As the birthplace of hip-hop, the East Coast has been a breeding ground for rap greatness since the beginning. New York, the undisputed epicenter of East Coast hip-hop, birthed a movement that transcended its boroughs. The Bronx, Harlem, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island each brought forth distinct voices, from the street-savvy narratives of the Bronx to the swagger of Harlem. The East Coast has produced some of the best, most popular and most successful rappers of all time. The best East Coast rappers like The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and Nas dominate many G.O.A.T. conversations.
The best East Coast rappers have left an indelible mark with their distinctive styles, lyricism and cultural impact. Of course, New York is probably the biggest supplier of incredible MCs out of the east, but other east coast states and cities offer a hell of a lot too. From the gritty streets of New York to the influential sounds of Philadelphia, the East Coast has birthed legends who shaped the genre and left an indelible mark on American culture. The East Coast laid the foundation for hip-hop, maintaining its presence over the course of five decades as other areas like the south and midwest introduced some of the biggest rap stars of all time.
In honor of East Coast rap we decided to rank the 25 best East Coast rappers of all time, taking into account their ability with a pen, as well as influence, longevity and a few other things.