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.

It s difficult to find a record label with these principles, without thinkin only of money, unlike others... It would be a honor to work with you! ✌

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.

2 Aftermath

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Kanye, enough said. Plus a bunch of other veterans in the game

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

Incredible albums done through this corporation.

9 Bad Boy

Hello music label um I was wondering if u would be interested in my rap to get my career started

Iconic and classic record label that will forever be remembered

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

I agree bad boys represented east coast well

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.

Rihanna is also on Roc Nation

Gay Z really

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

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

Dreamville has a lot of underrated talent... And dreamville never had no contreversy

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.

Has many great artists but many horrible ones as well

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)

Funk Volume no longer exists because of Damien Ritters

They are taking the rap game hostage and I can't wait

15 Loud Records

Without question wu tang, mobb deep & big pun make it #1 beyond a reasonable doubt (no pun intended)

What is this doing all the way down here

How is this not 3rd

Check out b-dope aka bobhere (mixtape) on datpiff

16 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

17 Ruthless Records

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

They founded gangsta rap which was called reality rap before

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

Number one in my opinion

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.

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

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.

20 Stones Throw Records

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

21 Young Money Entertainment

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

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.

Was the First independent southern rap label

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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