Complex Lists The Best Rapper Alive, Annually, From 1979 To Today

image is known for their attention-grabbing headlines and over-the-top content, but this is neither.

Compiled by numerous contributors, this list tackles the almighty question of which rapper is the best, and adds a little science. The ending result is a thorough breakdown of each year, complete with its champion and all the major players of honorable mention.

It’s a bit lengthy, but a recommended read for rap fiends and Hip Hop heads regardless of age. Shout outs to Ice Cube, Snoop Doggy, and Kendrick Lamar for holding the West coast down (Tupac is from New York). And for the sake of discussion, I’ve stripped the list down to its skeleton:

1979 Grandmaster Caz
1980 Kurtis Blow
1981 Kool Moe Dee
1982 Melle Mel
1983 Run
1984 Run
1985 LL Cool J
1986 KRS-ONE
1987 Rakim
1988 Slick Rick
1989 Big Daddy Kane
1990 Ice Cube
1991 Q-Tip
1992 Redman
1993 Snoop Doggy Dogg
1994 Nas
1995 Notorious B.I.G
1996 Tupac
1997 Notorious B.I.G
1998 DMX
1999 Jay Z
2000 Eminem
2001 Jay Z
2002 Eminem
2003 50 Cent
2004 T.I.
2005 Young Jeezy
2006 Lil Wayne
2007 Kanye West
2008 Lil Wayne
2009 Jay Z
2010 Kanye West
2011 Drake
2012 Drake
2013 Kendrick Lamar
2014 Guess who?

Words by Tony Grands

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