Top 10 White Rappers of All Time
It should first be said that race does not make one rapper greater than the other. Like any craft, some individuals are simply more gifted than others. In a broad sense of the rap genre, African Americans have held the reigns in shaping it into what it is today. But assuming musical talent based on race is not only ignorant… its boring. So that’s why we’ve dug deep to construct a list of the greatest white rappers of all time. Now, for the sake of not being dull (and simply stating the obvious), this list will be the only Top 10 White Rappers list to not include Eminem at #1. It’s not a debate.
Eminem is the best white rapper of all time.
Now, what follows are his disciples in the rap genre. Obviously, opinions differ based on preference and what context the listener has of the genre. So in forming this list, the basic guidelines were simply the relevancy the artist still has today. Naturally, some of these rappers made the list based on the fact they are making waves currently in the genre. Here’s our list for Top 10 White Rappers of All Time.
10. Lil Dicky: Breaking into the ‘professional rapping’ group has gone well so far for Dave Burd… otherwise known as Lil Dicky. Lil D makes our top 10 simply for originality. He broke into the genre with his rendition of mock rap. Boasting a ridiculous flow and vocabulary, Lil Dicky prefers to rap about funny narratives such as getting his Freak on or Saving Dat Money. Lil Dicky originally graduated from the University of Richmond with a 3.9 GPA in Business school. After school he worked for an advertising agency where his creative tendencies led him to his career today. Initially he intended for his rapping career to help him break through into writing and acting, but he had no idea it would blow up the way it did. Dicky thrives on his relatable content, opting for comedy instead of the egotistical rap of today
Most successful tracks: Save Dat Money, Lemme Freak, Professional Rapper
Career High Point: Lil Dicky's career high point came with the release of Save Dat Money, his most successful release to date. Featuring Fetty Wap, Lil Dicky's popularity exploded with this track and the corresponding music video, which was made without spending any money. It currently has 48 million views on Youtube.
Current Status: Lil Dicky is currently traveling the country in support of his (Still) Looking For Love Tour.
9. G-Eazy: No other white rapper is more prominent in the game right now than ‘Young Gerald.’ Today, G-Eazy is a hit on both the hip/hop and pop genres. His latest collaboration found him lending his bars to none other than pop queen Britney Spears on hit “Make Me.. “. His debut album, These Things Happen, debuted at Number #3 on Billboard 200 when it was released, and his latest When It’s Dark Out album was certified platinum. G-Eazy has raised his following on endless tours and festival sets, leaving fans wanting for more. Today, they are rewarded with multiple top charting tunes on the radio.
Most successful track: Me, Myself, & I, I Mean It, Lotta It
Career High Point: His career high point was being the headlining act on a World Tour. This trek was significant for an artist who had previously filled out the undercard on festival bills like Warp Tour and opened for Lil Wayne.
Current Status: G-Eazy is currently headlining his own Endless Summer Tour, featuring Logic, YG, and Yo Gotti.
8. House of Pain: Headed by lead singer Everlast, House of Pain was one of the premier groups of the 90's. The group itself was supported by moderate success for each of their three albums, but they are most known for their hit sing 'Jump Around.' The group is comprised of three rappers, all of which met in high school growing up in Los Angeles. The group paraded themselves as goofy rappers of Irish descent.
Most Successful Tracks: Jump Around, Top O the Morning to Ya, House of Pain
Career High Point: 1992, when they released hit single 'Jump Around.' The song was the best selling single for the group and would go on to be featured in numerous films, tv shows, and video games.
Current Status: House of Pain split in 1996. They later reemerged in 2010.
7. Logic: Ironically (and perhaps more showing of bias), our #6 artist is currently opening for G-Eazy, our #8 on his world tour. Logic grew up Maryland, showing interest in music at age 16. His youth was one of hardship, growing up in the projects surrounded by drugs. He was expelled from school in the 10th grade, and following that he began to pursue his music career. Logic has cited Wu Tang Clan has early inspiration in getting him involved with rap. Early on he went by the stage name 'Psychological' before shortening it to his current name Logic. In 2010, Logic released his first mixtape Young, Broke and Infamous but it wasn't until his second release Young Sinatra that he began to gain a following. Soon after, he would gain notice from many publications, including XXL who listed him on their 2013 Top 10 Freshmen List. In 2013, he signed with his first big label in Def Jam records. Logic is known for his lyrical prowess as well as his skills in production. His latest release, a mixtape, was Bobby Tarantino and has been featured on our weekly Headphones column.
Most successful tracks: Wrist, Flexicution, Under Pressure
Career High Point: Career high point came in 2013, when he signed with Def Jam records.
Current Status: As mentioned before, Logic is currently touring with G-Eazy on the Endless Summer Tour.
6. Aesop Rock: Aesop's career started in the mid 90's recording out of New York City, where he self released two mix tapes to underground acclaim. While his beginnings were humble, he would go on to be at the forefrunt of underground and alternative map. His style is characterized by his uniqueness on the boards. Much of it feels like a trance, where in between bars one can be lost in the skilled production work. In the early 2000's, he would bounce from label to label. Much of his work is introspective, talking about his personal life.
Most successful tracks: None Shall Pass, Coffee, No Regrets
Career High Point: His career high point came in 2001 when his album Labor Days was not only featured in Billboard's 200, but also the video game Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4.
Current Status: Aesop released his seventh studio album The Impossible Kid in April of 2016.
5. Yelawolf: Our next artist brings a little southern twist into his raps. Yelawolf was born in Alabama in 1979. Much of his rap influence came while he attended school in Tennessee, which was located near housing projects. His father was of Cherokee descent, and that's where he derived his stage name from. Yela being 'the light' and Wolf citing his ability to 'survive.' In 2009, he released his first mixtape Trunk Muzik online. It was there that he recieved a huge following, prompting him to sign a record deal with 'rap god' Eminem in 2011. In 2011, he was placed on XXL's Top 10 Freshmen as well as featured on the cover of the magazine. In 2011, his first album Radioactive was released to mass critical acclaim. His connections with Interscope and Shady records gave him the resources for big name features and production, including the likes of Eminem, Diplo, Kid Rock, among others.
Most successful tracks: Best Friend, Till It's Gone, Let's Roll
Career High Point: Due to the hype and critical acclaim, Yelawolf's high point most likely came at the release of his first album Radioactive in 2011. Being heralded by Eminem and many publications, Yelawolf received critical acclaim that hasn't been met again in his career.
Current Status: Yelawolf has a new alvum due out in fall of 2016. The album has been titled Trial By Fire.
4. Machine Gun Kelly: This rapper could also make the case for a top 10 rocker list. MGK came from the most unlikely of beginnings, being born to missionary parents. As early as the 6th grade, he began to rebel, listening to rap and experimenting with drugs all while living in his aunts basement. His stage name was given to him by his following, as he quickly became known for his quick delivery style. His first major release came in 2010, when his song Alice in Wonderland was released on iTunes. In 2011, he signed with Interscope records, around the same time he recieved national attention. MGK is characterized by his rock and roll style shows, often donning a mohawk and mullet.
Most successful tracks: Till I Die, Young Man, Wild Boy
Career High Point: In 2012, his album Lace Up debuted at #4 on Billboard
Current Status: MGK has remained mostly dormant recently, last performing in February of this year at the NBA all star game.
3. Beastie Boys: The Beastie Boys are one of the groundbreaking groups in music history. The boys broke into the genre when they formed the group in 1980.The band was originally formed in NYC as a punk rock brand. Rap was still a growing genre in terms of popularity, let alone for a group of white guys from New York. The Boys would go on to have the longest career of any rap group. Recording for over 20 years, they would go on to sell over 50 million albums, winning 3 Grammys.
Most successful tracks: Fight For Your Right, No Sleep Til Brooklyn, Girls
Career High Point: In 1986, when the group released Licensed to Ill. The album spawned hit single No Sleep Till Brooklyn. It was the best selling rap album of the 1980's, a feat in itself for a group of white guys. It became the first rap album ever to hit #1 on the Billboard 200.
Current Status: The group's last album was released in 2011, and the following year they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2014, vocalist Adam Yauch passed away from throat cancer. The band collectively decided to discontinue any further work together in respect of the their deceased bandmate.
2. Mac Miller: Hailing from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Mac Miller has built his career from the ground up. Like many of the artists on this list, he has amassed a huge following by relentless touring and musical releases. He produced his first cd at age 15, getting signed by age 17. Even at such a young age, he began impressing studios with his hard work ethic and mature sound. Mac hit the big time when he released the mixtape Best Day Ever, lead by single Donald Trump. His career took off from their, accumulated a massive undergound following before hitting it mainstream by signing with Warner Brothers in 2014.
Most successful tracks: Donald Trump, Weekend, Knock Knock
Career High Point: Although most of his career has been a high point, the pinnacle can most widely be viewed as when he signed with Warner Bros. Records. Mac secured a deal not only for himself, but his own label 'REMember Music' as well, giving himself the resources to elevate his music.
Current Status: Mac Miller's current status has him headlining major festivals this summer as well as performing one off shows in the fall, such as a one day festival with DJ Carnage in October.
1. Eminem: OKAY… may have lied about not putting him at the #1 spot. However, it’s almost sacrilegious to disgrace Eminem with anything other than the top of our list. Hailing from the motor city Detroit, Slim Shady is one of the pioneers in rap, and not just as a white men. He is the the greatest selling hip/hop artist of all time, having sold almost 200 millions records in a career that spans less than 20 years. He has won 15 Grammy awards, and is widely considered one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Most successful tracks: Lose Yourself, The Real Slim Shady, Stan
Career High Point: His entire career has been a high point. If one had to pick and choose a high point in Eminem's career, it would 2002. That year Eminem would release The Eminem Show to critical success, winning him the Grammy for Best Rap Album. This was the third year in a row Eminem would win in that category, making him the only artist in history to accomplish the feat.
Current Status: His last full length album came in 2013, with The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Most recently, he has appeared on the soundtrack for Suicide Squad.