The answer to the question, who is the best rapper of all time is endless. There have been many icons and legend who blessed us with iconic raps. There are different styles within rap and of course, every artist got their personal touch. Legends that we couldn’t mention in our lists such as Ice Cube, Andre 3000, Snoop Dogg, Ghostface Killah, Big Pun, Ludacris, and Scarface, all have greatly contributed to popularizing rap music. Down below we’ve mentioned 10 Of The Best Rappers Of All Time, in no particular order, who have graced the music industry with their presence.
Best Rappers Of All Time
1. Notorious B.I.G. :
Widely considered to be one of the greatest rappers of all time, Christopher George Latore Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. was born and raised in Brooklyn. At a time when West Coast hip hop dominated the mainstream, Biggie brought the limelight towards East Coast hip hop through his debut album Ready to Die. Sadly, Biggie was murdered in a drive-by shooting in L. A. in 1997. After two weeks of his death, his second album Life After Death (1997) rose to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts. It was certified, Diamond in 2000 when it was rare for a hip-hop album to be certified diamond.
2. Jay Z:
Shawn Corey Carter aka JAY-Z is regarded as one of the world’s most significant cultural icons who has been an icon for over two decades. Jay-Z first began his musical career in 1995 after founding the record label Roc-A-Fella Records. In 1996, he released his debut album Reasonable Doubt. Almost all of JAY-Z’s albums solo or collaborative have met with success, commercial and critical. He is also known for his successful business ventures such as his clothing retailer Rocawear, luxury sports bar chain 40/40 Club, the entertainment company Roc Nation, and the tech company Aspiro. With over 125 million records sold worldwide, he is one of the best-selling artists of all time.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones aka Nas was born in Brooklyn to jazz musician Olu Dara and Fannie Ann Jones. He began his musical career in 1991as a featured artist on “Live at the Barbeque”. He made his debut in 1994 with the album Illmatic which received both critical and commercial success. Nas gained his international fame through It Was Written which stayed on top of the Billboard 200 for four consecutive weeks and went Double Platinum in two months. He has published eight consecutive platinum albums.
Tupac Amaru Shakur aka Lesane Parish Crooks aka 2Pac is one of the greatest rappers of all time. He used to address social issues like inequality and plagued inner cities through his lyrics. He was already a central figure in West Coast hip hop when he released his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991. In 1996, he released his double-disc album All Eyez on Me which went on to became one of the best-selling albums in the U. S. Alike Notorious B.I.G., Shakur was also shot by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in L.A. in 1996. After her death, five more albums were released and all of them have been certified. Platinum.
William Michael Griffin Jr. aka Rakim is widely regarded as one of the most influential and most skilled MCs of all time. His album along with Eric B called Paid in Full was named the greatest hip hop album of all time in 2006 by MTV. Rakim launched his career as the emcee of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim. It is widely considered that Rakim’s rapping set a blueprint for future rappers and helped secure East Coast hip hop’s reputation. There is no doubt that Rakim is one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III aka Eminem is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time. Dubbed as the “King of Hip Hop” by Rolling Stone, Eminem made his debut with the album Infinite in 1996. He earned his commercial success in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP. Both of his next releases The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show were certified diamonds. He is the first hip hop artist to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song, won by the movie 8 Mile.
7. Lauryn Hill:
Lauryn Noelle Hill is regarded as one of the most versatile musicians in hip-hop. From being a member of Fugees to her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which broke several sales records, Lauryn Hill might haven’t had the longest career but definitely a memorable one. Between 1997 to 1999, Hill won many awards and applauds and made several records too. But soon after that, she dropped out of the public eye. There is no doubt that with that professor-level raps and velveteen vocals, Hill could’ve dominated the music industry for a decade at least.
8. Dr Dre:
Andre Romelle Young aka Dr Dre is often credited as a key figure in the crafting and popularization of West Coast G-funk. He is also known for founding Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics and he also previously co-owned Death Row Records. He is one of the richest figures in hip hop with an estimated net worth of $820 Million. His debut album The Chronic made him one among the best-selling American music artists of 1993. He has overseen the careers of many rappers, including 2Pac, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar.
9. Kendrick Lamar:
Regarded as one of the most skillful and successful hip hop artists of his generation, Kendrick Lamar began his music career as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot. His mixtapes earned a lot of attention including the attention of the indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). His major success came with his second studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City which released in 2012. Lamar’s album Damn is the first non-classical and non-jazz album to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
10. Lil Wayne:
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. aka Lil Wayne was discovered at the age of 12 by Birdman and joined Cash Money Records. In 1995, he was the youngest member of the label. Along with fellow rapper B.G, Wayne joined the southern hip hop group Hot Boys. Wayne released his solo debut in 1999 called Tha Block Is Hot which was certified platinum by RIAA. Wayne’s sixth album Tha Carter III is his most successful album till date. With 109 songs, Wayne is the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.