Famous 20th Century Rappers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Rappers

 1 
Eminem
(One of the Most Influential and Popular Rappers of All Time)

Eminem
142
Birthdate: October 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States

Amongst the biggest rappers of all time, Eminem gained worldwide popularity with the release of albums like The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP. His subsequent albums became huge successes further making him a bigger sensation and one of the bestselling music artists of all time. His fame greatly inspired other white rappers to succeed in popular music.

 2 
Tupac Shakur
( 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone)

Tupac Shakur
199
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 13, 1996

Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered as one of the greatest American rappers of all time. Talent and trouble went hand in hand in Shakur’s journey to fame; the higher Shakur rose in his iconic status, the deeper he became entangled in gang violence and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely demise.

 3 
Kanye West
(One of the Greatest and Most Influential Hip Hop Musicians of All Time)

Kanye West
124
Birthdate: June 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Creative from a very young age, Kanye West dreamed of becoming a rapper since very early in his life. He became an award winning American rapper whose creativity in music is widely appreciated by critics. However, his outspoken views, comments and behaviour have quite often landed him controversies.

Recommended Lists:

 4 
Snoop Dogg
(Rapper)

Snoop Dogg
179
Birthdate: October 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

Snoop Dogg is a famous American rapper whose life is a perfect example of rags-to-riches story. As a child, he did various odd jobs to help his family make ends meet. He started rapping as a young boy to distract himself from his unstable family life. He ran into trouble with the law as a teenager. However, once he released his debut album, there was no looking back.

 

 5 
Dr. Dre
(Rapper, Record producer & Entrepreneur)

Dr. Dre
97
Birthdate: February 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Compton, California, United States

Rapper, record producer, and audio engineer, Dr. Dre, is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. He is credited with the popularization of  West Coast G-funk, a sub-genre of hip hop. After establishing himself in the music industry, he promoted the careers of many other rappers, including 2Pac and Snoop Dogg.

 6 
Ice Cube
(Rapper - Contributed Significantly to the Development of 'Gangsta Rap')

Ice Cube
85
Birthdate: June 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Crenshaw, California, United States

Ice Cube played an important role in contributing to gangsta rap's popularity. His lyrics for N.W.A's album Straight Outta Compton redrew boundaries and shaped West Coast rap's identity. Because of his lyrics, that explain black nationalism and black struggle, Ice Cube went on to influence a host of rappers and is considered one of the greatest rappers ever.

 7 
The Notorious B.I.G.
(One of the Greatest Rappers of All Time)

The Notorious B.I.G.
105
Birthdate: May 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 9, 1997

The Notorious B.I.G. was a rapper and songwriter and is considered one of the best ever. His debut album Ready to Die in 1994 was critically acclaimed. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in September 1996. His album Life After Death was released two weeks after his death. 

You May Like

 8 
Eazy-E
(Rapper Known as the 'Godfather of Gangsta Rap')

Eazy-E
60
Birthdate: September 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Compton, California, United States
Died: March 26, 1995

Widely regarded as the godfather of gangsta rap, Eazy-E was a rapper and record producer. He played a major role in popularizing gangsta rap and West Coast rap by forming N.W.A, which is considered one of the most influential and greatest hip hop groups of all time. Eazy-E died at the age of 30 after being diagnosed with AIDS.

 9 
Lil Wayne
(One of the Greatest Rappers of All Time)

Lil Wayne
75
Birthdate: September 27, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Rapper, singer and songwriter, Lil Wayne, is said to be an influential hip hop artists of his generation. Initially he was a flagship artist of Cash Money Records and then went solo. His albums are hugely popular and he has sold more than 120 million records worldwide. He has served an eight-month jail sentence for criminal possession of a weapon.

 10 
50 Cent
(Rapper)

50 Cent
83
Birthdate: July 6, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: South Jamaica, New York, United States

From selling drugs and getting arrested in his teens to becoming one of the world’s best-selling rappers, Curtis James Jackson III’s journey has been an interesting one. Better known by his stage name 50 Cent, his albums have sold in millions. However, despite being one of the richest celebrities, he filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015 due to financial troubles.

 11 
Jay-Z
(One of the Most Influential Hip-Hop Artists in History)

Jay-Z
48
Birthdate: December 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jay-Z is an American rapper and songwriter and is one of the world's best-selling music artists. His debut album Reasonable Doubt was hugely successful in 1996 and since then he has gone on to release many more acclaimed and successful albums. He has been charged with assaulting a record executive and was given a three-year probation sentence in January 2000.

 12 
DMX
(Rapper)

DMX
64
Birthdate: December 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States

 13 
Nas
(One of the Most Influential and Greatest Rappers of All Time)

Nas
71
Birthdate: September 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Crown Heights, New York, United States

Widely considered one of the greatest rappers ever, Nas has seven platinum and multi-platinum albums under his belt in the US. In 2006, he was ranked fifth on MTV's The Greatest MCs of All Time list. In 2012, he was ranked second on the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time list published by The Source. He is also an entrepreneur.

 14 
Ludacris
(Rapper)

Ludacris
40
Birthdate: September 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris soared to fame with his second album, Back for the First Time. Fans also loved him as Tej Parker in The Fast and the Furious franchise. He owns a label, a line of headphones, and a restaurant. His Ludacris Foundation is associated with many youth initiatives. 

 15 
André 3000
(Rapper)

André 3000
63
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 16 
Ice-T
(Co-Founder of the Heavy Metal Band “Body Count”)

Ice-T
61
Birthdate: February 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Rapper, singer, songwriter, musician, and actor, Ice-T is known for his fusion music that combines elements of rock and hip hop. Beginning his career as an underground rapper in the 1980s, he went on to release many albums that were commercially and critically successful. He is also an actor and voice actor.

 17 
Rick Ross
(Rapper, Songwriter)

Rick Ross
66
Birthdate: January 28, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Coahoma County, Mississippi
Named the "Hottest MC in the Game" in 2012 by MTV, Rick Ross soared to fame with his first single, Hustlin. He launched the label Maybach Music Group and once owned several Wingstop restaurant outlets. He is also known for his feuds and legal issues with other artists.

 18 
Method Man
(Rapper And Member Of Hip Hop Collective 'Wu-Tang Clan')

Method Man
20
Birthdate: March 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hempstead, New York, United States

Method Man is part of the hip-hop duo Method Man & Redman and Wu-Tang Clan. His collaborative single with Mary J. Blige, I'll Be There for You, won a Grammy. He has also appeared on the show Method & Red, in HBO series such as Oz, and in several films.

 19 
LL Cool J
(Known for His Album ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ One of the Best Albums of All Time)

LL Cool J
43
Birthdate: January 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bay Shore, New York, United States

LL Cool J is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and record producer. Such is his popularity that LL Cool J was named on VH1's list of 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time in 2010. In 2017, he became the first rapper to be awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. Over the years, Cool J has had a profound influence on hip-hop.

 20 
Lauryn Hill
(One of the Greatest Rappers Of All Time)

Lauryn Hill
46
Birthdate: May 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Famous rapper and singer, Lauryn Hill, is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time and a pioneer in the Neo soul genre. The artist whose album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill won five Grammy Awards, is an inspiration for numerous singers and rappers. Earlier, she gained recognition as member of Fugees, an award-winning hip hop group.

 21 
Busta Rhymes
(Rapper)

Busta Rhymes
78
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States

 22 
Pharrell Williams
(Lead Vocalist of the of the Hip Hop Band ‘N.E.R.D’)

Pharrell Williams
45
Birthdate: April 5, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Rapper-singer Pharrell Williams began his career with The Neptunes, the record-production duo he had formed with Chad Hugo. He was also part of the band N.E.R.D., as its lead vocalist. He is known for his Academy Award-nominated song Happy from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and his 13 Grammy wins.

 23 
Queen Latifah
(Best Known as 'Queen of Rap')

Queen Latifah
71
Birthdate: March 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Queen Latifah is an American musician and actress whose song U.N.I.T.Y. played a major role in raising awareness about women's rights worldwide. Dubbed Queen of Jazz-Rap, Latifah has influenced several soul, R&B, and hip-hop artists like Remy Ma, Lil' Kim, Ivy Queen, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, and Eve among other artists. As an actress, Latifah has won several prestigious awards.

 24 
Will Smith
(Actor)

Will Smith
54
Birthdate: September 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

The charismatic, versatile and bankable American artist, Will Smith, tasted early success with rapping. A successful transition into films and television soon followed and made Smith a phenomenal success. With solid earnings, he has also frequently secured himself a place in the list of highest paid actors in world.

 25 
Pitbull
(Rapper)

Pitbull
56
Birthdate: January 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Rapper Pitbull is best known for his chartbusting songs I Know You Want Me and Timber. He also sang the 2014 FIFA World Cup theme, We Are One (Ole Ola). The winner of 35 Billboard Latin Music Awards, he has also collaborated with artists such as Jennifer Lopez.

 26 
Fetty Wap
(Rapper, Singer)

Fetty Wap
38
Birthdate: June 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
Rapper Willie Junior Maxwell II, better known as Fetty Wap, rose to fame with his Billboard-charting and two-time Grammy-nominated debut track Trap Queen. He often wears the Haitian flag. He has often found himself in the midst of lawsuits for offenses ranging from copyright infringement to assault.

 27 

Bobby Shmurda
70
Birthdate: August 4, 1994
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

Bobby Shmurda is one of the most popular American rappers to serve a prison sentence. After releasing his debut EP, he was arrested on charges of conspiracy to murder, reckless endangerment, and weapons possession. Initially sentenced to seven years in prison, his term was later reduced to five years. In 2017, he claimed that he was writing music in prison.

 28 
Jack Harlow
(Rapper)

Jack Harlow
89
Birthdate: March 13, 1998
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States

 29 
Common
(Rapper)

Common
33
Birthdate: March 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Side, Chicago, Illinois, United States

 30 
Sean Combs
(Rapper and Record Producer Known for His Albums: ‘No Way Out’ , ‘Forever’ and ‘Press Play’)

Sean Combs
65
Birthdate: November 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning hip-hop legend Sean Combs, known to fans as Puffy, Puff Daddy, or Diddy, started off as a talent director with Uptown and then launched his own record label. His debut album, No Way Out, was certified 7Xplatinum, and his song I'll Be Missing You topped the Billboard charts. 

 31 

The Kid Laroi
45
Birthdate: August 17, 2003
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waterloo, Australia
Australian rapper and hip-hop artist The Kid Laroi was mentored by the late rapper Juice Wrld. He shot to fame with the tracks Let Her Go, Diva, the Billboard-charting Go, and Addison Rae. He is immensely popular on Instagram and YouTube, where he has millions of followers.

 32 
Nelly
(Rapper and Singer Known for His Hits: ‘Country Grammar’, ‘Hot in Herre’ and ‘Dilemma’)

Nelly
68
Birthdate: November 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States

Grammy-winning hip-hop/rap artist Nelly began his career with St. Lunatics. He became a household name after the release of his debut solo album, Country Grammar, in 2000. He ranked third on Billboard’s list of the Top Artist of the Decade and has sold 21 million albums in the U.S.

 33 
Mary J. Blige
(Rapper, and Actress Known as "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul")

Mary J. Blige
10
Birthdate: January 11, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Mary J. Blige is a popular singer-songwriter and actress. Having sold 80 million records worldwide, she is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Referred to as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary is credited with influencing the fusion of R&B and hip hop. She often gets featured in lists like The 100 Greatest Women in Music.

 34 
Mos Def
(Rapper, Actor)

Mos Def
24
Birthdate: December 11, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 35 
RZA
(Rapper)

RZA
25
Birthdate: July 5, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brownsville, New York, United States
Rapper RZA leads the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and previously performed with Gravediggaz, under the name “The RZArector.” He is also known for his directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists; his appearance in films such as American Gangster; and his BAFTA-nominated music in Kill Bill: Volume 1.

 36 
Soulja Boy
(Rapper)

Soulja Boy
39
Birthdate: July 28, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago
Soulja Boy is best known for his Billboard Hot 100-topping track Crank That. Named to the 2010 Forbes list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings, he revolutionized the art of promoting music through social media, especially through YouTube. He is part of a deal with the World Poker Fund.

 37 
Missy Elliott
(Rapper Known for Singles "Get Ur Freak On," "The Rain," and "Lose Control.")

Missy Elliott
50
Birthdate: July 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Four-time Grammy-winning rapper Missy Elliott, known for her chartbusting tracks such as Get Ur Freak On, was ranked fifth on Billboard’s 100 Greatest Music Video Artists of All Time list. She was initially part of the R&B group Sista and then collaborated with Timbaland in the collective Swing Mob

 38 
2 Chainz
(Rapper Best Known for His Single ‘Duffle Bag Boy’)

2 Chainz
53
Birthdate: September 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: College Park, Georgia, United States

2 Chainz is an American rapper, media personality, songwriter, and basketball player. One-half of the now-defunct hip hop duo Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz is credited with founding The Real University, his own independent record label. Also an entrepreneur, 2 Chainz owns Dabbing Sweaters, his own line of sweaters, and CEO Millionaires, a line of hoodies.

 39 
Ghostface Killah
(Musician, Rapper, Singer)

Ghostface Killah
34
Birthdate: May 9, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City

 40 
Pusha T
(Rapper)

Pusha T
30
Birthdate: May 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 41 
will.i.am
(Rapper)

will.i.am
34
Birthdate: March 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eastside Los Angeles, California, United States
Rapper and music producer William James Adams Jr., better known as “will.i.am,” is a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas. He went solo later and released tracks such as the NBA Live theme Go! The seven-time Grammy-winning artist also wrote Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign theme Yes We Can.

 42 
GZA
(Rapper, Musician, Singer)

GZA
21
Birthdate: August 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 43 
Lisa Lopes
(Rapper, Singer)

Lisa Lopes
50
Birthdate: May 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 25, 2002

Lisa Lopes, popularly known as “Left Eye,” was a member of the Grammy-winning hip-hop/R&B girl band TLC. Apart from rapping and singing, she also co-wrote songs and managed the band’s outfits, album titles, and artworks. Lopes died in a car accident in Honduras, leaving behind her incomplete second solo album.

 44 
Vanilla Ice
(Rapper Known for His Debut Album 'To the Extreme')

Vanilla Ice
16
Birthdate: October 31, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: South Dallas, Dallas, Texas, United States
Vanilla Ice shot to fame after his iconic 1990s’ single Ice Ice Baby became the first hip-hop track to top the Billboard Charts. He had ventured into motocross racing and jet skiing, and also survived a suicide attempt. He was also part of the reality show The Vanilla Ice Project.

 45 
Nate Dogg
(Rapper Best Known for His Song ‘Regulate')

Nate Dogg
22
Birthdate: August 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States
Died: March 15, 2011

Nicknamed King of Hooks, American singer and rapper Nate Dogg is best known for his collaborations with other celebrated rappers like Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Dr. Dre.  Equally successful as a solo artist, he had recorded three solo albums as well as a string of singles, concurrently charting 16 times on the Billboard Hot 100 as a featured artist.

 46 
Q-Tip
(Rapper, Record producer)

Q-Tip
11
Birthdate: April 10, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

 47 
Jadakiss
(Musician, Songwriter, Rapper, Singer)

Jadakiss
15
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yonkers

 48 
Swizz Beatz
(Record producer, Entrepreneur, Painter, Rapper, Singer, Businessperson, Songwriter)

Swizz Beatz
18
Birthdate: September 13, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City

 49 
Sean Paul
(Rapper)

Sean Paul
8
Birthdate: January 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Sean Paul is a Jamaican recording artist and producer, widely considered one of dancehall's most prolific artists. He is best known for his singles, Temperature and Get Busy. Most of his albums have received Grammy nominations under the Best Reggae Album category.

 50 
Eve
(Rapper)

Eve
53
Birthdate: November 10, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.