Best Rappers of All Time « see full list



If there is a goat its rakim. Complex lyricism, and the best flow in hip-hop history was very soft spoken in a time when being very energetic was the style credit 2pac and Nas style as a direct influence of Rakim and what he did on the mic is untouchable if you think 2pac is the best your a novice no slight to pac he was a great emcee but rakim is the emcee.
I believe you can put Rakim, Biggie, and Eminem in any of the top 3 slots and be correct, however I posted my vote here because it is a travisty and total disrespect to have the "God MC" this far down on any list ranking hip hop. " Even if it jazz or the quiet storm;I hook a beat up convert it in a hip hop form; write a rhyme in graffitti in every show you see me in; deep concentration cause I'm no comedian; jokers are wild if you wanna be tamed; I treat you like a child and you're gonna be named; another enemy, not even a friend of me; cause you get fried in the end if you pretend to be-competing cause I just put your mind on pause; and I can beat you when you compare my rhyme with yours; I wake you up and as I stare in your face you seemed stun; remember me the one you got your idea from; but soon you start to suffer and then you get rougher; when you start to stutter that's when youve had enough of; biting it can make you choke you can't provoke you can't cope;you should of broke cause I ain't no joke.
What can I not say about this guy, he is innovate and took rap to the next level from the 1980's to1990's. I credit Rakim mainly for beginning a new level of complexity in rap lyrics. His earlier bars from the albums with Eric B are masterpieces, and are still used as sample in many songs to this day. He didn't even need to be a gangster rapper. He was still authentic and his rhymes were witty, flowing, and contained intricate technique and substance that still make hip-hop head's spin. Revolutionized rap in a way few after have truly recognized. Rakim finally did get some of the love that he long deserved and respectfully received the Hip-Hop Icon Award from this year's BET Awards (cough).
He set the precedence for all rappers before and after him, alive or dead. His flow, delivery, subject matter, content, patterns, syllables, metering (poetic skills) and many more attributes are second to none, especially at a time when no one else was doing it. Its easy for rappers after him to claim greatness but they had a blue print to follow.
Rakim, must be given recognition in hip hop due to his most classic work, with DJ Eric.B. all albums with Eric. B were brilliant in showcasing Rakim's lyrical skill. Rakim is a master on the mic, never missing a beat. His first eagerly anticipated solo album The 18th Letter was a critical success and a present for all of Rakim's fans. Rakim's best songs include I Ain't No Joke, I Know You Got Soul, Lyrics Of Fury, Follow The Leader, What's On Your Mind, Know The Ledge and The Mystery. If you don't know who Rakim is you must go back and explore the excellence of the Golden Age of Hip Hop.
Rakim's style is so incredibly fluid, with great rhymes and a unique laid-back attitude. Eminem, Lil Wayne, 2pac, Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, Raekwon, 50 Cent, Kurupt, Ghostface Killah, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Canibus, and more have all used his lines, sampled his beats, or both at some point or another. The 1st two lines from the chorus of "The Way I Am" by Eminem (I am, whatever you say I am. If I wasn't, then why would I say I am? ) are a remake of Rakim's lines (I'm the R, the A to the K-I-M, If I wasn't, then why would I say I am? )
Rakim's style, flow, delivery, lyrics and versatility is not only unmatched it laid the blue print for true lyricists and changed the way everyone viewed hip hop and flowed. He is responsible for the modern day flow of rappers and the standard that everyone today is judged by. That's why the Hip Hop artists themselves call him the "GOD" not just the GOAT when it comes to lyrics and no one has ever challenged him on the mic. Keep in mind Biggie, Pac, Eminem and others today are doing his style and he did it in 1986. Truly the GOD on the MIC
Many refer to him as the god emcee. He was the father of the multisyllabic rhyme style that changed hip-hop dramatically. He probably had the largest influence in term of writing rhymes than any other rapper. He had a unique rhyme pattern that could paint clear pictures with the choice of his words. All true legends that came after him refer to him as the one who started it all; meaning taking the meaning of creative lyricism to an entirely new era.
You guys voting must be too young to know or understand the "artistry" behind what makes a rapper
Smoothest rapping. can't be copied. Eric B's beats-Yeah!
check out-
Paid in full
Don't Sweat the Technique
Let the Rhythm Hit 'em
My Melody
Ehh. He's in the top five. I know that. As a teenager that mainly grew up in the 21st century, really, it's a shame that no one knows him. He's released plenty of material, and all of it quality. Seven albums and every single one classic. His beat selection on the music is very underrated by my generation but lyrically is incredible.

1. Paid in Full*
2. Follow the Leader*
3. The 18th Letter*
4. The Master*
5. Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em*
6. Don't Sweat the Technique*
7. The Seventh Seal
1. Rakim does deserve the title as The God, rap may have been good before, but it wasn't as good until he touched a mic. Eric B. And Rakim are one of the top 4 greatest rap duos of all time in my opinion. With Eric B. 's dope beats and Rakims dope rhymes, they were for sure paid in full. He has influenced many artists, even their flow and rhyming style. Rakim is not a joke. Best album w/ Eric B. : Paid In Full. Best solo album: The 18th Letter. Best song: Follow the leader. Best verse: verse 1 of Follow the leader. Best single: follow the leader. Best collaboration: I'll buss' em' you punish em'-Canibus ft. Rakim
Rakim is with out a doubt the greatest of all time, so smooth so lyrical, he makes rapping sound easy like he's not even breaking a sweat, he's influenced so many of the great names on this list Pac, Big, Nas, this guy should honestly be number one and if you disagree listen to anything from the album paid in full or the other albums he did with Eric B. Rakim = Greatest Of All Time
How is he not even in the top 10? How isn't he in the top 3? Honestly, God-MC... He's too good. With Eric B making his beats, he had everything. Lyrics, flow, influence, this guy had everything. He shouldn't even be compared with Kanye West, Jay-Z, or whoever those guys ranked 6 through 8 are. The only rappers who could ever even be compared to him are Eminem, Biggie or Tupac, who became too mainstream, Ice Cube, Big-L, or Nas.
How can you forget about Rakim. He was the first master emcee. Hip-Hop heads refer to him as the God Emcee, since he revolutionized hip-hop in a way that goes over most peoples heads. He elevated lyrical rap by using multi-syllable structures and told stories through metaphor in a way no one has ever done before him. He stands far above mediocre crappers... I mean rappers that proliferate the mainstream today.
I've been to one of his live performances, and he will obliterate every other rapper that you have heard in person. Sure Eazy-E, 2pac, Biggie are nice but this is a great opportunity to see a great rapper now in these days. I'm not Saying any of the younger rappers are all bad, but here's a living legend. Take advantage of the things we have before they're gone.
Move Rakim up the list! Top 5 minimum. This list is just a popularity contest.
God, why can't people see the truth or just shut up? Eminem, ahead of Rakim and Nas? Seriously people, Eminem doesn't have an album nearly as good as Illmatic or Paid in Full... Nas is the equal of some Nobel Prizes. Rakim has maybe THE best flow of all time. And Jay-Z's puns and literary figures are far more nuanced and witty.
Goes without saying, Kanye West is an underrated artist and rapper and he should be at least ahead of Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg.
Time to really listen to the music and to understand the themes and lyrics people, don't believe the hype. (By the way... WHERE IS PUBLIC ENEMY? CHUCK D IS A MASTER! )
I don't believe Rakim is so far down on the list. He is the GOD MC. I could understand if he was like in the top 6 with BIG DADDY KANE, KRS-ONE, RAEKWON, NAS ^^ KOOL G RAP but this list sucks. How can you say pop rappers such as eminem or Wayne are better than him?
If this list is about the best *rappers* - you know, who's got the best ability on the mic - then how the hell is rakim #16? I love dre, but he's got nothing on rakim's mic technique and lyricism. Listen to "know the ledge" if you haven't yet.
He was the godfather of modern rap. Any lyrical rapper that came out after 1990 owes their gifts and abilities to Rakim. He set the bar for lyricism and flow in an era where complex rhyme schemes did not exist. He is another very underrated rapper considering my generation of rap fans who think the wack is real. If you want to acutally learn to rap, take lessons from this guy.
The mic God, God MC, THE MASTER OF FLOW, pioneer of internal rhyming in lyrics, anything your favorite rapper does you can trace back to this guy, he makes rhyming and rapping sound easy, If you don't know who he is look up Paid in Full, Follow the Leader or Don't sweat the Technique, you'll be amazed.
All rappers after 1990 owe something to Rakim. Known also as Rakim Allah, he fathered what it meant to be a lyrical emcee. He created masterpieces with Eric B, and even continued some of his greatest music in the late 90's. If someone is a novice to rap, I have them listen to some Rakim, he is a good tutorial for learning about true hip-hop, since he created the formula.
It's not about good (which he is) or album sales, but people need to do their research, RAKIM is #1 no matter what this list says. He set the bar which means none of these rappers would be rapping the way they are currently rapping if it wasn't for him. He changed hip-hop completely as a whole, period point blank, no questions about it. He is THE GOD MC.

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