Hip-hop, as I don’t doubt you know has a rich history full of rappers with their own style and stamp. Everyone who has had the pleasure of saying they’re hip hop artists have changed the music in their own way.

But which proved the most popular? Which rappers took the hip-hop industry by storm?

Without further ado, here at the top 5 male rappers ever, in no particular order.

Notorious B.I.G

Born Christopher George Wallace, Biggie became one of the most famous and popular hip-hop artists of all time. Raised in Brooklyn, he became a focus in the East Coast hip hop scene and put it into the mainstream at a time when the West Coast were dominant.

In 1997 he was shot in a drive-by shooting. He has reached 17 million sales in the United States alone.

Tupac Shakur

Whilst we’re on the most famous names in hip hop, it’d be a cheat to leave this man off the list. Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2pac sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling artists of all time.

In 1996 Shakur was shot in a drive-by shooting.

Jay Z

The first living rapper on our list, there’s no doubting this man’s abilities. Shawn Carter, better known as Jay Z is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists on the planet. Plus, he’s one of the world’s best selling artists. Born in New York, his early influences were souls artists like Marvin Gaye.

In 2008 he married one of the most famous names on the planet – Beyonce Knowles.


Marshal Mathers needs little introduction. His stage name Eminem is known the world over and is the best selling artist of the 2000s. Rolling Stone even declared him ‘King of Hip Hop’ which adds to his many accolades. He has his own record label and has acted in some huge blockbuster films.

He has an unlikely friendship with Sir Elton John.

Kanye West

You didn’t expect us to leave this controversial figure off the list did you? He’s brought hip hop to the masses. Kanye West was born in Georgia in 1977 and rose to fame with his album The College Dropout. Although, more recently he’s made the news for his controversial acts, rather than his music.  But still, it’d be a crime to leave him off the list.

So there you have it. 5 of the biggest hip hop artists to grace the planet. Let us know who your favourite is!