22.0k voters

The Best West Coast Rappers

Updated December 1, 2020 147.8k votes 22.0k voters 524.6k 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. 

  • Tupac Shakur1

    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
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  • N.W.A2


    Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life

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

    N.W.A (an abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton,...  more
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  • Snoop Dogg3

    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
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  • Ice Cube4

    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
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  • Easy E5
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  • Dr. Dre6

    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
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  • Kendrick Lamar7

    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
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  • Nate Dogg8

    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
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  • Warren G9

    Warren G

    Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel)

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk, Contemporary R&B, West Coast hip hop

    Warren Griffin III (born November 10, 1970), known by his stage name Warren G, is an American...  more
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  • The Game10

    The Game

    The Documentary, Doctor's Advocate

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

    Jayceon Terrell Taylor (born November 29, 1979), better known by his stage name The Game (or...  more
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  • Outlawz11


    Still I Rise, Outlaw 4 Life: 2005 A.P.

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap, G-funk

    The Outlawz (formerly known as The Outlaw Immortalz) was an American hip hop group founded by...  more
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  • The Dogg Pound12

    The Dogg Pound

    Dogg Food, Cali is Active

    Genres (Music)Hip Hop Music, Gangsta Rap, West Coast Hip Hop

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

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  • B Real13

    B Real

    Cypress Hill Albums, Smoke N Mirrors

    Genres (Music)Hip Hop Music, Chicano Rap,Gangsta Rap, Alternative Hip Hop, West Coast Hip Hop

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

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  • Ice-T14


    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
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  • MC Ren15

    MC Ren

    The Villain in Black, Shock of the Hour

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

    Lorenzo Jerald Patterson (born June 16, 1969), better known by his stage name MC Ren, is an...  more
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  • Kurupt16


    Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha, Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey

    Genres (Music)Hip hop, G-Funk, gangsta rap

    Ricardo Emmanuel Brown (born November 23, 1972) is an American rapper and actor, better known...  more
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  • Tyler, the Creator17

    Tyler, the Creator

    Goblin, Bastard

    Genres (Music)Alternative hip hop

    Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an...  more
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  • Scarface18


    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
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  • Vince Staples19

    Vince Staples

    Stolen Youth, Winter in Prague

    Genres (Music)Hip Hop Music, Gangsta Rap

    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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  • YG20


    A King4President, Renegade

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Rhythm and blues, West Coast hip hop

    Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson (born March 9, 1990), better known by his stage name YG, is an...  more
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  • Westside Connection21

    Westside Connection

    Bow Down, Terrorist Threats

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

    Westside Connection was an American West coast hip hop and gangsta rap supergroup formed by...  more
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  • Donald Glover22

    Donald Glover

    Because the Internet, Utterances of the Heart

    Genres (Music)Hip Hop Music, Alternative hip hop, Pop Rap

    Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer,...  more
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  • Earl Sweatshirt23

    Earl Sweatshirt

    Earl, Doris

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Horrorcore, Underground hip hop

    Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (born February 24, 1994), known professionally as Earl Sweatshirt, is...  more
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  • Mac Dre24

    Mac Dre

    The Genie of the Lamp, Don't Hate The Player

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

    Andre Louis Hicks (July 5, 1970 – November 1, 2004), better known by his stage name Mac Dre,...  more
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  • Ab-Soul25


    Control System, Longterm Mentality

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music

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