Ranking The Top 25 MCs Of All-Time

Master of Ceremonies.

They took over hip-hop from the DJ, and turned this raw form of music into a raging force all across the globe. Using their lyrical prowess, wit, wordplay, creativity, and flow over thumpin’ beats, these MCs have proven themselves in all facets of the art form. The criteria all of these artists have met to garner inclusion within this list include the following: Impact, skill, longevity, and contribution. All of these areas need to be exhibited throughout their respective careers in order to reach the summit of the rapping throne.

25. Scarface

Member of the seminal Houston hip-hop group Geto Boys, Scarface has had a long and storied career dating back to 1989.  Putting out classic solo albums like The Diary (1994), The Last of a Dying Breed (2000), and The Fix (2002) there’s no denying Scarface has made his mark on hip-hop, and continues to put out high-quality music.

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24. Joe Budden

Few hip-hop artists can measure up to Joe Budden when it comes to the intrinsic depth of his work. Throughout his 14-year career, he’s effectively integrated his personal life within his music. Ranging from his relationships with his significant others and family, to his struggle with addiction and depression, it’s all laid out poetically in his music for the world to see. Budden’s classic mixtape series Mood Muzik is some of the most raw and autobiographical rap that has come out in the last decade. Member of the super group Slaughterhouse under Shady Records, and co-host of the Complex News show “Everyday Struggle”, Budden continues to be a force in the hip-hop world.

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23. Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli’s penchant for high quality lyrics, incredibly smooth flows, and wittiness has granted him an incredible (and prosperous) career. His first breakthrough with the one-off certified classic 1998 album Black Star (featuring Mos Def) put Kweli in a position to go off on his own and prove he’s one of the elite MCs. With such albums like Quality (2002) , The Beautiful Struggle (2004), and more recently his joint project with 9th Wonder Indie 500 (2015), Kweli has cemented his name among the greats.

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