“Attention all hip-hop fans! Jay-Z and Drake reign supreme as the top rap kings in the USA – you won’t believe who takes the crown!”.


Complex has designated the best rappers from 1979 to 2013. In the ranking, some names appear more often than others. Jay-Z and Drake are the most cited by the media.

The rappers who have had the most impact on listeners and the rap game

Complex has embarked on a difficult task. The media has determined who was the best US rapper for each year since 1979, based on the impact the artist has had on the world of rap and the way music is consumed. It includes big names in American rap such as: Run DMC, LL Cool J, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G, Ice Cube, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. Among all these names, Jay-Z and Drake are mentioned three times. In 44 years, these are the artists who have had the most impact on the world of rap. Jay-Z has established a lasting presence as he was mentioned as the best rapper in 1999, 2001, and 2009. He has not released a project since 2017, but remains a prominent figure in rap. Drake has nothing to be ashamed of compared to Jigga’s performance. Complex designates the 6 God as the dominant rapper in 2011, 2012, and 2015. The Canadian continues to lead the world of rap and is the most streamed rapper of the year 2023.

While the veterans are honored, the new generation also has its place in this ranking. The new big names in rap want to revolutionize the music, and Complex wanted to highlight this determination and youthful talent. Dababy asserted himself in 2019 with his style and his raw, sometimes derisive rap, illustrated by his banger “Bop”. Lil Baby is the headliner of 2020 with his album “My Turn”. The project is certified four times platinum. 21 Savage is chosen as the figure of the year 2022. In 2023, J.Cole takes the torch. Diversity and talent are clearly present in this new generation..

Avatar photo

Written by

Mary Aldreen

At 32, Mary Aldreen is an American content writer whose heart beats to the rhythm of music and the dazzle of celebrity life. Born in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, Mary was always at the epicenter of where music meets fame. Her passion for music started early, attending live concerts and music festivals, where she not only fell in love with melodies and lyrics but also became fascinated by the stories of those who create them.