Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Famous Rappers of All Time till 2017. Many people love music. Diehard fans and music nerd love lists. However, in the game of rap, ranking artists take a level of some importance: aside from having a big fan base, MC provides a chance of proving you are the best. In this genre artists try to outdo each other in the game of rap. For Billboard editorial to come up with a list of these best rappers becomes a difficult task times due to this high level of competition among the artists of this genre. We have great artists like 50 cent, Drake who did not make it to this list because we rank these artists as MCs and not artists. This is why Dr. Dre and Kanye West do not feature in this list of these best rappers, they do not match the Mic skills of the ones ranked here. Even the legendary that was one very time the most influential rapper in the whole world does not feature in this list.
List of the world’s Top 10 Most Famous Rappers of All Time till 2017
10. Lil Wayne
This guy’s commercial success says for itself—Weezy was able to surpass Elvis as the best artist with the highest Billboard Hot 100 hits of all the time. Weezy has also many mixtapes, albums and many guest spots from around the year 2004 to the year 2009. He is one the most prolific artists who is described as quality meets quantity that the hip-hop industry has ever produced. None of the many MCs has ever reached that level of Weezy, having so many songs, for that very long period of time.
9. Kendrick Lamar
Many of the greatest rappers who started their game in ‘90s—from Andre to Jay Z-managed to maintain their relevance in rap into the following decade and also the one after. One of the reasons on why they maintained that top level despite the genres changing sound, rapping did not change a lot as a craft because the end of the golden era; most of the techniques used in rap were mostly the same, only beats were different. This was until Kendrick Lamar came about. Kendrick is one of the Compton rappers who are arguably the best rap craftsman of this generation. The last three albums he produced are—Pimp a Butterfly, Good Kid Maddy City and Section.80—this are his most popular and vivid albums.
8. Ghostface Killah
The Wu-Tang Clan was able to establish itself as one the most prolific, culture-moving hip-hop crews of the 1990s. Each member of this crew was able to bring a different beat or sound to their music. Ghostface Killah was able to stand out among the group members as the best lyrically, his rhymes were written in slang and weaved together just like a completed needlepoint. Ghostface Killah was best when he went solo on his records. He used to play with rhyme schemes like genius. His ability to craft some the best rap songs made him to release some of the best raps for the past two decades. This makes him to become one of the best and most famous rappers of all time till 2017.
7. Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill is one of the hip-hop artists who are very versatile, he uplifted her team The Fugees in ‘90s with her professor-level lyrics and raps combined with her velveteen vocals. Her 1998 debut album titled, The Miseduction of Lauryn Hill, was the best received and made her to become fully recognized. Lauryn Hill had also the ability to smash a ferocious nerve (“Lost Ones”) and then change into a gushy song (“Ex Factor”), which was just one mark among her many artistic genius projects, something that few people have managed to achieve today.
6. Andre 3000
As the best half of the famous Big Boi-of Outkast, Andre 3000 was the influence behind the groups good run of five impeccable albums, which has never been matched by any other hip-hop group in terms of success, innovation and quality. The last album that they produced, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, was two solo sets, and it was Andre’s half that was undisputedly the most influential of the 21st century. Andre 3000 showed great superstars like Lily Wayne, Kanye and Drake that you can be an eccentric crooner and one hip-hop’s elite both at the same time.
Before Nas released his debut album in 1994, seminal illmatic, early propagandists had fans and critics calling him as the second coming of Rakim, not Jesus. However, twenty years later, illmatic is still regarded as one of the best hip-hop album ever produced. It has a flawless mixture of clear street poetry and a team of good producers—and it sets like the Stillmatic and It Was written are best in their own terms. The Nas’ B own compilation, The Lost Tapes, is among the best albums compared to those of other MCs’ albums. Nas was able to defeat Jay Z in the rap war of all times, with one of the most brutal diss track of all time.
Rakims 1987 debut album together with Erick B, was a big hit in terms of Mic techniques, and also from its complicated internal rhyme schemes to his soft-spoken word delivery. The street rap lyrics that he used in his albums such as intellectual, god, everyman, criminal, all at the same time—set a history that rappers like Kendrick Lamar to Nas still follow to date.
Eminem is one of the few rappers who was able to break into the mainstream industry through his censor-stoking rhymes about murder, drug abuse and rape delivered through tongue twisting, maybe thought-provoking way. It could also be taken as attention-seeking for the sake of establishing a successful career—in case they were not so impressive.
2. Jay Z
Jay Z’s lyrical flow used to be less impressive, as evidenced by his debut album (Reasonable Doubt) of 1996, but afterwards the Brooklyn rapper was able to develop his craft, maintaining and improving on his every release by tightening on his lyrical flows and developing on complex wordplay, from then, jay Z has developed his musical empire becoming one of the best and most famous rappers of all time till 2017.
1. Notorious B.I.G.
Notorious B.I.G had already established himself as a legendary rapper before he met his death at a young age. His storytelling rhymes got from his experiences from the Brooklyn streets was a success in 1994’s insta-classicReady to Die; a good piece of art delivered with such great expertise like of a linguistic master. The following year he dropped a group album together with M.A.F.I.A, and his second album titled Life After Death bowed only six days after his death in March 1997, he had already established himself as one of the biggest rappers of all time. Biggie never released a single bad song or a diss track unlike everyone else.
We have other great rappers who did not make it to this list. Artists like 50 cent, Bad Man, Tupac Shakur, Nick Minaj among many others did not make it to the top ten of the best rappers of all time since the industry is very competitive these days. However, this list will keep changing as more great rappers continue to come up each day.