Top 20 best hip-hop musicians in the world you should listen to

Top 20 best hip-hop musicians in the world you should listen to

Hip-hop music has grown tremendously since it was invented in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. This genre has been popular in the African American community and in different parts of the world. Ranking hip-hop artists is a contentious topic, as there is no specific metric to measure the best. Debating why Tupac, because of his societal impact and skills, is superior to Jay-Z can be a challenging task, especially for Gen Z.

Best hip-hop musicians of all time
Photo: @liltunechi, @drake, @icecube on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Over the past decade, young hip-hop's most outstanding talents have emerged and dominated the industry. Though subjective, the flow of music and the lyrical nature of the songs has been on point. Here are the top 20 best hip-hop musicians in the world you should listen to.

Top 20 best hip-hop musicians in the world

The question of who is the top hip-hop musician in the world can be hard to answer. This is because people use different criteria to rank them. However, looking at the mic skills, lyrical flow and societal influence, here are the world's top 20 best hip-hop musicians. Note that the list is not arranged in any particular order.

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1. Tupac

Best hip-hop musicians of all time
American rapper, songwriter, and actor (1971-1996) Tupac Shakur poses for a portrait during the 1994 Source Awards on April 25, 1994, at the Paramount Theatre in New York, New York. Photo: Bob Berg
Source: Getty Images

Who is the most popular hip-hop artist in the world? Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as Tupac, is considered the greatest hip-hop artist. Tupac was the most famous artist before his death on 13 September 1996. Some of his best hits include Dear Mama, If I Die 2Nite, Ambitionz az a Ridah, I Ain't Mad at Cha, Brenda's Got a Baby, California Love, and Hail Mary.

2. The Notorious B.I.G

Christopher George Latore Wallace was an American hip-hop artist professionally as The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie. His first album, Ready to Die, released in 1994, made him the East Coast hip-hop king. His best songs include Hypnotize, Juicy, Big Poppa, Who Shot Ya?, and Kick in the Door.

On 9 March 1997, Wallace was killed by an unknown assailant in Los Angeles. However, his second album, Life After Death, released two weeks later, topped the U.S. charts.

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3. Jay-Z

Best hip-hop artists of all time
Jay-Z performs on stage during the "On the Run II" tour opener at Principality Stadium on June 6, 2018, in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Kevin Mazur
Source: Getty Images

Shawn Corey Carter, popularly known as Jay-Z, is an American rapper, songwriter, record executive, and producer. He is one of the best hip-hop artists of all time. His Blueprint album was produced with fresh-sounding beats and incredible flow. Where I'm From, Dead Presidents, Regrets, So Ghetto, No Hook, and Public Service Announcement (Interlude) are some of his best hits.

4. Eminem

Best hip-hop music artists
Eminem performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022, in Inglewood, California. Photo: Rob Carr
Source: Getty Images

Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, one of the best hip-hop artists in the world. He is ranked high because he has influenced hip-hop and rap music in general. Em can put together some of the best rhymes ever. Some of his best songs include Lose Yourself, The Way I Am, Stan, Sing for the Moment, and Till I Collapse.

5. Nas

Who is the best hip-hop musician in the world
Nas performs onstage during the "NY State Of Mind" tour at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on September 22, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Paras Griffin
Source: Getty Images

Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones best known as Nas, is an American rapper and hip-hop artist famous for the Made You Look hit. The Queensbridge legend is the king of street music, and his style of music has influenced a whole new generation of rappers. Some of his most notable hits are The Message, NY State of Mind, The World Is Yours, and One Mic.

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6. Kendrick Lamar

Who is the most popular hip-hop artist in the world
Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs onstage during day three of Rolling Loud Miami 2022 at Hard Rock Stadium on July 24, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo: Jason Koerner
Source: Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is one of the best hip-hop artists of this generation. Lamar has maintained consistency in his music releases since joining the music industry. His catalogue of four classic albums shows that he is the best and continues to rise in the ranks as time passes. His best songs include MAAD City, HiiiPoWeR, B*tch, Don't Kill My Vibe, Alright, and Humble.

7. Drake

Best hip-hop artists of all time
Drake performs onstage during the Final Stop of 'Aubrey & The three Amigos Tour' at State Farm Arena on November 18, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Prince Williams
Source: Getty Images

Aubrey Drake Graham, famously known as Drake, is a Canadian hip-hop artist, rapper, record producer, and songwriter. Drake got signed with Lil Wayne's music label Young Money Entertainment in 2009, and his star has been shining since then. The two-time Grammy nominee is hip-hop's number-one trendsetter of this generation and has stayed on top of her game for the last 10 years. Some of his best tracks are 0 to 100 / The Catch Up, Lord Knows, Tuscan Leather, 5 AM in Toronto, and Know Yourself.

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8. Lil Wayne

Best hip-hop music artists
Lil Wayne performs onstage on day 2 of 2021 ONE Musicfest at Centennial Olympic Park on October 10, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Prince William
Source: Getty Images

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, professionally known as Lil Wayne, had his albums certified platinum at 17. In 2005, he dropped Tha Carter II and took the Best Rapper Alive title. With hits like Lollipop and A Milli, Wayne had the streets, the club, and the radio wrapped in his palm. His best hits include A Milli, Tha Mobb, I Feel Like Dying, and Go D.J.

9. Snoop Dogg

Best hip-hop musicians of all time
Snoop Dogg performs onstage at the 2022 MTV VMAs at Prudential Center on August 28, 2022, in Newark, New Jersey. Photo: Johnny Nunez
Source: Getty Images

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, professionally known as Snoop Dogg, is one of the best veteran hip-hop artists. Snoop Dogg was the world's biggest and most famous rapper, even before his debut album dropped in 1993. When D*ggystyle dropped, Snoop moved over 800,000 units in its first week of sale, certifying him as a superstar. His best hits include Who Am I? (What's My Name?), Gin and Juice, Murder Was the Case, and Nuthin’ but a 'G' Thang.

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10. Rakim

Best hip-hop artists of all time
Rapper Rakim performs onstage at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on July 18, 2015, in Irvine, California. Photo: Scott Dudelson
Source: Getty Images

William Michael Griffin Jr, professionally known as Rakim, is one of his generation's best hip-hop stars. The American artist entered the scene during the golden age of hip-hop with heavyweights like L.L. Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, and Public Enemy, among others. His best hits include I Know You Got Soul, My Melody, Microphone Fiend, Lyrics of Fury, and Let the Rhythm Hit' Em.

11. Kanye West

Best hip-hop music artists
Kanye West performs during Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour at Madison Square Garden on September 4, 2016, in New York City. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris
Source: Getty Images

Kanye Omari West, professionally known as Kanye West or Yeezy, is ranked among the best hip-hop artists globally. His debut album, The College Dropout, was dropped in 2004, which was a success. Kanye has always been mindful of his image, which has set him apart from other hip-hop artists. Some of his best hits include Jesus Walks, Touch the Sky, Good Morning, Gorgeous and New Slaves.

12. J. Cole

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Who is the best hip-hop musician in the world?
J. Cole performs during day 3 of Lollapalooza at Grant Park on July 30, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Josh Brasted
Source: Getty Images

Jermaine Lamarr Cole, famously known as J. Cole, is an American hip-hop artist, songwriter, and singer. The Fayetteville legend launched his career in 2007 by releasing his first mixtape. He also elevated his music career when he launched Dreamville Records. Some of his best hits include Forest Hills Drive and 4 Your Eyez Only.

13. Lauryn Hill

Who is the most popular hip-hop artist in the world?
Lauryn Hill performs on The Pyramid Stage during day three of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019, in Glastonbury, England. Photo: Harry Durrant
Source: Getty Images

Although female rappers are mostly forgotten, Lauryn Noelle Hill, professionally known as Lauryn Hill, makes the cut. Lauryn is one of the few female rappers who made it in the male-dominated field and won many Grammy Awards. She is the greatest hip-hop female artist of her generation. Her best songs include Lost Ones, How Many Mics, Ready or Not, Fu-Gee-La, and Doo Wop (That Thing).

14. Ice Cube

Best hip-hop artists of all time
Ice Cube performs during halftime in the game between the 3 Headed Monsters and Triplets in BIG3 Week 5 at Comerica Center on July 17, 2022, in Frisco, Texas. Photo: Richard Rodriguez
Source: Getty Images

Many people see Ice Cube these days as a Hollywood actor who occasionally makes music. Cube was, however, the best rapper alive in the early 90s, releasing back-to-back hits. He was the main lyrical force behind Straight Outta Compton and dropped two of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time – Amerikka's Most Wanted and Death Certificate. His best hits include It Was a Good Day, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, No Vaseline, Wicked, and The Wrong N*gga to F*ck Wit.

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15. Andre 3000

Best hip-hop musicians of all time
Andre 3000 performs at Young Jeezy Presents TM101: 10 Year Anniversary at The Fox Theatre on July 25, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Prince Williams
Source: Getty Images

André Lauren Benjamin, famously known as Andre 3000, is an American hip-hop artist and actor. Andre and Big Boi started the Southern hip-hop takeover as OutKast and had four classics back-to-back. Andre 3000 is a genius with his original rhymes, off-beat flow, and always charming lyrics. His best songs include Elevators (Me & You), Ms Jackson, SpottieOttieDopaliscious, B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad), and Da Art of Storytellin' Pt. 1.

16. Pusha T

Best hip-hop music artists
Pusha T performs onstage during 2022 Made In America at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 03, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Theo Wargo
Source: Getty Images

Pusha T is an American rapper and record executive. He has released three solo albums: My Name Is My Name, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, and Daytona. From 2002's Lord Willin' to 2022's It's Almost Dry, he has been consistent for 20 years straight, releasing dope rhymes. His best hits include Numbers on the Boards, Nosetalgia, The Games We Play, Grindin', and Keys Open Doors.

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17. Kodak Black

Who is the best hip-hop musician in the world
Kodak Black performs at the Miami Benefit concert for Haiti at Oasis Wynwood on September 03, 2021, in Miami, Florida. Photo: John Parra
Source: Getty Images

Bill Kahan Kapri, professionally known as Kodak Black, is an American rapper. He is famous for his singles Zeze, Roll in Peace, Tunnel Vision, SKRT, and No Flockin. In addition, he featured on French Montana's single Lockjaw, which was number 23 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Kodak has four albums Painting Pictures, Dying to Live, Bill Israel and Back for Everything.

18. Meek Mill

Best hip-hop artists of all time
Recording artist Meek Mill performs at The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre on August 26, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Monica Morgan
Source: Getty Images

Meek Mill is an American rapper famous for his album Dreams and Nightmares, released in 2012. The album preceded the single Amen, which debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200. In 2015, Mill released Dreams Worth More Than Money and Wins & Losses in 2017. His fourth album, Championships, came at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200.

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19. Tory Lanez

Best hip-hop musicians of all time
Tory Lanez performs during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019, in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Gregory Shamus
Source: Getty Images

Daystar Shemuel Shua Peterson, professionally known as Tory Lanez, is a Canadian hip-hop artist, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Lanez has released three studio albums, I Told You, Memories Don't Die, and Love Me Now. Two of his best singles Say It and Luv, did very well on Billboard Hot 100. He received a Grammy Award nomination for his song Luv and four Juno Awards.

20. Offset

Best hip-hop artists of all time
Offset of Migos performs onstage during LivexLive's Social Gloves: Battle Of The Platforms PPV Livestream at Hard Rock Stadium on June 12, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo: John Parra
Source: Getty Images

Offset, real name Kiari Kendrell Cephus is an American rapper from Lawrenceville, Georgia. He rose to fame as a member of Migos, a hip-hop and trap trio. Offset has collaborated with big names like Drake and Tiger. Ric Flair Drip's hit song is his first solo platinum single and the highest charting U.S. Billboard Hot 100 entry.

Who is the best hip-hop musician in the world?

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Tupac has been ranked the best artist in the world due to his music's impact on society and his mic skills when delivering the music.

Who is the most popular hip-hop artist in the world?

Eminem is the most popular hip-hop artist in the world. He is also among the top-selling rap artist in the world.

What is the number one hip-hop song of all time?

The number one hip-hop song of all time is I Used to Love H.E.R. from the Resurrection album by Common, released in 1994.

Hip-hop music is ever-changing, and the top artists today may not be the best tomorrow. However, artists like Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. have been ranked top of the list for a long time due to their music's impact on society. In addition, new artists like Drake and Kendrick Lamar have continued to emerge, taking the hip-hop music scene by storm.

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READ ALSO: Top 30 richest musicians in the world in 2022: Who are they?

Legit.ng published an article about the richest musicians in the world. Listening to music is great as it is food for the soul. Music is one of the best-paying crafts that has made artists wealthy through record sales and brand endorsements.

Music is one of the most lucrative industries in the entertainment world. These richest musicians worldwide have made millions of dollars from their music.

Source: Legit.ng

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