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The 20 Best Rappers of All-time

Check out our list of the 20 best rappers of all time.

The world has witnessed the rise of many iconic rappers, from The Notorious B.I.G to Tupac, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and more. The Hip Hop game has been around for many decades and has influenced change in significant ways. Iconic rappers like Tupac sprinkled their thoughts on the bars they rapped and made it poetic enough for fans to decipher and start a movement.

As Hip Hop has advanced, more rappers have emerged and debuted new sub-genres. However, some rappers have focused their energy on rap, dishing joints that aim at creating change while addressing societal issues and struggles of life. Most of the new rappers have amassed an incredible following globally and gained acclaim for the music they make.

Grammy favorites like Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, and more are not only chart-toppers but also some of the most influential artists in the music industry. Check out our list of the top 20 rappers of all time that you should be listening to.

1. The Notorious B.I.G

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Christopher George Latore Wallace, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G, is one of the most iconic rappers of all time. He was born in 1972 and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York and died in 1997. He gained fame following his debut album “Ready To Die” in 1994. He also led Junior M.A.F.I.A to international success. Following his death, his second album, “Life After Death,” became a major success.

2. Tupac

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Tupac Amaru Shakur, known mononymously as Tupac, is one of the most influential rappers of all time. Born in 1971, Tupac died in 1996. Through his music, he addressed contemporary societal issues in inner cities. He also actively resisted and spoke against inequality in America. He achieved critical and commercial success with his studio albums from 1991 to 1996.

3. Eminem

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is one of the world’s most acclaimed rappers. Eminem is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, and more. Born in 1972, he was labeled the “King of Hip Hop” by Rolling Stone magazine. Aside from his successful solo career, Eminem was a member of the Hip Hop group D12. He has released a long list of commercially successful singles and albums.

4. Jay-Z

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
Uja-Federation Of New York’S Music Visionary Of The Year Awards Luncheon

Shawn Corey Carter, popularly called Jay-Z, is one of Hip Hop’s most iconic rappers. Jay-Z has gained success as a rapper, music executive, songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur. He is one of Hip Hop’s only Billionaires. Starting in 1995, Jay-Z has sold over 125 million records worldwide and won 22 Grammy Awards. He is the most awarded Hip Hop artist in history.

5. Lil Wayne

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., a.k.a. Lil Wayne, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record executive, and more. He began his rap career in 1995 at the age of 12. After being discovered by Birdman, he joined Cash Money Records as the label’s youngest member. After gaining fame as a member of the duo The B.G’z and the group Hot Boys, Wayne kicked off his solo journey by releasing classic singles and albums.

5. Kendrick Lamar

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
Mr. Morale &Amp; The Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He has been called one of the most successful and skillful rappers. He is also one of the most influential rappers of all time. Lamar first gained recognition with the name, K-Dot. After signing with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), he began releasing music as Kendrick Lamar. He has won multiple Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize For Music.

6. J. Cole

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Jermaine Lamarr Cole is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Cole first gained recognition in early 2007 following the release of his debut mixtape “The Come Up.” He released two more solo mixtapes and signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint in 2009. Cole has released many chart-topping albums, including “4 Your Eyez Only”, “2014 Forest Hills Drive”, etc. He has also produced songs for top artists in the industry.

7. Dr. Dre

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Andre Romelle Young, best known as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He founded Aftermath Entertainment and was previously the co-owner of Death Row Records. He started his career as a member of the famous Wreckin’ Cru. He also gained significant recognition as part of the group N.W.A. Dre is one of the most successful, most influential, and richest Hip Hop stars of all time.

8. Kanye West

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
Mission Impossible Iii: New York City Premier

Kanye Omari West popularly called Kanye West or Ye. He is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. He is famous for his dramatic musical style changes. Kanye incorporates other genres, including pop, indie rock, Gospel, etc., into Hip Hop. He has sold over 140 million albums worldwide and is one of the most influential artists in the world.

9. Nas

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones popularly known as Nas is the son of Jazz musician Olu Dara. He is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He started his music career in 1991 and has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Nas has a Grammy Award winner. Nas gained acclaim following his debut album “Illmatic” in 1994. His “It Was Written” album topped the Billboard charts for four weeks and went platinum in two months.

10. Andre 3000

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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André Lauren Benjamin, a.k.a Andre 3000, was born on May 27, 1975. He is an American musician, entrepreneur, and actor. He is best known for being one-half of the duo OutKast alongside Big Boi. In 2013, Complex named André one of the 10 Best Rappers of the 2000s. Also, in 2015, he was included in Billboard’s list of the 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time.

11. 50 Cent

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Curtis James Jackson III, professionally called 50 Cent, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, television producer, and entrepreneur. First selling drugs from the age of 12, 50 began his music career in 2000. After recovering from a shooting, he released “Guess Who’s Back?” in 2002. He was then discovered by Eminem and signed to Shady Records. 50’s major-label album “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” was produced by Dr. Dre. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won several awards.

12. Snoop Dogg

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., professionally known as Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper, singer, producer, songwriter, record producer, media personality, entrepreneur, and actor. He began his music career in 1992 after being discovered by Dr. Dre. He contributed to Dre’s solo debut “Debut Cover” and also featured on his debut album “The Chronic.” Snoop has sold over 35 million albums worldwide and charted many hits.

13. Drake

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Aubrey Drake Graham, known mononymously as Drake, is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, and television producer. After starting as an actor, Drake began releasing mixtapes and gained recognition for his music. He was later signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment in June 2009. His EP “So Far Gone” became a success and spawned a few mild hits. He charted his debut album “Thank Me Later” at number one. Drake is one of the best-selling artists of all time and is the rapper with the most number-one singles.

14. Ice Cube

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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O’shea Jackson, professionally called Ice Cube, is an American rapper, producer, director, writer, and actor. He first gained recognition in the 80s as a member of the group C.I.A. The group was not so successful and disbanded after three years. He formed the group N.W.A with Dr. Dre and Eazy E. He also embarked on a successful solo career and released the albums “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” and “Death Certificate.”

15. Eazy-E

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
Al Pereira

Eric Lynn Wright, a.k.a, was born in 1964 and died in 1995. He was an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He was dubbed the “Godfather of Gangsta Rap.” Eazy-E gained prominence for his work with N.W.A, for which he was credited for his lyricism and visual content. He founded the label Ruthless Records in 1986. His album “Straight Outta Compton” tackled socio-political issues.

16. DMX

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Earl Simmons, professionally known as DMX, was born in December 1970 and died in April 2021. He was an American rapper and actor. He started his rap career in the 1990s. DMX’s debut album, “In Dark And Hell Is Hot,” was released in 1998. It was both a critical and commercial success, pushing 251,000 copies in its first week of release. His best-selling album “… And Then There Was X” was released in 1999.

17. Busta Rhymes

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Trevor George Smith Jr., a.k.a Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, singer, musician, record producer, executive, and actor. The moniker “Busta Rhymes” was given to him by Chuck D of Public Enemy after NFL and CFO wide receiver George “Buster” Rhymes. He has released many successful projects and singles and has been named one of the best lyricists of all time by several publications.

18. Travis Scott

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Jacques Berman Webster II, professionally called Travis Scott, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Scott first signed to Epic Records and then to Kanye’s GOOD Music production’s Very G.O.O.D Beats. He appeared in the label’s “Cruel Summer” album and then signed to T.I’s Grand Hustle imprint. His 2018 album, “Astroworld,” was a commercial success. He is currently one of the most influential Hip Hop artists around.

19. Tyler The Creator

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Tyler Gregory Okonma, professionally known as Tyler, The Creator, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, fashion designer, and graphic designer. He first gained prominence as the co-founder of the Hip Hop collective Odd Future. He has released several studio albums and a mixtape.

20. Logic

The 20 Best Rappers Of All-Time, Yours Truly, Articles, January 28, 2023
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Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, best known as Logic, is an American rapper born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He has amassed a large internet following. Logic is a member of the Rattpack, some friends that he works with. He has released several acclaimed mixtapes and albums, including “Under Pressure.”

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