Music

The Best New York Rappers  

Ranker Hip Hop
Originally by
59.8k votes 6.3k voters 127.1k 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.

list ordered by
1
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 (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, was an American rapper. He is widely considered to be ...more
2
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
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt
Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z), is an American rapper, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and record executive. Considered among ...more
4
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 4 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 formed in the New York City borough of Staten Island in 1992, originally composed of rapper-producer RZA and rappers GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, ...more
5
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. (born January 28, 1968), 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 ...more
6
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 was an American hip hop duo from Queensbridge, Queens, New York. The group consisted of Havoc and Prodigy, and were a hardcore East Coast hip hop group. They were known for their dark, ...more
7
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 7 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 (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, television producer, entrepreneur and investor. Born in the South ...more
8
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 8 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 ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. He is ...more
9
DMX is listed (or ranked) 9 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 (born December 18, 1970), known professionally as DMX, is an American rapper and actor. He began rapping in the early 1990s, and released his debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot ...more
10
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler
Clifford M. Smith Jr. (born March 2, 1971), better known by his stage name Method Man, is an American rapper, record producer and actor. He is known as a member of the East Coast hip hop ...more
11
ASAP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 12 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 collective formed in 1985 and originally composed of MC and main producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg, DJ and co-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and MC ...more
13
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale
Dennis Coles (born May 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper, songwriter and actor and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. After the group achieved ...more
14
Big L is listed (or ranked) 14 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 (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999), known professionally as Big L, was an American rapper. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most lyrical rappers of all time, and ...more
15
Joey Bada$$ is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New York Rappers
aiden-kemp added Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty
Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott (born January 20, 1995), better known by his stage name Joey Badass (stylized as Joey Bada$$), is an American rapper, actor, and record producer. Raised in Brooklyn, New ...more
16
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New York Rappers
When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming
Trevor George Smith Jr. (born May 20, 1972), known professionally as Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, singer, musician, record producer, record executive, and actor. Chuck D of Public Enemy ...more
17
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger
Yasiin Bey (; born Dante Terrell Smith; December 11, 1973), better known by his stage name Mos Def (), is an American rapper, singer, actor and activist. Best known for his music, Bey began his ...more
18
Run–DMC is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species
Christopher Lee Rios (November 10, 1971 – February 7, 2000), better known by his stage name Big Pun (short for Big Punisher), was an American rapper. Emerging from the underground hip hop scene ...more
20
Prodigy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New York Rappers
johnstonismyname added H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2

Mobb Deep Albums 

Albert Johnson (November 2, 1974 – June 20, 2017), better known by his stage name Prodigy, was an American rapper, author, and entrepreneur who, with Havoc, was one half of the hip hop duo Mobb
21
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 "Kris" Parker (born August 20, 1965), better known by his stage names KRS-One, and Teacha, is an American rapper and occasional producer from The Bronx, New York. He rose to ...more
22
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 Noelle Hill (born May 26, 1975) is an American singer, songwriter and rapper, known for being a member of Fugees, and for her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won many ...more
23
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity
Corey Woods (born January 12, 1970), better known by his stage name Raekwon () , is an American rapper and a member of Wu-Tang Clan. He released his solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... in ...more
24
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New York Rappers
Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith
James Todd Smith (born January 14, 1968), known professionally as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James), is an American rapper, record producer, actor, author and entrepreneur from ...more
25
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 Terrance Phillips (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name Jadakiss, is an American rapper. He is known for being one third of the New York hip hop group The Lox, as well as ...more