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.

This ematuoem, I'm gonna sign to your label if this goes to eminem, marshall Mathers and slim shady

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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 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

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

Kendrick, Dre, 50,the game, the list goes on

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3 Death Row

This was so hard! It was between definitely Jam, Death Row, Top Dawg Entertanment (TDE), Bad Boy and Aftermath. But Death Row without a doubt had to be one of the best. With 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Dogg Pound with Kurupt and Daz. You have Nate Dogg and Warren G reppin' 213. This label might as well own all the classic albums: All Eyez on Me by 2Pac (1996), Doggystyle by Snoop (1993) and Don Killuminati: 7 day theory by 2Pac (1996). And obviously the best album: The Chronic by Dr. Dre (1992). This created the West Coast G-Funk sound that everyone knows and loves as well as having hard rap from the likes of Hit 'em Up.

Shady Records did not have the same impact as Death Row, and is sort of just got Eminem and 50 Cent and D12. As much as TDE is the future with good kidd, M.A.A.D City and artists like Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q and AB-Soul, it still needs to fully develop. Bad Boy had Biggie and Puff, and Junior Mafia.

Aftermath and definitely Jam were certainly the two ...more

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.

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.

No other legendary label like death row.. all legendary rappers.

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4 Strange Music

Pushes old school hip hop to new grounds, the rappers can rap and rap fast: no mumble rappers here, the artists are all unique and slay it when the collaborate, and while "migos flow" (triplet flow where rappers rap in groups of 3 instead of 2 or 4) which is not inherently bad as long as the words are clear, unfortunately mumble rappers love this flow style... strange music avoids this style and embraces traditional 2 or 4 group styles, they do love "westcoast chopper" style where the rap is fast and coherent, the lyrics are have a lot of alliteration and/or complex rhyming patterns their only flaw is that to do this it might limit the songs insightful/profound or meaningful lyrics (even poetry) to trade off for some amazingly well thought and unexpected word choices that don't have any deep meaning to the listener. Still these guys have serious rapping skill

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!

I love strange music...

V 20 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.

Biggest RECORD label
My name is YOUNG CREATION from south africa (tsakane)... please recognize my talent. Through my YouTube videos...
Am a ralstar

V 8 Comments
6 Top Dawg Entertainment

Has some of the best. - junaid343

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

Has some of the best new age rappers out there

Top Dawg is a record label which nurtures young talent- if you're looking for some fresh artists with an old school feel to their music; beats, lyrics and flow, Top Dawg is your go to. With Kendrick Lamar being the face of this label, how could it not ooze talent? Up and coming artists include SZA, paving the way for alternarive RnB with her soulful voice, incorporating funk, soul & hip hop influences in her music... an irresistable meddley. Other artists include the critically acclaimed Isaiah Rashad, who draws inspiration from some of hip hops greatest, namely Jay Z, Scarface, Outkast.

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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

Had one of the GOATS in The Notorious B.I.G. Today it has rappers like Machine Gun Kelly, Logic, and Joey BadA$$

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8 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.

Rihanna is also on Roc Nation

Gay Z really

9 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.

Why do I think cash money I know everyone writes the same thing but to me cash money is a independent record label who's artists continue to show that their the best and that's it and to my girl nicki u aren't role model from Saja Nicholas

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

Most successful!

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10 Funk Volume

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

Funk Volume no longer exists because of Damien Ritters - KrazzyMadd

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

Above cash money all dsy

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The Contenders

11 GOOD Music

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

Kanye West is the Founder

Kanye West is up there with Dre, DMX, and Pac. Kanye is one of if not is the greatest of all time

Ye, Pusha, Sean, all great

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12 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

D to the M to the X - Themusicman

13 Maybach Music Group

Rick ross, WALE, Meek mill

The best is on this

Best rap Label ever

Wale is unlike other rappers he is a rapper with a unique flow and lyrics that excercise the insiginificance of material things like money.

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14 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

Best label ever

He a true artist


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15 Ruthless Records

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

It should be number 1

Number one in my opinion

Eazy E greatest rapper of all time!

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16 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?

What is this doing all the way down here

Xzibit, Big Pun, Wu Tang Clan

How is this not 3rd - KrazzyMadd

17 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!

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

OVO should be third

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18 Hypnotize Minds

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

19 Uncle Howie Records

RIP Uncle Howie

ILL Bill (CEO), Gore Elohim aka Goretex Medina, Necro, Sabac Red, Dj Eclipse, Non Phixion, Q-Unique, Mr. Hyde, E-Dot, Channel Live

20 Interscope Records

Made most artists


How come this ain't in the top 10?
Are people growin deaf? This label is legendary!

This is the parent of all your favourite imprint labels and it funded and promoted projects by Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick, 50, Schoolboy Q, Tupac, Snoop, The Game,, Tory Lanez, MGK, Cozz, Aloe Blacc, Pharrell, J. Cole, Busta, Jay Rock, etc. etc.

21 Suburban Noize Records

X-CLAN made there come back here

22 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'

23 Wyte Music
24 Grand Hustle

Most underrated label. Has many great rapper

I'm with hustle gang 100% of the way no matter what

The best for me so far

B.O.B and T.I. T.I writes awesome music!

25 Suave House

Was the First independent southern rap label

Gay - KrazzyMadd

Tony Draper created the label in the 90's. Memphis duo, 8Ball and MJG were signed in 1990. Other rappers include Tela, South Circle and Crime boss. However in early 2000's 8Ball and MJG left the label, the label hasn't received the same success.

26 Stones Throw Records
27 Visionary Music Group

Logic got his start here, signed with definitely jam and is gonna be one of the top rappers in a year or two

Though Visonary does not have many artist signed to it, I guarantee that the artist already signed, will be known as the greatest of their time. Mark my words.

28 Majik Ninja Entertainment

A great line up of artists
G mo skee,boondox,twiztid, The R.O.C

29 Taylor Gang Records

Great Record Label with some of the Best rappers of our generation.

Best stoner record label

T.G.O. D Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Berner... Founder Wiz Khalifa Best Record Label Ever

Gang gang!

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30 No Limit

Don't want rap label No Limit Records

No limit was that back n the late 90's, only label I remember them older cats I ran around with growing up had tatted on em lol

No limit was like the best rap label master p did movies his son is a rapper his brothers were rappers

Wha t..l ol you people must not have listened to no limi t..n o limit easily had the dopest rappers and klc and beats by the pound made the best beat s..l ol 95% of people who listen to rap don't know s%#t about rap musi c..c razy

31 Rhymesayers

I am embarrassed that this is at 22. THIS IS THE BEST RECORD LABEL THAT HAS EVER EXISTED THE ONLY REASON ITS NOT NUMBER ONE IS BECAUSE YOU NEANDERTHALS haven't LISTENED TO THE RIGHT SONGS. ATMOSPHERE - 1597, sound is vibration, scapegoat, gods bathroom floor, yesterday, sunshine... EYEDEA - monster inside, song about a song, my day at the brain factory, the void (internal theory), weird side, hard headed, exhausted love, paradise... THE DYNOSPECTRUM - breath of fresh, anything is everything... BLUEPRINT - radio inactive.. That's not even the tip of the iceberg but I doubt many of you will actually take the time and listen to the songs above, all I can say about that is I pity you.

-Brandon Buckingham

Rymesayers has, by far the most lyrically gifted, hard working, and influential names in the hip hop, rap, or whatever you wanna call the game. Although their not seen on MTV or most public radio stations around the world, they deserve all the respect and credentials that can be possibly given. If you have real love for the music then you know, Rymesayers is number one on the list.

Atmosphere, eyedea, brother ali, sage francis, evidence. Need I say more

The best

V 2 Comments
32 Young Money Entertainment

Best label ever

Should be top 2.

Young money QUEEN Nicki

Are u kidding me? 34. wayne is the best artist to live and be in this game u lil boys don't know music

33 Definitive Jux

Has a style that is the one of the most influential but at the same time extremely difficult to replicate.

34 Coke Boys Records

Its founder is French Montana

French Montana, Chinx, Lil Durk,

35 Black Wall Street
36 Psychopathic Records
37 G-Unit Records

Changed the hip hop mixtape scene and hip hop business for ever. Plus sold some of the most records not downloads artist like Lloyd Banks one of the most lyrical artists ever

Lies they should be top 10 bias article this is lool

50 is the don

Founded by 50 cent it has artists such as g unit Lloyd banks Tony yayo young buck mobb deep the game 40 glocc spider loc and ma$e.

38 Rawkus

How can this not be in the top 10?

Big L, Mos definitely, Talib Kweli and Hi-Teck do I need to say more?

39 The Firm

We all seen Game bring the whole dying West Coast back to life... Now his gonna build what's gonna be known as one of the greatness label ever!

Put up by the Game himself, the guy who brought back the west. Lets get this 3rd after aftermath and shady records.

40 Lench Mob

Should bring it bacc

No vaseline

Love ice cube ❤️

41 Odd Future Records

Up and coming Tyler the Creator with his unusual buddies such as Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean. This label is a force to be reckoned with

42 Warner Music Group


43 Thizz Entertainment

the bay

RIP Mac Dre
Need I say more?

44 Aggro Berlin
45 Real Life Music Group
46 DreamAwake Music

Heard a lot music which was very Brilliant and I was very shocked to find out it's a South African music label.

47 Trill Entertainment


48 Ersguterjunge
49 Geffen
50 Grand District

This is a retro ERA Sub-label if you like timeless hiphop then this is your home for real..

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List Stats

1,000 votes
56 listings
5 years, 226 days old

Top Remixes (13)

1. Aftermath
2. Death Row
3. Def Jam
1. Aftermath
2. Cash Money
3. Shady Records
1. Strange Music
2. Shady Records
3. Hypnotize Minds

View All 13

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