ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Top 10 Rappers of All Time

Updated on September 26, 2012

Who's the king of hip hop? A question that many have wanted answered for years. Some say it's Tupac, some say it's Biggie, some say it's Jay-Z, some say it's Nas. Some even say Rakim. Basically, it's all subjective. I'm all about objective, and that's what this article is about. Objectivity. No bias, no axe to grind, nothing. Just my hardcore, honest, objective opinion on the subject. My criteria is based off flow, subject matter, longevity, and impact. You may have seen many greatest rappers of all-time lists in magazines, websites, and on television but you will never see one as thorough and persuasive as this one.

Greatest of all time.
Greatest of all time.
Me Against The World
Me Against The World
All Eyez On Me
All Eyez On Me
7 Day Theory
7 Day Theory

The Top-10

1. Tupac Amaru Shakur aka 2pac or Makavelli

You probably see Tupac #1 on most lists, but what you don't see is a thorough explanation why. I deliberated ambitiously on whether or not to put Tupac #1, but I had no choice but to. What rapper has had more impact than Tupac? He's been gone for a decade and a half and his music is still timeless. Tupac didn't always have the best lyrics or wordplay, but his flow was provocative, captivating, original, persuasive, unique. When you heard Pac, you immediately knew who it is. Nobody else could sound like him. He had that voice that could blend in so well even in R&B songs. His subject matter will never be matched. Nobody will ever be able to replicate Brenda's Got a Baby. No matter how hard they try. Brenda's Got a Baby illustrated that while Tupac was a menacing gangsta rapper, he had a soft side and could tell a beautiful story about the type of things that goes on in a world that nobody cared about, the ghetto. He spoke for the voiceless in the ghetto. He always looked out for his people and wanted America to know what was really going on in the streets. Dear Mama even surpasses that. Tupac captivated the hearts of mothers all around with his ode to mama. Not many rappers have ever been able to touch the hearts of so many people like Pac has.

Pac obviously couldn't be #1 on this list if he didn't make popular songs and classic CDs. All Eyez on Me was a classic displaying Pac's raw lyricism mixed in with songs displaying the jubilation of his freedom from jail. It was his most commercially successful album to date. The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was arguably Tupac's greatest album. Only taking a mere seven days just to complete. The album was by far Tupac's darkest album, and showed a side of him nobody had ever heard before in his music. Taking raw shots at rival musicians, something that was not unordinary for him, but it was in the way he did it with raw lyricism, and bluntness with no remorse. The album was the first of many posthumous releases.

What really separates Pac from the rest of the pack is that he made hundreds of unreleased songs. He cared about his fans enough to record hundreds of unreleased songs in case something happened to him. His will and determination to succeed was unmatched by any rapper ever. Pac wasn't just a good rapper, he was a good person. An intelligent human being. Far more intelligent than anyone ever realized when he was alive. I still find myself today learning new things about Pac coded within his music. He also just happened to be a great actor as well. There weren't too many things Pac couldn't do, and he was truly a blessing for us hip hop heads. He shall forever be #1 of all-time in our hearts. Rest in peace.

Jay-Z's ability to adapt and stay relevant is what separates him from everybody else.
Jay-Z's ability to adapt and stay relevant is what separates him from everybody else.
Reasonable Doubt
Reasonable Doubt
The Blueprint
The Blueprint

2. Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay-Z

Much like Tupac, Jay-Z's impact on hip hop is immense. Jay-Z has everything you want in a rapper. You could never accuse him for lacking swag. That braggadocio, mafioso, smooth flow is why we all love him. If you are wondering why I have Jay-Z #2. It's simple, his resume. His resume is arguably greater than Pac's. His longevity will never be duplicated. His flow was always sick. His lyrics were always sick. He had classic albums. He's had his share of beefs. He's done it all. I think anything lower than #2 on a greatest rappers of all-time list is a disservice to Mr. Carter. Reasonable Doubt will be forever etched in our minds as one of the best albums of all-time. His terrific wordplay, smoothness, and lyrical intelligence was on full display. Even rivaling the late great, The Notorious B.I.G., in Brooklyn's Finest. In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 is his most underrated album, but where America took notice was in Vol 2... Hard Knock Life in which he won a Grammy for Best Rap Album. The Blueprint, while not as great as Reasonable Doubt, was classic in its own right. This is where the braggadocio really started to shine, and Renegade with Eminem is one of the best hip hop collaborations of all-time. Rivaling Brooklyn's Finest. And Jay-Z just wouldn't stop there.

His ability to last in a changing environment, and adapt in an era where hip hop has lost so much steam is what separates him from any other rapper. When hip hop was losing steam, he latches on to R. Kelly, and makes two great collaborative albums with him. Even going as far as making an album with Linkin Park. Jay-Z is a true entrepreneur and I can't recall another rapper who has been able to sell his product better than Jay-Z. Hova even owns a professional basketball team. There is no limit to Jay's impact on hip hop and the world. He is what most rappers aspire to be. To this day he is still able to stay relevant and make successful albums such as the collaborative album, Watch the Throne with Kanye West. No rapper alive has been able to stay as relevant, as consistent and as successful as long as Jay-Z has, and that is why he is #2 on this list.

Illmatic is universally seen as one of the best albums ever.
Illmatic is universally seen as one of the best albums ever.
Illmatic
Illmatic
Stillmatic
Stillmatic

3. Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones aka Nas

Arguably the greatest lyricist of all-time. Only few can rival his wordplay, vocabulary, and delivery. The mastermind behind arguably the best album of all-time, Illmatic. To this day, it is still recognized as one of the best albums of all-time. If you can find a site that doesn't list Illmatic at least in the top-5 in any greatest rap albums of all-time list, I'd be shocked. Illmatic broke down barriers and unearthed lyricism on a level in which nobody had ever heard before after its release. Truly a classic and never to be duplicated, but there's more. It Was Written was another lyrical masterpiece. More mainstream than its predecessor, and more "gangsta," Nas showed his versatility and willingness to appeal to a broader audience. The height of his career came during the feud with Jay-Z. Two of history's greatest rappers would duel in a feud for the ages. It was this feud that sparked the creation of Stillmatic. Where Nas proceeded to make one of the greatest "diss" records of all time, Ether. Ether took jab after jab at Jay-Z and insulted him in a way no rapper has ever done before. There are constant debates as to who won the long since squashed beef between the two giants, but Nas' Ether is universally seen as one of the best diss tracks of all-time. What gets lost in the hype surrounding Ether, was just how great the album was as a whole. It established to the world that Nas still had it after a plethora of inconsistency. One of the things that holds Nas back is his inconsistency from album to album, and why Jay gets the nod over him. But that still is not enough to keep him out of the top-3. Nas' overall impact on music is still great even despite the inconsistency, because when he hit, he hit it 450 feet out of the park.

Had all the talent to be the best, but it was taken away from him unjustly.
Had all the talent to be the best, but it was taken away from him unjustly.
Ready To Die
Ready To Die
Life After Death
Life After Death

4. Christopher George Latore Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G.

"Your reign on the top was short like leprechauns as I crush so-called willies, thugs, and rapper-dons." A remarkably clever line like this unintentionally foreshadows what Biggie Smalls' career would end up being, unfortunately. But even despite that, Biggie cracks #4 on my list anyway. His overall impact on the game will never be forgotten, and he will be forever missed. Why I have him lower than the others is not for a lack of talent that's for sure. Biggie is arguably the most talented rapper of all-time, and could have been the best no question had he made more material. His lack of material is what holds him from being the king like Pac. Biggie is one of the few rappers who could rival the lyrical ability of Nas, the smoothness to match Jay-Z, and the tenacity to hang with Tupac. Biggie had it all. His debut album, Ready to Die, would introduce to the world a different type of raw, stylistic flow that immediately jumped on the cutting edge of East Coast rap. He made being paunchy cool. He never cared about what anyone thought of his looks. And the ladies didn't care either. Nobody did. He loved it when they called him Big Poppa. But it wasn't all about the ladies, Biggie let you know what was going on in the world with Things Done Changed. Gimme The Loot displayed Biggie's ability to play two different roles and tell a story within the same song. Showing Biggie's versatility and intelligence as not only a "rapper" but also showed that he could be a literary writer if he chose to be. As alarming as Suicidal Thoughts was, it still resonated deeply within the hip hop world. Like Tupac, Biggie could paint a vivid picture and really give us a deep glance into the type of person he really was within his music, and he could also be funny.

His sophomore album, Life After Death, which would be actually released after his death(scary I know), he would take his lyricism to new levels. In this album, he took a much more mafioso and mainstream approach, and displayed the calm and smoothness of Jay-Z while also showing that he could be just as lyrical as Nas. His ability to tell stories unbelievably improved(not that he wasn't already great in the first place) even more. As if Biggie had not already proven enough that he was a versatile rapper, there came Notorious Thugs. A song into which Biggie adapted to the fast-paced style of his counterparts, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony; Biggie seemed to outshine them using their own style. Just further solidifying just how talented Biggie was. Much like his debut album, Life After Death would end with a somber feeling which also frighteningly foreshadows his death and given he actually died before the album was released.

Biggie's death left many people in a state of shock much like after the death of Tupac. What was so disappointing about Biggie's death is the fact that he never was able to realize his full potential. After giving us back-to-back classic albums, something that has been rarely done in hip hop, he was gone in a flash. Biggie displayed a unique ability not seen from any other rapper in history. He had a little Tupac in him, a little Nas in him, a little Jay-Z in him, and a little Ice Cube in him. It was as if all of the greatest rappers ever were combined into one portly body. He possessed the talent to be the best ever, and it's a shame he was taken away far too soon. Leaving us all feeling cheated. Without the death of Biggie who knows what could have happened. Would Jay-Z have ever become this popular if Biggie lived? Jay-Z seemed to be in Biggie's shadow when he was still alive.

So many rappers used Biggie-lines in their songs, including Jay-Z, who used many on his classic, The Blueprint. There is no doubt Jay-Z would be lower than Biggie on this list had Biggie never passed away. No rapper was able to outshine him in a song. He could seemingly take over every song as just a feature like in songs such as Flavor in Ya Ear, and Can't You See w/ Total. For as good as Jay-Z was on the classic Reasonable Doubt, he still managed to be upstaged by Biggie slightly in Brooklyn's Finest. His impact in the hip hop world with just a mere two albums just shows how good he really was. He is probably the most talented individual to ever grace the mic, but his lack of albums and unfortunate death make him lower on an all-time list than he should be. When we are talking about the greatest rappers of all-time, resume matters. If we were just talking about the most talented rappers ever, Biggie would be #1 on many lists. It's a shame.

Eminem took raw lyricism to new heights with advanced wordplay.
Eminem took raw lyricism to new heights with advanced wordplay.
Slim Shady LP
Slim Shady LP
Marshall Mathers LP
Marshall Mathers LP

5. Marshall Bruce Mathers III aka Eminem

This might come as a shock to some, but it's really not that debatable for me. Eminem is one of the few rappers that can match Nas from a lyrical and vocabulary standpoint. His complex wordplay, impeccable delivery, and raw lyricism are why Eminem cracks the top-5. In a genre dominated by African-Americans, Eminem was not afraid to break down that barrier, and he broke it down in a big way. After not getting the credit he deserved underground early in his career, all it took was Dr. Dre to put him on the map, and he hasn't looked back since. He took gruesome and unorthodox to new heights. It's easy to criticize something you don't quite understand. Nobody knows this more than Eminem. But that's part of what makes him brilliant. He's someone you'll never understand. He embellishes the hate, the criticism, the skepticism, and the shock value of his subject matter and became a household name.

He turned many heads when he dropped The Slim Shady LP. A controversial, lyrical phenomenon, and a classic. If you didn't know what his name was after that album, I don't know what to tell you. Guilty Conscience is one of the most brilliant songs ever written. Often criticized for its subject matter, it had a deeper message. Like many of Eminem's songs. Many critics often couldn't see past the excessive profanity and the misogyny of a minor. Beyond the profanity, was always a deep message. Many took too much offense to the things he said. It's entertainment, and that's what Em was aiming at. It's no different from a violent scary movie. Nobody seems to have a problem with violence on tv and in movies, but they seemed to have a problem with a rapper talking about it. In Guilty Conscience, Em and Dre are actually emulating the shoulder angel and shoulder devil. Dre is the voice of reason, and Em is like the devil. But Em doesn't want you to actually do those things. He's emulating what we all actually think sometimes. You mean to tell me you've never thought about doing something really bad? We all have. It all depends on what part of your conscience you listen to. Bad Meets Evil is a lyrical masterpiece featuring Royce da 5'9 highlighting metaphorical excellence with astounding wordplay. Overall, it was a brilliant, dark album and a great way to put himself on the map with Dr. Dre.

Following The Slim Shady LP, Em hit a homerun with The Marshall Mathers LP. Arguably his most successful album. Displaying once again his dark, raw, exceptional, and brilliant skills. What better way to start an album than to tell America that you couldn't care less what they think? There are many alarming songs on the album based on the content of them, but that is how Eminem felt. He chose to express himself in his own way, and that's what makes him one of the greatest. Let's be honest here, every mother in the world isn't good. There are some bad mothers in this world, and Eminem wanted us to know that. There are some bad wives in the world as well. I'm not condoning Eminem's way of addressing it, I'm just saying I don't have too much of a problem with it. He says things that sometimes a lot of people want to say. It's not as if Eminem actually did any physical harm to his wife or mother. They are just words and entertainment. And something that many people failed to mention is Eminem's unconditional love for his daughter, Hailie. The only thing people seemed to talk about was Em's hatred for his mother and wife, but nobody ever gave him credit for showing so much love to his daughter. Proving that Em isn't a heartless person. He also showed on this album that he can kick some knowledge in The Way I Am. He doesn't care what anyone thinks of him, and he's gonna be himself no matter. That is a lesson we could all learn.

Far too often, Eminem has been criticized for not having a classic album. If you don't think Em has a classic album to his resume, then you aren't being fair to him. The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP are classics. And much like Jay-Z, Eminem has been able to find a way to stay relevant, and be consistent from album to album. The Eminem Show is a very solid album with hits such as Superman, Without Me, and Cleaning Out My Closet. Not really a classic, but a great showing to say the least. Encore, while not great like The Eminem Show, was still a solid showing, and showed a lighter side to Eminem. After disappearing for five years, Em returned with Relapse. In this album, like Jay-Z, Eminem showed the ability to adapt to changing times in a dying hip hop era. Changing his style somewhat, Eminem still showed the lyrical ability that we hadn't seen since the Marshall Mathers LP. It wasn't a classic album, but it was a great album, and much better than it's given credit for. In Recovery, Em returned more back to his roots. A good album, not a classic or great one, but it shows once again Em's consistency. Staying consistent, making classics, adapting to his environment, and being one of the most original innovators of all-time, Em is definitely a top-5 rapper all-time. Regardless of what the critics say.

The pioneer of flow.
The pioneer of flow.
Paid In Full
Paid In Full
Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em
Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em

6. William Michael Griffin Jr. aka Rakim

Trust me, it was very hard finding a place for Rakim on this list. He's like the original gangsta of the list. All of the rappers before him and after him on this list wouldn't have done what they did without Rakim opening the door. So you can understand that it was very tough for me to put him too low on this list. He's a pioneer, a lyrical genius. Ushering in what would be the foundation for many rappers that would follow him. Simply, nobody rapped like Rakim when he hit the scene. He was original, cool, collected, intelligent, and not many rappers could rival him in his time, and he wanted them to know it. Breaking down lyrical barrier after lyrical barrier in the then Golden Age of Hip Hop.

There really aren't many negative things you can say about Rakim. Paid In Full is an absolute classic. It's hard to believe it was made in 1987, given how the lyrics were so advanced and well before their time. Just a timeless classic that weaved in a beautiful flow and new rhyme scheme never heard before. After following Paid In Full with a great sophomore album, Follow The Leader, he would spawn another classic in Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em. And I have to be honest, it was my favorite of the three. It saw Rakim break down even more barriers and got more serious. Not as much braggadocio as Paid In Full, and had a more earthly feel to it. It is one of my favorite albums of all-time and often one of the most overlooked albums ever.

If there is any criticism of Rakim, and why I have him lower than most would is because frankly, he didn't make enough music when he's had every opportunity to do so. At the end of the day, he really hasn't made a groundbreaking album since splitting with Eric B. When Hip Hop really became popular in the 90s, Rakim wasn't a big part of it as he saw his innovative style emulated and done better. He hasn't really done anything since his days with Eric B. and that's hurt his legacy. There is no question the immense impact Rakim has had on the hip hop world. I'm not trying to slight him in the least, because he is the pioneer of sick flow, and will always be universally seen as a top-5 or top-10 rapper of all-time.

Cube not only broke down barriers in music, but also in the film industry.
Cube not only broke down barriers in music, but also in the film industry.
Amerikkka's Most Wanted
Amerikkka's Most Wanted
Death Certificate
Death Certificate

7. O'Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube

You can't have a top-10 list without Ice Cube, and once again, it was tough to put him this low. He's arguably top-5, just as Rakim is. Ice Cube told it like it was. He never bit his tongue for anybody. He told you what was going on in the streets. He told you what he thought about the police. He told it all. After making the classic, Straight Outta Compton, with the iconic group, NWA, Cube really made a name for himself going solo. The jaw-dropping and riveting Ameri***a's Most Wanted. Ice Cube's hardcore voice and flow coupled with banging beats made this album a phenomenon. The album illustrates what made Cube so great. He wanted people to know the ills of the ghettos, and wanted America to listen to problems within our own country. If that wasn't enough, Death Certificate was just as good, if not better. Displaying once again his raw effectiveness as a rapper.

Cube's subject matter is what truly makes him one of the best rappers ever. Cube wasn't just a rapper, he was a father figure. For many kids in the ghetto who grew up without fathers, when they popped in a Cube CD, Cube became their father. Cube is one of the most influential and outspoken members of the hip hop community. He never backed down from what he believed in, and that's why he got the respect that he did. And it wasn't just his rapping that had an impact in hip hop, it was also his acting. Like Tupac, Cube is a brilliant actor. His breakthrough role of Doughboy in Boyz n the Hood is one of the most unforgettable and relatable characters of all-time. Cube was also the mastermind behind Friday, one of the most hilarious movies of all-time. Cube would go on to make many more movies and become an entrepreneur and inspiration for many young African-American males.

Cube's impact in hip hop wasn't just in music, but also in films. He is one of the most inspirational human beings to grace the planet, and one of the most insightful rappers to ever rock the mic.

The King of the South.
The King of the South.
The Diary
The Diary
The Fix
The Fix

8. Brad Terrence Jordan aka Scarface and Akshun

The "King of the South." A name proclaimed by many, but a name that should only belong to one individual. He started as a Geto Boy. His raunchy rhymes would quickly catch the attention of the hip hop world. Underrated by many. "Your favorite rapper's favorite rapper." The one and only, Scarface. The true "King of the South." Much like Ice Cube, you could feel Scarface's presence on the mic all around you when you heard him utter the first words of his opus. A Minute to Pray and a Second to Die is my favorite song of his, and one of the most underrated songs of all-time. You just have to wonder, if Scarface were more popular, this record probably would have gotten a lot more respect. It exemplified how Scarface could paint a picture so vividly with his powerful words. No, he didn't have the best flow or voice, but he told great stories, had great lyrics, and made you listen. That was evident in the classic, The Diary. Mind Playin' Tricks '94, nuff said. Another one of the most underrated songs of all-time. The Diary is a raw classic with hardly a skip on it. Despite how great this album was, it still didn't get much recognition outside of the hip hop world.

Smile ft. Tupac would be Scarface's biggest success on the charts on his album, The Untouchable. That shows just how little respect Scarface had received. It took four albums for one of his songs to finally be really noticed. Scarface wouldn't stop. Despite not getting the fame he deserved, he kept making good albums, and would spawn another classic called The Fix. Which would feature prominent rappers such as Jay-Z and Nas in songs in which Scarface more than held his own.

Overall, Scarface's impact wasn't as gargantuan as most others on this list, but there is no doubt he's had a great impact on. Especially in the south. You have to really question where south music would be without Scarface. You also have to really question why a rapper as great as Scarface couldn't get the love that he really deserved. He had everything you needed to be successful. He had the rhymes, the classic albums, and the subject matter. He didn't have the best flow, but it was still good. I for one will definitely give Face the respect he deserves. The respect as a top-10 rapper of all-time.

9. Lawrence Krisna Parker aka KRS-One

There's not enough words to describe KRS-One. He's a walking, breathing, personification of hip hop. I couldn't sit here and tell you everything he's meant to hip hop. It's better if you just listen to him:

Greatest underground rapper of all time.
Greatest underground rapper of all time.
Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous
Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

10. Lamont Coleman aka Big L

It was hard to come to this conclusion. So many great rappers could have been chosen for this spot, but I went with Big L. Why? It's simple. He's the greatest underground rapper of all-time. And nobody really comes close. You could also make a case he's the greatest "freestyler" of all-time. He's also one of the few rappers that I mentioned earlier when describing Eminem, as someone who could rival Nas' lyrical ability and vocab. I have to show some love to underground rappers. Without them, hip hop wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Many don't get the respect. Many have put in the work for years and never got noticed. Many to this day have yet to be noticed. It's a tough grind for underground guys. Big L was one of the few who got noticed and respected. No rapper has had the impact underground like Big L has. Big L has some of the sickest flows ever heard with jaw-dropping metaphors, punchlines, and wordplay. Many have considered Big L as one of the top-5 best pure rappers ever. There seemed to be no end to L's talent. He was born to rap, and unfortunately, he was taken away way too soon.

Many have often criticized Big L for the lack of a classic album. Many have him much lower than I do on their greatest rappers of all-time lists because of it. I happen to disagree. His one and only album that he released while he was alive, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, was a classic. No, the production wasn't classic, but it didn't really matter because Big L was that good. Frankly, mostly every punchline or metaphor from Big L was classic. He has so many memorable lines. He didn't need a classic album. Everything he said was classic. He doesn't have the resume of the other rappers on this list, but he's the personification of underground hip hop. That is why he is on this list. Underground rappers are the foundation of hip hop. The glue. The linchpin. They deserve respect. Every rapper on this list started off in the depths of the underground at some point. Nobody will forget Big L, and his legacy has grown even a decade after his death. He was really all-time great, and it is unfortunate that he never had the chance to become a household name.

DJ Kool Herc, the originator, the godfather of hip hop.
DJ Kool Herc, the originator, the godfather of hip hop.

Which one is just the better rapper

Take away legacy and impact, who is the better rapper between these two?

See results

Final Thoughts

This list will be subject to much criticism. Many Biggie fans might disagree and think he's too low. Many might think I have Rakim and Ice Cube too low. Some will question why I have Big L on this list. It was tough, and it took a lot of thinking, researching, and listening, but here you have it.

I love hip hop, and I enjoyed making this list. It has had one of the biggest impacts on my life, and I wouldn't be the man I am today without it. It traces back all the way to the 70s, when a man named Clive Campbell would become DJ Kool Herc, and spark this movement called hip hop. Hip hop isn't just about music, it's a way of life. It's a movement. What each of these rappers have provided for hip hop has been infinitesimal. They have helped make it a global phenomenon. They have helped us as human beings get through tough times and uplift us. They have been fathers to kids when they didn't have fathers growing up. When they didn't have anybody to tell or teach them right from wrong. They have had an enormous impact on the world. It's a beautiful thing when you can see Tupac and Biggie murals in other countries. While there has been so much good attributed to hip hop, there's also been bad.

Hip hop has often been criticized for misogyny, violence, profanity, and obscenity. And rightfully so. When many people think of hip hop, they think of those things. Hip hop is more than that. It's not always about that, and it's often misunderstood. Many often overlook and miss the messages within the music. Just because of what they say on a track doesn't mean they actually do or did those things. At the end of the day, it is entertainment. Sometimes it is taken too far, but not all rappers are that way. And even when rappers such as Tupac would say vulgar things, they also had messages, and tried to keep listeners from committing violent acts or treating others wrongfully.

Everyone wasn't brought up in a loving household with both parents like I have been so fortunate to be blessed with. Many rappers have had it tough, and all they wanted was their voices heard. It was not about promoting violence, misogyny, or using profanity profusely. It was about expressing themselves, teaching us how to live with the choices we make in life, telling a story, or telling us what was going on in their world around them. Of course, also to make money. Before you judge hip hop, at least give it a chance. Try to see past the profanity. Try to see past the misogyny. Try to see past the materialism and braggadocio. Most rappers have a message. Hip hop is more than what you think it is.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Oilersmyth profile image

      Oilersmyth 4 years ago from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

      Great list. Except I believe Jay-Z doesn't belong on this list. I hate his style of rapping. Eminem should be second. But that's just my opinion. Nice hub!

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Haha, thanks.

    • profile image

      MundaneMondays 4 years ago

      Scarface ? you better teach these kids my dude lol ...you got some good pics up here man ..i love your selection. yyoui're the first guy to not run up and say Lil Wayne. In my list i would have to take Pac and Add Common, and also put Jadakiss somewhere

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I seriously considered Common and Jadakiss. Especially Common. He is so sick. I was honestly deciding between him and Big L, but I went with Big L because I wanted to show love to the more underground rappers. But you can't go wrong with having Common in the top-10. Jadakiss neither.

    • Richard Perazzo profile image

      Richard Perazzo 4 years ago from Shirley, NY

      Great list but I agree with Oilersmyth, Eminem should be second.

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I'm 54 years old and pretty much was raised on The Beatles and straight on through to Hendrix, Zeppelin, The Who, The Allman Brothers et al but this is great hub with awesome insight on a genre that I am fully aware of but have never really embraced. I admire the poet side of hip-hop as you know it's not superficial like so much pop music can be. I've always enjoyed political messages in my music so it would stand to reason that I would listen more to hip-hop than I have. But I do admire Tupac and if you don't mind I've posted a link to a poem I wrote about him sometime back:

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Poem-Tupac-Said...

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Very nice. I liked that.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very impressive hub, list, rappers, tribute...etc...! I also think, no I know that Eminem should be in 2nd place. Could you see about changing the order? Haha! You did your research and this hub shows it. Well done!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I have to say this is one of the best and most comprehensive arguments for a top ten rappers list. While I personally don't listen to as much hip-hop as other genres, I do love how poetic and brilliant their work can be. My favorite would be Jay-Z, I think he has a way of really convincing me through his words of what he's been through and how he lives now, not to mention his one-liners. Honestly, I've never seen a list where Biggie's not number 2 but you argument makes sense. Some of these rappers (i.e. Biggie and Rakim) would have more impact had they had more material for a legacy to form. Brilliant hub!

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Eminem definitely has a chance to move up, because he's still putting out great material. And thanks.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thank you. I like Jay-Z too. I couldn't put him anywhere less than #2 on this list. His impact and longevity is only rivaled by Tupac. Biggie is my favorite rapper all time. He was taken away from us way too soon. And I feel cheated that I didn't get more for Rakim and Eric B. They put out classic.

    • profile image

      Caique 4 years ago

      All the crew of N.W.A is better than the 2 to 10(except Big Smalls,Ice Cube(of course,because he is from N.W.A!)

    • profile image

      hi 4 years ago

      By far the best top 10 list on the internet, Jay Z should swap with Eminem, in my opinion.

    • dreamworld87 profile image

      Roberta 4 years ago from hammond,indiana

      Y is Nas before B.I.G??? and weres Eazy E??

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I can't think of any reason why I should put Eazy E in the top 10.

    • dreamworld87 profile image

      Roberta 4 years ago from hammond,indiana

      Wow,that's your opinion....to each its own...

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Why do you think Eazy E is top 10? Just curious.

    • profile image

      Lybrah 4 years ago

      Well done article!

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thank you.

    • dreamworld87 profile image

      Roberta 4 years ago from hammond,indiana

      Because his style is still in rap today....Some rappers wouldn't have gottin big if it wasn't for Eazy E....just my opinion

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Well rap today is awful.

    • dreamworld87 profile image

      Roberta 4 years ago from hammond,indiana

      Sure is...they took the old rap and made it a whole lota nosie

    • profile image

      Lybrah 4 years ago

      Yeah, you definitely nailed it. Top ten best rappers they are!

    • profile image

      Joe 4 years ago

      No BDK or G rap? Im 100% sure they would rap circles around everyone on this list expect for RA n maybe KRS.

    • Dred Black profile image

      Dred Black 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      sites fight about this all the time but to be honest most in the list is correct but the order is really really really wrong. http://4umf.com

    • profile image

      nub 4 years ago

      u dare calling this a top ? half of them are shitty, u missed more important rappers, like Dr. Dre...

    • profile image

      Random Guy 4 years ago

      Eminem????5th????He should at least be in the second place!!!!

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      LMFAO, Dr. Dre doesn't even write his own lyrics.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      No way. They don't have the resumes to land on this list.

    • profile image

      Gom 4 years ago

      What? No Immortal Technique..

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I really do like IT, but can you honestly say he has the resume, impact, and longevity to belong on the list? I really do like him though.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 4 years ago

      Interesting list. You really know the rappers well. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Mike G 4 years ago

      Tupac for life and great excellent list. I do agree with most people that jay should be replaced with eminem

    • profile image

      jay z 4 years ago

      No. No. No and...no. Jayz belongs at two. NOT em. How can someone who vanished for 5 years match up to someone with 12 great albums. (if you don't count duo with R. Kelly.) I agree with you giancar. Don't get me wrong em is absolutely amazing. i have every single one of his albums and love them. But the fact is, Jay Z has 5 more.

    • profile image

      shakur 4 years ago

      2pac is god of rap

    • profile image

      jose 4 years ago

      Very good article. Only one thing. If you are taking into account the impact and longevity, why haven't you put Snoop?

      And his first album is a classic.

    • profile image

      ChrisPa 4 years ago

      Jay over Nas???

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Agreed

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thanks, but I don't think Snoop has put out a lot of great work. He's very underrated and in my top 20, but not my top 10.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Yes. Nas has put out too many sub-par albums. Illmatic is arguably the greatest album ever, but Nas hasn't put out as much successful work as Jay has.

    • profile image

      turtlee 4 years ago

      The topic is top 10 rappers of all time. At the age of 17 Nas released Illmatic which is undisputedly the greatest rap album of all time. Fast forward 10 years and the same man makes the biggest comeback in rap history with Stillmatic and in doing so, shitting all over Jay. These two events in rap alone put nas at the #1 spot of Greatest "rapper" of all time. Having jay over Nas is an Insult to any true fan of rap...

    • profile image

      Lukas 4 years ago

      Whoaa, how bout Guru and Big Pun? And maybe Raekwon or Ghostface

    • profile image

      matt 4 years ago

      No big pun? Or talib? Or mos def? I can't believe you left them out and put someone like ice cube at the top... This list needs a lot of work

    • profile image

      Rokas 4 years ago

      Interesting list. From a purely technical perspective, I'd take Nas over 2Pac any day, though. Since I'm not really big into Eminem, my list would probably go like this:

      1. Nas

      2. Andre 3000

      3. 2Pac

      4. Jay-Z

      5. Rakim

      6. KRS-One

      7. Mos Def

      8. Big L

      9. Notorious B.I.G.

      10. Ghostface Killah

      Then again, if we were discussing Hip-Hop, in terms of the quality of the music they put out, not solely rap, it would look something like this:

      1. Andre 3000

      2. Kanye West

      3. Dr. Dre

      4. Nas

      5. Eric B. & Rakim

      6. Mos Def

      7. Common

      8. RZA

      9. Kool G Rap

      10. Q-Tip

      Just my thoughts.

    • profile image

      yesac 4 years ago

      LLove pac at 1 jay sucks and shouldn't be on there but why no tech n9ne

    • profile image

      rex 4 years ago

      big L at 10 naa he should be at 5th

    • profile image

      nayeem ny 4 years ago

      Wtf.... Where is Lil Wayne??

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    • profile image

      Marshall 4 years ago

      1 Biggie

      2 Jay

      3 Tupac

      4 Eminem

      5 Lil Wayne - Everyone craps on him but he has some crazy rhymes that actually mean something and make sense.

      Maybe Nas instead of lil Wayne tho

    • profile image

      Littlewood 4 years ago

      biggie top for me tbh!

    • profile image

      Kartron 4 years ago

      Very good list. I wouldn't have put them in the same order, but you've definitely chosen the best. I wouldn't have put 2Pac on the #1 spot, but probably just because he died too soon.

      My order would probably see Nas and Eminem battling for #1, followed by Jay-Z, 2Pac and Biggie.

      But all of them are at such a high level, that it eventually comes down to personal taste imo.

    • profile image

      lelove 4 years ago

      Eminem should be the first NOT the 5th one cause he is the best rapper in the world!!!!!!! (my opinion)

    • profile image

      faz 4 years ago

      replace jay-z wid T.I he sould be number 2 T.I the next tupac

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      T.I.? LMFAOOOOOOO

    • profile image

      Creamteam 4 years ago

      What about Wu tang clan and and I know most would disagree but I think ice cube should be where eminem is and biggie smalls at # 2

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I didn't really want to include groups on this list. Only solo rappers.

    • Suprim Bing profile image

      The Observer 4 years ago

      Hi GiancarlLorenzo,

      Just one question...did you consider Canibus...why is he not on the list?

      He does have a classic album under his belt (Rip the Jagger)

      He made impact from the word go, burning every mc he was featured by including the likes of Nas

      Has rhymed and held his alongside the likes of lyric giants that include GZA, Killah Priest, Ras Kass, & Rakim to name a few

      Canibus is one mc that is also original, does not copy other rappers not does he say things that are simple or expected. lines like 'you know how i maintain threshold to pain?/ i run across the sun barefoot looking for shade' burnt & destroyed every other rapper's verse in Desperado, like you said about how hard it was to upstage BIG...Canibus is one mc that commands presence in tracks, has the ability to upstage rappers in their own songs, and tracks like Desperado, Beast from the East, Trying to make a name for ourselves are proof how skilled this man is

      He has also influenced many rappers including young mc's of today like J Cole. He has been co-signed by greats of this list including Jay Z and feared by Nas

      How is an mc of this such caliber not even mentioned here?

      If you were post a question in every underground hip hop boards/ forums that says, Ice Cube vs Canibus - judge by impact, lyrics, intelligence and uniqueness who would get more votes?

      Canibus has more material than Ice Cube, has had more impact than Cube, more intelligent, more complex than Ice and Cube is only richer than Biz that's all.

      The only thing i disagree with in your list is Ice Cube as i believe there is a lot of mc's who are more lyrical and had more impact than Ice Cube

      Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Pharoah Monch

      Punchlines - is Big L better than Chino XL?

      Story Telling - is Scarface better than Killah Priest?

      that's more than one question, but i am a hip hop fan as well so just reviewing your list and have concerns

      best regards

      The Observer

    • Suprim Bing profile image

      The Observer 4 years ago

      Hi GiancarlLorenzo,

      Just one question...did you consider Canibus...why is he not on the list?

      He does have a classic album under his belt (Rip the Jagger)

      He made impact from the word go, burning every mc he was featured by, including the likes of Nas

      Has rhymed and held his own along side the likes of lyrical giants that include GZA, Killah Priest, Ras Kass, & Rakim to name a few

      Canibus is one mc that is also original, does not copy other rappers nor does he say things that are expected. lines like 'you know how i maintain threshold to pain?/ i run across the sun barefoot looking for shade' burnt & destroyed every other rapper's verse in Desperado, like you said about how hard it was to upstage BIG...Canibus is one mc that commands presence in tracks, has the ability to upstage rappers in their own songs, and tracks like Desperado, Beast from the East, Trying to make a name for ourselves are proof how skilled this man is

      He has also influenced many rappers including young mc's of today like J Cole. He has been co-signed by greats of this list including Jay Z and feared by Nas

      How is an mc of this such caliber not even mentioned here?

      If you were post a question in every underground hip hop boards/ forums that says, Ice Cube vs Canibus? - judge by impact, lyrics, intelligence and uniqueness, who do you think would get more votes?

      Canibus has more material than Ice Cube, has had more impact than Cube, more intelligent, more complex than Ice and Cube is only richer than Biz that's all.

      The only thing i disagree with in your list is Ice Cube as i believe there is a lot of mc's who are more lyrical and had more impact than Ice Cube

      Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Pharoah Monch

      Punchlines - is Big L better than Chino XL?

      Story Telling - is Scarface better than Killah Priest?

      that's more than one question, but i am a hip hop fan as well so just reviewing your list and have concerns

      and if you wondering why he does what he does, listen to the HRSMN Promo feat Pharoah Monch, you will understand his passion for hip hop matches that of Tupac

      best regards

      The Observer

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Great post. I enjoyed reading it. Canibus is certainly one of my favorite rappers and one of the most underrated of all time. The problem with Canibus is he never blew up when he had every opportunity to do so. Mainstream was never really sold on him, and that plays a part. Legacy and impact matters in my rankings. Yes Canibus has had a great impact, but mostly in the underground world. I can understand your concerns about Cube. He wasn't the most lyrical, but his words were impactful and they resonated with a large audience. He told it like it was and he was popular at a time when there were many other great rappers as well. He wasn't a big fish in a small pond kind of like Lil Wayne is today.

    • profile image

      Majeed 4 years ago

      The best rapper here is 2pac for ever !

    • profile image

      kieran 4 years ago

      Eminem

      Jay

      NAS

      Pac

      The game

      Surely u have to have the game up there, hugely underrated

    • profile image

      HUNT21 4 years ago

      Where in the hell is 50

    • profile image

      E636L30 4 years ago

      I know Dre is famous for his bomb beats but his lyrics are top notch!

    • profile image

      Calvin 4 years ago

      The best ever 2 me is Pac but don't get it twisted because he was a poet who just happen to rap. When Pac said," Feel Me",you did! Dearly missed but never forgotten!

    • profile image

      Ryan 4 years ago

      Good selection, but I would have changed the order of the artists. Also I think Jadakiss instead of Big L - Jadakiss drops the hardest bars if any rapper on Earth - I would have put them in this order (not counting influence and legacy - on pure skill)

      1 Biggie

      2 Eminem

      3 Nas

      4 2pac

      5 Rakim

      6 Scarface

      7 KRS One

      8 Jay Z

      9 Ice Cube

      10 Jadakiss

      Difficult to choose though - so many rappers could be in number 10 - Andre 3k, Common, Chuck D, Big Pun, Ghostface Killah, Slick Rick, Snoop Doggy Dogg (The Chronic, Doggystyle), Raekwon, and Big L - the list goes on

    • profile image

      joachim 4 years ago

      I would just switch Nas and Jay-Z. I would also replace Big L with MC Ren, i think he is far underrated.

      I do have respect for the way you've put the list together, you've really done your homework.

    • profile image

      OSKARRAF 4 years ago

      1. 2PAC

      2. EMINEM

      3. MOS DEF

      4. SCARFACE

      5. DR.DRE

      6. EAZY-E

      7.PRODIGY

      8.JAY-Z

      9.NAS

      10.ICE CUBE

    • profile image

      IWin 4 years ago

      1. EMINEM

      2. NAS

      3. BIG L

      4. TUPAC

      5. RAKIM

      6.BIGGIE

      7. JAY-Z

      8. CANIBUS

      9. BIG PUN

      10.KRS-ONE

    • profile image

      Pride 4 years ago

      This Post is bull. The true rappers are the Asian ones that no one recognizes. Like GD, Tablo, Zeco, Zelo, TOP, and P.O. The rappers that have true things to say. And don't bost about wealth or girls

    • profile image

      Pride 4 years ago

      Of course, u only looked at the American shit. All these rappers are half of Asia's worst rapper. They don't even meet top 20.

      1) Zeco

      2)Tablo

      3)Zelo

      4)GD

      5)T.O.P

      6)P.O.

      7) Se7en

      8)TVXQ's two members

      9)Taiel

      10)kyung

    • profile image

      Pac 4 years ago

      Nice list, I would have placed Nas before Jay Z but still one of the best ones I've seen. I like the fact that you included Big L!(the only list I've seen him get included)

    • profile image

      rapfan 4 years ago

      I really like you list. One of the best ive seen but my opinion jay z shouldn't be #2 definitely top 10 but i feel like after he made black album (which is an amazing album) he lost his game. What im saying is his new stufg is pretty bad. Noy dredding on the past but from a lyrical standpoint if he would of stoped earlier and just stuck to making amazing beats and producing he could be this high because my personal top 5 are

      1. Biggie smalls

      2.2pac

      3.eminem

      4.nas

      5.jay-z

    • profile image

      gang 4 years ago

      1 makaveli

      2 ice cube

      3 nas

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thanks. I wanted to show the underground some love on the list. When I think underground Big L is the first person that comes to mind.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thanks. Nothing wrong with a differing opinion. I agree though, Jay Z should have stayed retired.

    • profile image

      King kizzle 4 years ago

      Big L should be number one. No one flows like him or rhymes like him. The only reason no one really knows about him is because he died way to early for him to blow up.

    • profile image

      nico laffey 4 years ago

      Check it out

      5 eazy-e

      4 jay-z

      3 nasty

      2 eminem

      1 tupac

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      That's not all that bad Nico, except the Eazy E part. I don't even think he wrote most of his music and he wasn't all that great lyrically to begin with. But that doesn't mean he didn't make good music. He just wasn't a great rapper. A better musician than a rapper.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Big L is better than most on the list lyrically. He was very talented. I have him at 10 mainly because of his lack of resume. Just based on pure lyricism, he's probably top 3 all time.

    • profile image

      Omari 4 years ago

      I'm from Brooklyn so you know it's JAY-Z ALL DAY!!!!. I have to ask though, where's Big Pun. Personally, I believe he'll rap spheres not circles around Big L.

    • profile image

      Unify 4 years ago

      I can't believe you [ Author] has eminem or whatever his name is

      listed before Eric B & Ra, KRS and the rest

      eminem is should be at the botton w/Lil Wendi aka Lil Wayne........ Ridiculus

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Big Pun one of my personal favorites, but like others who didn't crack the list like Andre 3000, not enough resume.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Eminem broke down many race barriers and he's one of the illest to ever touch the mic. I'm giving Em the respect he deserves. I respect Rakim to the fullest, but he basically hasn't had much impact without Eric B. KRS doesn't have enough great albums. Lil Wayne is awful. Please don't compare Eminem to him. That's ridiculous.

    • profile image

      Unify 4 years ago

      I respect you point but Eminem will never master the ART of Rhymning he doesn't have that the skills but that just my opinion

    • profile image

      Omari 4 years ago

      Pun has the same amount of material as Big L. Also, why not count Andre 3000? Outkast has about 5 albums I can think of off top. Andre has flow, lyrics, originality, influence, classic hip hop albums, and lastly record sales.

    • profile image

      aron 4 years ago

      So not one person mentions DMX? clearly the best rapper since tupac.

    • profile image

      Aaron 4 years ago

      Body of work? Andre and rakim have easily some of the most influential bodies of work. With rakim have you heard the seventh seal or eighteen scripts? Holy are you was sick, it was a modern denouncement of monotheism in favor of the five percenters, and one of the best argumentative tracks I've heard. Andre has been around forever, Aquemini, ATLiens? He also could conquer social issues through humor which was very rare, think Spottieottiedopalicious. Beyond that he is very mainstream. Overall, fairly good, it is just hard to rank them. I would say in no particular order: Nas, Talib Kweli, MF Doom, Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, and Black Thought (based solely off talent).

      Just curious, who would you say are the top five producers of all time? I'd go Q Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, J Dilla, Kanye, and DJ Premier.

    • profile image

      lesane parish crooks 4 years ago

      i am fan lesane parish crooks (( 2pac amaru shakur {MAKAVELI} ))

    • profile image

      Dmack 4 years ago

      1 tupac

      2 biggie

      3 nas

      4 em

      5 Ice cube

      6 jay z

      7 big L

      8 dre

      9 snoop

      10 the game

      Would love to see kendrick lamar there some day !

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Andre 3000 finished at #11. I would have put him top 10 but I wanted to show love to Big L and the underground scene. Big Pun was good, but he wasn't as lyrical as Big L.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      No thank you on DMX.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I'd go with Dr. Dre, Dilla, Primo, Timbaland, and Yeezy. Pete Rock as an honorable mention.

    • profile image

      Aaron 4 years ago

      no tip? He made sampling into an instrument. Premiers done it all too. Kinda weird to have dill without tip and Muhammad with the whole umman thing.

    • profile image

      Ryan 4 years ago

      Really no reference to ASAP rocky? Check him out his song 1 train is the best

    • profile image

      Mals 4 years ago

      Very good list, would love to no your thoughts on Kanye?

    • profile image

      $ento 4 years ago

      Top 10 Gangster Rappers of All time

      1 = Eminem

      2 = Tupac

      3 = Notorious B.I.G

      4 = Snoop Dogg

      5 = Bizzy Bone

      6 = Ludacris

      7 = Ice Cube

      8 = Jay-Z

      9 = Nas

      10 = The Game

      (Dr Dre is the best producer)

      Honourable Mentions = DMX, Big L, Big Pun, Xzibit, Ghostface, Kool G Rap, Redman, Method Man, Eazy-E, Andre 3000, T.I, Warren G, etc

    • profile image

      status 4 years ago

      This be the list:

      Pac

      Nas

      Jay

      BIG

      Em

      ...in no particular order

    • profile image

      matt 4 years ago

      dang eminem killed jay z on his own track -nas

      eminem should be higher than jay z just listen to renegade

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I honestly can't stand Yeezy, but he makes good music. Top 5 hip hop producer all time.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I respect tip, but not in my top 5 producers. The others had more impact.

    • profile image

      olm88 4 years ago

      what about tech n9ne ?! hes tge illest guy i ever heard ! and i heard em all !

    • profile image

      borson 4 years ago

      1.Pac

      2.Nas/Az

      3.Inspectah Deck

      4.Rakim

      5.Guru

      6.Big Pun

      7.Kool G Rap

      8.Big L

      9.Big Daddy Kane

      10.Vinnie Paz/Celph Titled/Organized Konfussion and many more..

    • profile image

      monu 4 years ago

      great list though you must replace hov with nas

    • profile image

      joe 4 years ago

      This list is blasphemous big pun should be here. I don't care about the amount of material he is one of the best of all time. And jay z sucks all he has is longevity

    • profile image

      Thaddeus Buttmunch 4 years ago

      Comptons' most wanted, Leaders of the New School not bad. Ice-T as well as Ice Cube, deserve their props here. Dr. Dre belongs in the top three fo sho. And Where is Grandmaster Flash, and Tribe Called Quest for Christ's sake?? TROY by CL Smooth may be a one hit wonder but it is a GREAT one!

    • profile image

      Jakdffy 4 years ago

      Man this is a great list love the insight in my personal opinion some of the ordering should be switched definitely eminem with jay eminem recived so much rasicm coming up in the rap game, to be able and break through that and become one of the greatest of all time based on skill, production, and his unique lyrics is amzing.. But the rest is good

      I understand there is some things said that dre hasn't written his own lyrics but he's got two of the greatest rap albums ever and despite his lack of material he's been able to stay relevant for 20+ years also you can't deny his influence in rap beat making and his eye for new talent

      (Ex: eminem, snoop dogg, Kendrick Lamar, as well co-finding 50 cent and game)

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 4 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thanks for your comments guys. I appreciate the feedback and I know a lot of people won't agree with my list, but it's just my personal opinion. And I'm definitely taking all you guys' comments into consideration.

    • profile image

      Joe d 3 years ago

      Jay z does not own his own basketball team

    • profile image

      kedarius thomas 3 years ago

      1.2pac

      2.eminem

      3.big

      4.naz

      5.rekiam

      6.lil wayne

      7.eazy E

      8.ice cube

      9.dr .dre

      10.snoop

    • profile image

      carlos 3 years ago

      can you make like a top fifty or maybe twenty five just a list would be nice

    • Man of Strength profile image

      Man of Strength 3 years ago from Orlando, Fl

      Great hub, my only issue was that LL Cool J was not on the list. If you take longevity into account, he's been around almost 30 years. He was the first solo star in rap music. I do think his lack of groundbreaking albums hurt him. As far as 2pac, I agree. Also NO ONE, ever looked liked 2pac. He was the first rapper to walk around shirtless and using his body as a canvas. Back then only bikers and the military had tattoos. He influenced almost every rapper after him.

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
      Author

      Ray Williams 3 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I can understand that. LL Cool J was sick though in his prime. I didn't put him on there because he wasn't the best lyricist and he put out weak material later in his career.

    • profile image

      AYS1 3 years ago

      EMINEM, PAC, JAY Z, YUCKMOUTH, KURUPT, TREACH, NAS, KOOL G RAP, RAKIM, K.R.S ( I think we gotta stop over doin the credit we give Biggie. He was tight , but let's be honest- he wasn't here long enough to cement his name as one of the "Greatest" ever. We tend to go off of what he may have been capable´╗┐ of. You don't see Bo Jackson in the Hall Of Fame. Potential and Talent are for Drafts- that doesn't automatically make you a Starter AND IT DEFINITELY DOESN'T MAKE YOU A CHAMPION). I J S

    • profile image

      Nick 3 years ago

      I respect your opinion and i agree with most of those, mainly the top five . I agree that Rakim could have defintnitely been in there but so could 3 Stacks (Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000). Plenty of others could have made the top ten (I don't agree with Big L even though I was a fan of his) Including DMX, Big Pun, even T.I. would go higher than Big L in my list. But to not have Andre in the top ten is an absolute disgrace to all hip hop fans. To the point where it disregarded your WHOLE list. C'mon man, if you're the hip hop spectator that you claim to be, how could you leave Dre out. I'm from the South so maybe I'm partially a bit bias but I know of PLENTY people that argue that Andre is perhaps the greatest of ALL time. (especially every time you hear a new verse when he virtually claims the other rappers song) Not saying that I agree (I think it's Pac) but I CAN see where they are coming from. You mentioned Nas' inconsistently (which I agree with or I think he'd be the greatest) but can you name one time 3 Stacks has EVER slipped up and gave you a sub-par verse??? I'd be very shocked. The man has not only been apart of at least 3 classic albums, although not solo, but he rips any and every track he touches. And he admits that he won't just jump on a track with anybody "because it's not about the money" to him. I can't name one feature he's been on where he didn't outshine everybody and anybody else on the track and they will later admit it (Example; T.I.'s song "Sorry", where he stated that Dre basically "disregarded him on his own track and that it was the first time he had ever experienced that". Dre even called him and apologized after hearing the interview LOL. Real thoughtful of him right?? If you could name one rapper living today that you would want on your track 3 stacks would definitely have to be in your top five...unless you just don't like good old fashioned "Southenrnplayalisticcadilacfunkymusik" . Andre is top 10, maybe even top 3 depending on who you ask. But to not put him in the top TEN smh. I can't believe I just spent 15 minutes reading this. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion but I personally believe that his absence promptly demands a thorough explanation.

    • profile image

      godwin 3 years ago

      Great list bruh i agree with u for the most part. My top 5 Pac, BIG, Hova, Nas, and Eminem/Big L

    • Marchello profile image

      Marko Vucinic 3 years ago from Cuprija, Sebia

      My opinion is that 2pac is biggest rapper of all time too.

      Very interesting info, thanks for great list.

    • profile image

      Mike 3 years ago

      Where's Andre 3000!!

      Second only to pac.

      And fuk nas he had illmatic and it was written but a lot of weak shit. Same jayz.

      I feel this list is more most influential than the greatest.

      If it's a greats list dmx deserves top 5 spot too. His first two albums are among the best of all time.

      And where's pun??

      Lol at ppl wanting immortal tech and cannibus.

    • profile image

      Stargrrl 2 years ago

      I definitely agree with your list! Thanks for not including Lil' Wayne.

    • profile image

      justalilmousey 12 months ago

      I do not agree with jay being above Biggie in any list and I think as far down the list as the sellout can be, Jayz deserves to be. a nd mike sorry andre300 should be in the top 10 but not five and sure as hell not 2 jay z should be shot sorry he's a whack mc and he doesn't deserve to be I just don't get how anyone can like the biggest sellout in history; and it was a proven fact. But, thats your opinion and everyone is entitled to it I respect the fact though that most people can still have a opinion pun really should be on that list I do agree with that. lil wayne really?! lol why did you demoralize Pac that bad by bringing wayne and him together him and pac don't even compare together in the same place!

    • profile image

      unkown 4 months ago

      Sorry!!! Where is DMX ?

    • profile image

      guest 3 months ago

      someone forgot about dre

    Click to Rate This Article