Music

The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked 

Ranker Hip Hop
Originally by
Updated April 3, 2020 43.3k votes 3.5k voters 21.1k views 189 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
Genre: Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show, Infinite, Recovery, + more

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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The Best Eminem Songs of All Time #604 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #19 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

2
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Rap music & Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride, California Love, The Chronicle: The Best of the Works..., + more

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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The Best Songs on Dr. Dre's The Chronic #422 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #5 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

3
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Political hip hop & Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Still I Rise, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z..., + more

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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4
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal, Snoop Dogg Presents Christmas in tha Dogg House, Welcome To The Dogg House, + more

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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The Best Snoop Dogg Songs of All Time #133 of 412 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Famelisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

5
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop & East Coast hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again, Duets: The Final Chapter, Greatest Hits, + more

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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A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud #387 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #2 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

6
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: good kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80, Overly Dedicated, Memories Back Then, + more

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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The Best Songs Ft. Kendrick Lamar #445 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #264 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

7
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop & Political hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate, Lethal Injection, Laugh Now, + more

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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The Best Ice Cube Movies #1,526 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #894 of 1,045 The Best Actors in Film History

8
Nas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop & East Coast hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Illmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album, It Was Written, Stillmatic, + more

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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The Best Nas Songs #511 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #10 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

9
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added Genre: Hip hop music and Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal, Power of the Dollar, Before I Self Destruct, + more

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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The Best 50 Cent Songs #1,089 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #12 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

10
J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
princ3ss.13 added Genre: Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: 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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The Best Rappers To Listen To If You Like J. Cole #7 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #82 of 118 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

11
DMX is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Jóhannes Snær Magnússon added Genre: Hip hop music, Horrorcore & Hardcore hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, ...And Then There Was X, Grand Champ, + more

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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The Best Songs Feat. DMX #756 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Timelisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

12
André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One, DoYaThing, The Sleazy Remix

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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The Best Songs Feat. Andre 3000 #613 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #14 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

13
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added Genre: Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop & Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E, Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin’ Compton, 5150: Home 4 tha Sick, + more

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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14
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Watch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life, + more

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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Every Athlete Signed To Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, Ranked #543 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #17 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

15
Rakim is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop & East Coast hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live, Lost & Found, The Master, Addictive, + more

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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#54 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #6 of 235 The Best New York Rappers #18 of 138 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

16
Royce da 5'9" is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Matt1345 added Royce da 5'9" Genre: Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop & Midwest hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Rock City, Street Hop, Death Is Certain, Lost and Found, The Bar Exam 3: The Most Interesting Man, + more

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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#997 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #34 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timelisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

17
Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Horrorcore & Hardcore hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Everready, Anghellic, Absolute Power, Klusterfuk, Vintage Tech, + more

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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The Best Tech N9ne Albums of All Time #1,067 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #37 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

18
Redman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
johnstonismyname added Genre: Hip hop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Muddy Waters, Whut? Thee Album, Doc's da Name 2000, Blackout!, Red Gone Wild: Thee Album, + more

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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The Best Redman Albums of All Time #1,050 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #71 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

19
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added Genre: Hip hop music, Ragga & Dancehall; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming, Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front, C'Mon (Catch 'em by Surprise), + more

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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The Best Songs Feat. Busta Rhymes #739 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #701 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

20
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added Genre: Hip hop music, Pop music & Neo soul; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House, G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1 & 2, Nate Dogg, + more

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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The Best Nate Dogg Albums of All Time #1,064 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #27 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

21
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion, Seventh Deadly Sin, Rhyme Pays, + more

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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The Best Ice T Songs #651 of 1,045 The Best Actors in Film History #53 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

22
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Genre: Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop & East Coast hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler, I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By, Tical 0: The Prequel, + more

Clifford M. Smith Jr. (born March 2, 1971), better known by his stage name Method Man, is an American rapper, record producer and actor. He is known as a member of the East Coast hip hop ...more

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The Best Songs Feat. Method Man #43 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #9 of 235 The Best New York Rappers

23
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
The Dankest Meme added

Albums: 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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#990 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #19 of 145 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers #32 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

24
Proof is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
Matt1345 added Proof Genre: Hip hop music and Midwest hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Searching for Jerry Garcia, Grown Man Shit, I Miss the Hip Hop Shop, Time A Tell

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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#1,018 of 2,045 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #91 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #328 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

25
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
johnstonismyname added Genre: Hip hop music, Horrorcore & Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Diary, The Fix, Mr. Scarface Is Back, The Untouchable, One Hunid, + more

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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#82 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #1,658 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Timelisted on Houston Gangsta Rappers List