Music

The Best West Coast Rappers 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated May 1, 2020 155.9k votes 21.2k voters 509.9k views 135 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. 

list ordered by
1
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
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

More Tupac Shakur 

Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Tupac Shakur #163 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearslisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

2
N.W.A is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers

Albums: Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life, Greatest Hits, Family Tree, 100 Miles and Runnin', + more

N.W.A (an abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton, California. They were among the earliest and most significant popularizers and controversial figures ...more

More N.W.A 

#702 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #232 of 265 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees #5 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

3
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
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

More Snoop Dogg 

The Best Snoop Dogg Songs of All Time #133 of 372 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Famelisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

4
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
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

More Ice Cube 

The Best Ice Cube Movies #885 of 1,030 The Best Actors in Film History #6 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

5
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
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

More Dr. Dre 

The Best Songs on Dr. Dre's The Chronic #425 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #5 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

6
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
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

More Kendrick Lamar 

The Best Songs Ft. Kendrick Lamar #172 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #39 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

7
Easy E is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Felix Kwabena Jones added
8
Nate Dogg is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
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

More Nate Dogg 

The Best Nate Dogg Albums of All Time #1,072 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #27 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

9
The Game is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate, Jesus Piece, Ghost Unit, G.A.M.E., + more

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

More The Game 

The Best Songs Feat. The Game #1,120 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #29 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

10
Warren G is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & G-funk; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel), I Want It All, In the Mid-Nite Hour, The Return of the Regulator, + more

Warren Griffin III (born November 10, 1970), known by his stage name Warren G, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and DJ, known as one of the pioneers of West Coast hip hop. ...more

More Warren G 

The Best Warren G Songs #1,331 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #54 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

11
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
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

More Ice-T 

The Best Ice T Songs #655 of 1,030 The Best Actors in Film History #53 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

12
Kurupt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Hip hop, G-Funk & gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha, Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey, Against the Grain, Ganxtaville, Part III (feat. Kurupt, + more

Ricardo Emmanuel Brown (born November 23, 1972) is an American rapper and actor, better known by his stage name Kurupt. His career began in the early 1990s when he was signed to Death Row ...more

More Kurupt 

#100 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #58 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s #18 of 188 The Best Rappers From Los Angeles

13
MC Ren is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop & Gangsta rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Villain in Black, Shock of the Hour, Ruthless for Life, Renincarnated, Kizz My Black Azz, + more

Lorenzo Jerald Patterson (born June 16, 1969), better known by his stage name MC Ren, is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer from Compton, California. He is the founder and owner ...more

More MC Ren 

#78 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #48 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s #88 of 192 The Best Underground Rappers

14
Tyler, the Creator is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Frederic Jonsson added Genre: Alternative hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Goblin, Bastard, Wolf, Yonkers, She, + more

Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, fashion designer and ...more

More Tyler, the Creator 

The Best Tyler the Creator Songs, Ranked #1,579 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #10 of 145 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers

15
The Dogg Pound is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Jay Clayton added

Albums: Dogg Food, Cali is Active, Dogg Chit, 100 Ways

MC's Kurupt, & Daz Dillinger, DJ Warren G & Executive Producer Snoop Dogg

16
Westside Connection is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers

Albums: Bow Down, Terrorist Threats, The Best Of: The Gangsta, the Killa and the Dope Dealer, Bow Down

Westside Connection was an American West coast hip hop and gangsta rap supergroup formed by Ice Cube, WC and Mack 10. The group's debut album, Bow Down, reached the number 2 position on the ...more

More Westside Connection 

The Best Westside Connection Songs #83 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s #29 of 123 The Best Hip Hop Groups of All Time

17
Outlawz is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
ripthecanibus added

Albums: Still I Rise, Outlaw 4 Life: 2005 A.P., Against All Oddz, Ride Wit Us or Collide Wit Us, Blood Brothers, + more

The Outlawz (formerly known as The Outlaw Immortalz) was an American hip hop group founded by rapper Tupac Shakur in late 1995 after Shakur's release from prison. Collectively, they were best ...more

More Outlawz 

#94 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s #32 of 188 The Best Rappers From Los Angeles #74 of 123 The Best Hip Hop Groups of All Time

18
YG is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
devon-karoff added Genre: Hip hop music, Rhythm and blues & West Coast hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: A King4President, Renegade, My Krazy Life, Rise & Shine 2: Death of Y.G., Rise & Shine: It's My Turn, + more

Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson (born March 9, 1990), better known by his stage name YG, is an American rapper and actor from Compton, California. In 2009, he released his debut single, "Toot It ...more

More YG 

The Best YG Albums, Ranked #22 of 145 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers #66 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

19
B Real is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Jay Clayton added

Albums: Cypress Hill Albums, Smoke N Mirrors

Funk Rap, Hardcore Hip Hop, Horrorcore, Latin Hip Hop, Alternative Hip Hop, Rap Metal, Rock Rap, West Coast Hip Hop 

20
Mac Dre is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & G-funk; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Genie of the Lamp, Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game, Pill Clinton, It's Not What You Say... It's How You Say It, + more

Andre Louis Hicks (July 5, 1970 – November 1, 2004), better known by his stage name Mac Dre, was an American rapper, hip hop pioneer, and record producer based in Vallejo, California. He was ...more

More Mac Dre 

The Best Mac Dre Albums of All Time #202 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #77 of 192 The Best Underground Rappers

21
Vince Staples is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Jay Clayton added

Albums: Stolen Youth, Winter in Prague, Summer 06

West Coast hip hop 

Vincent Jamal Staples (born July 2, 1993) is an American rapper from the Ramona Park area of North Long Beach, California. He is a member of the hip hop trio Cutthroat Boyz alongside fellow ...more

More Vince Staples 

#20 of 145 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers #90 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #26 of 187 The Best New School Rappers

22
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Alternative hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Because the Internet, Utterances of the Heart, Love Letter in an Unbreakable Bottle, Culdesac, Sick Boi, + more

Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, musician, and DJ. He performs music under the stage name Childish Gambino and as ...more

More Donald Glover 

The Best Childish Gambino Songs, Ranked #263 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #40 of 90 Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now?

23
Earl Sweatshirt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
jhorspool added Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop & Horrorcore; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Earl, Doris, Chum, Whoa, Hive, + more

Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (born February 24, 1994), known professionally as Earl Sweatshirt, is an American rapper, record producer and songwriter from Los Angeles, California. Kgositsile was ...more

More Earl Sweatshirt 

The Best Earl Sweatshirt Albums, Ranked #29 of 145 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers #27 of 187 The Best New School Rappers

24
Schoolboy Q is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & West Coast hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Setbacks, ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron, Druggys WitH Hoes Again, Habits & Contradictions, + more

Quincy Matthew Hanley (born October 26, 1986), better known by his stage name ScHoolboy Q, is an American rapper and songwriter based in South Central Los Angeles, California. In 2009, Hanley ...more

More Schoolboy Q 

The Best Songs Feat. Schoolboy Q #41 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #16 of 187 The Best New School Rappers

25
MC Eiht is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best West Coast Rappers
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & G-funk; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: We Come Strapped, Veterans Day, Compton's OG, The Pioneers, The New Season, + more

Aaron Tyler (born May 22, 1971), better known by his stage name MC Eiht, is an American rapper and actor. Many of his songs are based on his life in Compton. His stage name was partly inspired ...more

More MC Eiht 

#95 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s #69 of 106 The Best '80s Rappers #29 of 188 The Best Rappers From Los Angeles