Creating a list of the top 10 rappers of all time is not a simple matter. After all, liking music is a subjective matter. What you enjoy may not be the same as what the next person likes. However, it might be possible to be objective in creating the list if you take into consideration their enormous cultural impact, the amount and quality of their creative work, and their ability to perform in public and sway crowds.
The Top Ten Rappers in the World
Here are the top 10 rappers of all time:
- Tupac Shakur
An American rapper, songwriter, and actor, Tupac Shakur was one of the most influential, enigmatic, and iconic rappers of the 1990s. His songs were mostly concerned with the social problems faced by the black community in the United States. These included the ill effects of ghetto life, the violent and drug-filled existence of the ghetto gangs, and the bleak issues of racism. Some of his memorable rap tracks were Ambition Az a Ridah, Dear Mama, Old School, Outlaw, and Heartz of Men.
- Dr. Dre
A well-known West Coast rap singer and music mogul, Dr. Dre began his career with N.W.A., the pioneering gangsta rap group that performed starkly explicit songs about the violent inner-city streets. He won a Grammy for his single Let Me Ride. His other popular songs include The Message, Keep Their Heads Ringin’, The Message, and Talking to My Diary.
- Jay Z
It would be impossible not to find Jay Z on any list of the top 10 rappers of all time. After tasting critical success with his 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt, he went on to release many other acclaimed albums like The Blueprint, The Black Album, American Gangster, and The Bes of Both Worlds.
- The Notorious B.I.G.
A rapper and songwriter from New York, the Notorious B.I.G. was known for his laid-back, deep-tone delivery style. His grim, intense lyrics expounded on criminality, debauchery, drug dealing, and materialistic lifestyles. Some of his well-known songs include Niggas Bleed, Ten Crack Commandments, Hypnotize, and I Got a Story to Tell.
A best-selling music artist and actor, Eminem is the recipient of 15 Grammy Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, and eight American Music Awards. He rose to prominence with his 1999 release The Slim Shady LP. His well-known albums are The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, Relapse, Recovery, Revival, Kamikaze, and Music to be Murdered.
A rapper from Canada, Drake began his entertainment career as an actor on the T.V. series Degrassi: The Next Generation and then concentrated on various independent music projects before releasing his 2010 studio album “Thank Me Later.” Following its success on the U.S. Billboard 200, he brought out other critical and commercial successes like Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, and Views.
- Kendrick Lamar
Ever since his mainstream debut with the studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, the Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar has had a successful rap career as a solo musician as well as with the hip hop group Black Hippy. His albums include Overly Dedicated, To Pimp a butterfly, and Damn.
- 50 Cent
50 Cent began his commercial rap career with G-Unit, a hip hop group from the East Coast. He produced his first successful studio album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ with the help of Dr. Dre and Eminem. In subsequent years, he followed it with The Massacre, Animal Ambition, and Street King Immortal.
- Kanye West
A prominent rapper and fashion designer, Kanye West has won 21 Grammy Awards and sold over 20 million albums and 140 million singles worldwide. He has taken an experimental approach to his music throughout his career and uses themes of education, faith, and religion. Some of his top albums include The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Rakim is known for his intricately-crafted lyrics and complex rap flows. He has three solo albums The Seventh Seal, The 18th Letter, and The Master. Additionally, he has also released four albums with his music partner Eric B, Don’t Sweat the Technique, Follow the Leader, Paid in Full, and Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em.