Best Rappers of All Time

by ketedy | created - 30 Dec 2013 | updated - 05 Jan 2014 | Public

1. Eminem

Soundtrack | 8 Mile

Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Deborah R. (Nelson) and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr., who were in a band together, Daddy Warbucks. He is of English, as well as some German, Scottish, and Swiss-German, ancestry. Marshall spent his early childhood being shoved ...

2. Tupac Shakur

Soundtrack | Poetic Justice

Born in New York City, Tupac grew up primarily in Harlem. In 1984, his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he became good friends with Jada Pinkett Smith. His family moved again in 1988 to Oakland, California. His first breakthrough in music came in 1991 as a member of the group Digital ...

3. The Notorious B.I.G.

Soundtrack | Superbad

Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, was born in Brooklyn, New York, May 21, 1972. He was the son of Jamaican parents, Voletta Wallace, a pre-school teacher, and George Latore, a welder and small-time politician. He was raised in the poor Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant as the son...

4. Nas

Soundtrack | Belly

Nas, born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones on September 14, 1973, is the son of Olu Dara, an unconventional jazz musician. At age nine he was a member of the Devastatin' Seven in the mid-1980s, the fruits of which can be heard on his 1994 debut, "Illmatic," which was released on Columbia/SME later that ...

5. Jay Z

Soundtrack | The Great Gatsby

Shawn Corey Carter was born 4 December 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Raised in Brooklyn, Carter was a school friend of The Notorious B.I.G.. He first started releasing records in the late 1980s. In 1990, he appeared on records by his close friend, Jaz ("The Originators") and Original Flavor ("...

6. Dr. Dre

Soundtrack | Training Day

Considered by many to be hip-hop's greatest producer, Dr. Dre (b. André Young, February 18, 1965) pioneered gangsta hip-hop and his own variation of the sound, dubbed G-Funk. His very early albums were violent but cautionary tales of the criminal mind, but Dre's records with NWA celebrated the ...

7. 50 Cent

Soundtrack | Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Born in the South Jamaica section of Queens, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has lived in New York City all his life. He was raised by his grandparents after his father ran out and his mother was shot when he was only eight. Growing up, the Queens rapper originally wanted to be a heavyweight boxer, but ...

8. Snoop Dogg

Actor | Turbo

Snoop Dogg was born in Long Beach, California, to Beverly (Tate) and Vernell Varnado, who was a mail carrier and singer. His parents were both originally from Mississippi. He got his name from his mother, who jokingly remarked that he looked like the Peanuts character Snoopy. Snoop is known ...

9. Kanye West

Soundtrack | The Great Gatsby

Kanye West was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Kanye Omari West. He has been married to Kim Kardashian West since May 24, 2014. They have two children.

10. Ice Cube

Soundtrack | Friday

Ice Cube was born in South Central Los Angeles, to Doris (Benjamin), a custodian and hospital clerk, and Hosea Jackson, a UCLA groundskeeper. He first came to public notice as a singer and songwriter with the controversial and influential band N.W.A. His compositions with that group included many ...

11. Rakim

Soundtrack | Cop Out

Universally referenced as one of the Greatest Hip-Hop Artists of All Time, Rakim first exploded onto the New York scene in 1986 with the iconic Eric B. is President single and album Paid In Full. With its unprecedented lyricism and complex rhyme patterns, the release, alongside a carefully curated ...

12. Eazy-E

Soundtrack | Harsh Times

Eric Lynn Wright, better known by his stage name Eazy-E, was an American rapper who performed solo and as a member of the group NWA Wright is affectionately called "The Godfather Of Gangsta Rap."

He was born in Compton, California. After dropping out of high school in the tenth grade, he supported ...

13. Big Daddy Kane

Actor | Posse

Big Daddy Kane was born on September 10, 1968 in New York, USA as Antonio Hardy. He has been married to Shawnette since May 1, 2010.

14. Immortal Technique

Soundtrack | The Brave One

Immortal Technique was born on March 31, 1978 in Peru as Felipe Coronel.

15. T.I.

Actor | Ant-Man

T.I. was born Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. on September 25, 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Violeta Morgan and Clifford "Buddy" Harris, Sr. He is also known as T.I.P. and "Rubberband Man". T.I. is from the streets of Westside Bankhead Zone 1 in Atlanta. His original stage name, T.I.P., it stems from ...

16. Rick Ross

Soundtrack | Django Unchained

With eight #1 and #2 Soundscan original studio albums, and four Grammy Award® nominations under his belt since 2006, Rick Ross was a core artist on the Def Jam roster. His drawing power was established virtually overnight when, in an earlier digital era, his 2006 label debut, "Hustlin'" became the ...

17. Tech N9ne

Soundtrack | Alpha Dog

Aaron Dontez Yates was born November 8th, 1971 in Kansas City, Missouri. At a young age Aaron would use raps to learn to spell his name and practice math. In 1988, Aaron adopted the name Tech N9ne. In 1996 he signed to Qwest Records and in 1999 he was released from the label. Two albums were ...

18. Lil' Wayne

Soundtrack | Suicide Squad

Lil' Wayne was born on September 27, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. He was previously married to Toya Wright.

19. DMX

Soundtrack | Exit Wounds

DMX was born on December 18, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Earl Simmons. He was previously married to Tashera Simmons.

20. Lamont Coleman

Soundtrack | Hak hap

Was a Gemini.

21. Game

Actor | Street Kings

Jayceon Taylor was born on November 29, 1979 in Compton, California. He was born into a life of gang-banging and hustling. When later interviewed, Taylor, aka The Game says at a young age, he recalls seeing both of his parents preparing to do drive-bys. His father was a Nutty Block Crip and his ...

22. Ludacris

Actor | Crash

Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Illinois, where he was raised, the son of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges. At nine years old, he started rapping. He attended Emerson Middle School and, eventually, Oak Park and River Forest High School for his freshman year. ...

23. Busta Rhymes

Actor | Halloween: Resurrection

Busta Rhymes was born on May 20, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr.

24. Scarface

Actor | Idiocracy

Scarface, a.k.a. Brad Jordan, was born and raised in Houston, Texas, in the South Park neighborhood. He is one of the rappers of the Geto Boys, and has recorded solo albums like Mr. Scarface is Back, The Diary, and The World is Yours. In real life, he was a high school dropout at 16, and suffered ...

25. Wiz Khalifa

Soundtrack | Furious Seven

Wiz Khalifa was born on September 8, 1987 in Minot, North Dakota, USA as Cameron Jibril Thomaz. He was previously married to Amber Rose.

26. André Benjamin

Actor | Four Brothers

André Benjamin was born on May 27, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Andre Benjamin.

27. Kendrick Lamar

Soundtrack | The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Kendrick Lamar is a hip-hop artist from Compton, California. He's signed with Dr. Dre's label, Aftermath. Kendrick also has his own label, known as 'Top Dawg Entertainment', with includes artists such as Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q and Ab Soul. Kendrick's major label debut album, 'good kid m.A.A.d city' ...

28. B.o.B.

Soundtrack | Chronicle

B.o.B. was born on November 15, 1988 in North Carolina, USA as Bobby Ray Simmons Jr.

29. KRS-One

Soundtrack | The Manchurian Candidate

KRS-One was born on August 20, 1965 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Lawrence Parker. He was previously married to Ms. Melodie.

30. Mike Shinoda

Soundtrack | Serbuan maut

Michael Kenji Shinoda was born in Agoura, California on February 11, 1977. He met guitarist Brad Delson in 9th grade and started writing songs in his bedroom. Brad and Rob Bourdon used to play for numerous bands in high school. This started Mike on the way to becoming a singer. Mike met Joseph Hahn...

31. Joon-hyung Yong

Actor | Monstar

Joon-hyung Yong was born on December 19, 1989 in Seoul, South Korea. He is an actor, known for Monstar (2013), Salamander Guru and the Gang (2012) and Invincible Youth (2009).

32. Lupe Fiasco

Soundtrack | Taken

Lupe Fiasco was born on February 17, 1981 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Wasalu Muhammad Jaco.

33. Drake

Actor | Degrassi: The Next Generation

Aubrey Drake Graham was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Dennis Graham, an African-American musician born in Memphis, Tennessee, and Sandi (Sher) Graham, a Canadian Jewish educator. As a young man, Drake appeared in several commercials, for such retailers as Sears and GMC. In 2001, Drake rose ...

34. Scott Mescudi

Soundtrack | Need for Speed

Scott Mescudi was born on January 30, 1984 in Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA as Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi.

35. Macklemore

Soundtrack | Tammy

Macklemore was born on June 19, 1983 in Seattle, Washington, USA as Benjamin Haggerty. He has been married to Tricia Davis since June 27, 2015. They have one child.

36. Jeezy

Soundtrack | This Christmas

Jeezy was born on September 28, 1977 in South Carolina, USA as Jay Jenkins.

37. Royce Da 59

Soundtrack | Fast Five

Ryan Montgomery, also known as Royce Da 59, is an American rapper from Detroit, Michigan. Voted as one of the most underrated MCs in the rap industry, Royce has three full-length albums credited to his name, despite being through more career upheavals than most artists experience over their whole ...

38. Pitbull

Actor | Epic

Pitbull was born on January 14, 1981 in Miami, Florida, USA as Armando Christian Pérez.

39. J. Cole

Soundtrack | Project X

Jermaine Cole (a.k.a. J.Cole) was originally born in Germany. But his origins are from North Carolina/Charlotte and he never hides it. He was signed by Jay Z as the first artist for his record label Roc Nation. He dropped his first mix tape there, 'The Warm Up' and it had received great reviews ...

40. Method Man

Actor | How High

Method Man was born on April 1, 1971 in Richmond [now Staten Island], New York City, New York, USA as Clifford Smith. He is an actor, known for How High (2001), Garden State (2004) and Method & Red (2004).

41. LL Cool J

Actor | Deep Blue Sea

L.L. Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, the son of Ondrea Griffith and James Louis Smith, Jr. Todd, as he was called, did not have a very happy childhood. At the age of four, he saw his mother and grandfather shot by his own father. After they...

42. Bizzy Bone

Actor | Jacked

Born September 12, 1976 in Columbus, Ohio. Became a member of Grammy Award winning group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Released 7 solo albums Heaven'z Movie (1998), The Gift (2001), Double R (2002), Alpha & Omega (2004), Speaking in Tongues (2005), Thugz Revenge (2006) and Story (March 21, 2006) .He also ...

43. Krayzie Bone

Soundtrack | Django Unchained

Anthony Henderson (born June 17, 1973), better known as Krayzie Bone, also known as Leatha Face, Silent Killer, and Mr. Sawed Off, is a Grammy winning artist and member of the rap/hip-hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Krayzie is known for his brisk,smooth song laced voice,and tongue-twisting, ...

44. Yelawolf

Soundtrack | Step Up Revolution

Yelawolf was born on December 30, 1979 in Gadsden, Alabama, USA as Michael Wayne Atha.

45. Akon

Music_department | Ra.One

Akon, born Aliaune Thiam, grew up in Senegal before he and his family (including his father, jazz percussionist Mor Thiam) eventually settled in the USA, in the state of New Jersey. There he discovered hip-hop and R&B music as well as crime. He was eventually jailed, but he used the time to work on...

46. Bizzy Bone

Actor | Jacked

Born September 12, 1976 in Columbus, Ohio. Became a member of Grammy Award winning group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Released 7 solo albums Heaven'z Movie (1998), The Gift (2001), Double R (2002), Alpha & Omega (2004), Speaking in Tongues (2005), Thugz Revenge (2006) and Story (March 21, 2006) .He also ...

47. Kool G. Rap

Soundtrack | Colors

Kool G. Rap was born on July 20, 1964 in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Nathaniel Thomas Wilson.

48. Yasiin Bey

Actor | The Italian Job

Regarded as one of hip-hop's most introspective and insightful artists, Mos Def has shaped a career that transcends music genres and artistic medium. Taking a cue from the Afrocentric stylings of the Native Tongues crew, which included De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and Andres ...

49. Mobb Deep

Soundtrack | Steel

Prodigy (b. Albert Johnson) and Havoc (b. Kejuan Muchita) have been rapping together ever since they met as teenagers while attending the Graphic Arts High School in Manhatten. In the early 1990s, they adopted the stage name Mobb Deep and released their debut album, "Juvenile Hell". The album was ...

50. Tyga

Soundtrack | Fighting

Tyga was born on November 19, 1989 in Compton, California, USA as Micheal Ray Stevenson.

51. Talib Kweli

Soundtrack | Superbad

Talib Kweli was born on October 3, 1975 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Talib Greene.

52. Seung-hyun Choi

Music_department | Oldeuboi

53. Redman

Soundtrack | How High

Redman was born on April 17, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey, USA as Reggie Noble.

54. Nelly

Soundtrack | The Longest Yard

Nelly went to Spain with his father, Air Force Man Cornall Haynes Sr., until he was 3 years old, then moved to St. Louis. Nelly's folks struggled financially and split up when he was 7. As the youngest child in the neighborhood he grew up getting into trouble with the big kids. As a result he ended...

55. Seung-hyun Choi

Actor | Pohwasogeuro

Choi Seung Hyun is most popularly known as one of the rappers in the Korean group Big Bang. Their group has been together for going on ten years, not counting side projects he has been a part of with other artists, one including an album with band-mate G-Dragon (Kwon Ji Yong).

It wasn't until 2010 ...

56. Common

Actor | Wanted

First known as a rapper who became one of the more prominent voices in hip-hop's new millennium renaissance, Common later transitioned into acting. He was born in Chicago, and is the son of educator Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines and Lonnie Lynn, an ABA basketball player turned youth counselor.

On October 6,...

58. Proof

Actor | 8 Mile

Proof was born on October 2, 1973 in Detroit, Michigan, USA as DeShaun Holton. He was married to Sharonda. He died on April 11, 2006 in Detroit.

59. Daniel Dumile

Soundtrack | Car Babes

Daniel Dumile was born on January 9, 1971 in London, England.

60. Raekwon

Soundtrack | Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Raekwon was born on January 12, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Corey Woods.

61. Ghostface Killah

Soundtrack | Iron Man

Born and raised in the heart of Staten Island, New York, Ghostface Killah, born Dennis Coles, is a very well-known member of Wu-Tang Clan, the celebrated hip-hop group. Emerging from a childhood filled with poverty, he puts his all into his projects and everything he rhymes about basically stems ...

62. Vinnie Paz

Producer | Eamon: I Got Soul

Vinnie Paz is a producer and actor, known for Eamon: I Got Soul (2017), Bad Biology (2008) and Jedi Mind Tricks: Deathless Light (2015).

63. Jesper Dahl

Soundtrack | Office Space

Jesper Dahl was born on June 18, 1973 in Hillerød, Denmark.

64. Canibus

Soundtrack | Office Space

Germaine Williams a.k.a. Canibus (aka Can-I-Bus) was born in 1974 in Jamaica to Basil and Elaine Williams. Growing up, Canibus found interest in beat boxing and break dancing. After his parents divorced, Canibus and his mother immigrated to the U.S. before his teen years and moved around frequently...

65. Chamillionaire

Soundtrack | Never Back Down

Chamillionaire was born on November 28, 1979 in Houston, Texas, USA as Hakeem Seriki.

66. Xzibit

Actor | The X Files: I Want to Believe

Xzibit was born in Detroit, where he lived until his mother passed away when he was only nine years old. At the age of ten, he began to rap, very personally because of the loss of his mother. At the age of 14, he got into trouble and was removed from his home for two years after his father refused ...

67. Nate Dogg

Soundtrack | Real Steel

Nate Dogg was born on August 19, 1969 in Long Beach, California, USA as Nathaniel Dwayne Hale. He was married to La Toya. He died on March 15, 2011 in Long Beach.

68. Soulja Boy

Soundtrack | Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Soulja Boy was born on July 28, 1990 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as DeAndre Cortez Way.

69. Mac Miller

Actor | Scary Movie 5

Mac Miller was born on January 19, 1992 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA as Malcolm James McCormick.

70. Zack De La Rocha

Soundtrack | The Matrix

Zack De La Rocha was born on January 12, 1970 in Long Beach, California, USA as Zacarias Manuel De La Rocha.

71. Lloyd Banks

Soundtrack | Gun

Lloyd Banks was born on April 30, 1982 in New Carrollton, Maryland, USA as Christopher Lloyd.

72. Lil' Boosie

Soundtrack | Step Up 2: The Streets

Lil' Boosie is an actor, known for Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), Glass Jaw and Ghetto Stories (2010).

73. Ice-T

Actor | New Jack City

The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade....

74. Tinie Tempah

Soundtrack | Breaking Bad

Tinie Tempah was born on November 7, 1988 in Plumstead, London, England as Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu Jr.

75. Twista

Soundtrack | Mission: Impossible III

Twista was born on November 27, 1973 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Carl Terrell Mitchell.

76. The GZA

Actor | Coffee and Cigarettes

The GZA was born on August 22, 1966 in Staten Island, New York, USA as Gary Grice.

77. Corey Woods

Sound_department | One Hour Photo

78. Big Sean

Soundtrack | Transformers: The Last Knight

Big Sean was born as Sean Michael Anderson.