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The Best West Coast Rappers

Updated December 1, 2020 146.9k votes 22.1k voters 527.7k 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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    Tupac Shakur

    All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World
    Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September...  more

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    N.W.A

    Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life
    N.W.A (an abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton,...  more

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    Snoop Dogg

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

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    1,527

    Ice Cube

    AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator
    O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper,...  more

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    Dr. Dre

    The Chronic, 2001
    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American...  more

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    Kendrick Lamar

    good kid, m.A.A.d city
    Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, songwriter, and record...  more

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    Nate Dogg

    Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House
    Nathaniel Dwayne Hale (August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011), known professionally as Nate Dogg,...  more

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    1,197

    Warren G

    Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel)
    Warren Griffin III (born November 10, 1970), known by his stage name Warren G, is an American...  more

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    The Game

    The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate
    Jayceon Terrell Taylor (born November 29, 1979), better known by his stage name The Game (or...  more

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    The Dogg Pound

    Dogg Food, Cali is Active

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

  • 12
    1,002
    423

    Outlawz

    Still I Rise, Outlaw 4 Life: 2005 A.P.
    The Outlawz (formerly known as The Outlaw Immortalz) was an American hip hop group founded by...  more

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  • 13
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    Ice-T

    Power, O.G. Original Gangster
    Tracy Lauren Marrow (born February 16, 1958), better known by his stage name Ice-T, is an...  more

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    MC Ren

    The Villain in Black, Shock of the Hour
    Lorenzo Jerald Patterson (born June 16, 1969), better known by his stage name MC Ren, is an...  more

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    Kurupt

    Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha, Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey
    Ricardo Emmanuel Brown (born November 23, 1972) is an American rapper and actor, better known...  more

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    B Real

    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 

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    1,740
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    Tyler, the Creator

    Goblin, Bastard
    Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an...  more

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    Scarface

    The Diary, The Fix
    Brad Terrence Jordan (born November 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Scarface, is an...  more

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    Donald Glover

    Because the Internet, Utterances of the Heart
    Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer,...  more

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    YG

    A King4President, Renegade
    Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson (born March 9, 1990), better known by his stage name YG, is an...  more

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    Westside Connection

    Bow Down, Terrorist Threats
    Westside Connection was an American West coast hip hop and gangsta rap supergroup formed by...  more

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    Earl Sweatshirt

    Earl, Doris
    Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (born February 24, 1994), known professionally as Earl Sweatshirt, is...  more

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    Vince Staples

    Stolen Youth, Winter in Prague

    West Coast hip hop 

    Vincent Jamal Staples (born July 2, 1993) is an American rapper from the Ramona Park area of...  more

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  • 24
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    Mac Dre

    The Genie of the Lamp, Don't Hate The Player
    Andre Louis Hicks (July 5, 1970 – November 1, 2004), better known by his stage name Mac Dre,...  more

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    Ab-Soul

    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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