Thank Me Later

23
25,039 14,029
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
ASAP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

24
27,341 16,260
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
dylansher added Chance the Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

25
21,260 29,480
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

26
23,030 25,154
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
T.I. King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

27
18,424 13,130
Big Sean is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Sean Finally Famous, Hall of Fame, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big

28
19,304 12,799
Kid Cudi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Kid Cudi Man on the Moon: The End of Day, Indicud, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager

29
20,163 14,080
Wiz Khalifa is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Wiz Khalifa Rolling Papers, O.N.I.F.C., Deal or No Deal

30
18,964 20,833
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

31
26,252 16,546
Logic is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

32
20,282 11,397
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
JustinK.Day added Childish Gambino Because the Internet, Utterances of the Heart, Love Letter in an Unbreakable Bottle

33
17,018 27,029
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

34
16,868 24,024
Common is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Common Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

35
17,576 22,522
Big L is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big L The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

36
18,830 17,420
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tech N9ne Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power

37
17,363 15,143
The Game is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
The Game The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece

38
13,368 5,155
Travis Scott is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Travis Scott Owl Pharaoh

39
15,196 10,873
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Tyler, the Creator Goblin, Bastard, Wolf

40
16,316 5,918
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
1519232093569 added XXXTentacion

41
16,585 14,862
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Fendarr added Nate Dogg Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics

42
15,049 17,647
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

43
14,814 18,891
Redman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

44
14,838 19,403
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

45
12,570 9,835
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Schoolboy Q Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron

46
11,245 6,170
2 Chainz is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
malmrphy added 2 Chainz B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, Beez in the Trap, T.R.U. REALigion

47
12,227 8,264
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Joey Badass Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

48
11,852 16,874
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

49
11,786 15,844
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
Scarface The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back

50
12,696 11,132
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Rappers of All Time
scruffenstein added Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep