Best Hip-hop Record Labels

The Top Ten

1 Shady Records

Was founded by Eminem and Paul Rosenberg in 1999 and has produced a lot of music in partnership with aftermath. So along with the Aftermath artists they also have Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Bad Meets Evil and Obie Trice.

Shady Records is an American record label founded in 1999 by rapper Eminem and his manager Paul Rosenberg after the highly successful release of Eminem's debut album.
They guys always best and will be best. No more words to say because they don't care about us.

SHADY Records with Aftermath Dope.

In my opinion, Shady Records is yet to grow even more and is still a small label in terms of numbers of artists. Despite this, Shady Records is a powerhouse always putting "high level music" out into the music industry.

The Rap God

V 15 Comments
2 Aftermath

While Shady Records is obviously great, without Aftermath Shady Records simply could not have been created. So, Aftermath pulls ahead with a SLIGHT edge. - Lasvegasxavier

The reason Aftermath should be before Shady is because without Aftermath, Shady would have never existed. lol

The Aftermath studios were founded by legened Dr. Dre in 1996. The artists include Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar and others. Former artists were Busta Rhymes, The Game, Stat Quo. This is a classic and Dre is a great producer

Continues to be the best REAL rap label!

V 7 Comments
3 Death Row

Many hip hop heads will always mention Death Row when talking about greatest hip hop labels for the simple reason that this label has talented, great and classic yet unique artists.

I was supposed to vote for Aftermath but press this by mistake. Haven't heard about it yet so I don't have much to say. All I can say is that it's a Hip hop record Label - AlphaQ

Death Row! The most iconic hip hop record label, even if its beef with Bad Boy did lead to the death of the two greatest rappers of all time, Pac and Biggie.

All these artist was established before death row pac was pac dre was dre d o c was hot mc hammer was him

V 13 Comments
4 Strange Music

Definitely deserve top 2 with shady. Talent wise, no one can compete. Every artist on there would destroy any other labels. Besides em of course haha

Strange Music Inc. is the upcoming new gen for the hip hop legacy, they are going to take over and if people don't realise now they will soon Big Up Strange!

After Shady Records, Strange Music is THE NUMBER 1 INDEPENDENT LABEL and always puts dope, classic and StRanGE music out into the world.

They are one of the best in my opinion but they need hopsin

V 13 Comments
5 Def Jam

This label includes some of the greats like Nas, Beastie Boys, DMX, Ja Rule, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Public Enemy along with modern day definitely Jam people like Kanye West, Pusha T, Rick Ross and Young Jeezy. This is clearly one of the biggest and the best

This record label it A-M-A-Z-I-N-G AMAZING just bye listening to the artist they work with every day some of the biggest singers record there

Definitely Jam may be the devil but they've released 10 times the classics at least as any other label.

This was the 1st indie rap label with major distribution contract founded by Russell simmons and rick rubin
Check out the movie Krush groove to fund out the history of this label the first artist they signed was LLcool j he was 16 or 17,first group was the beastie boys.

V 5 Comments
6 Top Dawg Entertainment

Everyone in the group is up and coming. Look out for another control by kendrick and a Black Hippy album. Get These Days... By Ab-Soul

Soon to be number 1.All great rappers come from this label.

They don't have a single bad hip hop artist in their label

The group only becomes more complex as time goes on. New members like Isaiah Rashad and SZA are up and coming, while Kendrick, Q, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul are successful and doing their best work.

V 6 Comments
7 Bad Boy

Notorious B.I. G, Puff Daddy and the Family are all legends in the making, this was truly a great label.

Iconic and classic record label that will forever be remembered

I agree bad boys represented east coast well

V 4 Comments
8 Cash Money

Okay so I'm not a big fan of these "rappers" but I admit this company is succesful. The top artists in this group are Lil Wayne, Drake, Hot Boyz, and B.G.

Screwed hip hop up. Discouraged people from being inspired by Kendrick and encouraged people to copy Future - Themusicman

They changed hip hop with the rhythm style used by rappers today - Mymanqw

Best drake, Lil Wayne best rappers last 15 years still going strong

V 9 Comments
9 Roc Nation

This is the early Jay-z stuff before he went off to definitely Jam. Along with Jay-z there was Kareem Burke and Dame

New but definitely on the rise. Has a lot of potential.

V 2 Comments
10 Funk Volume

Strange music, top dawg, and funk volume are the top 3 independent hip hop record labels at the moment

I mean I think it would have been the best in a couple years but now that Hopsin left there is no future.

2 Years from now this label will be the top dog

Funk Volume no longer exists because of Damien Ritters - KrazzyMadd

V 8 Comments

The Contenders

11 Maybach Music Group

Rick ross, WALE, Meek mill

Best rap Label ever

The best is on this

Great hits

V 3 Comments
12 GOOD Music

Kanye, Travis, pusha, and the list goes on, best label

Kanye West is the Founder

"The president of GOOD Music has been announced." (It's Pusha T)

Come on now

V 2 Comments
13 Ruff Ryders

New York hip-hop in late 90's. Founded by Dean brothers. The rappers include DMX, The L.O.X., Swizz Beatz. However this label has died down recently and many rappers have moved on to other places.

DMX, LOX, Swizz Beats, Jadakiss, Eve,... Can you find a better combination of awesome rappers

V 1 Comment
14 OVO Sound

This record label is found by one of the greatest rappers at the moment by drake. These rappers have a rhythm rapping style for all the ladies out there.

Ovo is gonna be at the top soon, just wait for the takeover. Toronto forever!

Drake's got a lot going for him and has found a lot of young artists with potential

It has drake I mean come on now he's about to be the new face of hop hop.

V 4 Comments
15 Hypnotize Minds

This is was and will always will be THE best record label

16 Uncle Howie Records
17 Ruthless Records

This is the label that originate gangsta rap and should be #1

Ruthless records Was one of the most dominant rap record labels of the 90. They had dr dre, before death row, I've cube, mc ren, eazy e, and obviously nwa and bonethugs-n-harmony

1st westcoast indie gansta rap label this is where dr dre got his start here producing records founded by the late great Easy E.

V 4 Comments
18 Loud Records

Xzibit, Big Pun, Wu Tang Clan (and Raekwon, Method Man, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Three 6 Mafia, Mobb Deep, Twista do I need to say more?

V 2 Comments
19 Dreamville

J. Cole is leading up and coming artists like Bas, Omen, and Cozz. If you want to know what this record is about listen to Revenge of the Dreamers

Creates a lot of classics in my opinion. Dreamville has a pretty diverse background of people so far, and plus they're also an organization that gives back to the community of Fayetville, NC

V 2 Comments
20 Cold Chillin'

Responsible for some of the golden years of rap in the late 80's. Albums were by classics like Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Kool G. Rap, and MC Shan. Company folded however in 98'

PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Best Indie Hip Hop Labels Top 10 Best Hip Hop Artists Best Record Labels Best Hip Hop Songs of All Time Best Hip Hop Albums

List StatsUpdated 19 Feb 2017

1,000 votes
51 listings
3 years, 297 days old

Top Remixes (13)

1. Aftermath
2. Cash Money
3. Shady Records
1. Death Row
2. Aftermath
3. Shady Records
1. Shady Records
2. Aftermath
3. Death Row

View All 13


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.