Top Ten Best Hip Hop Lyricists

The Top Ten

1 Eminem Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce ...read more.

Have you ever listened to "Cleaning out my closet" then listened to "Headlights". It's still hits hard to this day, if an artists music to this day can invoke emotions and ideas that are relatable then it means they are the best lyricist. Eminem has recently came out from the dark and showed his views on mumble rapper and 'ghost writers' in his kamikaze album and his Collab with logic in homicide. He mentions in his songs that he's inspired the 'Hopsins', the 'Logics', and the 'Coles', which is true. Even Hopsin agrees and was excited to be mentioned in an Eminem song stating "that he's going to tell his mama! " He's taken his career and made something out of it, he's inspirational and one of the most mentioned artists in his field. He's often quoted to be a modern day Shakespeare, which is one of the most highest compliments given to lyricists.

Eminem is obviously d best! No doubt about it. Listen to his sick lyrical flows, his deep angst and pains in some of his songs, his funny side in some other songs and his inspiring side in songs like Lose Yourself and you will realize the truth. EM rules forever!

The internal rhyme schemes that Eminem utilizes is second to none. He can combine sick wordplay, an internal rhyme in one sentence while maintaining an extended metaphor throughout a song.

While I'm not a big fan of a lot of his messages, I don't think there is any doubt this man can string together lyrics like none other. The depth of his rhyme, rhythm, and flow are unlike any I've ever heard before. My #1 for sure.

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2 Nas Nas Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, is an American rapper and entrepreneur born on September 14, 1973 in New York City. His album, Illmatic, is considered to be one of the best rap albums of all time. He is also considered to be one of the best rappers of all time.

Anyone who picks Eminem over Nas has neither never heard a Nas song or is just madly obsessed with Eminem (No disrespect to Eminem) but when it comes to Lyricism, I mean pure lyrical prowess. No one (only maybe underground rappers) can come near Nas. Nas is a lyrical god. Eminem's lyrics will sound basic in your ears if you listen to Illmatic.

Nas is the most clever emcee I have ever heard. His raps are like poetry and I get lost in his music. His lyrics are genius and I would highly recommended illmatic if you haven't heard it yet.

Number 1. Nas is the best there was, the best there is, the best there will ever be. Hear N.Y. state of mind, one mic, memory lane, the world is yours, most of his songs

Nas's lyrics not only show originality, clever word play, and skill, but what makes Nas the greatest lyricist is his consistency. In every single Nas album, and in every single song, Nasir Jones uses an intricate rhyme scheme and complicated multi-syllable rhymes to paint a picture and spread his message.

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3 Immortal Technique Immortal Technique Felipe Andres Coronel, better known by the stage name Immortal Technique, is an American rapper and urban activist from Lima, Peru. He was born on February 19, 1978

Though many my not agree with what his lyrics say, it's undeniable that no lyricist can even compare to what he's created in songs like "Dance with the Devil" and "Caught in a Hustle" they're just pure genius, with lines like:

"It's funny how on the block, n****** will kill you for cash. But never raise the gun and cry out 'Freedom at Last! '" and

"I would like to raise my children to grow to be soldiers, but then a general would decide when their lives would be over."

I don't see how lil wayne is on this list. - DaWyteNight

To be fair nobody from Young Money should be there. Also get Immortal Technique higher. - DarkBoi-X

He is really good story teller just listen to dancing with the devil and prove me wrong

Dopest alive.

4 K-Rino K-Rino

Nice to see him finally get some recognition. Amazing metaphors and similes.

Lil Wayne higher than K-Rino? This list must be taken down immediately! - DaWyteNight

So according to this list lil gayne is more lyrical than K-Rino? Lol

Easily the MOST underrated rapper. Kinda surprising to see him this high. Don’t get me wrong, he’s one of my favourite rappers lyrically, just listen to Ultimate Flow. He has also produced over 20 albums, which are all great. The only thing I don’t like about K-Rino is how religious he can get (I’m not a religious person so it can get a little awkward).

5 Black Thought Black Thought Tariq Luqmaan Trotter, better known as Black Thought, is an American artist who is the lead MC of the Philadelphia-based hip hop group The Roots, as well as an occasional actor.

Having lil lame above Black Thought makes this list a joke. - DaWyteNight

6 Tupac Tupac Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was an American rapper and actor born on June 16, 1971 in East Harlem, New York. Tupac sold over 75 million records worldwide and has been referred to in multiple major publications such as Rolling Stone as one of the greatest music artists of all time. 2Pac was ...read more.

Worst lyricist of all time yeah right the best lyricist of all time by far you either illiterate or deaf or just to stupid to understand what the hell he saying jack ass!

No doubt the G of all G's. The best flow, lyrics, everything. All eyez on me - the greatest album of all time.

Just listen to "If I Die 2nite" then tell me he's not the greatest lyricist of all time

It's not just the lyrics, but the DELIVERY that creates the biggest impact.

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7 Pharoahe Monch

"known for his complex delivery, internal and multi-syllabic rhyme schemes, " My God!

Lil Wayne is higher lol - DaWyteNight

8 Lupe Fiasco Lupe Fiasco Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (born February 16, 1982), better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his debut album, Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. He also performs as the frontman of rock band Japanese Cartoon ...read more.

You need a note pad and computer to research his lyrics, then how he ties them into each other is unbelievable.

What is lil wayne doing higher than Lupe! - DaWyteNight

Lupe is way better than some rappers who make lots of noise like Kendrick lamar! His lyrics are deep and intellectual

Just listen to tracks like failure and dumb it down or even the newer go to sleep because you will need to listen again because it has so much meaning to it making Lupe the best lyricist

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9 Aesop Rock Aesop Rock Ian Matthias Bavitz, better known by his stage name Aesop Rock, is an American hip hop recording artist and producer residing in Portland, Oregon.

You could spend hours researching the lines in one song. His rhymes are complex and have many pop culture references. He's quite simply one of the best lyricists in the game.

Check this guy, he is amazing, the best lyricist of all time, not the best rapper, but liricist yes.
Check Zero Dark Thirty, None Shall Pass, Daylight, in my opinion his best songs. Probably the most underrated rapper

10 Rakim Rakim William Michael Griffin, Jr., better known by his stage name Rakim, is an American rapper. He was born on January 28, 1968.

"The GOD MC, The Microphone Fiend, The 18th Letter, Clearly the BEST. "

The Greatest Lyricist that ever touched a mic. No one comes close to his lyrical content. He can be credited with changing the whole rap game as it is known today!

Just don't know on which basis is he no3

The God MC.. Definitely should be no. One.. He is the best lyricist of all time in any genre.

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The Contenders

11 Big Pun Big Pun Christopher Lee Rios, better known by his stage name Big Pun, was an American rapper. Emerging from the underground hip hop scene in The Bronx borough of New York City, in the early 1990s, he was the first Latino rapper to have an album certified platinum as a solo act. ...read more.

Best ever no question

He was one of the best, he had one of the greatest flows/delivery in history. He had some dope lyrics.

12 Killer Mike Killer Mike Michael Render, better known by his stage name Killer Mike, is an American hip hop recording artist, actor and activist from Atlanta, Georgia.
13 GZA GZA Gary Grice, better known by his stage names GZA and The Genius, is an American rapper and songwriter.

Arguably one of the greatest lyrical rappers of all time. GZA also has one of the greatest hip hop albums ever "Liquid Swords"

You must be an idiot to put Lil Wayne over Gza

"Way better than that ugly punk 50 who can't rhyme like the GENIUS. "

Easily top 3, much better then Eminem.

14 Talib Kweli Talib Kweli

"BLACK SMITH IS THE MOVEMENT! "

15 Ghostface Killah Ghostface Killah Dennis Coles, better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper and prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
16 Andre 3000 Andre 3000 André Lauren Benjamin, known by his stage name André 3000 is an American rapper and one half of the hip-hop duo OutKast. He is widely considered to be the better half of the duo, and he is also considered to be one of the greatest lyricists in hip hop. Despite never actually releasing an official ...read more.

He's the best, listen to "look what you've done"

3000 is the best mayne. You better ask Eminem if you diagree.

17 Notorious B.I.G. Notorious B.I.G. Christopher George Latore Wallace, born May 21, 1972, better known by his stage name The Notorious B.I.G (sometimes Biggie Smalls or just simply Biggie), is an American rapper from Brooklyn, New York. On March 9, 1997, he was murdered in a drive by shooting in Los Angeles, California at the age of only ...read more.

Biggie reigned supreme as the master of lyricism. While most other rappers depend on the way they deliver their songs, Biggie used the words he just thought of off the top of his head. Should definitely be #1

Big Poppa is King of Hip-Hop!

King of hip hop

Best lyricist every lived! R.I.P.

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18 KRS-One KRS-One Lawrence "Kris" Parker, better known by his stage names KRS-One, and Teacha, is an American rapper and occasional producer from The Bronx, New York City, New York.

LOOK UP DEFINITION OF HIP HOP HE'LL TELL YOU.

In the top 5

GOAT

19 Mike Shinoda Mike Shinoda Michael Kenji "Mike" Shinoda (born 11 February 1977) is an American musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, graphic designer, manager and film composer. He co-founded Linkin Park in 1996 and is the band's rhythm guitarist, primary songwriter, keyboardist, producer, and co-lead vocalist. ...read more.

His lyrics are deep...

20 MF Doom MF Doom Daniel Dumile, also known as MF DOOM, is a British-born hip hop recording artist who spent most of his life in the United States.

His work on MADVILLAINNY is insane. He raps his butt off track after track. Rhinestone Cowboy, Figaro, Accordion, All Caps, Fancy Clown, Strange Ways, and Great Day are all excellent examples of his lyrical capabilities. The ONLY three contenders that can even compete are Rakim, Nas, and Eminem.

The most underrated lyricist ever. How he is not in top 10 is beyond me. Just listen to "Figaro".

He's very underground, best lyricist you'll listen to

By far #1

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21 Kanye West Kanye West Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, songwriter, and fashion designer. He was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. After West's parents divorced, him and his single mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. At the age of 10, West temporarily moved to Nanjing, China, because his mother was teaching ...read more.

He writes great lyrics, during the college dropout era he didn't even write he actually memorised it in his head. Something only Biggie, Jay Z, Kanye and a few others do. He's a genius

Actually he had ghostwriters, so yeah you're right, he didn't write other people wrote for him. - DaWyteNight

More like overrated. You can't be the best lyricist if you use ghostwriters. - DaWyteNight

Amazing lyricist

So underrated. Once you get past his ridiculous/hilarious punchlines, there's so much more depth to his lyrics

22 AZ AZ

AZ is the most under appreciated rapper ever. He’s right up there with Nas.

People being amazed at Eminem's rhyming scheme have never even heard a Doe or Die song. Some times AZ will screw around and effortlessly rhyme 95% of the words in a verse with a near untouchable flow. - StealthShadow

"Real MC with Skillz"

23 J. Cole J. Cole Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known by his stage name J. Cole, is an American hip hop recording artist and record producer.

Listen to born sinner let the new legends in

Leader of the new school

King

24 Common Common Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., better known by his stage name Common, is an American hip hop recording artist, actor, film producer and poet from Chicago, Illinois.

"Definition Of Conscious Hip Hop"

25 Slick Rick Slick Rick

Children's Story proves that

The greatest storytelling rapper of all time. Not only that, he was extremely comedic.

26 Big L Big L Lamont Coleman (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999), best known by his stage name Big L, was an American hip hop recording artist, born and raised in Harlem, New York City, New York. Coleman embarked on his career in rapping, with the hip hop trio, Three the Hard Way. His first notable appearance came ...read more.

All I can say to his lyrics: they are the bomb. You do not often see someone rhyming through a whole song and keeping up his flow like Big L.

The king of punchlines should be in the top 5

Greatest rapper in the world

27 Kool G Rap Kool G Rap Nathaniel Thomas Wilson, better known by his stage name Kool G Rap is an American rapper from the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York City.

"A veteran in the game who will never die"

A great lyricist combines not only what to say, but how to say, what words to use...Kool G does it

"Foul Catz"...that's all you need to know.

28 Logic

Top 10

Logic Should be Rated Higher, He talks real stuff that happened through this rough life and explains it in lyrics and will get u thinking, he wiand If U Haven't heard of Logic U Shoul Here his Under Pressure Album and his Young Sinatra 3 Mixtape, and also his Te Incredible True Story Album, oh yeah and also don't forget his AfricAryan Album releasing Next year "

29 Earl Sweatshirt Earl Sweatshirt Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, better known by his stage name Earl Sweatshirt, is an American rapper, record producer, and disc jockey from Los Angeles, California.

EARL IS TOP 10!

30 Ice Cube Ice Cube O'Shea Jackson, born June 15, 1969 in Baldwin Hills, CA, known by his stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and filmmaker. He began his career as a member of the hip-hop group C.I.A and later joined the seminal gangster rap group N.W.A. After leaving N.W.A in December 1989, ...read more.

Ice Cube wasn't really a great lyricist. - DaWyteNight

31 Canibus Canibus Germaine Williams, better known by his stage name Canibus, is a Jamaican born-American rapper and actor.

Mashed Eminem up into little pieces when they had beef and can ruin his career if they have beef again

He told you he was and is

32 Hopsin Hopsin Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known by his stage name Hopsin, is an American rapper, record producer, director and actor from Los Angeles, California. Hopsin was born on July 18, 1985. His first album was called Emurge but he's best known for his album titled Raw.

One of the most talented rappers today

He speaks truth but his word play is very generic. He just doesn't ryme cause the words don't flow that well

33 Royce Da 5'9" Royce Da 5'9 Ryan Daniel Montgomery, better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is an American rapper from Detroit, Michigan.

Best lyricist of all time minus em Royce is so underrated it's unbelievable

Better than most useless rappers, very consistent with his music so he's got to be up there with Eminem, kendrick Lamar and j Cole

Most underrated rapper in the game. He has amazing lyrics (listen to Bar Exam 1, 2 and 3), PRhyme (with Preemo) and the rest of his studio work is always lyrically on point oh yeah how could I forget his mixtapes with slaughterhouse. Oh yeah err bad meets evil as well (old and new)

P.S why is dre on this he has ghostwriters (one of them being royce himself) but still people like Lil Wayne and meek mill above royce.

I'm laughing at how all these people with ghostwriters are somehow above R59. He's top ten easy and probably should be top 5. Yall are sleepin! 💤

34 Lauryn Hill Lauryn Hill Lauryn Noelle Hill is an American singer, rapper and songwriter. She is known for being a member of Fugees and for her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won many awards and broke several sales records.

"The best female MC who sings and raps, nobody does it like her"

35 Drake Drake Aubrey Drake Graham, known professionally as Drake, is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor, born on October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Canada. He started his career on Canadian reality show "Degrassi: The Next Generation".

Drake is not very lyrical, he's basically a Lil Wayne 2.0 with some corny punchlines that seem lyrical when you're a kid and then you grow up and hear real rappers and realize Drake and Wayne's "lyricism" blows. Get this fake poser off the list. - DaWyteNight

Doesn't even write most of his lyrics or music

36 Afu-Ra

"Crazy unique flow and hair; like he said, lyrical lava"

37 Chamillionaire Chamillionaire Hakeem Seriki, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and investor from Houston, Texas, better known by his stage name Chamillionaire.

Good rapping style but not some words not heard well.

He's okay I guess... - DaWyteNight

38 Papoose

He rapped the alphabet and made all words connect with that alone makes him a great lyricist.

39 50 Cent 50 Cent Curtis James Jackson III, better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, actor, entrepreneur, investor, record, film, and television producer.

50 ain't lyrical whatsoever. - DaWyteNight

40 Crooked I

A true lyrical genius, isn't that what ye are looking for. Can out rap most of todays rappers.

Kanye is higher lol - DaWyteNight

41 Mos Def Mos Def Yasiin Bey, best known by his stage name Mos Def, is an American hip hop recording artist, actor and activist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York.
42 Joey Badass Joey Badass Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, better known by his stage name Joey Badass, is an American hip hop recording artist and actor.

Go listen to Hardknock and you'll see what I mean.

43 Kid Cudi Kid Cudi Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, better known by his stage name Kid Cudi, is an American recording artist and actor from Cleveland, Ohio.

CuDi's mixtapes and and first two albums are dope; Kid Named CuDi and Man on the Moon Mixtape, and Man on the Moon: End of Day + Man on the Moon: The Legend of Mr. Rager. He is one of the better lyricists of our time if you really take the time to listen to him.

You must be an idiot if you listen to Cudi but don't think he makes the best lyrics. It doesn't matter if other rappers rap faster than him, or other like that, listen to his songs like: Soundtrack to My Life, Mr. Rager, Cudi Zone, Day N Nite... The list goes on!

U SEE NOT A LOT OF GOOD ARTIST COME OUT OF CLEVELAND, KID CUDI HAS SUM OF THE MOST BEST LYRICS 2 LOOK UP 2.

44 T.I. T.I. Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., better known by his stage names T.I. and Tip, is an American hip hop recording artist and actor born on September 25, 1980 in Atlanta, GA.

GAME QUOTES IN HIS NEW SONG BETTER DAYS OFF RED ALBUM, FIRST BAR OF FIRST VERSE, 1ST THING I WANNA DO IS SAY WAT UP 2 T.I. KING OF THE SOUTH, NOW EVERYBODY SEE WHY. HE IS TRULY ONE OF THEE MOST RESPECTED LYRICIST.

The best of the lyrics of the TI is that he has been choosing the words accurately and wisely, so TI continue manuvering in the universe of HIPHOP.

45 The Game The Game Jayceon Terrell Taylor, better known by his stage name The Game, is an American rapper and actor. He was born on November 29, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. Game spent most of his childhood in foster care (up until high school) even though he knew all of his brothers and sisters. Since 2002, Game ...read more.

GAME DONT GET A LOT OF RESPECT OUT HERE. SIT DOWN LISTEN 2 LAX AND U'LL HEAR SUM SERIOUS LYRICS. BUT GAME IS MY FAV RAPPER OF ALL TIME.

He should be above lil wayne and drake..

One of the best of all time. Should be top 15

46 Cassidy

Hands down none of these Emcees on this list, alive or dead outweigh his punchlines. He's the first punchline flow creator, also the first emcee to make an album battling himself. He lives what he raps and wont sell out for the checks.

47 Meek Mill Meek Mill Robert Rihmeek Williams, better known by his stage name, Meek Mill, is an American hip hop recording artist.

The future of hip-hop

Why he on here lol - DaWyteNight

48 Joe Budden

Joey being 50th greatest lyricist is borderline criminal! Immortal Techniques "You Never Know" is the greatest story on a beat... Joys "prey for me" is a close second... Still gives me chills.

Very underrated. Men like him are the backbone of modern day hiphop.

49 Lil Wyte Lil Wyte Patrick Lanshaw, better known by his stage name Lil Wyte, is an American rapper from Memphis, Tennessee.
50 Bishop Nehru
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List Stats

1,000 votes
105 listings
10 years, 201 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Nas
2. Rakim
3. Tupac
AdrianJOpio
1. Immortal Technique
2. Eminem
3. Killer Mike
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1. Nas
2. Rakim
3. Kool G Rap
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