Whether you're a fan of rap, hip-hop or just great music in general, you'll want to check out this list of the 10 best rappers in the world. Gangsta rap, hip-hop and house music has been popular since it first came out. If you're looking for the best of the best, check out this list of the best rappers in the world and find out who's been around the longest, who's been the most controversial and who's still rapping it hardcore.
- Eminem: One of the most controversial rappers in the world, Marshall Mathers (otherwise known as Eminem) made his debut in 1999. Rapping about everything from his unhappy childhood to his contempt for pop stars and the media hype that surrounds them, his music is definitely memorable. Check out "Not Afraid" to see how this artist has matured through the years.
- Tupac (2Pac) Shakur: Formally trained at the 127th Street Ensemble and Baltimore School of the Arts, Tupac was more than your average street rapper. At the age of 12, he played the role of Travis in "Raisin In the Sun," performing at the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Before his death at the young age of 25, he released the first double hip-hop CD and remains one of the top selling rappers in the world.
- Lil Wayne: Originally, Lil Wayne was thought to be a novelty; a hardcore hip-hop preteen when he made his debut, many doubted that he'd have the staying power needed to become a serious rapper. Imagine their surprise when this Hollygrove youth grew into one of the best rappers in the world.
- Snoop Dogg: Considered to be the "embodiment of '90s gangsta rap," Snoop Dogg was first introduced to the world through Dr. Dre's "The Chronic." His uniquely laid-back drawl and hard-hitting lyrics have earned him a place in many rap fan's hearts and his popularity certainly marks him for our list of the top 10 rappers in the world.
- Notorious B.I.G.: Notorious B.I.G., otherwise known as Biggie Smalls, was a Brooklyn street hustler-turned-rapper that was known for his gritty realism and intense lyrics. A gifted storyteller as well as one of the best rappers in the world, his career was cut short when he was murdered in 1997.
- Nas: Nas made his debut with "Illmatic" in 1994 and has been considered one of the leading rap artists from New York as well as one of the best rappers in the world. For years, there was a rivalry between Nas and popular East Coast rapper Jay-Z, though the two buried the hatchet and performed together at Jay-Z's "I Declare War" concert of 2005.
- Ice-T: Born Tracy Morrow, rapper Ice-T is known for his strong and intelligent lyrics, as well as for being one of rap's most controversial artists. Despite his on-again/off-again romance with rap and acting, Ice-T remains one of the best rappers in the world. His song "Cop Killer" was protested by both the NRA and various police activist groups.
- Jay-Z: Considered to be the reigning rap king of New York, Jay-Z first made his appearance in 1996 with his debut "Reasonable Doubt" and retired a mere 8 years later. This, of course, was short-lived. By 2005, he came out of retirement with his "I Declare War" concert and has been kicking it hardcore ever since.
- 50-cent: Hailing from the rough neighborhood of Queens, in Jamaica, 50-cent is a hard-hitting rapper that writes from a perspective that many rappers only pretend to know of. One of grittiest artists out there, most will agree that he's earned his place amongst the best rappers in the world.
- LL Cool J: Another '80s rapper who's equally well known for his acting skills, LL Cool J made his debut in 1985 when he was only 17 years old, releasing "I Can't Live Without My Radio." While his music has softened a bit over the years, his style is still unmistakable and his staying power certainly makes him one of the best rappers in the world.
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