Hip-Hop The Best New York Rappers  

Ranker Hip Hop
Originally by
32.3k votes 2.8k voters 48.7k views 236 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.

list ordered by

1
939 258
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known by his stage names The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie or Biggie Smalls, was an American rapper. Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York ...more

2
942 258
Nas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is the son of jazz musician Olu Dara. Since 1994, Nas has released eight ...more

3
657 245
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop group from Staten Island, New York City. Members include RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta

4
716 287
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt Shawn Corey Carter, known by his stage name Jay Z, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in ...more

5
519 206
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New York Rappers
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found William Michael Griffin, Jr., better known by his stage name Rakim, is an American rapper. One half of golden age hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...more

6
597 233
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal Curtis James Jackson III, better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, singer, entrepreneur investor and actor from New York City. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the ...more

7
327 116
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale Dennis Coles, better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper and prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan. After the group achieved breakthrough success in the aftermath of ...more

8
464 189
DMX is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New York Rappers
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood Earl Simmons, better known by his stage names DMX and Dark Man X, is an American rapper and actor. In 1999, DMX released his best-selling album ...And Then There Was X, which featured the hit ...more

9
401 160
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species Christopher Lee Rios, better known by his stage name Big Pun, was an American rapper and actor, the first Latino rapper to attain Platinum sales status as a solo act. Big Pun emerged from the ...more

10
297 108
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 added The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop group that was formed in 1985, and is composed of MC/producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg aka Phife Diggy, and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth ...more

11
443 171
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New York Rappers
dane-jeriss added The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep Mobb Deep is an American hip hop duo from Queensbridge, Queens, New York, U.S., that consists of Havoc and Prodigy. The duo is "one of the most critically acclaimed hardcore East Coast ...more

12
365 144
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger Yasiin Bey, better known by his former stage name Mos Def, is an American hip hop recording artist, actor, and activist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. Best known for his music, Mos Def ...more

13
466 186
Big L is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New York Rappers
The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition Lamont Coleman, best known by his stage name Big L, was an American hip hop recording artist, born and raised in Harlem, New York City, New York. Coleman embarked on his career in rapping, with ...more

14
422 164
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler Clifford Smith, better known by the stage name Method Man, is an American rapper, record producer, and actor. He took his stage name from the 1979 film Method Man. He is perhaps best known as a ...more

15
374 150
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New York Rappers
ahmed-maklad added All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one ...more

16
298 110
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity Corey Woods, better known by the stage name Raekwon, is an American rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He released his solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... in 1995, and has since ...more

17
399 155
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New York Rappers
When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr., better known by his stage name Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, producer, and actor from Brooklyn. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the moniker Busta Rhymes, after ...more

18
412 160
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Befman added Long.Live.A$AP, Live. Love. ASAP, No Rest for the Wicked

at long last asap 

Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name ASAP Rocky (stylized as A$AP Rocky), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is a member of the hip ...more

19
276 100
Redman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000 Reginald "Reggie" Noble, better known by his stage name Redman, is an American MC, rapper, DJ, record producer and actor. He came to fame in the early 1990s as an artist on the Def Jam ...more

20
452 183
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New York Rappers
aiden-kemp added Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, better known by his stage name Joey Badass, is an American hip hop recording artist from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He is a co-founder of the hip-hop ...more

21
332 133
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded Lawrence Krisna Parker, better known by his stage names KRS-One, and Teacha, is an American rapper and occasional producer from The Bronx, New York City, New York. KRS-One rose to prominence as ...more

22
254 95
Run–D.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock Run–D.M.C. is an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1981 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jam Master Jay. The group is widely acknowledged as one of the ...more

23
264 102
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
230 88
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New York Rappers
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back Ricky Walters, better known by his stage name Slick Rick, is a Grammy-nominated English rapper. He has also been known as Rick the Ruler, MC Ricky D, and Ricky Dee. He began his career in late ...more

25
263 107
Jadakiss is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New York Rappers
The Last Kiss, Kiss of Death, Kiss tha Game Goodbye Jason Phillips, better known as Jadakiss, is an American rapper. He is a member of the group The LOX. Jadakiss is one of the three owners of the imprint known as D-Block Records. In early 2007, ...more

26
236 90
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
146 45
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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
136 38
Dave East is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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.

29
258 114
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He is known for pioneering hip-hop tracks such as "I Can't Live Without My Radio", ...more

30
208 84
Prodigy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 added H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2

Mobb Deep Albums 

Albert Johnson, better known by his stage name Prodigy, is an American rapper and one half of the Hip-hop duo Mobb Deep with Havoc. He is the great-great-grandson of the founder of Morehouse

31
209 93
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
203 85
ASAP Ferg is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

33
180 71
Flatbush ZOMBiES is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
181 79
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

35
215 95
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 35 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

36
116 34
Fabolous is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

37
140 50
GZA is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

38
196 87
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New York Rappers
The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract Kamaal Fareed is a rapper.

39
117 48
RZA is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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.

40
136 55
Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

41
113 41
Lloyd Banks is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

42
94 35
MC Lyte is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

43
146 66
AZ is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

44
141 65
Fat Joe is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

45
186 99
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
93 33
G-Unit is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 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

47
166 87
Mase is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Harlem World, Double Up, Top of the World Mason Durell Betha, better known by stage name Mase, is an American rapper. He hails from Harlem, New York City, New York. He was once signed to Sean "Diddy" Combs's label Bad Boy ...more

48
133 70
Doug E. Fresh is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Doin' What I Gotta Do, The World's Greatest Entertainer, Play Douglas E. Davis, better known by the stage name Doug E. Fresh, is a Barbadian born American rapper, record producer, and beat boxer, also known as the Human Beat Box. The pioneer of ...more

49
83 33
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New York Rappers
1519704292721 added 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate De La Soul is an American hip hop trio formed in 1987 on Long Island, New York. The band is best known for their eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the ...more

50
150 76
Onyx is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New York Rappers
TwistedSmasher added Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup Onyx is an American hardcore hip hop group from South Jamaica, Queens, New York. The group is composed of East Coast rappers Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr and Sonny Seeza. The late Big DS was also ...more