Music

The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked 

Ranker Hip Hop
Originally by
Updated February 1, 2020 40.7k votes 3.3k voters 19k views 192 items

When it comes to the rap game, it's all about respect. In other words, a rapper's career will only go so far if they aren't respectable. Not only that, but they need to respected by their peers—not just the fans. Take some of the best rappers of all time, for instance. You got Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and so on. Some of rap's best artists have plenty of respect attached to their names, and that's why they remain as some of the industry's greatest years after the midst of their careers. 

So, of all the respectable rappers out there, which artists have the best reputations? And as fans, who makes the list of rappers you respect most? Kanye West? Kendrick Lamar? Of course, you have all your female rap artists, too—and they should be included on any such list. There's a great deal of hip-hop artists, but only some have the top street cred and it's up to you to decide who deserves the most respect—at least for this list of rappers with the best reputations. 

 Peep the extensive list below and vote up the rappers you think are most respectable. You can also vote down artists, as well as add the ones you think deserve some serious credit. 

list ordered by
1
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show
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

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2
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride
Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and ...more

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3
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal
Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, media personality, entrepreneur, and actor. His ...more

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4
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
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

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#219 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #306 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud

5
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is regarded as one of the most skillful and successful hip hop artists of his ...more

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6
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added
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

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#119 of 351 The Greatest Entertainers of All Timefeaturing The Best 50 Cent Songslisted on Famous Black Conservatives List

7
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
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

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8
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate
O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper, actor, producer, director and writer. Ice Cube initially gained recognition in 1984 as a member of ...more

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9
Nas is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
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

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#420 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #5 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timefeaturing The Best Nas Songs

10
DMX is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Jóhannes Snær Magnússon added
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

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#504 of 770 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures #17 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timefeaturing The Best DMX Songs

11
Royce da 5'9" is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Matt1345 added Royce da 5'9"
Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain
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

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12
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added
Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics
Nathaniel Dwayne Hale (August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011), known professionally as Nate Dogg, was an American singer, rapper, songwriter, and actor. Hale began his career as a member of the ...more

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#999 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #22 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timefeaturing The Best Nate Dogg Albums of All Time

13
Redman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
johnstonismyname added
Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000
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

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#38 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #71 of 144 The Best Hot Ones Guests Everfeaturing The Best Redman Albums of All Time

14
Proof is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Matt1345 added Proof
Searching for Jerry Garcia, Grown Man Shit, I Miss the Hip Hop Shop
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

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15
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added
508-507-2209, Along Came Joyner
Gary Maurice "Joyner" Lucas, Jr. (born August 17, 1988) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, poet, and actor from Worcester, Massachusetts. Lucas gained ...more

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#404 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #33 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

16
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power
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

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#848 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #35 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timefeaturing The Best Tech N9ne Albums of All Time

17
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added
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

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#18 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #122 of 411 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90sfeaturing The Best Songs Feat. Busta Rhymes

18
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added
Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E
Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as Eazy-E, was an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. Dubbed the "Godfather of Gangsta Rap", ...more

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#1,382 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #613 of 926 People We Wish Were Still Alive #14 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

19
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
princ3ss.13 added
2014 Forest Hills Drive, Born Sinner
Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born on a military base in Germany but raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Cole ...more

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20
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing
André Lauren Benjamin (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly Dre), is an American musician and actor best known for being part of hip hop duo ...more

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21
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion
Tracy Lauren Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an American musician, rapper, songwriter, actor, record producer, and author. He began his career as an ...more

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22
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
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

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23
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
johnstonismyname added
The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back
Brad Terrence Jordan (born November 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Scarface, is an American rapper and record producer, best known as a member of the Geto Boys, a hip hop group from ...more

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#55 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #30 of 139 The Dopest Rappers of the '90slisted on Houston Gangsta Rappers List

24
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
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

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#16 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #13 of 139 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s #16 of 81 Rappers with the Best Album Discography, Ranked

25
The Game is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added
The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece
Jayceon Terrell Taylor (born November 29, 1979), better known by his stage name The Game (or simply Game), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is best known as a ...more

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#834 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #9 of 187 The Best Rappers From Los Angelesfeaturing The Best The Game Albums, Ranked