Vh1 50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists


I’ve been meaning to air out VH1 for this 50 Greatest list for a minute now. They’ve definitely caught it on other sites for this bullshit list, but I had to put my 2 cents in, you know that. This is what I do.

I have highlighted in red the artists who shouldn’t even be anywhere near the list. In blue are the maybes and in green are the artists who got jerked as far as they’re ranking.  Everybody else, should probably be there for different reasons, but not in the order they’re in.

50. Sugarhill Gang
49. Tone Loc  -?
48. Kool Moe Dee
47. Arrested Development  – You guys had like one hit song…
46. Eve
45. Heavy D & The Boyz
44. MC Hammer
43. Coolio
42. Kurtis Blow
41. MC Lyte
40. Gang Starr
39. Ja Rule –ahead of Gang Starr and Kurtis Blow?
38. Biz Markie
37. The Roots
36. Master P
35. Big Daddy Kane
34. Lil’ Kim
33. De La Soul
32. Cypress Hill
31. Naughty By Nature
30. Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff
29. Nelly – ahead of Kane, Biz, and De La Soul?
28. Busta Rhymes
27. A Tribe Called Quest
26. Ice Cube
25. Snoop Dogg
24. Queen Latifah
23. OutKast
22. DMX
21. KRS-One
20. Eric B. & Rakim
19. Nas
18. Afrika Bambaataa
17. The Fugees & Lauryn Hill
16. Ice-T
15. Wu-Tang Clan
14. Missy Elliott – ahead of Nas, Rakim, and Cube?
13. N.W.A.
12. P. Diddy – ahead of anybody on this list?
11. Beastie Boys
10. Jay-Z
9. Salt-N-Pepa
8. Grandmaster Flash
7. Dr. Dre
6. Eminem
5. LL Cool J
4. Notorious B.I.G.
3. Tupac Shakur
2. Public Enemy
1. Run-DMC

I can’t really argue with Run-DMC at number 1, but PE should probably be moved up a couple of spots. I like Em and everything, but how does he rank in front of Rakim, Guru, Kane, Nas, Jay-Z, and N.W.A.? And what no Kool Herc? The man invented Hip Hop for crying out loud! And are they trying to say Missy has been more important to Hip Hop than Ice-T, Busta, and Cypress Hill? No Big Pun? No Big L? No Redman? I like what VH1’s been doing in terms of Hip Hop shows and documentaries lately, (God knows they’re doing a better job than BET) but they need to fall back thinking that gives them the right to even try making this type of list.


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64 Responses to “Vh1 50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists”

  1. VESYBNVS Says:

    this GARBAGE list is rediculously off— ja rule in front of GANGSTARR- nelly in front of NAUGHTY — salt-n-peppa before JAY-Z–get a grip
    this list is missing some rap pioneers–wheres EPMD,Peterock/CL, BIGPUN, REDMAN… to name a few
    GET A GRIP VH1- stick to michael bolton videos.

  2. SEEUNO YBN Says:

    FUK VH1

  3. nastack Says:

    Yo, I thought about Big L, but I figured they probably didn’t put him on because of his limited impact on the industry on his time of death. Good lookin out on the link.

  4. Nah Right » Blog Archive » King’s Top 10 Worst Performances Says:

    […] s try to act, especially when some of them can’t even rap. Unlike the VH1 top 50 list, I can’t really argue with King’s list, although […]

  5. Mo'Nique Says:

    but guess who aint on der 50 cents Creflo Dollar half brotha

  6. Da pit Says:

    Im not complaining too much B.I.G and tupac definently should be rankin 1 and 2 but Nas after DMX????

  7. Keilo's Says:

    where’s 50 cent if lil kim and missy can be there

  8. mikeg1530 Says:

    yea 50 cent should be on this list

  9. Stephen Says:

    This list does suck, I do think that speech and arrested development deserve to be on the list if not higher, they invented neosoul rap for God’s sake, they were a precursor to the fugees,roots, mos def ect… speaking of Mos def where is he. For P diddy to be anywhere on this list is ridiculous, although i was a fan in high school.

    Dr. Dre in front of Eminem… Come on now.

  10. Archie Says:

    Any list of the greatest rappers, without Tupac Shakur at the top is fake.

  11. Lesane Says:

    Pac shoud not be put in the same list with any rapper. He is way bigger than Hip Hop itself. He belongs with Malcolm X, Martin Luther jr. and other greats outside music. I think he is the greatest black icon of all time in all facets of life.

  12. KonShence Says:

    ok i still dont understand how fresh prince got farther in the list then The Roots. thats bullshit. i dont even understand how MC Hammer got ON the list.

  13. Noah Says:

    ok eminem is way overrated, just cause hes white and can spit it, ill get on the realest emcee shit all day not just some angry shit that doesnt stay, hell i rhyme when i talk cause emcee shit i walk, Krs-one is the prince of all hip hop and deserves to me number one fuck anyone who likes 50 cent or disagrees with what i say cause Krs-One is the real bosso f the list, TEMPLE OF HIP HOP! (alright run dmc is the shit but krs-one seriously should be number on) I fully agree with most the green labels, cept nas really, cause you know hes overrated like, people try n say hes the best rapper so great did all this shit, but its like he isnt really sayin shit, i know people gonna be hatin on me for it but its like.. idk hes almost generic or somethin he doesnt got like a style or anything that stands out and grabs me… hell, i mean hes got like a handful of really hot tracks but he lacks somethin that grabs me a lot of the time….. if you wana get on some real shit get with BLADE ICEWOOD TRACKS, DIRTY GLOVE 4e!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Noah Says:

    ps Wu Tang, cmon seriously, at least number two

  15. birkhead Says:

    perfect site good information, very nice news and etc… tnx

  16. Jersey Girl Says:


  17. F.O.N Says:

    That list is bullshit, wit a lot of fake ass phony rap niggas. What happend to mos def, talib kweli, little brother, or common, big pun, big L, and etc. what the fuck is up. nahamean

  18. Stephen Hawkings AKA Plug Industries Says:


  19. Dorrel Says:

    honestly how is pac not number one i dont give a shit about this list cuz its fake heres my list
    1 2pac
    2 Nas
    3 Biggie
    4Jay Z
    5 Krs 1
    the rest of the list fuck it

  20. eddie Says:

    i agrre wit da last dude 2pac should of been number 1 no doubt i think its funny to put mc hammer on the list mine as well put on dave mathews band huh? hahahahahahah im funny im from palm springs california and i love all sots of music my myspace url is http://www.myspace.com/eddieisag add me as a freind i want more im just kidding im not from malibu anyways goos by and have a good life everybody
    take care

  21. yo Says:

    fake ass list eminem is a scrub

  22. desmond Says:

    first of all that fuckin eddie guy is weird
    but why aint 2pac number one no one is better then 2pac no one has made more songs then 2pac no one puts more passion into there music then 2pac nd how the fuck is missy elliot in front of nas shit how the fuck is run dmc in front of nas
    it should go
    then whoever you want for the rest of the list

  23. red neck Says:

    i love dix

  24. red neck Says:

    i love dick man

  25. red neck Says:

    i love it

  26. red neck Says:

    i hate rap

  27. red neck Says:

    i think bruce springsteen is the greatest ever

  28. red neck Says:


  29. gotti Says:

    man 2pac jayz nas should be top 3 i dont care what order biggie should be number for cuz he doesnt have as many hit records or sold as many records as thos three but putting public enemy ahead of those for is like saying the atlanta hawks are better then the miami heat

  30. lauren Says:

    2pac number 1 enuf said

  31. jkae sayz Says:

    i agree with this list

  32. nigga Says:

    jkae is an idiot

  33. lake george Says:


  34. lake george Says:

    fuck the free world yo homie eminem should be numba one cuz hes a white nigga like me nd i like eminem

  35. Sanchez Says:

    how the fuck isnt Big L on the list????? He is one of the illest mc’s to ever touch the mic!!!! And what about Big Pun??? Jay-Z is a fuckin beatbiting fraud who stole almost all his lyrics from biggie, the reason he retired is cuz he ran out of stuff to steal from biggie!!!!

  36. Linkk Says:

    lake george u can suck ur mum. der aint no such ting as a white nigga, or a black nigga. bitch

  37. SMILLEZ Says:


    1. PAC R.I.P
    3. EMINEM
    4. DRE
    5. RAKIM



    1. TRINA
    2. EVE
    3. MISSY
    4. LEFT EYE R.I.P

  38. Marva Murray Says:

    I feel that the Notorious B.I.G. is one of the best rapper of all time. His voice was perfect for rapping and his style was one in a million. B.I.G. was gifted and we will always miss him.

  39. Kenneth Wade Says:

    How in the hell can there be 19 rappers ahead of KRS-One and Rakim!
    This is obviously a product of generation sex! With all due respect P-Diddy?
    Grandmaster Flash? Dr.Dre? Ahead of the two greatest lyrically gifted MC’s of all time! With all due respect to RUN-DMC who I loved and always will same for Tupac! On their very best days they would tell you themselves! Get on the stage and freestyle against the Blastmaster or Rakim! I was just listening to BDP live! I don’t even know that any other MC has a live album! Can any of these cats besides Eminiem even freestyle? Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill ahead of KRS-ONE and Rakim?

    I thought the KRS-ONE vs. Nelly feud was ridiculous but this is beyond crazy! Rakim dropped lyrics that to this day the hottest MC’s have to bow down to! As far as Biggie and Pac go God bless their souls. Different strokes for different folks but Rakim and KRS-ONE dropped knowledge plain and simple! Rakim dropped knowledge schooling about Islam! KRS-One dropped joints like “Why is That and You Must Learn not to mention the greatest battle joint of “ALL TIME” The Bridge is Over! These ratings among other things now is typical of todays HIP SLOP! Like the educations in schools now everything is dumbed down today! I haven’t heard a three
    syllable word used in a rhyme since 1995! Damn I just looked again the greatest female rapper of all time MC LYTE is behind Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill! NUFF SAID THIS IS GARBAGE! One last thing there is no one on this list that could get on stage with the possible exception of Eminiem and even think about freestyling with KRS-ONE! I miss Biggie too but he would have been out of breath by the time KRS-ONE was half-way done spitting his lyrics! Go out and find BDP-LIVE and all arguments will be crushed!

  40. Kenneth Wade Says:

    One last thing though I find Tupac to have been very intellectual! God bless the brother. But all the young people that want to put him in the same sentence with Malcolm X must be smoking a new blend of crack! I do believe I saw a video of him spitting at camermen. I also saw a video of
    him and Suge Knight stomping a Cali gang member on film no less! I believe he also allegedly assaulted or was found guilty of assaulting the Hughes brothers! Did he also not put it out there that he allegedly screwed Biggies wife! Its very typical of many of generation sex!

    Anything vulgar and fowl as hell is worshipped! I once asked several kids on my block why they liked Mike Tyson so much but hated the dude he was about to fight Lennox Lewis! All of them basically admitted they liked Mike because he acted crazy as hell and went around beating up weaker people than hisself! When I asked them why they didn’t like Lennox
    Lewis. A well spoken, well dressed, articulate chess playing brother! They told me he was soft and plus he was British! I tried to remind them that BLACK IS BLACK but they weren’t having it! Needless to say Lennox knocked Mikes punk a** out! Now Lennox is announcing boxing matches retired with all his marbles. While Mike is planning his next fight versus a Kangaroo! One last thing will tell you how garbage this list is the most talented MC of this era from the WU-TANG clan GHOSTFACE is not even on this list!

  41. josh carlos Says:

    tupac # 1 enough said

  42. Aron Says:

    why isnt michael jackson on this list? hes pretty much the best, most creative, hip hop artist of all time..

  43. branshee Says:

    How the fuck can be Queen Latifah ahead of Snoop Dogg?

  44. mamli Says:

    fuck vh1 and this rating of artists

    35. Big Daddy Kane
    11.p diddy

    hahhahahhahaha…damnnn..shit ass vh1

    Where is funk doc ? where is harlem kid ? where is punisher ?
    and last question
    where the fuck are DAS madafaking EFX

    im angry now
    TOP 50 WITH NO DAS ?
    c mon….

  45. Fuck You Says:

    It pisses me off that someone (i. e. Josh Carlos) obviously doesn’t know hip-hop or rap. If you name Tupac Shakur or Notorious B.I.G. (also known as Biggie Smalls) as the greatest rappers ever, then you are brainwashed by MTV and VH1 (which are both owned by the same corporation and stations you are criticizing). Ask any “rapper” that is mainstream today and I bet you money that they will say Run-DMC are the greatest rappers of all time. In fact, if Tupac and Biggie were alive today, I bet you they would say the same. Rock ‘N’ Roll is measured by best selling artists, which is The Beatles as of today March 21, 2008, but theoretically, that could change. Rap, however, is measured by the most influencial and that will ALWAYS be Run-DMC. Ask any rapper who is the best and 99% and I think you will see they will say Run-DMC because (in short) they allowed any rapper (every rapper) since to realize they could have a career at being a rapper, which wasn’t a gurantee before Run-DMC. Now, here is where the argument starts, but I would say Public Enemy at #2 because if you listen to “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” or “Fear Of A Black Planet,” I would rank both of those #1 and #2 in the best rap albums of all time due to delivery, the politics and oh yeah- the mcing. I will agree that PE didn’t have the best mcs ever, but they had the best albums (until copyright laws fucked every rapper). After that I say you can argue your Tupac or Biggie or whoever else you want and where on the list, but I say #1 and #2 are absolutely should be there!

  46. Jeff Says:

    i think nas should be a lot higher, at least number 5. he has the best flow ever in my opinion. i think outkast should be higher two. eminem is almost right were he belongs maybe a little bit higher at like the number 3 spot. but yea number 1 and 2 are exactly what the should be. biggie and tupac are overated. honestly none of there music was that great.

  47. Jeff Says:

    gang starr should also be way higher

  48. a Says:

    this list is sooo fuckin off. big daddy kane should be way up in front, at least top 10. the top 10 should be

    7. jay z
    5.Notorious B.I.G
    4. LL cool j
    3.Big Daddy kane
    2.run dmc
    1. tupac

    of course tupac should be first this is the real list.

  49. Smoke Says:

    Tupac is the greatest rapper of all times people just dont really listen to his lyrics. You think you do but you not understanding his lyrics. What everybody need to do is go back to what ever album you got no later then all eyes on me and mainly makaveli and understand him, i mean really understand him when he says on thing he really means two or the! People say he was wrong for a lot of the things he did or said but what would you do if everybody turned on you when you went to jail. Me, i would ride on they ass to and kill there career just like they tried to do his. But one more thing if he was not the greatest rapper ever tell the rest of the rappers to stop givin him so much props! Includin jay z nas and everybody else who had beef with him!

  50. Ray123 Says:

    Hold on a minute…P. Diddy!?! He ain’t did nothing in 10 year but date j.Lo, sell some musty body spray, put on a fur coat that make him look like a snowman, and make 3 lame groups that are so embarssed they don’t even wanna be seen with P. dIddy and get booed off stage at every show.

    And jay-Z and naz are so far back on the list it’s sad. But slim shady should be a little higher. He’s very angry but listen to any of his albums and you will hear his brilliants is almost unmatched. This white boy is sick with skill, man. And outkast should be far higher. Name any body that can out rap them. (B.O.B is lyrically one of the greatest songs EVER.) but man they messed up this list is terrible.

  51. ldnitbut Says:


  52. bone Says:

    where is Bone Thugs-N-Haarmoby Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan Bizzy Krayziee greatest rappers where are they?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  53. bone Says:


  54. tcgunnz Says:

    7.5/10 (normal list)

  55. joe Says:

    yeah this list is just white people who dont listen to hip hop picking rappers they know the most about.

  56. Trey Says:

    Lil Weezy

  57. Erick Says:

    Fuck a y’all
    this is my list
    1. NWA
    2.Ice Cube
    3. Snoop Dogg
    4. Eazy E
    5. Dr. Dre
    6. 2pac
    7. BIG
    9. 50 Cent
    10. Jay Z
    11. Nas
    12. Bone Thugs
    13. Cypress hill (yeah at #13 he’ll ya Mexican4Life)
    fuck tha rest

  58. Erick Says:

    I meant 2 put fuck all y’all
    (if u really knew hip hop u would know that’s from ice cubes NWA diss ‘no Vaseline’)

  59. Erick Says:

    These are tha best albums
    1. Straight outta Compton-NWA
    2. Chronic-Dr. Dre
    3.Chronic 2001-Dr. Dre
    4.Doggystyle-Snoop Dogg
    5. All eyez on me-2pac
    6. Ready to die/life after death(both eaqually as good)-Biggie Smalls
    7.all ice cube albums are da shit
    8. Eazy-duz-it- if u don’t know who that’s by ur a dumbass
    9. Documentary-Game
    10. Creepin on ah come up-bone thugs

  60. Erick Says:

    Tha best songs are
    1. Straight outta comton-NWA
    2. Nuthin’ but a G thang-Dr. Dre
    3.it was a good day-Ice Cube
    4. Boyz N The Hood-Eazy E
    5.Gin & Juice
    6. Juicy-Notorious BIG
    7. California Love-2pac & Dr. Dre
    8. Lose Yourself- Eminem
    9. Hard Knock Life- Jay Z
    10 . insane in the brain-cypress hill
    11. Tha Crossroads-Bone thugs
    12. In da club-50 Cent
    13. Hate it or love it-Game & 50 Cent

  61. Erick Says:

    Oh yeah & another thing nuthin’ but a G thang is by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
    & Gin & Juice is by Snoop Dogg
    See You Around Buddy Boy

  62. Erick Says:

    Oh yeah & another thing nuthin’ but a G thang is by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
    & Gin & Juice is by Snoop Dogg
    See You Around Buddy Boy

  63. Erick Says:

    Sorry I didn’t men 2 put 2 of those &
    see u around buddy boy is a famous quote by Eazy E

  64. J_RS Says:

    How in the world tupac is not number one. The people from VH1 who did this list is just as bogus as any other ordinary person with personal preferences. They do not actually listen to everything from all these artist and make a proper judgment by comparing the talents and skills of these rappers.

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