Shawn Carter, the US rapper better known as Jay-Z, has been named by Billboard as the greatest rapper of all time.


The top US entertainment magazine, in collaboration with Vibe, unveiled the list of ‘50 Greatest Rappers of All Time’ to honour this year’s golden anniversary of hip-hop.

According to Billboard, the acronym G.O.A.T. is a distinguished and also contentious honour when it comes to ranking who or what is considered to be the ultimate best.

To determine the ranking, the “Billboard and Vibe editorial team limited the rap arena to North America and took into account; body of work/achievements, cultural impact/influence, longevity, lyrics and flow.”


“It took a lot of deliberation to compile this list, which it described as a “well-thought-out, authentic list that reflects hip-hop’s foundational pioneers, evolutionary trailblazers and contemporary mainstays.”

See the list below: 

50. Rick Ross


49. Rev. Run (Run-DMC)

48. Melle Mel

47. MC Lyte

46. Jadakiss


45. Ice-T

44. Queen Latifah

43. Bun B

42. Redman


41. E-40

40. Dr. Dre

39. Ludacris

38. Gucci Mane


37. Common

36. Yasin Bey (formerly Mos Def)

35. Future

34. Chuck D (Public Enemy)

33. Busta Rhymes

32. T.I.

31. Lil Kim

30. Lauryn Hill

29. Pusha T

28. Black Thought

27. Q-Tip

26. Big Pun

25. Method Man

24. KRS-One

23. Kurtis Blow

22. Ghostface Killah

21. DMX

20. Big Daddy Kane

19. Missy Elliott

18. Ice Cube

17. 50 Cent

16. Scarface

15. J.Cole

14. LL Cool J

13. Rakim

12. André 3000

11. Kanye West (Ye)

10. Nicki Minaj

9. Snoop Dogg

8. Drake

7. Lil Wayne

6. The Notorious B.I.G

5. Eminem

4. Tupac

3. Nas

2. Kendrick Lamar

1. Jay-Z

Jay-Z has 14 Billboard 200 No. 1 albums (the most amongst solo acts), and over 140 million records sold.

“He co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records, collected 24 Grammys, ran hip-hop’s legendary Def Jam Records as president, guided Rihanna and Ye to billionaire status, founded a behemoth entertainment/sports agency in Roc Nation and best-selling spirits brands D’usse and Armand de Brignac,” it added.

Beyond music, Jay-Z has continued to gain influence as an entrepreneur.

In 2019, he had become the first hip-hop artiste to attain billionaire status.

Copyright 2024 TheCable. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from TheCable.

Follow us on twitter @Thecablestyle