Music

The Best New York Rappers  

Ranker Hip Hop
Originally by
53.4k votes 5.4k voters 105.9k views 232 items

List Rules Only famous hip hop artists from any of the five boroughs.

It probably goes without saying, but New York City is undeniably the birthplace of rap. Its impact is still very much alive as the genre continues to grow and change around the world. This is a list of the best New York rappers and hip hop music artists. As you know, there's a long list of them, but who do you think are the best rappers from NYC? 

When ranking the most famous or even top 10 NY rappers, the Big Apple can count Biggie, Jay-Z, Rakim, 50 Cent, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, KRS-One, Mos Def, Slick Rick, Nikki Minaj, Run-D.M.C., Mase, and Wu Tang among its influential children, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to rappers from New York! While a pretty good amount of research went in to compiling this list, there's always room for improvement. There are so many New York rap luminaries to choose from, finding a spot for them all is near impossible. Please vote on the list and add your favorites or anyone that you think is missing from this list of New York hip hop artists.

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26
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New York Rappers
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black
Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, DJ Lord, The S1W group, Khari Wynn and Professor Griff. Formed in Long Island, New York in 1982, they are known for ...more
27
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill
Lauryn Hill is an American singer–songwriter, rapper, producer, and actress. She is best known for being a member of the Fugees and for her solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Raised in ...more
28
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home
Antonio Hardy, better known by his stage name Big Daddy Kane, is a Grammy Award-winning American rapper who started his career in 1986 as a member of the rap group the Juice Crew. He is widely ...more
29
GZA is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

Wu Tang Albums

Gary Grice, better known by his stage names GZA and The Genius, is an American rapper and songwriter. A founding member of the hip hop group, the Wu-Tang Clan, GZA is known as the group's ...more
30
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones, Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)

Wu Tang Albums 

Russell Tyrone Jones, better known under his stage name Ol' Dirty Bastard, was an American rapper and occasional producer. He was one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, a rap group ...more
31
MF Doom is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Vaudeville Villain, Operation: Doomsday, Special Herbs and Spices
Daniel Dumile is a British-born American hip hop artist best known for his "super villain" stage persona and unique lyrics. Daniel Dumile has taken on several stage names in his ...more
32
Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Paid in Full, Let the Rhythm Hit ’em, Don’t Sweat the Technique
Eric B. & Rakim were a hip hop duo from Long Island, New York, composed of DJ Eric B. and MC Rakim. Tom Terrell of NPR called them "the most influential DJ/MC combo in contemporary pop ...more
33
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added the bigger the Artist
Artist Julius Dubose (born December 6, 1995), better known by his stage name A Boogie wit da Hoodie (or simply A Boogie), is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He is signed to ...more
34
Fabolous is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added From Nothin' to Somethin', The S.O.U.L. Tape 2, Street Dreams
John David Jackson, better known by his stage name Fabolous, is an American hip hop recording artist from Brooklyn, New York City. Jackson's career began in 1998; he was a senior in high school ...more
35
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle
Talib Kweli Greene is an American hip hop recording artist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. Kweli also earned recognition through his work with fellow Brooklyn-bred rapper Mos Def, in ...more
36
ASAP Ferg is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Trap Lord, always strive and prosper, Still Striving
Darold Ferguson, Jr., better known by his stage name ASAP Ferg, is an American hip hop recording artist from New York City's Harlem neighborhood. He is a member of the hip hop collective ASAP ...more
37
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New York Rappers
The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract
Kamaal Fareed is a rapper.
38
RZA is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet
Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, better known by his stage name RZA, is an American Grammy-winning music producer, multi-instrumentalist, author, MC, and occasional actor, director, and screenwriter.
39
Dave East is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Paranoia 1 & 2, No Regrets, Karma
David Brewster, Jr, better known by his stage name Dave East, is an American rapper from East Harlem, New York.
40
Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2
Method Man & Redman, are an American hip hop duo, composed of East Coast rappers Method Man and Redman. They are signed to Def Jam Recordings as both solo artists and as a collective. While ...more
41
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Revolutionary Vol. 2, Revolutionary, Volume 1
Felipe Andres Coronel, better known by the stage name Immortal Technique, is an American rapper and urban activist. Most of his lyrics focus on controversial issues in global politics. The views ...more
42
Fat Joe is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Jealous One's Envy, Represent, Don Cartagena
Joseph Antonio Cartagena, better known by his stage name Fat Joe, is an American rapper. He is also the CEO of Terror Squad Entertainment, and member of musical groups D.I.T.C. and Terror Squad. ...more
43
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head
Beastie Boys were an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in 1981. For the majority of its career, the group consisted of Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "MCA" ...more
44
Flatbush ZOMBiES is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New York Rappers
tweeterbirwin added
Flatbush Zombies is an American hip hop group from the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York City, formed in 2010. The group is composed of rappers Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick ...more
45
Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die
Nathaniel Thomas Wilson, better known by his stage name Kool G Rap is an American rapper. He hails from the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York City. He began his career in the mid-1980s as ...more
46
Inspectah Deck is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Uncontrolled Substance, The Resident Patient, The Movement

Wu Tang Albums 

Jason Hunter, better known by his stage name Inspectah Deck, is an American rapper, producer, and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He has acquired critical praise for his intricate lyricism, and for ...more
47
AZ is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Doe or Die, Final Call (The Lost Tapes), Aziatic
Anthony Cruz, better known by his stage name AZ, is an American rapper. Born in Brooklyn, NY. He is known for being a longtime and frequent rhyme partner of Nas, and also a member of hip-hop ...more
48
G-Unit is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Beg for Mercy, No Mercy, No Fear
G-Unit is an American hip hop group originating from South Jamaica, Queens, New York, formed by longtime friends and East Coast rappers 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks. The group released ...more
49
Lloyd Banks is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added The Hunger for More, Rotten Apple, S.W.A.T Mix Tape

G-Unit Albums 

Christopher Charles Lloyd, better known by his stage name Lloyd Banks, is an American hip hop recording artist and member of East Coast hip hop group G-Unit, alongside childhood friends and ...more
50
MC Lyte is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added Lyte as a Rock, Seven & Seven, Act Like You Know

Act Like you know, Aint No Other

MC Lyte is an American rapper who first gained fame in the late 1980s, becoming the first solo female rapper to release a full album with 1988's critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock. She has long ...more