Music

The Best Hardcore Rappers  

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Hardcore hip hop is a subgenre of rap music that developed at the beginning of the 1980s. The genre's lyrics tackled the harsh conditions of the urban experience and have resonated with many rap fans. The tenacious beats of hard rap songs add to the intensity. Hardcore rappers are recognized as the precursor to gangsta rap due to its unapologetic stances on anger and aggression towards violence, police brutality, crime, poverty, drugs and rebellion. Many hardcore rap songs take on these issues head on. Hardcore rap has become one of the most important subgenres of rap and has also played an important role in shaping conscious rap and political hip hop.

So, who are the best hardcore rappers? Any list of hardcore rappers has to include names like the Geto Boys, DMX, Necro, Big L, Immortal Technique and Notorious B.I.G. These hardcore rap artists are widely known as the most famous faces and important voices in hardcore rap. When you think of hardcore rap, you generally think of the hardcore rappers on this list. Even though some of the biggest names are widely known, that doesn't mean the lesser known groups are any less important. It's dark and gritty nature has won hardcore rap many admirers over the years.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best hardcore rappers. If you like hardcore hip hop, then feel free to vote on this list. If you notice someone isn't on this list, and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best hardcore hip hop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest hardcore 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 hardcore hip hop bands that you might've heard of.

list ordered by
1
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, film ...more
2
D12 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
D12, an initialism for the Dirty Dozen, was an American hip hop group from Detroit, Michigan. D12 has had chart-topping albums in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. D12 was formed ...more
3
Bad Meets Evil is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Bad Meets Evil is an American hip hop duo consisting of rappers Royce da 5'9" and Eminem. Bad Meets Evil was formed in 1997 thanks to the duo's mutual friend, Proof. It was formed after ...more
4
N.W.A is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
danman082200 added
N.W.A (an abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton, California. They were among the earliest and most significant popularizers and controversial figures ...more
5
Proof is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Krystal Soo-jeong Oh added
DeShaun Dupree Holton (October 2, 1973 – April 11, 2006), known professionally as Proof, was an American rapper and actor from Detroit, Michigan. During his career, he was a member of the groups ...more
6
DMX is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
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
7
Hopsin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
-1453909370488 added
Marcus Jamal Hopson (born July 18, 1985), known professionally as Hopsin, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director and actor from Los Angeles, California. ...more
8
Redman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
RuffRugged added
Reginald Noble (born April 17, 1970), better known by his stage name Redman, is an American rapper, DJ, record producer, and actor. He rose to fame in the early 1990s as an artist on the Def Jam ...more
9
Royce da 5'9
Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is an American rapper and songwriter. He is best known for his longtime association with Eminem as ...more
10
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
groucho9395 added
Aaron Dontez Yates (born November 8, 1971), better known by his stage name Tech N9ne (pronounced "tech nine"), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and ...more
11
Feloni is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
RealKnowledge added

TrakDiamondRecord.com

Trish Best, known by her stage name Feloni, is an African-American rapper from Detroit, Michigan. Her coming out as lesbian was featured on MTV's LOGO documentary show Coming Out Stories.
12
Nas is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
PaulCooper-1 added
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
13
Slaughterhouse is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Krystal Soo-jeong Oh added
Slaughterhouse is a hip hop supergroup consisting of rappers Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, and Royce da 5'9". They are currently signed to Shady Records under Interscope. They have ...more
14
Xzibit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Alvin Nathaniel Joiner (born September 18, 1974), better known by the stage name Xzibit (pronounced "exhibit"), is an American rapper, actor, and broadcaster. Xzibit began his musical ...more
15
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
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
16
Obie Trice is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Obie Trice III (born November 14, 1977) is an American rapper and songwriter. Trice formed his own record label, Black Market Entertainment, after leaving Shady Records. He does not use a stage ...more
17
Young Buck is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
David Darnell Brown (born March 15, 1981), best known by his stage name Young Buck, is an American rapper. As a music executive, he heads his own record label, Cashville Records, and is formerly ...more
18
Trick-Trick is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Christian Anthony Mathis (born June 28, 1973), better known by his stage name Trick-Trick, is an American rapper, as well as the lead member of rap group The Goon Sqwad.
19
Ol' Dirty Bastard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Russell Tyrone Jones (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004), better known by his stage name Ol' Dirty Bastard (often abbreviated as O.D.B.), was an American rapper and producer. He was one of ...more
20
Yelawolf is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Matt1345 added
Michael Wayne Atha (born December 30, 1979), better known by his stage name Yelawolf, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born and raised in Gadsden, Alabama, Atha embarked on his ...more
21
Bizarre is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Rufus Arthur Johnson (born July 5, 1976), better known by his stage name Bizarre, is an American rapper, best known for his work with the Detroit-based hip hop group D12.
22
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
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
23
Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Method Man & Redman, are an American hip hop duo, composed of East Coast rappers Method Man and Redman. They are signed to Def Jam Recordings as both solo artists and as a collective. While ...more
24
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
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
25
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Hardcore Rappers
Christopher Brian Bridges (born September 11, 1977), known professionally as Ludacris (), is an American rapper and actor. Ludacris is the founder of Disturbing tha Peace. Ludacris has won ...more