Notorious B.I.G. Tops Greatest Rappers Of All Time, Tupac Nicki Minaj Absent

Who are the 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time?

Billboard just publish its list of the 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time and Brooklyn dominate it with Notorious B.I.G. coming in first and Jay Z second.

The likes of Tupac Shakur, Nicki Minaj, Dr. Dre, and Kanye West were absent from the list but Kendrick Lamar made the cut with his “triple and quadruple-time rhythms, his layered adlibs, and his multiple-personality voices, the Compton rapper is arguably the greatest rap craftsman to emerge this millennium, but his lyrical content never suffered,” Billboard wrote.

Kendrick Lamar is perhaps the only artist to completely change the face of rap since the start of this millennium. The compton emcee was ranked No. 9 on the list.

“Jay Z’s nimble flow,” the magazine wrote helped him to rise among the ranks back in the mid to late 1990s. Billboard rank Jay Z No. 2 on the list behind Biggie Smalls.

Eminem, who arguably made the biggest impact on rap music since the new millennium, came in at No. 3.

Rap legends Rakim and Nas rounded out the top five with Andre 3000 of Outkast taking the No. 6 position. Lauryn Hill is the only female rapper to make the list coming in a No. 7.

Lauryn Hill photo

“As one of the most versatile musicians in hip-hop, Lauryn Hill buoyed her group The Fugees in the ‘90s with professor-level raps and velveteen vocals,” the magazine wrote. “It was with her 1998 debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, though, that she became fully realized, boiling down a bad breakup into a project equal parts grit and vulnerability.”

The list would not be complete without the addition of Lil Wayne, who made a name for himself with the most Billboard Hot 100 hits after surpassing Elvis.

Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan also made the cut.

Top 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time:

10. Lil Wayne
9. Kendrick Lamar
8. Ghostface Killah
7. Lauryn Hill
6. Andre 3000
5. Nas
4. Rakim
3. Eminem
2. Jay Z
1. Notorious B.I.G.

71 Comments

  1. Tupac music holds up over time. His message still resonates and beats bang.

    BIG was relevant because Tupac made relevant. Everyone says he’s number one or two why is noone buying his records still then?

  2. Another lyrical song tupac letter to my unborn child check it out same flow biggie use now you see how biggie raps similar to tupac. Hip-hop you know nothing about tupac he loves God and he loves the poor he was even getting ready to get into politics to help us the poor the neglected the minority the mothers the single women young black and white male. Tupac was a friend to us all. Go listen to tupac before you reply to me bro and tupac did sold drugs but he stops because he was a good person and didn’t like he was hurting people

  3. Man all of you wack none of you know the genius of tupac shakur aka makaveli. Man tupac more lyrical than biggie he chose not be as lyrical as biggie as he was conveying a message. Biggie rap about tupac life in the album ready to die and he rap about tupac life Versace gold all that he was talking tupac life. Tupac is versatile listen to his songs he changes and uses many flows but he so genius u won’t realize unless you yourself know a little about rapping and hip-hop. Biggie copy tupac flow difference biggie flow is a fast version of tupac as he raps fast and PAC slow to convey his message. Look at songs from tupac tupac ambitions as a ridah, tupac changes, tupac last muthaf–ker breathin.,tupac troublesome 96, tupac life I lead, and many more songs of tupac are lyrical genius. Look at tupac troublesome 96 in that song you’ll see the style biggie used from tupac. BTW tupac wwasn’t a gangsta he was a thug and known fact tupac like to bust at punk polices and when tupac got rob in biggie studio tupac reach for his guns while his homeboy said PAC let them rob u but pac ain’t haven’t that so how is he fake PACthe most realest u mess with pPAC and he’ll see about it

  4. why should Nicki be on the list? what has she done for Hip Hop other than showing of her fake booty. Pac should be #1 on every list and that the law

    • Thank u! Like wtf is she even mentioned period when all she did is steal Lil mom’s style? Like she is literally a walking Lil kim TRIBUTE…not to mention she was getting her lyrics written by her ex.that’s how s*** the industry is now tho

  5. These guys deliberately left out the westcoast, obviously we know why. The only guys who spoke against the rubbish from the media, corporate mainstream companies in music industry, politics and social Ills were the guys from the west and south. They deliberately also removed the east coast rappers who spoke against them as well. All the rappers on this list except Nas to a lesser extent are safe rappers cause they never directly or indirectly criticised and attacked any of the above mentioned groups or talked bout these issues.

    • Exactly…I’m glad u noticed that too! Just look at a lot of these comments too,it goes to show that the powers that be have been trying for years to erase this mans legacy.and to see ppl putting biggie before pac like he did something game changing,is sickening.especially when we ONLY know of him becuz of pac.

  6. The real top 10 list for those who know hip hop and have followed it from the 80`s is as Follows: Cube, Rakim, Nas, 2 Pac, Biggie, Krs One, Big daddy Kane, Chuck D, Scarface and LL cool J
    Eminem, Jay Z, Common and Andre 3000 will make top 15

  7. Rubbish list, only Nas, Rakim and Biggie deserve to make top 10 of all time. What do we expect from Bilboard really, a mainstream organisation run by those who have actually ruined hip hop.

  8. Pac wasn’t a rapper he was pop. I’m glad he died

    • U glad somebody died? Kill yourself idiot.I bet u and Nancy are the same person…y’all make multiple accounts just to hate on this man

  9. I agree pac sucks. He was gay also

    • Wow y’all some sad a** ppl..how tf can u hate on pac who did more for the black community even went as far as giving his personal number to troubled teens without father figures,also started centers for kids,but y’all ride biggie,nas and jay z d*** and they aint NEVER done s*** like that? FOH

  10. Pac rap sucks. he wanted to be like BIG but couldn’t hack it. He died because his music was so bad he kill himself.

  11. All yall crazy as hell. Tupac # 1 2 n 3. Only 1 comes close. Slim shady. Tupac wasent no studio ganster. He did wat he sung about. Just like C-murder. Dont talk bout it b bout it. Case closed period…………

  12. My list would be: 1. (Tie) Biggie &.Tupac; 2. Jay-z ; 3. Nas; 4. Eminen; 5. K. Lamar; 6. Lauryn Hill; 7. TI; 8. Lil Wayne; 9. Lil Kim; 10. Left Eye

    Don’t see why Tupac didn’t make the list…that’s crazy!

  13. Tupac should definitely on the list and DMX too… Tupac maybe 1 and DMX around 3 both are one of the best rappers to ever touch the mic

  14. this list is a joke.. who made it? they only got biggie right

  15. Tupac was overrated Good LIST! HE was known for his image not his music.

    • Dang son, you ignorant as rocks! Tupac’s music was real! Like Keep Your Head Up. Tupac’s style influenced people like Eminem and Jay Z. He was the only artist at the time of his release that talked about the realities of inner city living. Eve NWA was more about having the “thug” image. Whereas Tupac was a poetic genius. You must not have ever heard his music which is why you are spurtinh out nonsensical text. And you call yourself “Hip Hop”? You’ve disgraced your own name. SMH. Either that or you’re a damn troll.

      • Tupac was a Fake STUDIO GANGSTA! 2pac lied about knowing his real father in his songs. 2pac Never Sold any drugs, His original rap name was MC New York. He started out as a back-up dancer for Digital Underground. He went to acting school.Where all his friends were mostly white kids as a teen. He also was a ballet dancer in school. He never had a Criminal Record till after he started rapping. He was from the EAST COAST!!! He didn’t move to cali till he was 17 where he than lived with a white woman who tutored him and later became his manager.

      • None of these things stop him from being the best of all time. He never needed to sell drugs to rap about it. Ne never needed to not know his father. He has stated over and over that he moved to Cali in his late teens. NONE of these things stop him from still being better that most on this list. I say most because he still lacked the flow and rhyme schemes of Biggie or Nas. However on content and catalog alone he is the best of all time.

      • pac was overrated he was all hype. Media,beef,movies etc….. 2pacs first 2 albums both went GOLD! His 3rd album sold only 1.5million!!! He didn’t start selling big till he joined death row and started beefing with rappers like biggie. Than his 4th album out of nowhere sells 9million. So just 1 year after his 3rd album sells 1.5million. His 4th album magically sells 9million. 2pac was overrated!!!!!!!!! He was all hype. Also he was a Studio Gangsta. He was from new york. He was a back up dancer. Went to acting school. He lied in 90% of his rhymes.

      • Dude you’re wrong tupac is real read my 2 post they are for people like u true facts about PAC and he lyrical he is no.1 greater than biggie and he hit platniuem everyone.

      • Stop lying to yourslef. posting false info.

      • Watch this video starting at 50secs. explains why pac is off list. reply back

        https://www.youtube.Com/watch?v=cSkteXG6dZQ

      • None of this matters. Jay-Z was never a drug kingpin he sold a little dope and then quit, so did Biggie. Nas has kept his nose clean for the most part as well. Em is just a poor white kid from the D and the list goes on. Being “gangsta” doesn’t make you a good rapper. It’s being able to paint a picture of a place or scenario with clever rhyme schemes. It’s the bravado and the currency of your rhymes. And Pac was the BEST at this! Pac opened the window so the world could see the plight of a young black male in America. His mindset, his struggles, his joys, his triumphs. NOBODY since Pac has come close except perhaps Kendrick Lamar who has admittedly borrowed heavily from Pac’s rhetoric.

      • Pac was heavily influenced by Cube, his style and all. He said it himself on a video I watched. Cube is the greatest emcee to come out of the West coast followed by Pac who was made by Deathrow records

      • Half the rappers on this list are fake! Do you honestly believe they had anything real left in them? XD How naive.

      • That still doesn’t take away from his messages. And he still had better skill than most of the rappers mentioned.

      • I get around,Gangsta Party,Holla if you hear me,2 of amerikaz most wanted,Picture me rollin etc…. Should I go on?Tupac was a hypocrite who promoted violence to sell records with the fake tattos and bandanns that he got overnight. Don’t confuse him with positive rappers like Chuck D, KRS-One,Mos Def,immortel technique, etc…

      • You need reading comprehension though. I said Tupac was a better rapper than the ones listed in this article. To add, his music talk about things that really happen in the world. He was one of the reasons rap became such a big phenomenon around the world, along with N.W.A and Notorious B.I.G. Without either of them, people around the world from all background would know what rap music is.

      • Raygirl please be quiet. You are are contradicting yourself more than tupac.Watch this video and leave it at that. Fast forward to 00:59

        https://www.youtube.Com/watch?v=cSkteXG6dZQ

      • He’s gay because he treats women nice…word

      • Well…. there is actual documented footage of Tupac saying hateful things towards women. Things that have to do with certain types of women deserving to be raped, etc.( I think this has to do with a rape charge he caught in the 90’s) I have Come across the random videos of him being “interviewed” on these topics , but I didn’t really read too much into it. Hate of the female seems to be a right of passage in hip hop anyway, so if he did have ill feelings towards women then he may not have meant it as literally as others seem to.

      • Amber listen to tupac dear mama, tupac keep your head up, tupac brenda got a baby. Listen to them songs amber i reassure you tupac thought of women as the queen of the hoysehold the backbone of familys and the future of mankind. He love women and hey all man once a while diss womendoesn’t mean we think they trash jusy some not all

      • Tupac Gay in a Speedo!!!

        tinyurl.Com/nwjp9a8

      • If Tupac was gay why did he screw Biggies wife?

      • That was all PR to sell records.

    • Totally disagree with you. Tupac should be tied with Biggie for #1 or at least #2.

      • 2pac was overrated he was all hype. Media,beef,movies etc….. 2pacs first 2 albums both went GOLD! His 3rd album sold only 1.5million!!! He didn’t start selling big till he joined death row and started beefing with rappers like biggie. Than his 4th album out of nowhere sells 9million. So just 1 year after his 3rd album sells 1.5million. His 4th album magically sells 9million. 2pac was overrated!!!!!!!!! He was all hype. Also he was a Studio Gangsta. He was from new york. He was a back up dancer. Went to acting school. He lied in 90% of his rhymes.

      • Sorry, your argument is confusing and lacking in logic. The points you tried to make do not negate the fact that Tupac should have been ranked as the #1 or #2 greatest rapper of all times. Tupac and Biggie were the best! But, we can agree to disagree.

      • I’ll make it easy. When tupac was alive were people going tupac is the GOAT? Think Hard before you answer!

      • This is nonsense! No logic whatsoever.

      • So facts are nonsense?

      • Nobody ever said that, for those that know real hip hop. He was never considered any way on that level till death. Same applies to Biggie

      • Biggie was crowned the the King and the savoir of East coast rap after his debut album. During the golden of age of NY Hip Hop! Wutang,Mobb Deep,Nas,Jay Z etc..

      • I never heard that from any credible hip hop source. I didn’t start hearing greatest of all time chants till after his death.

      • You must be a little kid. Go do your research.

      • What an illogical and irrational conclusion. U asserted something without evidence and I said I don’t know of any top rated credible source that backed ur claim and am the one that’s a little kid? He who asserts must prove, that’s just in case u didn’t know. The onus is on u to prove that major hip hop magazines, blogs or sites did state what u assert from 94 – mid 96.

      • Lets break down some of his classic songs. When they were released and The album Sales during the time of the song.

        Dear Mama- Me against The Word (1.5million)
        Keep Your Head Up- Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (500k Gold)
        Brenda Got a Baby-2Pacalypse Now (500k Gold)

        These are like 3 of 2pacs top songs. When Tupac was alive no one was going Tupac the greatest!!! Right or Wrong???

      • Watch this video starting at 50secs. explains why pac is off list.

        https://www.youtube.Com/watch?v=cSkteXG6dZQ

      • Both won’t make top 2, both were blown up significantly by death and taken to heights which shouldn’t have been. Top emcees and would make top 5 sitting at no 4 n 5 respectively.

      • Biggie and Tupac both deserve top 2 ranking before and after their death; and it’s not surprising that great artists such as those two would blow up even more after their death. Neither were overrated and they both should be at the very top of the list (then and now). Cannot buy into any other argument.

      • They don’t their albums werent ground breaking, didn’t change the game on any way like what Nwa did, like what Public enemy did, like what Dre did with the chronic and what Cube did with Death certificate. Biggie’s debut album all got blown up after his death. Same with Pac, it is what it is. They are big legends any day any time but their GOAT chants started after their deaths.

      • Those two were the best before their death. And it doesn’t matter that they received more chants after their death..that’s only natural. The increased accolades after their deaths shouldn’t negate their overall assessment as the top 2 greatest rappers. Billboard ranked Biggie very fair (#1 at the top), but completely left out his equal, Tupac for some nonsensical reason. But I do respect your opinion and I like the other rappers you named as well, so we can agree to disagree.

      • Change your name ol dumb a** ignorant fool.u don’t know s*** about hiphop.u must be from new York and is a biggie,jay z or nas d*** rider! Its funny AF that 20 years later y’all still HATE on this man

      • 20 years later y’all still dick ride on this man. But can’t even name his album 2 albums and 1 song from each. Tupac was OVERRATED!!! He has hundreds of songs plenty that unreleased that are all irrelevant.

  16. This list lacks absolute credibility, Tupac moves you like no other rapper could. Tupac made music about reality. By far the best ever to do Hip Hop.

  17. Eminem though

  18. Biggie,jay-z, Eminem

  19. Step one drop Ghostface, step 2 replace 2pac with Jay, step 3 switch Rahim and Nas’s positions, step 4 put Rakim in Ghost’s old position and step 5 put Jay in Rakims old position.

  20. Tupac is Number 1 or 2 depending on your preference. To me Tupac is Number 1 and Biggie Number 2. Jay-Z should be Number 6 behind Nas and take out Ghostface from this list.

  21. This a real farce compiled .Tupac Shakur ???????????