20 Best Rappers of All Time by Rowan Wisce

Published: June 11, 2014

Rap is a phenomenon that started in the streets of New York.  The Black Youth had "rap battles" where they tried to see who was the best poet and lyricist.  Music labels were quick to pick up on this art form and one of the first music labels selling rap, Def Jam, was formed.  This list is Rowan Wisce's personal picks for the 20 Best Rappers of All time.  To visit Rowan's company site go to www.xstablishment.com

  1. Tupac Shakur

    The son of a Black Pather, Afeni Shakur, Tupac was an actor and rapper.  He starred in the movies Juice and Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson.  He had a string of hits including "Dear Mama" ,"Keep Your Head Up", and "To Live and Die in LA"

  2. The Notorious BIG

    Discovered by Sean "Diddy" Combs, Biggie Smalls was a Brooklyn Rapper with the hits "Ready to Die", "Juicy", "Hypnotize", and "One Mor Chance"

  3. Jay Z

    Brooklyn born Rapper Jay Z is part owner of a basketball team and is married to the top singer, Beyonce.  One of his biggest CD's was his Black Album which was to be his last before he retired.

  4. Eminem

    A rapper from Detroit, Eminem was discovered by Dr. Dre and he was propelled into superstardom with the Marshal Mathers LP.  He is known for his controverial lyrics and feuds with his mother and ex wife Kim.

  5. Sean "Diddy" Combs

    Founder of Bad Boy, Sean Combs launched the careers of Mary J. Blidge, Notorius Big, Mase, and Keith Murray.  His hit song "Coming Out" sampled the popular Diana Ross song.

  6. Dr. Dre

    Dr. Dre was a member of N.W.A. which was one of the first Gangsta Rap groups.  He reached superstardom with his album The Chronic.

  7. Kayne West

    Kanye West's career was almost derailed by a seroius car accodent where his jaw was broken.  His hit song "Thru the Wire" which sampled Chaka Khan's "Thru The Fire" made him a star.

  8. T.I.

    Atlanta Born rapper who was signed initially to Laface had his career launched with the hit "Rubberband Man".  He has gone on to do multiple hits like "Live in the Sky" and he currently has a reality show with his wife Tiny.

  9. Nas

    Nas is the biggest Rival of the rapper Jay Z.  He had hits like "If I ruled the world" featuring Lauryn Hill and his first record was The Illimatic which was released to critical acclaim.  He married and divorced the singer Kelis.

  10. LL Cool J

    Ladies Love Cool James also known as James Todd Smith had an important role in the classic Rap movie Krush Groove.  He spawned several hits like "Phenomenon", "Mama Said Knock You Out", and "Going Back To Cali"

  11. Drake

    Drake did it with a mixtape called So Far Gone.  He was a star in the television series Degrassi High:The Next Class and was discovered by Lil Wayne and signed to Cash Money Records

  12. Nicky Minaj

    Another Cash Money artist discovered by Lil Wayne had multiple hits on her first album Pink Friday which included "See Right Thru Me"

  13. Kurtis Blow

    Kurtis Blow is an Old School rapper and one of the first to have a major hit.  A couple of his hits include "The Breaks" amd "The Bronx".

  14. Slick Rick

    Slick Rick was born in the UK and immigrated to the USA.  Rick was a top rapper known for the patch on his eye and his story telling rhymes.  His career was siderailed after a serious arrest.

  15. Lupe Fiasco

    Lupe Fiasco is an alternative rapper that adds a different vibe to Rap. Born Wasalu Muhammed Jaco he was born in Chicago Illinois of West African heritage.  Hits include "Kick Push", "The Show Goes On", and "Around My Way".

  16. Lil Kim

    Discovered by The Notorius BIG, Lil Kim became a rapper on Bad Boy and is known for her Sexy, Explicit lyrics.  She has hits like "Download", "Lighters Up", and "How Many Licks"

  17. Salt and Pepa

    Salt and Pepa is the biggest female rap group of all time. Salt is Cheryl James, Pepa Sandra Denton, and Spinderella Deidra Roper.  They had hits like "Lets Talk About Sex" and "Whatta Man"

  18. Rick Ross

    Maybach Music Exec and rapper Rick Ross is a former prison guard turned rapper who has hits like "The Devil Is a Lie" and "Thugs Cry".

  19. Trina

    Trina is a rapper discovered by Luke of "Daisy Dukes" fame.  Trina had hits like "Baddest B##ch" and "Here We Go"

  20. Young Jeezy

    Young Jeezy is an Atlanta rapper who had the hit single "Soul Survivor"

In Summary My Number One Top Rapper of all Time is Tupac Shakur based on the impact he made in the Rap Genre