Real rap music fans like to know who’s who in the music industry when it comes to rap music. We’ve selected 10 of the best to ever lay it down. Vote up or down and settle this once and for all “Who is the best rapper of all time”?
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. known professionally as Lil Wayne, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur, and actor. His career began in 1996, at the age of 13, when he was discovered by Birdman and joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label.
Lil Wayne's solo debut album Tha Block Is Hot (1999) was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He reached higher popularity with his fourth album Tha Carter (2004), as well as with his appearance on the song "Soldier" with Destiny's Child that same year. The album was followed by Tha Carter II (2005), as well as several mixtapes and collaborations throughout 2006 and 2007. Lil Wayne gained more prominence with his sixth album Tha Carter III (2008), which became his most successful album to date, with first-week sales of over one million copies in the US. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and included successful singles "Lollipop", "A Milli" and "Got Money".
.Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is regarded by many critics and contemporaries as one of the most important and influential hip hop artists of his generation, and as one of the greatest rappers and lyricists of all time
Raised in Compton, California, Lamar embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). He began to gain recognition in 2010 after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, he independently released his first studio album, Section.80, which included his debut single "HiiiPoWeR". By that time, he had amassed a large online following and collaborated with several prominent hip hop artists, including The Game, Busta Rhymes, and Snoop Dogg.
Dennis Coles better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper, songwriter and actor and member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Ghostface Killah is critically acclaimed for his loud, fast-paced flow, and his emotional stream-of-consciousness narratives containing cryptic slang and non-sequiturs. In 2006, MTV included him on their honorable mention list of The Greatest MCs of All Time, while the editors of About.com placed him on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), calling him "one of the most imaginative storytellers of our time."Q magazine called him "rap's finest storyteller." Pitchfork Media stated that, "Ghostface has unparalleled storytelling instincts; he might be the best, most colorful storyteller rap has ever seen." NPR called him "a compulsive storyteller", and asserted, "His fiction is painterly.
Lauryn Noelle Hill is an American singer, songwriter and rapper, known for being a member of Fugees, and for her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) remains Hill's only solo studio album. It received critical acclaim showcasing a representation of life and relationships and locating a contemporary voice within the neo soul genre. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and has sold approximately eight million copies there. This included the singles "Doo Wop (That Thing)" (also a number one), "Ex-Factor" (became her biggest solo hit in the UK), and "Everything Is Everything". At the 41st Grammy Awards, the record earned her five awards, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist. During this time, she won several other awards and became a common sight on the cover of magazines.
André Lauren Benjamin, better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly Dre, and not to be confused with Dr. Dre), is an American rapper and actor best known for being a part of hip hop duo Outkast alongside fellow rapper Big Boi.
As an actor, Benjamin has made appearances in a number of films and television series, including Families, The Shield, Be Cool, Revolver, Semi-Pro, Four Brothers, and in the lead role of Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side. He currently plays Fredwynn on the AMC anthology series, Dispatches from Elsewhere.
In addition to music and acting, Benjamin has also been an entrepreneur and an advocate for animal rights. In the spring of 2008, he launched a clothing line called Benjamin Bixby. He is also known for his work on the Cartoon Network animated series Class of 3000.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, known professionally as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur, and investor his musical career began in 1991, as a featured artist on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque".
His debut album Illmatic (1994) received universal acclaim from both critics and the hip hop community and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Nas's follow-up It Was Written debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, stayed on top for four consecutive weeks, went Double Platinum in two months, and made Nas internationally known. From 2001 to 2005, Nas was involved in a highly publicized feud with Jay-Z, popularized by the diss track "Ether". Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006. In 2010, he released Distant Relatives, a collaboration album with Damian Marley, donating all royalties to charities active in Africa. His 11th studio album, Life Is Good (2012) was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
William Michael Griffin Jr., better known by his stage name Rakim, is an American rapper. One half of golden age hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential and most skilled MCs of all time.
Eric B. & Rakim's album Paid in Full was named the greatest hip hop album of all time by MTV in 2006, while Rakim himself was ranked #4 on MTV's list of the Greatest MCs of All Time. Steve Huey of AllMusic stated that "Rakim is near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs – perhaps the greatest – of all time within the hip-hop community." The editors of About.com ranked him #1 on their list of the 'Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007)'. Rakim began his career as the emcee of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, who in 2011 were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III known professionally as Eminem (often stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive and actor. He is one of the most successful artists of the 21st century.
After his debut album Infinite (1996) and the extended play Slim Shady EP (1997), Eminem signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment and subsequently achieved mainstream popularity in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP. His next two releases The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and The Eminem Show (2002) were worldwide successes and were both nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. As a result of being a leading figure in a form of black music and being credited for popularizing hip hop to a Middle America audience, Eminem was subject to comparisons with Elvis Presley at the time.
Shawn Corey Carter known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized in all caps), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record company executive, and businessman.
Born and raised in New York City, Jay-Z first began his musical career after founding the record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995, and subsequently released his debut studio album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. The album was released to widespread critical success, and solidified his standing in the music industry. He has gone on to release twelve additional albums, which have all attained generally positive critical reception and commercial success, including The Blueprint (2001) and The Black Album (2003).Jay-Z has also released the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) and Everything Is Love (2018) with Kanye West and wife Beyoncé, respectively.
Christopher George Latore Wallace better known as The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. He was noted for his loose and easy flow, dark and semi-autobiographical lyrics, and storytelling abilities which focused on crime and hardship.
Born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Wallace signed to Sean "Puffy" Combs' label Bad Boy Records in 1993 and gained exposure with features on several singles the same year. His critically acclaimed debut album Ready to Die (1994), considered his magnum opus, made him a central figure in East Coast hip hop and increased New York City's visibility in the genre at a time when West Coast hip hop dominated the mainstream. The following year, he led Junior M.A.F.I.A.—a protégé group composed of his childhood friends—to chart success.