Music
22.3k voters

The Best West Coast Rappers

Updated May 12, 2021 138.8k votes 22.3k voters 532.7k views115 items

The golden age of hip hop is often associated with the East Coast - however, that doesn't mean that West Coast rappers were slouches. In fact, West Coast rap took the world by storm when it first rose to commercial and critical prominence at the end of the 1980s. Fierce and funky, West Coast rap was defined by lyrics that drew attention to the realities of west side street violence and drugs that not only caught on in the underground, but also achieved widespread acclaim as well. Mostly through the prolific work of California rappers, West Coast rap inspired a new sound and a new generation of West Coast rappers who continue to abide by the ethos set forth by the genre's initial artists.

So, who are the best West Coast rappers? Any respectable West Coast rappers list has to include legends like Tupac Shakur, members of N.W.A., (Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre), Snoop Dogg, Mac Dre, Warren G, Nate Dogg, and more recently, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q. No matter how you cut it, West Coast rappers dramatically shaped how pop music sounds, even if that wasn't initial intention. West Coast rap is a powerful, important genre that remains widely respect in the pantheon of music history.

It's up to you to determine who this list will recognize as the best West Coast artists. If you notice anyone missing from this list and should be included, feel free to add them. If you know West Coast hip hop, feel free to chime in with your vote. This list answers the questions "who are the best West Coast hip hop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest West Coast rappers 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 west coast hip hop musicians that you might've heard of. 

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  • 1
    11,048
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    Began career in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, California

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  • 2
    5,836
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    Formed in Compton, California

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  • 3
    7,600
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    Born and raised in Long Beach, California

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  • 4
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    Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, California

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  • 5
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    Born and raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles, California

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  • 6
    6,263
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    Born and raised in Compton, California

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  • 7
    4,573
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    Born and raised in Compton, California

  • 8
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    Born and raised in Compton, California

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  • 9
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    Born and raised in Compton, California

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  • 10
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    Born and raised in Long Beach, California

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  • 11
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    Raised in South Los Angeles, California

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  • 12
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    Born and raised in Compton, California

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  • 13
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    Started career in Hawthorne and South Los Angeles, California

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  • 14

    Formed in Long Beach, California

  • 15

    Born and raised in Ladera Heights, California

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  • 16
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    Born in Los Angeles, California; raised in South Gate, California

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  • 17
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    Born and raised in Compton, California

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  • 18

    Born in Edwards, California

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  • 19

    Formed in Los Angeles, California

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  • 20

    Raised in Santa Monica, California

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  • 21

    Born in Compton, California; raised in North Long Beach, California

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  • 22
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    Born in Oakland, California; raised in Vallejo

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  • 23
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    Born in Los Angeles, California; raised in Carson, California

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  • 24
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    Born and raised in Watts, Los Angeles, California

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  • 25

    Born and raised in Oxnard, California

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