rappers The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time  

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List Rules Rappers and hip hop artists who were based on the East Coast during the active years of their careers

East Coast rap originated in New York City during the 70s and established the city (and the Bronx more specifically) as a cradle for musical innovation. Since then, East Coast hip hop has only become more popular and has expanded outside of New York to include Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and other outposts. The so-called Golden Age of Rap saw a resurgence in East Coast hip hop during the early 90s where some of the best East Coast rappers of all time take over rap both critically and commercially. East Coast hip hop spans multiple generations and with its roots at the genre's earliest days, is one of the most important subgenres of rap music.

That said, who are the best East Coast rappers? Any list of East Coast hip hop artists has to include the likes of Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Jay Z, DMX, Busta Rhymes, Public Enemy, Gang Starr and Notorious B.I.G. These are widely recognized regarded as the best East Coast rappers and with good reason. Their slick rhymes, catchy beats and lyrics that range from party anthems to serious conscious rap. No matter whether you like East Coast rap or West Coast rap, the one thing you can't deny is the amount of respect than many in hip hop have for East Coast rappers.

So, it's up to you to determine who are the best East Coast rappers. If you notice a rapper isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best East Coast hip hop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest East Coast hip hop musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular east coast hip hop bands that you might've heard of.
list ordered by

1
5,343 851
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

The Best West Coast Rappers The Best EDM Artists

2
4,145 740
Nas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Nas Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

3
3,421 581
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams

4
2,307 944
DMX is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
DMX It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

5
2,564 1,363
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Jay-Z Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

6
1,966 636
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

7
1,955 649
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Rakim The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

8
2,019 546
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Method Man Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

9
1,440 367
Big L is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Big L The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

10
2,042 713
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
GabrielDylanArteaga added 50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

11
1,837 582
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Mobb Deep The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

12
1,379 651
Run–D.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Run–D.M.C. Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock

13
1,144 578
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black

14
1,191 446
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
KRS-One Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

15
1,333 337
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

The Greatest Rappers of All Time Incredibly Famous Bands Playing Shows You Would Never Imagine They Would

16
1,321 503
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
SeenaMavaddat added J. Cole Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

17
711 368
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Ghostface Killah Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

18
1,183 366
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Ol' Dirty Bastard Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones, Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)

19
1,005 316
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

20
827 188
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Big Pun Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

21
715 149
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Mos Def Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

22
1,174 328
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Gang Starr Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

23
1,057 569
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
LL Cool J Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

24
648 118
Redman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Redman Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

25
702 193
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Guðmundur Smári Pétursson added Joey Badass Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

26
597 200
GZA is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added GZA Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

27
760 285
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

28
825 340
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

29
809 287
RZA is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
RZA RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet

The Worst Rappers of All Time The Best Reasons to Have Kids

30
689 298
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Immortal Technique Revolutionary Vol. 2, Revolutionary, Volume 1

31
928 257
Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Eric B. & Rakim Paid in Full, Let the Rhythm Hit ’em, Don’t Sweat the Technique

32
569 349
Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Kool G Rap Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die

33
582 268
Onyx is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Onyx Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup

34
631 285
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

35
1,048 265
Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Method Man and Redman Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2

36
938 442
A$AP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
GannonReilly added A$AP Rocky At. Long. Last. A$AP, Long. Live. A$AP

37
368 125
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
JahleelNorwood added Talib Kweli Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

38
557 390
Jadakiss is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Jadakiss The Last Kiss, Kiss of Death, Kiss tha Game Goodbye

39
587 276
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Q-Tip The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

40
595 158
Logic is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Anne R. added Logic Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

41
386 154
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
DeDe0 added Chance The Rapper Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

42
863 304
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

43
321 178
Inspectah Deck is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Inspectah Deck Uncontrolled Substance, The Resident Patient, The Movement

Rappers Who Died Young The Greatest Fighting Games Ever Made

44
369 219
Fabolous is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
1426448767 added Fabolous From Nothin' to Somethin', The S.O.U.L. Tape 2, Street Dreams

45
289 127
Das EFX is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Das EFX Hold It Down, Dead Serious, How We Do

46
267 152
Heavy D is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
coreyhut added Heavy D Vibes, Waterbed Hev, Heavy

47
322 75
Guru is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Anne R. added Guru Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz

48
298 67
AZ is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Anne R. added AZ Doe or Die, Final Call (The Lost Tapes), Aziatic

49
425 244
M.O.P. is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
M.O.P. Firing Squad, Warriorz, 10 Years and Gunnin' (Greatest Hits)

50
472 290
Naughty by Nature is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Naughty by Nature Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, Anthem Inc., Poverty's Paradise