Best Hip-Hop Record Labels

The Top Ten
1 Shady Records

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.

Founded by Eminem & his manager Paul Rosenberg in 1999.2000-2006 was the best era of the company as they took the industry by storm with Eminem, D12, 50 Cent, Obie Trice, Ca$his, Stat Quo and Bobby CreekwaterThey came back to the game with Shady 2.0 which includes new signees. The current acts are Eminem, D12, Bad Meets Evil, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf.

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.

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.

2 Aftermath

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

Being a big Eminem fan I would still consider aftermath greater than shady records on the basis of the talent found by aftermath label including greats like shady,50 cent,Kendrick,trice and list just continues.

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

I think Aftermath is the most important record label in hip hop. Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Game, and Kendrick Lamar...nothing beats that.

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.

It was founded in 1991 by the famous Suge Knight jr. The record sold over 50 million albums worldwithe. Albums such as the Chronic, Doggystyle, all Eyez on me where amazing. Artists included Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, The Dogg Pound, Daz, Mc Hammer and Nate Dogg. West Coast BABY

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.

4 Def Jam

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.

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

Two of my favorite artists, Logic and J. Cole are signed here and I love what they have been doing at Def Jam.

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

5 Strange Music

An independant label that became a juggernaut capable of standing toe to toe with any label out. Talented artist, loyal fan base, a reach across the world. No other desrves the place of number one like Strange music.

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!

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 has to be one of my favorite labels just for my favorite rapper tech n9ne!

6 Top Dawg Entertainment

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.

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.

Kendrick Lamar now resides here, along with fellow Black Hippy members Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q, as well as up-and-comers Isaiah Rashad and SZA.

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

7 Cash Money

People keep saying they screwed hip hop up but they don't look at the good rappers they brought up to fame. they should just shut up and enjoy whats good while it lasts

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

Redefined rap to give us what we have now. Most directly influential label as of 2015.

8 GOOD Music

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

Incredible albums done through this corporation.

Da best right now

Needs to go up.

9 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

10 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.

The Contenders
11 Dreamville

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

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

J Cole is changing the world because he is making it have climate change.

They have some of the best young talents in the game. If you're still sleeping on JID and Earthgang, you're missing out.

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

13 Interscope Records

Best record label of all times...plus my son Alex Smith works there searching out new artists and social media stuff.

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, Will.I.am, Tory Lanez, MGK, Cozz, Aloe Blacc, Pharrell, J. Cole, Busta, Jay Rock, etc. etc.

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

Made most artists

14 Funk Volume

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

With many talented and recognized artists, Funk Volume creates very good music. FV til I die (Hopsin's Song)

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

Give it time... You'll see.

15 Loud Records
16 Ruthless Records

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

Eazy E greatest rapper of all time!

Eazy, dre, cube, yella, ren, they were all amazing and made amazing music and changed music forever they made a huge impact on gangsta rap

Number one in my opinion

17 Maybach Music Group

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

Better than death row

Best rap Label ever

The best is on this

18 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

19 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 till the day I die.

20 Stones Throw Records

Absolutely amazing record label holding some of the greats including Madlib, J Dilla, and MF DOOM.

21 Young Money Entertainment

Trash label invited nicki!

Best label ever

Should be top 2.

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 Suave House

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.

24 Warner Music Group

Great Musicians over there. I love them.

25 Visionary Music Group

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.

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

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