The Best Rappers From Brooklyn

Over 1.6K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Rappers From Brooklyn
Voting Rules
Only rappers born or raised in Brooklyn, New York.

From new artists to some of the greatest hip hop artists of all time, here are the best rappers from Brooklyn. Including both solo artists, like The Notorious B.I.G. and Nas, and hip hop groups, like the Beastie Boys and Pro Era, this list of the most popular Brooklyn rappers features rap artists who were born or raised in the New York City borough. Known for their style of East Coast hip hop, other famous Brooklyn rappers include Mos Def, Talib Kewli, and Lil Kim. Who are the top Brooklyn rappers of all-time?

Vote up the best hip hop artists from Brooklyn reppin' New York City's most populous borough.

Most divisive: Memphis Bleek
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  • Synonymous with the golden age of hip-hop, Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G., dominated the rap scene throughout the '90s with his intricate storytelling and smooth flow. His landmark album, Ready to Die, encapsulated the essence of Brooklyn's gritty lifestyle and set an impossibly high bar for future rappers to overcome. Even after his untimely death, Biggie Smalls lives on through his countless posthumous releases, proving that his undeniable lyrical prowess and inimitable voice will always be relevant in the realm of rap.

  • JAY-Z
    699 votes

    Starting from humble beginnings in Brooklyn's Marcy Projects, Shawn Carter (JAY-Z) has become one of the genre's most prolific and successful artists, both on and off the mic. Throughout his career spanning over three decades, Hov has consistently displayed his penchant for wordplay, vivid storytelling, and unapologetic confidence. Whether it's navigating New York's complex streets or scaling the heights of the hip-hop pantheon, JAY-Z's legacy is one for the ages, solidifying him as a quintessential figure in Brooklyn rap history.

  • Nas
    628 votes

    Often considered a prodigy, Nasir Jones (Nas) burst onto the scene at the tender age of 19 with his groundbreaking debut, Illmatic. With its raw, introspective lyrics and intricate rhyme schemes, it's no wonder that the Queensbridge-bred MC has gone down in history as one of the greatest to ever pick up a mic. Hailing from the same borough as Biggie and JAY-Z, Nas has continually demonstrated his lyrical dexterity and intelligent commentary, making him a true titan of Brooklyn rap.

  • Mos Def
    394 votes

    Emerging from the rich tapestry of Brooklyn's hip-hop scene, Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey) blazed his way to prominence with his imaginative lyricism, socially conscious messaging and genre-defying style. Collaborating with fellow Brooklynite Talib Kweli as the acclaimed duo known as Black Star, Mos Def challenged the status quo of the rap world while cementing his status as one of the most innovative and thought-provoking artists in the game. His unparalleled versatility and introspection have made Mos Def an undisputed legend of Brooklyn's hip-hop scene.

  • Busta Rhymes
    388 votes

    A titan of both speed and style, Busta Rhymes made a name for himself in the '90s as the crown prince of rapid-fire rapping. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he honed his unique style under the tutelage of rap pioneers Chuck D of Public Enemy and produced some of hip-hop's most memorable tracks. With his larger-than-life persona, outlandish fashion choices, and undeniable talent, Busta Rhymes has left an indelible mark on the rap landscape that still resonates today.

  • Raekwon
    277 votes

    As a founding member of the illustrious Wu-Tang Clan, Corey Woods (Raekwon) has been an integral part of Brooklyn's rap history since the group's inception in the early '90s. His cinematic storytelling and distinctive voice helped to define the "Wu sound," while his solo work, including the highly acclaimed album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, further solidified his position as a lyrical heavyweight. Through both group successes and personal achievements, Raekwon has carried the torch as one of Brooklyn's finest MCs.