Music

The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead  

Ranker Hip Hop
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64.1k votes 12.8k voters 186.5k views 43 items

List Rules Vote up the hip hop artists who made the greatest bodies of work before they died

The Notorious B.I.G. once rapped, "I wonder if I died / Would tears come to her eyes / Forgive me for my disrespect / Forgive me for my lies." Biggie, we forgive you. Several famous rappers and hip-hop stars have unfortunately passed away. This list ranks the best of them. Some of these musicians were shot during an illegal activity, while others died of natural causes. Two famous rappers are suspected to have died in conjunction with the East/West rap rivalry of the 1990s.

Who is the best rapper who is already dead? Tupac Shakur tops our list. Tupac died on September 13, 1996 after being shot in Las Vegas. He was 25 years old. The Notorious B.I.G. died on March 9, 1997 after being murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Though many believe that his death was retaliation for the murder of Tupac, no arrests have been made in correlation with either murder. 

Adam Yauch, aka, MCA of the Beastie Boys, died on May 4, 2012 after a three year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old. On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah was killed, along with eight others, when her flight to the Bahamas crashed shortly after takeoff. She was 22 years old.

Are you surprised that so many famous rappers have died? Take a look at this list and share your thoughts in the comments section.
list ordered by
1
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Tupac Shakur died on September 13, 1996 after being shot in Las Vegas. He was 25 years old.

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2
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again
The Notorious B.I.G. died on March 9, 1997 after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Many believe that his death was a retaliation for Tupac's death in their ongoing East Coast/West Coast rivalry. 

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#237 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #415 of 466 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singersfeaturing A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud

3
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E
In 1995, NWA rapper Eazy-E was diagnosed with AIDS when he went to the hospital to treat what he thought was asthma. He died from complications from AIDS less than a month later.

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4
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics
Nate Dogg died March 15, 2011 due to complications with multiple strokes. He was 41 years old.

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#1,000 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #23 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timefeaturing The Best Nate Dogg Songs of All Time

5
Big L is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
r-a-menizz added The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

On February 15, 1999, Big L was killed in his native Harlem after being shot nine times in the face and chest in a drive-by shooting. 

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#31 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #917 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alivefeaturing The Best Big L Songs

6
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species
Big Pun died on February 7, 2000 after suffering a fatal heart attack in New York. He struggled with maintaining a healthy weight for much of his life.

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#46 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #33 of 139 The Dopest Rappers of the '90sfeaturing The Best Big Pun Songs

7
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones, Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)
Ol' Dirty Bastard died on November 13, 2004 from a drug overdose at the age of 35.

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8
Proof is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Proof Searching for Jerry Garcia, Grown Man Shit, I Miss the Hip Hop Shop
Proof was shot and killed in Detroit on April 11, 2006. He was 32 years old.

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9
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead

XXXTentacion was tragically shot and killed while sitting in a car in Florida on June 18, 2018. 

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10
Prodigy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Jay Clayton added H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2

Prodigy died June 20 2017 in Las Vegas N.V. at the age of 42 ... he died from a lifelong Battlle with Sickle-Cell Anaemia Disease, the average life expectancy ranges form 40 to 60 for people who suffer of this disease 

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11
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Aaliyah, One in a Million, I Care 4 U
On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight others were killed when her airplane crashed shortly after takeoff. She was 22 years old. 

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12
Pimp C is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
r-a-menizz added The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones, Pimpalation, The Sweet James Jones Stories

On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead in his West Hollywood hotel room due to "purple drank" overdose.

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#185 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timefeaturing The Best Pimp C Songslisted on Houston Gangsta Rappers List

13
J Dilla is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Donuts, The Shining, Jay Stay Paid
J Dilla died as the result of a blood disease on February 10, 2006.

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14
Guru is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz
Guru died on April 19, 2010 after falling into a coma after having surgery due to cardiac arrest.

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15
Nipsey Hussle is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Nipsey Hussle The Marathon Continues, The Marathon, You Broke

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16
Capital STEEZ is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Carlos Antonio Navarro Aguirre added Capital STEEZ King Steelo

On December 23, 2012, Capital STEEZ committed suicide by jumping off the rooftop of Cinematic Music Group headquarters in New York. 

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17
Mac Dre is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
RichardBeecher added The Genie of the Lamp, Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game

On November 1, 2004, Mac Dre died in a drive by shooting.

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18
Phife Dawg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Boris Daems added Phife Dawg Ventilation: Da LP, Flawless

On March 22, 2016, Phife Dawg died from complications relating to diabetes at age 45. 

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19
Lisa Lopes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Supernova, Eye Legacy, N.I.N.A
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was involved in a fatal car accident in Honduras on April 25, 2002. A documentary, entitled The Last Days of Left Eye, was made in commemeration.

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20
Sean Price is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
openmind added Monkey Barz, Jesus Price Supastar, Hood Anthems

On August 8, 2015, Sean Price died in his sleep at age 43 due to unknown reasons. 

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21
Heavy D is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Vibes, Waterbed Hev, Heavy
Heavy D died on November 8, 2011 after experiencing a a pulmonary embolism. He was 44 years old.

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22
Soulja Slim is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
The Streets Made Me, Years Later... A Few Months After, Years Later
Soulja Slim died on November 26, 2003 after being shot four times in New Orleans. He was 26 years old.

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23
Adam Yauch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Drum Machine
Adam Yauch, aka, MCA of the Beastie Boys, died on May 4, 2012 after a three year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old.

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24
Jam Master Jay is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Jason Mizell, aka, Jam Master Jay, was shot and killed on October 30, 2002. His murder remains unsolved.

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25
Lil Snupe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead
Lil Snupe died after being shot in the chest on June 20, 2013.