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The Best Rappers of the 2000s

Updated May 1, 2020 131.7k votes 19.7k voters 456.8k views92 items

List RulesGreatest rappers from 2000-2010.

Update: Dive into the best new hip hop with our list of 2020's top rap songs.

The best '00s rappers include any and all worthy artists who influenced hip-hop music between 2000 and 2010. This decade brought with it some of the most talented rappers the music world has ever seen, including the likes of Lil' Wayne, Rock Ross, Nas, and Nelly. (Head over to the best new school rappers if you're looking for Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and other great 2010s rappers). Some rappers on this list were also fantastic in the 90s, but continued to be extremely relevant during subsequent years and remained top artists of 2000s hip hop. Agree with the choices on this best '00s rappers list? Vote them up! Obviously, you can also vote down those artists you don't think deserve to be listed. If you have a particular favorite rapper from the '00s that isn't on this list, by all means, add away!

Rap music skyrocketed to popularity in the 2000s, with artists like Eminem leading the way, as the genre went totally mainstream. In addition, the '00s saw a whole slew of cross-over rap artists charting, including the likes of OutKast and Gnarls Barkley. Some of the biggest selling albums of this decade were rap albums, including Jay-Z's Blueprint albums, Nelly's Country Grammer, and 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem (produced by Dr. Dre). Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy in the 90s (and formally known as Sean Combs), released the album The Saga Continues... as "P. Diddy" in 2001 and, after changing his stage name (again) to just "Diddy," he released the wildly popular album Press Play in 2006. And, while Ludacris released his first album in the 90s, his major label debut came in 2000 with Back for the First Time. He followed that up with 2001's Word of Mouf -- thus, earning a spot on this list of the best rappers of the 2000s.

And of course, no discussion of the best '00 rappers would be complete without a mention of Kanye West. West produced for others during the 90s and early 2000s, but in 2004, with the release of his debut album, The College Dropout, Kanye became a huge commercial success. The College Dropout established West as one of the most talented rappers/hip hop artists of the decade.

Yes, it's easy to put together a list of the best '00s rappers with names like Eminem, Kanye West and Jay-Z, but digging a little deeper produces some outstanding artists like Talib Kweli and Jadakiss. Who do you think are the best artists of 2000s hip hop? Cast your votes below and be sure to add any rappers who may be missing.

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  • 1
    Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 2
    50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 3
    Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 4
    Nas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 5
    Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 6
    André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 7
    Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 8
    DMX is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 9
    Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 10
    Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 11
    Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 12
    Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 13
    T.I. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 14
    J.Cole is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 15
    Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 16
    Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 17
    Feloni is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 18
    Method Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 19
    Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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    Aaron Dontez Yates

    RapperAaron Dontez Yates, better known by his stage name Tech N9ne, is an American rapper from Kansas City, Missouri. In 1999, Yates and Travis O'Guin founded the record label Strange Music
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  • 20
    Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 21
    Outkast is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 22
    The Game is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 23
    G-Unit is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 24
    Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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  • 25
    Redman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Rappers of the 2000s
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