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8.
Well, I'm not as qualified as many to write what I think should be a somewhat definitive list. I was only hardcore into rap from 1988 to 1994, so anybody whose work was totally or mostly after 1994, I leave off the list due to ignorance (people, I'm sure, like Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Common, Eminem, 50 cent, whomever...) Also, notice how it's "World's" Best Rappers List, and we're probably almost exclusively talking about American rappers.

I personally think that the greatest 3 rappers in terms of flow, technique, and skill, not taking into account people who never sold all that much (e.g. the great Grandaddy I.U.), from mid 80s to mid 90s would be, in no particular order:

Rakim
Big Daddy Kane
Nas

Additionally, in terms of overall skill and/or cultural/political significance, I would add the following, who began in the mid 80s and did most of their good stuff by the mid 90s, in no particular order:

LL Cool J
KRS-One
EPMD

Roxanne Shante' (only a select few songs were really good, but overall she is very significant)

Antoinette (possibly the closest thing, at least until the mid 90s, to a female Rakim or Kane)

Latifah
Lyte

(I mean, why ain't the females bein' represented?)

Nikki D (one of the best rap albums ever, totally overlooked, totally phat skillz)

Salt-N-Pepa (specifically Salt b/c of her phat skills and before anyone jumps on me, listen to "Swift" from Black's magic, also to see how much better she was than Pepa, compare their various, respective "Solo Power" songs on the "Salt With A Deadly Pepa" album)

Public Enemy (specifically Chuck D)

King Sun
K-Solo
D.O.C.
Lakim Shabazz (possibly, don't remember him that well)

Cookie Crew
Monie Love
probably 2 or 3 NWA-associated people (Dre, Eazy, Cube)

Yo-Yo

Kool G. Rap (can't believe I went ths long w/o mentioning him)

Grandaddy I.U.
Snoop Dog (perhaps)

That's all I can think of now from mid 80s to mid 90s. Note that I did not cover early 80s b/c I don't know enough about it. I'm sure I'd say Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Africa Bambataa, Kurtis Blow...people like that.
Above is my World's Best Rappers List.
by William Noel August 15, 2006
50 76
 
9.
In no particluar order ( apart form nas)
Nas
Big L
Notorius BIG
Common
Tupac
AZ
Prodigy (Mobb Deep)
Guru (Gangstarr)
Kool G Rap


Worlds best FAKES list:
Cam'ron (what a pussy)
Ja rule (learn to rap)
ICP (Die slowly in a pool of your own vomit)
Nelly
Fat Joe
50 cent
Bitch bitch bitch bitch
by alter ego March 15, 2005
134 162
 
10.
No Order

Solo..
- Mos Def
- Talib Kweli
- Pharoahe Monch
- KRS One
- Tupac
- Biggie
- Mantronix
- Rakim
- The D.O.C.
- Nas
- Common
- Grandmaster Caz
- Kool Moe Dee

Groups...
- The Roots
- Boogie Down Productions
- Brand Nubian
- Reflection Eternal
- Blackstar
- Gangstarr
- Wu-Tang Clan
- Public Enemy
- Run DMC
- NWA
- Poor Righteous Teachers
- The Pharcyde

Untouchable, bitch
No example is necessary
by mike November 27, 2004
113 141
 
11.
a tribe called quest
de la soul
afrika bambaata
public enemy
krs one
big daddy kane
brand nubian
kmd
grand puba
wu-tang clan and family
biz markie
epmd
notorious b.i.g aka biggy smalls
x clan
lords of the underground
gangstarr
tha alkaholiks
digable planets
dilated peoples
eric b and rakim
ll cool j
das efx
poor righteous teachers
jungle borthers
nwa
run dmc
mc lyte
salt n pepa
pete rock and cl smooth
dj vadim
peanut butter wolf
kid koala
cypress hill
beastie boys
nas
diamond d
del tha funkee homosapien
large professor
masta ace
mf doom
mf grimm
juice crew
hieroglyphics crew
zulunation
souls of mischief
i may forgot some, sorry. this list DOES NOT include g-unit, 50 cent and all that other MTV pop shit. word world's best rappers list
by zuluskjar December 23, 2006
69 105
 
12.
one person said this, theyre not only mcs theyre also pioneers
with that said
BEST(NO ORDER):
2Pac
N.W.A.(all of them members r tied but Eazy- E is deff the best)
50 Cent
Lloyd Bank$
Public Enemy(Flavor Flav and Chuck D)
Eminem
Ludacris
DMX
Big L
RUN DMC
Jay Z
Nas
T.I.

Worst:
Any member of Murder Inc, especially Ja Rule(pussy)
Cassidy(got merked by G-Unit now whos thug?)
no matter wut u say, 50 and G-Unit are at the top bitches
by person March 26, 2005
55 92
 
13.
#1 rapper ever - BIG L
hes too fucken sick. lyrically the best there ever was. r.i.p. big l

in no other order
biggie
talib kweli
mos def
pharoe monche
jay z (check out dj monster mouse's remix of the black alum called the grey album. its remixed with the beatles the white album and its fucken sick)
atmosphere
jadakiss
jurrasic 5
nas
roots
binary star
gangstarr
tupanc

50 cent and g - unit belong somwhere towards the very bottom of any bodys list that knows what skills are.
"get too close and gete shanked up/i knocked so many teethe out i made the toothe fairy bankrupt"
big l
by w0nt0n August 07, 2004
61 98
 
14.
Please stop wasting your money and trying to front like thugs. Hears some talent you may want to check.
In no particular order...
Azeem, Aesop Rock, Gift of Gab, Pep Love(Heiroglyphics), Mike Skinner(the Streets), El P(for you angry folk), and the list continues to evolve like our language and hopefully YOU
by Ears McListenup July 09, 2004
12 49