VSB’s Absolute, Yet Debatable List of the 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time...Definitely, Maybe

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You’ve probably seen a ton of lists circulating on social media lately ranking the 50 greatest rappers of all time. I don’t know who did the first one, but somehow Joe Budden—an extremely talented and gifted wordsmith—ended up in the No. 3 slot ahead of arguably, at minimum, 10 rappers easily better than him. Because the original list’s creator has a sense of humor and because God ain’t done with us yet, a slew of lists hit the internet in tremendous fashion, splayed out in all manner of fucktasticness. I saw one list that included both Benzino and Silk the Shocker. And while I’m sure they both enjoyed their rap careers, I can’t imagine either of them would make their own top 50 lists.

OK. I realize that’s a lie. There isn’t a rapper alive who isn’t going to put themselves on their own list, much less place themselves outside of the top 10. Point is, a list with Silk the Shocker and Benzino on it exists, making that list entirely moot. Similarly, I saw one with RZA as the GOAT, and well, apparently RZA has time to make lists since he’s not even in the top 5 rappers in the Wu Tang Clan; how would he be the overall GOAT? I live for this shit.

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As it turns out, the only way to both rectify and participate in the hip-hoppery happening on the internet is to throw my own list into the fray. This list will be done off the top of my head and will be better than anybody else’s list. In fact, my list will be the GOAT list of GOAT rappers. You ready? Good. We ready. Oh, and as is customary in matters of frequent dispute: Fight your moms, fam.

  1. Biggie
  2. Jay
  3. Andre 3000
  4. Black Thought
  5. Redman
  6. Eminem
  7. Nas
  8. Ice Cube
  9. Tupac
  10. Scarface
  11. Fabolous
  12. Prodigy
  13. The Game
  14. Mos Def
  15. Royce Da 5’9”
  16. Big L
  17. Kurupt
  18. Lil Wayne
  19. Joe Budden
  20. Lauryn Hill
  21. Kool G. Rap
  22. Rakim
  23. Kendrick Lamar
  24. MF Doom
  25. T.I.
  26. Big Pun
  27. Cam’ron
  28. Ghostface Killah
  29. Raekwon
  30. DMX
  31. Mystikal
  32. Jadakiss
  33. Styles P
  34. Method Man
  35. Ras Kass
  36. Phonte Coleman (Little Brother)
  37. J Cole
  38. Pusha T
  39. Mac (No Limit)
  40. GZA
  41. Lil Kim
  42. Common
  43. Inspectah Deck
  44. Drake
  45. Lupe Fiasco
  46. Snoop Doggy Dogg
  47. 50 Cent
  48. Big Boi
  49. Nicki Minaj
  50. Busta Rhymes

Correction: 8/7/2019, 12:55 p.m. ET: MF Doom was added at No. 24 to replace Jadakiss, who appeared twice.

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About the author

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.