Rappers The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time  

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138.1k votes 17.2k voters 734.7k views 182 items

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
7,358 1,250
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

2
5,563 1,132
Nas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album

3
4,677 900
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams

4
3,596 1,797
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt

5
3,078 1,337
DMX is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

6
2,577 989
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

7
3,039 984
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
GabrielDylanArteaga added Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal

8
2,564 983
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

9
2,607 820
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler

10
1,893 558
Big L is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition

11
2,516 704
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

12
1,485 719
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black

13
1,738 796
Run–D.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock

14
1,689 463
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

15
1,320 703
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

16
1,451 590
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

17
1,448 496
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones, Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)

18
1,914 688
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
SeenaMavaddat added Born Sinner, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights

19
1,011 481
Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Fishscale

20
1,220 423
Raekwon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Instrumentals, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Immobilarity

21
997 241
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Black on Both Sides, True Magic, The New Danger

22
1,123 297
Big Pun is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby, Endangered Species

23
1,418 411
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

24
889 189
Redman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000

25
774 280
GZA is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Liquid Swords, Grandmasters, Pro Tools

26
995 318
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Guðmundur Smári Pétursson added Summer Knights, 1999, Big Dusty

27
937 366
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back

28
963 412
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

29
974 353
RZA is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo, Birth of a Prince, Digital Bullet

30
837 374
Immortal Technique is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Revolutionary Vol. 2, Revolutionary, Volume 1

31
1,125 317
Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Paid in Full, Let the Rhythm Hit ’em, Don’t Sweat the Technique

32
701 335
Onyx is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup

33
964 334
Logic is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Anne R. added Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, Young Sinatra (Undeniable), Young Sinatra

34
656 417
Kool G Rap is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die

35
1,239 310
Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Blackout!, How High, Blackout! 2

36
772 344
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

37
638 274
Chance The Rapper is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
DeDe0 added Acid Rap, Confident, Songs from Scratch: Paranoia

38
691 328
Q-Tip is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The Renaissance, Amplified, Kamaal/The Abstract

39
422 135
Pusha T is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
srappaport added My Name Is My Name, Fear of God, Fear of God II: Let Us Pray

40
246 59
A$AP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time

41
1,060 358
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

42
455 180
Talib Kweli is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
JahleelNorwood added Quality, Liberation, The Beautiful Struggle

43
655 453
Jadakiss is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
The Last Kiss, Kiss of Death, Kiss tha Game Goodbye

44
415 220
Inspectah Deck is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Uncontrolled Substance, The Resident Patient, The Movement

45
324 207
Heavy D is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
coreyhut added Vibes, Waterbed Hev, Heavy

46
1,380 536
A$AP Rocky is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
GannonReilly added At. Long. Last. A$AP, Long. Live. A$AP

47
447 271
Fabolous is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
1426448767 added From Nothin' to Somethin', The S.O.U.L. Tape 2, Street Dreams

48
431 121
Guru is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Anne R. added Jazzmatazz, Volume 1, Guru's Jazzmatazz

49
363 177
Das EFX is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Hold It Down, Dead Serious, How We Do

50
577 334
Naughty by Nature is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best East Coast Rappers of All Time
Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, Anthem Inc., Poverty's Paradise