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The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked

Updated September 29, 2020 55.7k votes 3.8k voters 22.4k views190 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. 

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  • 1
    Eminem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    2,139
    762

    Eminem

    The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP

    Genres (Music)Hip hop

    Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    1,894
    478

    Tupac Shakur

    All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap, West Coast hip hop

    Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    1,427
    591

    Dr. Dre

    The Chronic, 2001

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, West Coast hip hop

    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    1,246
    383

    The Notorious B.I.G.

    Ready to Die, Life After Death

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Mafioso rap

    Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    1,196
    590

    Snoop Dogg

    Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Pop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, Reggae

    Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    1,065
    399

    Ice Cube

    AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap

    O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    1,277
    691

    Kendrick Lamar

    good kid, m.A.A.d city

    Genres (Music)Hip hop

    Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, songwriter, and record... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Nas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    1,034
    397

    Nas

    Illmatic, Life Is Good

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, record... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    948
    580

    50 Cent

    Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

    Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    André 3000 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    600
    309

    André 3000

    Royal Flush, Class of 3000: Music Volume One

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music, Electronic music, Rhythm and blues

    André Lauren Benjamin (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly... more on Wikipedia

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    The Best Songs Feat. Andre 3000#3 of 189 The Best Rappers From Atlanta

  • 11
    Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    629
    323

    Eazy-E

    Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Gangsta rap, G-funk, West Coast hip hop

    Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as Eazy-E, was an... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Scarface is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    301
    119

    Scarface

    The Diary, The Fix

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Gangsta rap, Mafioso rap, Southern hip hop

    Brad Terrence Jordan (born November 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Scarface, is an... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    DMX is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    554
    382

    DMX

    It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop, Christian hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    Earl Simmons (born December 18, 1970), known professionally as DMX, is an American rapper and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    J. Cole is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    713
    395

    J. Cole

    2014 Forest Hills Drive, Born Sinner

    Genres (Music)Hip Hop

    Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    347
    150

    Ice-T

    Power, O.G. Original Gangster

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Rock music, Gangsta rap, Heavy metal

    Tracy Lauren Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Rakim is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    473
    282

    Rakim

    The 18th Letter, The Archive: Live

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    William Michael Griffin Jr. (born January 28, 1968), better known by his stage name Rakim, is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    625
    381

    Jay-Z

    Watch the Throne, The Black Album

    Genres (Music)Hip hop

    Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z),... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Method Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    392
    251

    Method Man

    Tical, 4:21... The Day After

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    Clifford M. Smith Jr. (born March 2, 1971), better known by his stage name Method Man, is an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    392
    265

    Busta Rhymes

    When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall, Hardcore hip hop, Pop music

    Trevor George Smith Jr. (born May 20, 1972), known professionally as Busta Rhymes, is an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    371
    274

    Nate Dogg

    Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul, Gangsta rap, G-funk

    Nathaniel Dwayne Hale (August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011), known professionally as Nate Dogg,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Royce da 5'9" is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    462
    396

    Royce da 5'9"

    Rock City, Street Hop

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Midwest hip hop, Detroit hip hop

    Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Tech N9ne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    421
    364

    Tech N9ne

    Everready, Anghellic

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop, Midwest hip hop, Gangsta rap

    Aaron Dontez Yates (born November 8, 1971), better known by his stage name Tech N9ne... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Proof is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    371
    328

    Proof

    Searching for Jerry Garcia, Grown Man Shit

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Midwest hip hop

    DeShaun Dupree Holton (October 2, 1973 – April 11, 2006), known professionally as Proof, was... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Prodigy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    165
    86

    Prodigy

    H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap

    Albert Johnson (November 2, 1974 – June 20, 2017), better known by his stage name Prodigy, was... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Ghostface Killah is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Respected Rappers, Ranked
    257
    210

    Ghostface Killah

    Ironman, Supreme Clientele

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, Contemporary R&B

    Dennis Coles (born May 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an... more on Wikipedia

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