In a place like Louisiana where the creation of music is as much a part of the fiber of how we celebrate as how we mourn, deciding who among the constellation of musical artists has had the most impact is not an easy decision.
After much thought, listening and, yes, argument, here are the 40 most influential musical acts from Louisiana.
Even though they might span multiple genres, decades and tastes, we know they won’t satisfy everyone. Share your thoughts on what we got wrong — and, hopefully, what we got right — in the stream below.
(current ages as of June 2020)
- Born in New Orleans (Gert Town): January 14, 1937
- Died at 77: November 10, 2015
As a songwriter, producer and as a publicly performing musician, Toussaint helped shape New Orleans R&B for decades. And he looked great doing it.
Big Freedia(Freddie Ross)
- Born in New Orleans: January 28, 1978
- Age: 42
A bounce performer and singer, Big Freedia helped put the underground sound of bounce on the national map.
- Born in McComb, Mississippi: December 2, 1981
FromMouseketeerto aLas Vegas residency, Spears was one of several modern pop stars who have redefined what it meant to be a pop icon in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- Born in New Orleans: September 6, 1877
- Died at age 54: November 4, 1931
Not much is known about this early jazz pioneer, but we do know that his big sound helped shape the musicians who would go on to popularize New Orleans’ most well-known export.
- Born in New Orleans: January 14, 1935
- Age: 85
A drummer who has worked with the likes of Sam Cooke and Little Richard, James Brown is said to have credited Connor with putting “funk into the rhythm.”
- Born in Opelousas: June 25, 1925
- Died at age 62: December 12, 1987
An Opelousas native, Chenier used his accordion and singing to connect the dots between Cajun music, rhythm and blues and rock and roll. The result was form of zydeco that broadly appealed to pop fans and continues to influence its performers.
- Born in New Orleans: January 13, 1909
- Died at age 85: March 13, 1994
Through his work with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band, Barker -- a guitar, banjo and ukulele player -- helped ensure a new generation of jazz musicians, including Shannon Powell, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Tuba Fats Lacen, Lucien Barbarin and Dr. Michael White. Some of the band'salumni eventuallyformed the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, which again helped reshapeNew Orleans music in the late 20th century.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
- Formed in New Orleans: 1977
Since its inception in the late 1970s, the Dirty Dozenhelped pioneer a new kind of music by mixing funkand bebop into New Orleans' jazz tradition, which they thenpopularized with international tours and the translation of astreet style of music to the stage.
Dr. John (Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.)
- Born in New Orleans: November 20, 1941
- Died at age 77: June 6, 2019
Educated by many of the greats of New Orleans music, Dr. John returned the favor in spades with his distinctive voice and creative piano-playing.
- Born in Erath: April 14, 1932
- Died at age 85: July 27, 2017
Sometimes called the “Cajun Hank Williams,” Menard’s “La Port en Arriere” (“The Cajun Back Door”), is considered one of the most popular Cajun songs of all time.
- Born in New Orleans: October 10, 1929
- Died at age 62: October 7, 1992
As a performer and, later, an educator, Blackwell is considered one of the most influential jazz drummers thanks to his work with Ornette Coleman’s quartet and the American Jazz Quintet with Alvin Batiste, Harold Battiste and Ellis Marsalis.
For his appearance on the January 1994 cover of OffBeat magazine, jazz guitarist and raconteur Danny Barker wore a white T-shirt and a leather…
Fats Domino & Dave Bartholomew
Fats was one of the most popular figures of early rock and roll, drawing audiences that crossed the racial lines that so divided the country as the genre took hold. But behind him was Dave Bartholomew who, as composer, producer and trumpeter, helped craft more than 60 hits for the piano player.
- Fats Domino was born in New Orleans: February 26, 1928
- Died at age 89: October 24, 2017
- Dave Bartholomew was born in Edgard: December 24, 1918
- Died at age 100: June 23, 2019
- Born in New Orleans: October 28, 1931
- Died at age 83: June 19, 2015
Well-known as a sax and piano player, arranger and producer, Battiste also founded the first local label owned by musicians and was responsible for educating a new generation of jazz musicians as a faculty member at UNO.
- Born in Ponchatoula: February 18, 1941
- Age: 79
With one of the most evocative voices to come out of the state and having used it tirelessly for decades, Thomas reigns as the Soul Queen of New Orleans.
- Born in New Orleans: December 17, 1939
- Died at age 43: November 8, 1983
The eccentric piano player with the star on his eye patch helped shape New Orleans R&B as a performer and as the tutor for people like Dr. John and Harry Connick Jr.
Should Robert E. Lee Boulevard be renamed for Allen Toussaint? Club owner launches campaign
As the push to rebrand Confederate-related street names in New Orleans gains momentum, Jimmy Anselmo, the longtime proprietor of Jimmy’s Music…
Jelly Roll Morton (Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe)
- Born in New Orleans: October 20, 1890
- Died at age 50: July 10, 1941
An early jazz piano player, Morton’s arrangements helped propel the new New Orleans genre forward for decades, with many of his compositions still in use today.
Jerry Lee Lewis
- Born in Ferriday: September 29, 1935
- Age: 84
The rollicking pianist from Ferriday had a personal life that was as wild as his playing. From the time he first recorded at Sun Records, Lewis’ music and style helped forge a path for rock and roll.
Joseph Nathan 'King' Oliver
- Born in Aben: December 19, 1881
- Died at age 56: April 10, 1938
The cornet player who led Louis Armstrong (both are pictured here) in his first band also penned a number of the jazz standards still heard today.
Huddie William Ledbetter
- Born in Mooringsport: January 23, 1888
- Died at age 61: December 6, 1949
Better known as Lead Belly, this North Louisiana-born multi-instrumentalist wrote country blues songs that have been widely covered by musicians like The White Stripes, Frank Sinatra, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Elvis Presley, Keith Richards and the Beach Boys.
Lil Wayne (Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.)
- Born in New Orleans (Hollygrove): September 27, 1982
- Age: 37
Lil Wayne was one of New Orleans' early rap pioneers as part of The Hot Boys on Cash Money Records. He later became a superstar in his own right and has since nurtured a new generation of artists through Young Money Entertainment, the label he founded. (Note this video does contain adult language.)
- Born in New Orleans: August 4, 1901
- Died at age 69: July 6, 1971
With one of the most distinctive voices — and smiles — to ever come from New Orleans, Satchmo’s charisma, talent and compositions made him one of the first musicians whose influence extended past racial boundaries.
- Born in New Orleans: December 7, 1910
- Died at age 67: August 24, 1978
The Italian-American crooner, actor and musician helped popularize swing and Dixieland with his trumpet and stage presence.
- Born in Lake Charles: January 26, 1953
- Age: 67
From an area of Louisiana where the sounds of Texas blend with the swamp, Williams took a wide view of what she heard growing up and became an Americana songwriter and performer with her own style.
- Born in New Orleans: October 26, 1911
- Died at age 60: January 27, 1972
A gospel singer who performed with people like Duke Ellington and Thomas A. Dorsey, Jackson was also influential for what she did when she wasn’t behind a microphone: She was an ardent supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and sang at the 1964 March on Washington, at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Born in New Orleans: March 20, 1969
- Age: 51
As a producer in the early years of Cash Money Records, Mannie Fresh shaped the core sounds of rap. You'll find credit for his name on dozens of hits for Juvenile, T.I., Lil Wayne, The Hot Boys, T Pain, B.G. -- and his own music. (Note there is adult language in this video.)
- Born in New Orleans: April 29, 1970
- Age: 50
Besides his own rap performances, Master P founded No Limit Records, which helped launch artists like Snoop Dogg, Mystikal, C-Murder, Soulja Sli, Mia X and Lil Romeo.
- Born in Scott: February 14, 1951
- Age: 69
This Cajun fiddler has helped educate the masses about this distinctly Louisiana music through wide touring with his band, Beausoleil, andhe's educated a new generation of musicians by creating the first Cajun music program at ULL andteaching elementary school students.
- Born in New Orleans: September 26, 1973
- Age: 46
A prolific artist, Payton has explored jazz through collaborations with Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Allen Toussaint, Hill Scott and dozens of others and ingenuity on his own accord.
- Born in New Orleans: July 30, 1930
- Died at age 86: August 6, 2016
The much-beloved clarinet player helped popularize the sounds of New Orleans as much for his musicianship as his charm.
Professor Longhair(Henry Roeland 'Roy' Byrd)
- Born in Bogalusa: December 19, 1918
- Died at age 61: January 30, 1980
Although fame eluded him in life, Fess’ distinctive piano style combined Caribbean influences with what he heard in New Orleans and has since influenced generations of players, including Dr. John and Allen Toussaint.
- Born in New Orleans: May 14, 1987
- Died at age 62: May 14, 1959
Known as one of jazz music’s innovators, this sax player was a child prodigy turned band leader whose music has influenced the likes of Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane and Branford Marsalis.
Slim Harpo(James Isaac Moore)
- Born in Lobdell: January 11, 1924
- Died at age 46: January 31, 1970
A purveyor and pioneer of swamp blues, James Isaac Moore, who was better known as Slim Harpo, worked with the renowned Crowley producer JD Miller and, later, had his recordings covered by the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Muddy Waters.
Stanley 'Buckwheat' Dural Jr.
- Born in Lafayette: November 14, 1947
- Died at age 68: September 24, 2016
As the frontman and namesake of Buckwheat Zydeco, Dural’s wide touring introduced the world to zydeco — and he made sure people didn’t confuse it with Cajun music.
- Born in New Orleans: March 13, 1962
- Age: 58
As a modern jazz trumpet player and composer, Blanchard has used his distinct style to make statements about inequality and the havoc Hurricane Katrina wreaked on the Gulf Coast.
The Dixie Cups
- Formed in New Orleans: 1964
- Current members: Barbara Ann Hawkins; Rosa Lee Hawkins; Athelgra Neville Gabriel
- Past members: Joan Marie Johnson; Beverly Brown; Dale Mickle
A pop music girl group born in New Orleans, The Dixie Cups created a string of hits in the 1960s, including the wildly popular “Iko Iko,” which was inspired by Mardi Gras Indian chants.
- Formed in New Orleans: 1965-1977
- Return: 1989-present
- Members: George Porter Jr; Leo Nocentelli; Zigaboo Modeliste; Brian Stoltz; Terrence Houston
- Deceased: Art Neville (1937-2019)
As pioneers of funk, The Meters’ groove-laden and raw sound has influenced most purveyors of the genre since their inception. Their tracks have also deeply influenced those outside it, as rappers and hip-hop artists have widely sampled their sounds.
The Wild Tchoupitoulas
- Formed in New Orleans: 1976
Although the tradition of Mardi Gras Indians has roots that go back more than a century, it wasn’t until 1976 that their songs and chants were memorialized. Allen Toussaint helped produce the tribe’s eponymous album, which is considered one of the most important pieces of New Orleans’ musical history.
- Born in Abbeville: February 18, 1937
- Age: 83
A pioneer of swamp pop, Storm’s “Prisoner’s Song” became one of a handful of national hits within the genre, and he’s continued performing it, including with the Lil Band o’ Gold.
- Born in New Orleans: October 18, 1961
- Age: 58
Coming from a large family of musicians, Marsalis became a renowned trumpet player and composer with more than 60 recordings and a string of Grammy Awards. Today, he’s also the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
- Born in Scott: September 8, 1950
- Age: 69
With deep dedication to his Cajun roots, Zachary is a singer, songwriter and poet who has worked to preserve his culture in Southwest Louisiana through music, volunteer work and even the creation of a Cajun French textbook.
Who is the most famous singer from Louisiana? ›
- Born in New Orleans: October 26, 1911.
- Died at age 60: January 27, 1972.
- Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)
- Charles Mingus.
- Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)
- Linda Ronstadt.
- Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World)
- Marty Robbins.
- Michelle Branch.
- Alice Cooper.
- Ed Sheeran.
- The Weeknd.
- Taylor Swift.
- Harry Styles.
- Ariana Grande.
Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 - July 6, 1971) nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana.…Who are the 3 most popular singers? ›
|Popularity ranking||Artist||Tour dates|
|1||Michael Jackson||Pop, Soul, Funk, R&B, Rock, Disco, & Dance|
|2||Stevie Wonder||Soul, Pop, R&B, Funk, & Jazz|
|3||Marvin Gaye||Soul, R&B, Funk, Pop, & Jazz|
|4||Freddie Mercury||Hard Rock, Music Hall, Glitter, & Prog Rock|
Celebs who live in Phoenix: Alice Cooper, Danica Patrick and more. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and his family live in Paradise Valley. "Malcolm in the Middle" star Frankie Muniz, pictured with wife Paige, has lived in the Valley for more than a decade.Where is the richest area in Arizona? ›
According to the report, the wealthiest city in Arizona is Paradise Valley. Here are some Paradise Valley statistics: Median household income: $211,393 (207.7% more than U.S. median income) Households earning over $200,000: 2,796 (52.2% of households)What celebrity lives in AZ? ›
- Celebrity Homes #1: Dan Quayle. ...
- Celebrity Homes #2: Alice Cooper. ...
- Celebrity Homes #3: Bret Michaels. ...
- Celebrity Homes #4: Muhammad Ali. ...
- Celebrity Homes #5: Daniel Bryan. ...
- Celebrity Homes #6: Stevie Nicks. ...
- Celebrity Homes #7: Stephenie Meyer.
- Beyoncé – Queen Bee.
- Adele – Queen of Melancholy/Queen of Love Songs.
- Taylor Swift – From Country Princess to Pop Star.
- Bruno Mars – Pop Superstar.
- Lady Gaga – Mother Monster.
- Rihanna – The Diamond of the Music Industry.
- Ed Sheeran – British Music Phenomenon.
What are the top 10 pop songs right now 2022? ›
- I'm Good (Blue) I'm Good (Blue) David Guetta & Bebe Rexha. ...
- Levitating. Levitating. Dua Lipa. ...
- 2 Be Loved (Am I Ready) 2 Be Loved (Am I Ready) Lizzo. ...
- Shivers. Shivers. Ed Sheeran. ...
- Anti-Hero. Anti-Hero. Taylor Swift. ...
- abcdefu. abcdefu. GAYLE. ...
- Left and Right. Left and Right. ...
- Miss You. Miss You.
- The Beatles.
- Elvis Presley.
- Michael Jackson.
- Elton John.
- Led Zeppelin.
There are plenty of famous musicians that have come out of Louisiana, but one of the most influential is jazz musician Louis Armstrong, also known as “Pops.” Armstrong was born at the turn of the century in New Orleans and lived a tumultuous early life in various homes throughout the city.Who are the top 10 jazz musicians of all time? ›
- Miles Davis.
- Louis Armstrong.
- John Coltrane.
- Charles Mingus.
- Thelonious Monk.
- Ella Fitzgerald.
- Charlie Parker.
- Duke Ellington.
Buddy Bolden, an African-American bandleader called “the first man of jazz” by historian Donald M Marquis, was at the forefront of the jazz movement. Bolden played the cornet in dance halls during the day and in the red light district of New Orleans' Storyville at night.Who is the No 1 female singer in the world? ›
|1.||Taylor Swift||2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021|
|2.||Rihanna||2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017|
|3.||Ariana Grande||2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021|
|4.||Adele||2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017|
Madonna is believed to have sold the most records among any female music artists in history, with 335 million records sold worldwide, recognized by the Guinness World Records and other major media outlets while the best-selling Latin artist of all time is Shakira with more than 80 million records sold.What song is #1 on Billboard 2022? ›
"Heat Waves", the 2020 single by British indie-pop band Glass Animals, topped the Hot 100 in 2022 for five weeks. It also became the number-one song on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100.Who was the smoothest singer of all time? ›
His fusion of blues and soulful pop warmed the hearts of women and men across the world and influenced so many of today's musicians.
- 1 of 31. Barbra Streisand. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for BSB. ...
- 2 of 31. Etta James. Charles Paul Harris/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. ...
- 3 of 31. Aretha Franklin. ...
- 4 of 31. Whitney Houston. ...
- 5 of 31. Mariah Carey. ...
- 6 of 31. Elton John. ...
- 7 of 31. Freddie Mercury. ...
- 8 of 31. Adele.
Is Michael Jackson No 1 singer in the world? ›
Michael Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer who was the most popular entertainer in the world in the early and mid-1980s. Even today he is widely regarded as the “King of Pop.”What is the nicest area to live in Arizona? ›
- Paradise Valley.
- Net worth: $5.1 billions (#493 wealthiest in the world)
- Residence: Phoenix, Arizona.
- Source of wealth: U-Haul.
- Avondale. Avondale is a suburb of Phoenix located just 30 minutes away from the city. ...
- Tucson. If you want to enjoy city life on a budget, Tucson is a great choice. ...
- Coolidge. ...
- Phoenix. ...
- Mesa. ...
- Glendale. ...
- Yuma. ...
- Sierra Vista.
- Prescott Valley.
- San Luis.
- Paradise Valley.
- Lake Havasu City.
- Oro Valley.
Nestled in Maricopa County, Paradise Valley is the richest city in Arizona (and one of the richest in the country). Its quiet charm and privacy attract affluent business moguls, celebrities, sports figures, and residents looking for a private oasis.Do any celebrities live in Phoenix? ›
From Alice Cooper to Michael Phelps, these celebrities call metro Phoenix home. Rock stars, bestselling authors and Olympians are just some of the celebrities who call metro Phoenix home.Where do celebrities hang out in Arizona? ›
Their destination? The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley. (They also appeared to have honeymooned in the Maldives.) Singer Britney Spears has stayed at the Sanctuary multiple times, and actors Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn spent Thanksgiving weekend there in 2005 while they were dating.Does Johnny Depp have a house in Arizona? ›
Despite any rumors you may have heard or read, Nicolas Cage doesn't own a home in Arizona, nor does he spend much time here. Ditto for Johnny Depp, Vince Vaughn, and Madonna, for that matter.How old is Billie Eilish? ›
Who is No 1 Hollywood singer? ›
Her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina but people know her as the stage name Lady Gaga. She is the richest singer and person in Hollywood and her net worth is almost 275 million dollars.Did Elvis have a good voice? ›
The quality of his voice is most often described as soulful. It had an 'aching sincerity ... and an indefinable quality of yearning ... virtually impossible to pigeonhole'. Elvis Presley's three-octave vocal range was exceptional, 'very narrowly all at once a tenor, baritone, and bass'.What is the #1 song right now in 2022? ›
Taylor Swift, “Anti-Hero”Whats the Number 1 album right now 2022? ›
Adele, '30'What is the biggest hit song of 2022? ›
“Heat Waves” tops Billboard's 2022 year-end Hot 100 Songs chart after it completed the longest climb to the weekly Hot 100's summit in the chart's history: 59 weeks.Who is the only artist with a Top 40? ›
With the release of his 39th studio album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, Bob Dylan has made Billboard chart history.Who sold 50 million albums? ›
- The Beatles — 183 million units.
- Garth Brooks — 157 million units. ...
- Elvis Presley — 146.5 million units. ...
- Eagles — 120 million units. ...
- Led Zeppelin — 112.5 million units. ...
- Michael Jackson — 89 million units. ...
- Billy Joel — 85 million units. ...
Edgar Degas, born in France in 1834, is known around the world for his Impressionist masterpieces. Less well known is the short, but critical, period of five months from 1872 to 1873 that he spent at the Creole estate of his mother's family in New Orleans.Who is the 1st jazz musician from New Orleans? ›
The discussion quieted after the publication of In Search of Buddy Bolden: First Man of Jazz. Historian Don Marquis' book documents the life of the New Orleans native trumpeter (1877-1931) and also offers glimpses of the times and his remarkable sound. The Bolden family house still stands at 2309 First Street.Who was the first New Orleans rapper? ›
In 1986, the teenaged Ninja Crew (DJ Baby T and emcees Gregory D and Sporty T) released “We Destroy” on Miami's 4-Sight Records. It was the first New Orleans rap single.
Who were the 3 most popular jazz musicians from the 1950's? ›
This music became known either as “Cool” or “West Coast” style jazz, and its practitioners were players like trumpeter Chet Baker, tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.Who was the first jazz musician? ›
Buddy Bolden, Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson, Jellyroll Morton, Kid Ory, King Oliver… Historians generally point to Buddy Bolden, a cornet player, as the first jazz musician.Who invented jazz? ›
Nick La Rocca, the Original Dixieland Jass Band's cornet player and composer, claimed that he personally invented jazz – though the cornetist Buddy Bolden had a much better claim, or even the Creole artist Morton, who certainly was the first to write jazz out as sheet music and always said he'd invented it.Who is the real king of jazz? ›
Paul Whiteman, (born March 28, 1890, Denver, Colorado, U.S.—died December 29, 1967, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.), American bandleader, called the “King of Jazz” for popularizing a musical style that helped to introduce jazz to mainstream audiences during the 1920s and 1930s.Who invented the word jazz? ›
Gleeson had gotten the word from Spike Slattery, another sports writer, who heard it used in an incantation to Lady Luck in a crapshooting game (“Come on, the old jazz.”) (Cohen discounts two 1912 publications in the Los Angeles Times as “insignificant, being distinguished by their total isolation.”) A number of ...Who is the most famous celebrity in Louisiana? ›
The most famous person from Louisiana is Reese Witherspoon, according to the report.Who is a famous rapper in Louisiana? ›
Lil Wayne is regarded as one of the best Louisiana rappers of his generation. When he was 11, he met the owner of Cash Money Records, Birdman. Wayne left freestyle raps on Birdman's answer machine and the label boss eventually became his mentor and included him on Cash Money-distributed tracks.Who is the best rapper out of Louisiana? ›
Now, for over a decade the number one rap artists either resided in Baton Rouge or originally came from the city. First with Boosie and Webbie, then followed by Kevin Gates, NBA Youngboy, Da Real Gee Money, and continuing into the 2020s with Fredo Bang.Who is No 1 famous celebrity? ›
|1||Oprah Winfrey||Television personality|
Celebrities can be found in every corner of the city, but when it comes to Beverly Hills, there are a few streets in particular where they can be found. All the big Hollywood tours know that some of the best celebrity homes are on Mulholland Drive, Alpine Drive, Bedford Drive, and Benedict Canyon.
Who was the 1st rapper ever? ›
One of the first rappers at the beginning of the hip hop period, at the end of the 1970s, was also hip hop's first DJ, DJ Kool Herc. Herc, a Jamaican immigrant, started delivering simple raps at his parties, which some claim were inspired by the Jamaican tradition of toasting.Who is the #1 rapper? ›
The top 100 most-streamed artists of 2022 is experiencing a rap takeover. Sitting at number one is Drake, who is now this year's top-streamed artist so far with at 6.7 billion in streams. After earning his eleventh No.Who was the first black rapper? ›
Blow's musical legacy is without question. Born Kurtis Walker in 1959, Blow, who turns 60 on Aug. 9, was the first rapper to sign with a major label and the first to become a mainstream star.What famous Tiktoker is from Louisiana? ›
Addison Rae Easterling (born October 6, 2000) is an American social media personality and actress. In August 2020, she was ranked as the highest-earning TikTok personality by Forbes. In 2021, Addison Rae made the Forbes "30 Under 30" list for social media influencers. Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.Who was the first person in Louisiana? ›
The first Europeans to arrive in Louisiana were Spanish explorers. First came Panfilo de Narvaez in 1528 and then Hernando de Soto in 1543. However, Europeans did not return and begin to settle the land for over 100 years.Who are the big 3 of rap? ›
Ranking the 'Big 3' (Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole) Every Year Since 2010 | Complex.Who is the best rapper to exist? ›
- #1 Jay-Z.
- #2 Lil Wayne.
- #3 Kanye West.
- #4 Kendrick Lamar.
- #5 Notorious B.I.G.
- #6 Tupac Shakur.
- #7 Dr. Dre.
- #8 Snoop Dogg.