22.1k voters

The Best West Coast Rappers

Updated December 1, 2020 146.0k votes 22.1k voters 529.3k views131 items

Update: Dive into the best new hip hop with our list of 2020's top rap songs.

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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    Control System, Longterm Mentality
    Herbert Anthony Stevens IV, better known by his stage name Ab-Soul, is an American hip hop...  more

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    #78 of 78 Hip Hop Stars You Most Wish You Could Sound Like#3 of 10 Best Socially-Conscious West Coast Rappers Ever

  • 27

    R&B Music, Soul Music, Funk Music, West Coast hip hop

    Brandon Paak Anderson (born February 8, 1986), better known by his stage name Anderson Paak,...  more

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    The Best Anderson Paak Albums, Ranked#629 of 1,019 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

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    Jay Rock

    Follow Me Home, Black Friday
    Johnny Reed McKinzie Jr. (born March 31, 1985), better known by his stage name Jay Rock, is an...  more

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    #71 of 84 The Best Rappers Of 2018, Ranked#81 of 86 The Greatest Gangsta Rappers of All Time

  • 29

    The Coup

    Steal This Album, Kill My Landlord
    The Coup is an American hip hop band from Oakland, California. Their music is an amalgamation...  more
  • 30

    The Pharcyde

    Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, Labcabincalifornia
    The Pharcyde (pronounced "far side") is an American alternative hip hop group, formed in 1989,...  more

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    The Best The Pharcyde Songs#73 of 173 The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

  • 31

    Sweatshop Union

    Natural Progression, United We Fall
    Sweatshop Union is a Canadian hip hop collective formed in 2000 in Vancouver, when four...  more
  • 32

    Geto Boys

    We Can't Be Stopped, The Foundation

    Gangsta Rap, Southern hip hop, West Coast hip hop 

    Geto Boys is a rap group from Houston, Texas, currently consisting of Scarface, Willie D, and...  more

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    #2 of 24 Houston Gangsta Rappers List#2 of 71 The Best Houston Rappers

  • 33

    MC Eiht

    We Come Strapped, Veterans Day
    Aaron Tyler (born May 22, 1971), better known by his stage name MC Eiht, is an American rapper...  more

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    #90 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s#72 of 104 The Best '80s Rappers

  • 34

    Bohemia the Punjabi Rapper

    8 x 10 tasveer, Pesa Nasha Pyar
    Roger David (born 15 October 1979), better known by his stage name Bohemia (Punjabi: بوہیمیا,...  more
  • 35

    Moka Only

    The Station Agent, Crickets
    Daniel Denton (born November 14, 1973), better known by his stage name Moka Only is a Canadian...  more

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    #150 of 200 The Best Underground Rappers#13 of 94 The Best Canadian Rappers

  • 36


    The Unseen, The Further Adventures Instrumentals

    Soul Music, Jazz music, Electronic music, Funk music, Psychedellic hip hop, West Coast hip hop 

    Quasimoto is a side project of hip hop producer Madlib, from Oxnard, California. Quasimoto is...  more

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    #13 of 129 The Best Hip Hop Producers Right Now, Ranked#9 of 117 The Best Underground Hip Hop Groups

  • 37

    Schoolboy Q

    Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q
    Quincy Matthew Hanley (born October 26, 1986), better known by his stage name ScHoolboy Q, is...  more

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    The Best Songs Feat. Schoolboy Q#73 of 184 The Best Hot Ones Guests Ever

  • 38

    West Coast hip hop 

    Adam Aminé Daniel (born April 18, 1994) is an American rapper, singer and songwriter. He is...  more

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    #169 of 235 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time#62 of 142 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers

  • 39


    The White Album, Got Work
    Berner is a rapper....  more
  • 40

    Rappin' 4-Tay

    Don't Fight the Feelin', Off Parole
    Anthony Forté (born Anthony H. Forté, March 2, 1968), better known by his stage name Rappin'...  more
  • 41


    Elephant Eyelash, Alopecia
    Why? is an American alternative hip hop and indie rock band. The band was founded in 2004 by...  more
  • 42

    Crooked I

    Apex Predator, Psalm 82:6
    Dominick Wickliffe (born September 23, 1978), better known by his stage name Crooked I or KXNG...  more


    #99 of 156 The Greatest White Rappers of All Time#9 of 24 The Best Rappers From Long Beach

  • 43

    Gift of Gab

    4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, Supreme Lyricism


    Timothy Parker, better known by his stage name Gift of Gab, is an American rapper best known...  more
  • 44

    Snow Tha Product

    Unorthodox, On. Now
    Claudia Alexandra Feliciano, better known by her stage name Snow Tha Product, is an American...  more

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    #140 of 191 The Best New School Rappers#177 of 195 The Best Rap Lyricists of All Time

  • 45

    Jurassic 5

    Feedback, Quality Control
    Jurassic 5 is an American alternative hip hop group formed in 1991 by members of two previous...  more


    #65 of 66 The Strangest Opening Act Bookings Ever#62 of 123 The Best Hip Hop Groups of All Time

  • 46


    Magnificent City, All Balls Don't Bounce
    Edwin M. Hayes, Jr. (born September 30, 1970), better known by his stage name Aceyalone, is an...  more

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    #84 of 187 The Best Rappers From Los Angeles#210 of 218 The Best Musical Artists From California

  • 47
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    Mike Shinoda

    We Major, The Raid: Redemption: Original Motion Picture Score & Soundtrack
    Michael Kenji Shinoda (, born February 11, 1977) is an American musician, singer, songwriter,...  more

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    #86 of 114 The Best Asian Rappers of All Time#16 of 19 Famous People Of Japanese Descent

  • 49

    Hip Hop Music, Alternative Hip Hop, West Coast Hip Hop 

  • 50

    Dom Kennedy

    Get Home Safely, From the Westside With Love II

    West Coast hip hop

    Dominic Hunn, better known by his stage name Dom Kennedy, is an American rapper from Leimert...  more