Hip-Hop The Best New York Rappers  

Ranker Hip Hop
Originally by
48.3k votes 4.7k voters 90.7k views 235 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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list ordered by
1
1,555 422
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
1,553 419
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
1,058 387
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
1,172 459
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
783 331
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
703 266
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 6 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 group is best known for its dark delivery as exemplified by the single ...more
7
672 254
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
682 261
Big L is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
813 326
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
530 194
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname 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
940 390
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
735 290
Joey Bada$$ is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New York Rappers
aiden-kemp added Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty
Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott (born January 20, 1995), better known by his stage name Joey Badass (stylized as Joey Bada$$), is an American rapper, actor, and record producer. Raised in Brooklyn, New ...more
13
729 294
DMX is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
527 196
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
609 234
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
492 182
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
724 298
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
578 231
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
458 171
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
398 142
Run–DMC is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock
Run-DMC was an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1981 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell. Run-DMC is widely acknowledged as one of the most ...more
21
418 155
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
275 83
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
387 141
Jadakiss is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
326 118
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
369 140
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 25 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