Top 5 Rappers Of All Time – Loud News Net Picks
Over the years, you’ve seen numerous lists online in reference to the best hip-hop artists ever. Well, now’s it Willie T. Plaza of LOUD‘s turn! We present to you our top 5 rappers of all time.
Greatest Rappers of All Time
Now, we know what are you thinking, “There are so many variables…how can you accurately determine the 5 best rappers of all time?” Hmm, great inquiry. Well, the fact is everyone has a unique, personal take on which hip-hop artists are the greatest ever; we won’t contend that. However, when you interpret our views on the subject, you’ll more than likely concur or at least respect our sentiments. With that said – enjoy the read!
Number one on our list is Jay-Z. Let’s just get the hard facts out of the way: 1. Jay has won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, the most by a rapper, 2. He has 14 #1 albums on the Billboard 200, the most by a solo artist, and 3. Hov has sold over 75 million singles and 50 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists ever. He’s also the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
It’s not merely accolades that make Jay-Z the greatest rapper of all time—it’s his content. Reasonable Doubt, his debut album, is indisputably one of the best rap albums ever. And we’re talking about the same guy that has spit epochal lyrics such as:
“Do not step to me, I’m awkward I box lefty, an orphan, my pops left me, and often, my momma wasn’t home.”
“It comes to it, we all fiends gotta do it, even righteous minds go through this; True this, the streets school us to spend our money foolish, bond with jewelers and, watch for intruders; I stepped it up another level, meditated like a Buddhist, recruited lieutenants with ludicrous, dreams of getting cream let’s do this.”
“I got blood money, straight up thug money, that brown paper bag under your mattress drug money.”
“Dear teacher, your probably somewhere near a speaker, I’m balling outta control, can you hear my sneakers?”
And we could go on for DAYS with the bars. Jigga man – top dog, hands down.
Don’t screw your face up like that…Rakim definitely deserves the #2 spot on our top 5 rappers of all time. Before Rakim hip-hop bars were sort of cookie-cutter, Dr. Seuss styled. However, when The God MC stepped on the scene, he evolved rap lyrics and made them convoluted and sleek. Other emcees assisted in the maturation of hip-hop lyrics such as Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, and KRS-One. However, with Eric B. behind the production and turntables, none of them could hold a candle to The R.
To get specific, Rakim in essence invented the structure and style of the 16 Bars rhyme strategy which altered the course of rap forever. Even Damon Dash, the former business partner of the greatest rapper of all time (see above), paid homage to Rakim by naming a feature film after the rapper’s breakout album (Paid In Full). “Microphone Fiend,” “Follow The Leader,” “My Melody,” “Paid In Full,” “I Ain’t No Joke,” “Don’t Sweat the Technique,” “Eric B. Is President,” “Know the Ledge” (used on the Juice soundtrack) – seriously, nobody can out rock ‘Kim.
The Notorious B.I.G.
It’s probably no shock to you that The Notorious B.I.G. made #3 on our list of the top 5 rappers of all time. He may have had only two studio albums, but what he did on those albums still solidify him to this day as the second-best rapper to originate from Brooklyn (with many believing he’s the greatest from BK, actually). For starters, Biggie was perhaps the most well-rounded rapper ever — lyrics, stories, flow, charisma, voice — B.I.G. had it all. Anything you could desire in a song, Biggie Smalls could provide.
The Black Frank White was one of the first rappers to affiliate himself with R&B as well, thanks to Puff. “Big Poppa,” “Juicy,” “Sky is the Limit,” “One More Chance,” “F*cking you Tonight” — nobody touched both women and men lyrically on a single as B.I.G. did. Additionally, his debut album, Ready to Die, is regarded as a classic and one of the best hip-hop albums of all time.
Rappers such as Nas, Jadakiss, Lil Kim, Big L, Foxy Brown, The Game, Gucci Mane, Joey Bada$$, Jay-Z, and many others have referenced Biggie on songs. It’s 2020 and you can put The Notorious B.I.G. on right now and rock like he never passed on. The King of New York and the microphone – Chris George Latore Wallace.
“I ain’t a killer but don’t push me, revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin’ p*ssy; Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words bein’ quoted, peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it; Bow down, pray to God hoping that he’s listenin’, seein’ n*ggas comin’ for me, to my diamonds, when they glistenin’; Now pay attention, rest in peace father I’m a ghost, in these killin’ fields, Hail Mary catch me if I go; Let’s go deep inside the solitary mind of a madman who screams in the dark, evil lurks, enemies, see me flee; Activate my hate, let it break, to the flame, set trip, empty out my clip, never stop to aim.“
C’mon, those bars alone explicate why Tupac Shakur is the 4th greatest rapper of all time. However, it’s not the thug-life bars that fortify Pac as one of the top five best rappers ever…it was his schmaltzy records. “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” “Dear Momma,” “Keep your Head up,” “Changes,” “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,” “To Live and Die in L.A.” — utterly no rapper plucked the heartstrings of the people like Tupac.
Keep in mind that Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide as well, which makes him one of the best selling rappers of all-time. He’s also the only rapper to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 and hold the top spot for four straight weeks (with his LP Me Against the World) while in prison.
Many say Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all time. Though, if you go by statistics, Air Jordan is far from the best baller ever. If you went by stats alone, technically Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the greatest basketball player of all time — he’s the #1 scorer in NBA history (38,387 points), #3 NBA all-time rebounder (17,440), #3 NBA all-time blocker (3,189), 6x NBA champion, 6x MVP, 19x All-star, 2x Scoring champion, and the list goes on.
With that said, if we go by stats, Eminem is the best hip-hop artist of all time. His album, The Eminem Show, is the #1 best-selling rap album of all time (with 27 million copies sold). Guess what’s the #2 best-selling rap album of all time? You guessed it … Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP (with 21 million records sold). With albums and singles sales totaling 100+ million, Em is the best-selling hip-hop artist ever. In the US, he’s garnered 10 #1 albums and 50 platinum album certifications.
Best Selling Rapper of All Time – Sold 227 million Units
If those stats don’t reinforce Eminem at the #5 spot on our top five greatest rappers of all-time list, then we don’t know what will! On the flip side, don’t get it twisted like the white spitter from Motor City doesn’t harbor bars. Seen 8 Mile? Yes, Em used to really rip apart battle rappers back in the D. Plus, even though Jay Z tops our list, we agree with Nas that Eminem murdered him on Renegade.
Keep it Loud!