The 25 most famous rappers in history

The most famous rappers in history are represented by proper names such as Tupac Shakur, Eminem, Jay Z or Lil Wayne, but many others have left their mark on this musical genre.

Rap originated in the Latin and black neighborhoods of New York in the 1970s, being a musical expression of hip hop mixed with funky or disco.

Although its origin was in the Bronx, its expansion has been brutal thanks to artists like the ones we’re going to recap below.

25 rappers recognized in history

1- Rick Ross


William Leonard Roberts II, born January 28, 1976, is an American rapper and entrepreneur. Ross founded the Maybach Music Group record label in 2009, through which he has released 5 albums. This artist has also signed with Ciroc Entertainment company. His lyrics have gained popularity for touching on controversial topics like drugs and trafficking.

2- André 3000


André Lauren Benjamin, born May 27, 1975, is an American rapper, producer, dancer and actor. He is famous for being part of the hip-hop duo Outkast along with rapper Big Boi. Along with music, Benjamin is also an entrepreneur and in 2008 launched his own clothing line.

3- Rime Envelope


Trevor George Smith Jr., born May 20, 1972, is an American rapper and producer. He is known for his eccentric style which has been shown in many of his music videos. He also highlights his complex rhyme technique in which he agitates at high speed with a high use of rhymes and internal crescents.

4- Big Sean


Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, born March 25, 1988, is a Californian American rapper who grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He signed with GOOD Music in 2007, Def Jam Recordings in 2008 and Roc Nation in 2014.

5- Sean combs


Sean John Combs, born November 4, 1969, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and producer. He is best known by his stage name of Puff Daddy or P. Diddy. He was born in Harlem and raised in Mount Vernon, New York. In 1993 he founded his own record label Bad Boy Entertainment. Combs has won three Grammy Awards.

6- The game


Jayceon Terrell Taylor, born November 29, 1979, is an American rapper and actor. He is one of the artists under the Aftermath Records label. He rose to prominence with his first album, The Documentary, which was continued in 2006 with Doctor’s Advocate.

7- Future


Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, born November 20, 1983, is an American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. Wilburn began her career as part of the Dungeon Family collective. After launching a string of hits between 2010 and 2011, Future signed with Epic Records and A1 Recordings, which helped him launch his own label called Freebandz.

8- TI

Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., born September 25, 1980, is an American rapper and actor from Atlanta, Georgia. In 1999 he released his first album with LaFace Records. In 2001, he formed the southern hip hop group called Pimp Squad Click, along with several friends from his hometown. In 2003 he released his own record label called Grand Hustle Records. He is known for popularizing a sub-genre of hip hop known as the music trap.

9- Eazy-E


Eric Lynn Wright, born September 7, 1964 and died March 26, 1995, was an American rapper known for his participation in the NWA Hip Hop group In 1988, this group released their most controversial album called Straight Outta Compton. His most important influences were the funk bands of the 70s and some of the contemporary rappers of the moment.

10- Nicki Minaj


Onika Tanya Maraj, born on December 8, 1982, is an American nationalized and Trinitarian rapper, singer and composer. Since 2009, Minaj has been linked to the Young Money Entertainment label. For 2016, she has sold over 20 million singles as a lead artist and nearly 60 million as guest artists worldwide.

11- Rakim

William Michael Griffin, born January 28, 1968, is an American rapper. He is recognized as one of the most influential rappers of all time. He is known for being part of the hip-hop duo Erc B & Rakim, who are part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

12- J. Cole

Jermaine Lamarr Cole, born January 28, 1985, is an American hip hop artist and producer from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cole rose to fame after the release of his first Come Up production in 2007. He also produces singles for artists such as Kendrick Lamar or Janet Jackson.

13- Ice cube

O’Shea Jackson Sr., born June 15, 1969, is an American rapper, songwriter, producer, actor and director. He started his career as a member of the hip hop group CIA and then joined NWA Ice Cube is considered one of the founding artists of the gangsta rap genre.

14- Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, born June 17, 1987, is an American rapper and composer. He began his musical career under the stage name of K-Dot, signing with the Top Dawg Entertainment record label. His leap to fame occurred when he released his first album Overly Dedicated in 2010. In 2012 he signed with the records Aftermath and Interscope.

15- Dr. Dre

Andre Romelle Young, born February 18, 1965, is an American rapper, producer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current president of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics.

Dre was previously part of Death Row Records as a co-founder and artist. He is known to be one of the main figures in popularizing West Coast G-funk, which is a style of rap music featuring a synthesizer based on a regular, heavy rhythm. In 2015 he was listed as the richest person in the hip-hop scene with around $ 620 million.


Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, born September 14, 1973, is an American singer, producer, actor and entrepreneur. He is known to be the son of jazz musician Olu Dara. Nas managed to release 8 consecutive albums that went platinum and multi-platform for its sales of over 25 million worldwide.

17-50 cents

Curtis James Jackson III, born July 6, 1975, is an American rapper, actor and entrepreneur. From a very young age he started selling drugs and then pursuing a musical career. In the year 2000 he receives 9 hits. In 2002, he was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed a deal with Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records.

18- Snoop Dogg

Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., born October 20, 1971, is an American rapper. His musical career began in 1992 when he was discovered by Dr. Dre and was included on The Chronic album. Since then he has managed to sell over 35 million albums worldwide.

19- The Notorious BIG

Christopher Geogre Latore Wallace, born May 21, 1972 and died March 9, 1997, was an American rapper. He is continually regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time. Wallace was known for his loose, semi-autobiographical lyrics. He was able to change the pitch of his voice during the song. He was killed by an unknown assailant in a shooting in Los Angeles.

20- Drake

Aubrey Drake Graham, born October 24, 1986, is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, producer and actress. He was known to have been an actor in the Degrassi youth series in the early 2000s. In 2007 he began his musical career with his own production Room for Improvement. In 2009 she signed with Young Money Entertainment.

21- Tupac Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur, born June 16, 1971 and died September 13, 1996, was an American rapper, producer, actor and poet. Shakur has managed to sell over 75 million records globally. His albums All Eyez on Me and Greatest Hits are among the best-selling albums in the United States in all of history. He died of fatal blows during a shooting in Las Vegas.

22- Lil Wayne

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., born September 27, 1982, is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana. His career began in 1991 when he was only 9 with the production company Cash Money Records. Lil Wayne has sold over 100 million records worldwide. He is the president of his own label called Young Money Entertainment.

23- Kanye West

Kanye Omari West, born June 8, 1977, is an American rapper, songwriter, producer, designer and businessman. West began his career as a producer in the 2000s. In 2004 he released his first album known as The College Dropout. In his career he has managed to sell over 32 million albums and 100 million digital downloads worldwide.

24- Jay Z

Shawn Corey Carter, born December 4, 1969, is an American rapper and entrepreneur. He is one of the best-selling musical artists in history with nearly 100 million records worldwide. He has received a total of 21 Grammy Awards throughout his career. Forbes magazine estimates his 2014 fortune at $ 520 million, making him the richest hip hop artist in the United States.


Marshall Bruce Mathers III, born October 17, 1972, is an American rapper, producer and actor. During his career he had 10 number 1 albums according to Bilboard magazine. Worldwide he has sold over 172 million albums, becoming one of the best-selling artists.

He has also founded record labels such as Shady Records which have released artists as big as 50 cents. He won the Oscar for Best Original Song from the 8 Mile Movie , which he himself starred.