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This list guide features the top 20 Best Rappers in Hip Hop (2019). These are among some of the best hip hop artists to release great songs and albums in the past. And in 2019 they rank among the best.
Some of them have gone on to be nominated and even won a Grammy or two. Others not featured on this list are amazing but have yet to prove themselves as the best. They include Juice WRLD, Lil Pump, Trippie Redd and Lil Uzi Vert.
Check out our best picks for top 20 Best Rappers in Hip Hop (2019).
1. Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is regarded as one of the most skillful and successful hip hop artists of his generation, with various media outlets branding him the “new king of hip hop”.
The rapper gained international recognition with his major label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, released in 2012. It debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 and was later certified platinum by the RIAA. The record contained the top 40 singles “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, and “Poetic Justice”.
Lamar has received many accolades including twelve Grammy Awards. In early 2013, MTV named him the “Hottest MC in the Game”, on their annual list. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016.
In 2018, Damn became the first non-classical and non-jazz album to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Drake is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. The rapper gained recognition for his debut studio album Thank Me Later in 2010, which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was soon certified platinum.
His next two releases, 2011’s Take Care, 2013’s Nothing Was the Same, 2016’s Views and 2018’s Scorpion were critically and commercially successful.
He also has the most number one singles on Billboard’s the Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Rhythmic Charts. Drizzy has also won three Juno Awards, six American Music Awards, and fifteen Billboard Music Awards.
Drake has won a total of 3 Grammy Awards from 27 nominations.
3. Pusha T
Pusha T, is an American rapper and record executive. Push T has released three solo albums which include My Name Is My Name (2013), King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude (2015) and Daytona(2018).
The rapper escalated his beef with his rival Drake when the song “Infrared” from his 2018 album Daytona, he accused Drake of using a ghostwriter. Drake responded to the song less than one day later, releasing a track titled “Duppy Freestyle” where he insults both Pusha T and Kanye West, accusing Pusha of being a fake drug dealer and claiming that he would boost sales of Pusha T’s album just by dissing him.
Pusha T responded to Duppy on May 29, 2018 with the track “The Story of Adidon” which featured Pusha responding to Drake over the instrumental of Jay-Z’s 2017 single “The Story of O.J.” The song had lines directed towards rumors Drake has an illegitimate child and Noah “40” Shebib’s multiple sclerosis.
The song’s cover art also attracted controversy, showing an unedited picture of Drake wearing a Jim Crow t-shirt and hoodie and blackface makeup.
Pusha T’s album Daytona has been nominated in 2019’s Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album.
4. Kodak Black
Kodak Black, is an American rapper. He is noted for his singles “Zeze”, “Roll in Peace”, “Tunnel Vision”, “SKRT” and “No Flockin”.
In May 2016, he was featured on French Montana’s single “Lockjaw”, from French Montana’s 21st mixtape MC4 which reached a peak position of 23 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In June 2016, Kodak Black was named one of XXL magazine’s “2016 Freshman Class”.
Kodak Black released his debut studio album Painting Pictures (2017) reaching No. 3 on the Billboard 200. In 2018 he released Dying to Live which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. This became Kodak Black’s first number-one album on the chart.
XXXTentacion was an American rapper, singer and songwriter. Unfortunately in June 18, 2018, X was fatally shot at the age of 20, in a robbery at a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
He has been regarded to have left behind “a huge musical footprint” due to his impact on his young fanbase and his popularity during his short career.
XXXTentacion gained mainstream fame with the song “Look at Me” which is now certified Platinum by the RIAA.
He released his debut album, 17, on August 25, 2017, which debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200.
X was named as the tenth pick on XXL‘s “2017 Freshman Class”.
His second album, ?, was released on March 16, 2018, and it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with its singles “Sad!”, “Changes” and “Moonlight” all reaching the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100.
XXXTentacion’s third studio album, Skins, was posthumously released in December 2018.
Eminem is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and record executive. He is consistently cited as one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time in any genre, with Rolling Stone placing him in its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and labeling him the “King of Hip Hop”.
He has released 10 studio albums including Infinite (1996), The Slim Shady LP (1999), The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), The Eminem Show (2002), Encore (2004), Relapse (2009), Recovery (2010), The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013), Revival (2017), and Kamikaze (2018).
7. Meek Mill
Meek Mill, is an American rapper who released his debut album, Dreams and Nightmares, in 2012 under MMG and Warner Bros. Records. The album, preceded by the lead single “Amen”, debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200.
He is also known for his appearances on MMG’s Self Made compilation series, with his first two singles, “Tupac Back” and “Ima Boss”, being included on volume one.
Meek Mill went on to release Dreams Worth More Than Money in 2015 and Wins & Losses in 2017.
On November 30, 2018, Meek Mill released his fourth album, Championships, and debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200.
8. Tory Lanez
Tory Lanez, is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. He received major recognition from the mixtape Lost Cause (2014) and the singles, “Say It,” and “Luv”, which peaked at number 23, and 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively.
Lanez released his debut studio album, I Told You on August 19, 2016. His sophomore album, Memories Don’t Die was released on March 2, 2018. On October 26, 2018, Lanez released his third studio album, Love Me Now?.
Offset, is an American rapper from Lawrenceville, Georgia. He is a member of the hip hop and trap music trio Migos, alongside cousins Takeoff and Quavo.
Migos initially gained recognition following the release of their 2013 single “Versace”. In 2015, the trio released their debut studio album Yung Rich Nation.
In 2017, their single “Bad and Boujee” became an Internet phenomenon, spawning a large number of memes with the lyrics “rain drop, drop top”, which were performed by Offset. The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, with many critics believing Offset dominated the track.
In June 2017, he was featured on Metro Boomin’s single “No Complaints” alongside Drake, which peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100. Offset would release a collaborative studio album with American rapper 21 Savage and record producer Metro Boomin titled, Without Warning.
The album was released on October 31, 2017, and debuted at number 4 on the US Billboard 200 chart. It spawned the hit song “Ric Flair Drip”, Offset’s first solo platinum single, and highest charting US Billboard Hot 100 entry to date.
10. Lil Baby
Lil Baby, is an American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known for his songs “Freestyle”, “Yes Indeed” and “Drip Too Hard”, the latter two peaking at number 6 and 4 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 2017 he released the mixtapes Perfect Timing, Harder Than Hard, 2 The Hard Way with Mario and Too Hard. In 2018 he released the mixtapes Drip Harder with Gunna and Street Gossip.
On May 18, 2018 Lil Baby released his first studio album Harder Than Ever which charted at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200.
The album was supported by the singles, “Southside” and “Yes Indeed” featuring Drake, the latter peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100.
11. Gucci Mane
Gucci Mane, is an American rapper. He is known for helping to pioneer the hip hop subgenre of trap music alongside fellow Atlanta-based rappers T.I. and Young Jeezy.
In 2005, Gucci Mane debuted with Trap House, followed by his second and third albums, Hard to Kill and Trap-A-Thon in 2006. His fourth album, Back to the Trap House, was released in 2007.
In 2009, Gucci Mane released his sixth studio album, The State vs. Radric Davis, his first gold-certified album. Following time spent in prison between 2014 and 2016, he re-emerged with several new retail projects, including Everybody Looking (2016), which was released to critical praise.
His 2016 collaboration with Rae Sremmurd, titled “Black Beatles”, provided Gucci Mane with his first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Evil Genius is his latest album, and was released on December 7, 2018.
Gucci Mane has released 12 studio albums and over 70 mixtapes. In 2007, he founded his own label, 1017 Records. He has worked with artists such as Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Selena Gomez, Mariah Carey and Marilyn Manson.
Future, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He released his debut album, Pluto, in April 2012. Future’s second album, Honest, was released in April 2014, surpassing his debut on the album charts.
Between late 2014 and early 2015, he released a trio, Monster (2014), Beast Mode (2015), and 56 Nights(2015). His next releases, DS2 (2015), What a Time to Be Alive, Evol (2016), Future (2017) and Hndrxx (2017) all debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Future has also released several singles certified gold or higher by the RIAA, including “Turn On the Lights”, “Move That Dope”, “Fuck Up Some Commas”, “Where Ya At”, “Jumpman”, “Low Life” and “Mask Off”.
13. French Montana
French Montana, is a Moroccan-American rapper, singer and songwriter. He made his mixtape debut in 2007. In 2010, he had his breakthrough with “Choppa Choppa Down”. His 2012 single “Pop That” peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100.
He released his debut studio album Excuse My French on May 21, 2013. In July 2017, Montana released his second studio album, Jungle Rules, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.
The album was supported by the single “Unforgettable”, featuring Swae Lee, which became Montana’s first song as lead artist to reach the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
14. 21 Savage
21 Savage, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer from Atlanta, Georgia. He gained attention in the Atlanta underground for the 2015 mixtape The Slaughter Tape before attaining nationwide attention following the Metro Boomin collaborative album Savage Mode (2016), its lead single “X”, and his collaboration with Drake, “Sneakin’”.
He released his debut studio album, Issa Album, on July 7, 2017. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and had his first Billboard Hot 100 top 20 song, “Bank Account”. He achieved his first number one single at the end of 2017 with his feature on Post Malone’s “Rockstar”.
On Halloween 2017, he released the Offset and Metro Boomin collaboration Without Warning. In December 2018, he released his sophomore album, I Am > I Was which debuted and charted at number one on the Billboard 200 for two consecutive weeks.
15. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie
A Boogie wit da Hoodie is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for his single “Drowning”, which peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
His debut studio album, The Bigger Artist, was released on September 29, 2017 and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart.
He later went on to release his second studio album, Hoodie SZN, on December 21, 2018. He is signed to Highbridge the Label and Atlantic Records.
A Boogie featured on fellow New York rapper 6ix9ine’s single, “Keke” on January 14, 2018. The song peaked at 43 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also appeared on the song “Waka” on 6ix9ine’s album Dummy Boy released in November 2018.
16. Jay Rock
Jay Rock, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from Watts, California. His debut studio album Follow Me Home, was released in July of that year. The album was supported by the singles “All My Life (In the Ghetto)” and “Hood Gone Love It”.
His second studio album 90059 was released in September 2015. It was supported by the singles “Money Trees Deuce”, “Gumbo” and the title track.
On May 16, 2018, he released the hit single “Win”, which serves as the second single from his third studio album. In June 2018, Rock released his third studio album ‘’Redemption’’. He has received a 2019 Grammy nomination in Best Rap Performance for “King’s Dead” and Best Rap Song for “Win”.
17. Nippsy Hussle
Nipsey Hussle is an American rapper from Los Angeles, California. He has released several mixtapes, including three installments of his Bullets Ain’t Got No Name series, The Marathon, The Marathon Continues and Crenshaw, the latter of which rapper Jay-Z, bought 100 copies for $100 each.
His debut studio album “Victory Lap” was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019.
Gunna, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter and is a member of Young Thug’s YSL Label.
The rapper has released several mixtapes including Drip Season, Drip Season 2, Drip Season 3, and Drip Harder. He has also appeared on Young Thug’s projects JEFFERY and Beautiful Thugger Girls.
19. Travis Scott
Travis Scott is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer.
Scott’s first full-length project, a mixtape titled Owl Pharaoh, was self-released in May 2013. This was followed with a second mixtape, titled Days Before Rodeo, in August 2014. His debut studio album, Rodeo, was released in September 2015 and was led by the hit single “Antidote”, which reached the top 20 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
His second album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, was released in September 2016. The following year, Travis Scott released a collaborative album with Quavo titled Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho under the group name Huncho Jack. He released his third album, Astroworld, on August 3, 2018; it produced his first Hot 100 number one single, “Sicko Mode”.
6ix9ine is an American rapper, singer, songwriter. He rose to mainstream fame in late 2017 with the release of his debut single “Gummo”, which was certified platinum by the RIAA.
In early 2018, Hernandez released his debut mixtape, Day69, which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart. He later earned his first top-five entry on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Fefe”, featuring Nicki Minaj and Murda Beatz, which peaked at number three on the chart.
His debut studio album, Dummy Boy, was released on November 27, 2018, after being delayed a week earlier due to his arrest, and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.
However he was arrested in November 2018 on racketeering and firearm charges, among others, for which he is facing a possible life sentence in federal prison.
Bonus Feature: Tee Grizzley
Tee Grizzley, is an American rapper from Detroit. He is best known for his singles “First Day Out”, “No Effort”, “Colors”, and “From the D to the A”.
After being released from prison in October 2016, Grizzley released his debut single “First Day Out” through YouTube. The song gained over two million views in less than three weeks, and led to Grizzley signing a record deal with 300 Entertainment and Atlantic Recordsin 2017.
After releasing numerous mixtapes and singles throughout 2017, Grizzley released his debut album Activated on May 11, 2018, which peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200.