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The Greatest East Coast Rappers of All Time

The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Philly… the East Coast ain’t just where hip hop was born, it’s where the legends were made. For decades, this was the epicenter where the illest MCs honed their skills and dropped the kind of heat that changes the game forever.

We talkin’ about the raw stories of Nas, the streetwise flow of Jay-Z, Rakim spittin’ like a prophet, and the mind-bending lyricism of Black Thought. We gotta pay respects to Biggie’s untouchable flow, the politically charged rhymes of Chuck D and KRS-One, and the one-of-a-kind styles of MF DOOM and Q-Tip. This list digs deep into the heart of East Coast hip hop, honoring the icons, the underdogs, the cats still hustlin’ to keep the legacy strong.

A Top 50 countdown of most popular East Coast Hip Hop artists in order of streams on Spotify as lead artist is as follows:

50
DJ Premier

Streams as a lead artist: 85.1M
Streams as a featured artist: 409.6M
Most streamed song of all time by DJ Premier: Everything I Am with 219.9M streams

49
Big Daddy Kane

Streams as a lead artist: 86.6M
Streams as a featured artist: 17.1M
Most streamed song of all time by Big Daddy Kane: Ain't No Half-Steppin' with 23.3M streams

48
Smif-N-Wessun

Streams as a lead artist: 92.8M
Streams as a featured artist: 18.3M
Most streamed song of all time by Smif-N-Wessun: Wreckonize with 29.5M streams

47
The Sugarhill Gang

Streams as a lead artist: 100.7M
Streams as a featured artist: 72K
Most streamed song of all time by The Sugarhill Gang: Rapper's Delight with 41.5M streams

46
Masta Ace

Streams as a lead artist: 118.7M
Streams as a featured artist: 2.8M
Most streamed song of all time by Masta Ace: Da Grind with 16.2M streams

45
Das EFX

Streams as a lead artist: 120.2M
Streams as a featured artist: 263.2M
Most streamed song of all time by Das EFX: Check Yo Self with 261.2M streams

44
Queen Latifah

Streams as a lead artist: 125.6M
Streams as a featured artist: 4.3M
Most streamed song of all time by Queen Latifah: U.N.I.T.Y. with 38.2M streams

43
Beanie Sigel

Streams as a lead artist: 128.2M
Streams as a featured artist: 133.0M
Most streamed song of all time by Beanie Sigel: What We Do with 25.1M streams

42
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

Streams as a lead artist: 138.7M
Most streamed song of all time by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth: They Reminisce Over You with 83.1M streams

41
Styles P

Streams as a lead artist: 140.8M
Streams as a featured artist: 168.3M
Most streamed song of all time by Styles P: Good Times with 80.2M streams

40
Onyx

Streams as a lead artist: 146.4M
Streams as a featured artist: 8.2M
Most streamed song of all time by Onyx: Slam with 72.0M streams

39
Biz Markie

Streams as a lead artist: 179.0M
Streams as a featured artist: 10.4M
Most streamed song of all time by Biz Markie: Just A Friend with 153.2M streams

38
Black Star

Streams as a lead artist: 182.1M
Streams as a featured artist: 4.6M
Most streamed song of all time by Black Star: Definition with 54.7M streams

37
EPMD

Streams as a lead artist: 184.3M
Streams as a featured artist: 24.0M
Most streamed song of all time by EPMD: Da Joint with 80.9M streams

36
Q-Tip

Streams as a lead artist: 194.9M
Streams as a featured artist: 247.2M
Most streamed song of all time by Q-Tip: Yah Yah with 74.1M streams

35
Slick Rick

Streams as a lead artist: 233.0M
Streams as a featured artist: 28.0M
Most streamed song of all time by Slick Rick: Children's Story with 76.5M streams

34
Raekwon

Streams as a lead artist: 281.1M
Streams as a featured artist: 3.63B
Most streamed song of all time by Raekwon: C.R.E.A.M. with 450.1M streams

33
Ghostface Killah

Streams as a lead artist: 291.7M
Streams as a featured artist: 1.47B
Most streamed song of all time by Ghostface Killah: Protect Ya Neck with 136.1M streams

32
De La Soul

Streams as a lead artist: 302.1M
Streams as a featured artist: 1.0M
Most streamed song of all time by De La Soul: Rock Co.Kane Flow with 38.9M streams

31
Immortal Technique

Streams as a lead artist: 316.5M
Streams as a featured artist: 6.3M
Most streamed song of all time by Immortal Technique: Dance With The Devil with 79.1M streams

30
Jadakiss

Streams as a lead artist: 326.5M
Streams as a featured artist: 707.7M
Most streamed song of all time by Jadakiss: Don't Like.1 with 225.3M streams

29
Pete Rock

Streams as a lead artist: 329.4M
Streams as a featured artist: 38.6M
Most streamed song of all time by Pete Rock: They Reminisce Over You with 83.1M streams

28
GZA

Streams as a lead artist: 373.0M
Streams as a featured artist: 802.8M
Most streamed song of all time by GZA: Protect Ya Neck with 136.1M streams

27
Lil' Kim

Streams as a lead artist: 375.6M
Streams as a featured artist: 363.5M
Most streamed song of all time by Lil' Kim: Quiet Storm with 70.4M streams

26
Big L

Streams as a lead artist: 394.1M
Streams as a featured artist: 31.1M
Most streamed song of all time by Big L: Put It On with 95.3M streams

25
Ol' Dirty Bastard

Streams as a lead artist: 473.6M
Streams as a featured artist: 640.2M
Most streamed song of all time by Ol' Dirty Bastard: Got Your Money with 176.4M streams

24
Public Enemy

Streams as a lead artist: 484.4M
Most streamed song of all time by Public Enemy: Harder Than You Think with 100.6M streams

23
Rakim

Streams as a lead artist: 506.6M
Streams as a featured artist: 18.1M
Most streamed song of all time by Rakim: When I B On Tha Mic with 96.2M streams

22
Mos Def

Streams as a lead artist: 602.0M
Streams as a featured artist: 181.0M
Most streamed song of all time by Mos Def: Ms. Fat Booty with 246.0M streams

21
Naughty by Nature

Streams as a lead artist: 633.0M
Most streamed song of all time by Naughty by Nature: Hip Hop Hooray with 155.7M streams

20
LL Cool J

Streams as a lead artist: 847.6M
Streams as a featured artist: 119.0M
Most streamed song of all time by LL Cool J: All I Have with 129.5M streams

19
The Roots

Streams as a lead artist: 853.3M
Streams as a featured artist: 146K
Most streamed song of all time by The Roots: You Got Me with 163.8M streams

18
Big Pun

Streams as a lead artist: 950.1M
Streams as a featured artist: 37.9M
Most streamed song of all time by Big Pun: Still Not a Player with 315.7M streams

17
Gang Starr

Streams as a lead artist: 951.0M
Most streamed song of all time by Gang Starr: Full Clip with 148.7M streams

16
Method Man

Streams as a lead artist: 959.8M
Streams as a featured artist: 3.51B
Most streamed song of all time by Method Man: C.R.E.A.M. with 450.1M streams

15
Run–D.M.C.

Streams as a lead artist: 1.43B
Streams as a featured artist: 1.1M
Most streamed song of all time by Run–D.M.C.: Walk This Way with 514.9M streams

14
Mobb Deep

Streams as a lead artist: 1.47B
Streams as a featured artist: 293.0M
Most streamed song of all time by Mobb Deep: Shook Ones, Pt. II with 530.9M streams

13
Fat Joe

Streams as a lead artist: 1.64B
Streams as a featured artist: 375.6M
Most streamed song of all time by Fat Joe: What's Luv? with 422.6M streams

12
Busta Rhymes

Streams as a lead artist: 1.65B
Streams as a featured artist: 1.72B
Most streamed song of all time by Busta Rhymes: Players with 472.4M streams

11
Ja Rule

Streams as a lead artist: 1.74B
Streams as a featured artist: 541.6M
Most streamed song of all time by Ja Rule: Always On Time with 428.2M streams

10
MF DOOM

Streams as a lead artist: 1.76B
Streams as a featured artist: 226.3M
Most streamed song of all time by MF DOOM: Rapp Snitch Knishes feat. Mr. Fantastik with 303.5M streams

9
A Tribe Called Quest

Streams as a lead artist: 2.07B
Streams as a featured artist: 3.8M
Most streamed song of all time by A Tribe Called Quest: Can I Kick It? with 286.9M streams

8
DMX

Streams as a lead artist: 2.69B
Streams as a featured artist: 400.3M
Most streamed song of all time by DMX: X Gon' Give It to Ya with 731.0M streams

7
Beastie Boys

Streams as a lead artist: 2.98B
Streams as a featured artist: 148K
Most streamed song of all time by Beastie Boys: Sabotage with 410.3M streams

6
Nas

Streams as a lead artist: 3.26B
Streams as a featured artist: 1.05B
Most streamed song of all time by Nas: Rodeo with 308.2M streams

5
Wu-Tang Clan

Streams as a lead artist: 3.52B
Streams as a featured artist: 69.3M
Most streamed song of all time by Wu-Tang Clan: C.R.E.A.M. with 450.1M streams

4
A$AP Rocky

Streams as a lead artist: 9.32B
Streams as a featured artist: 4.05B
Most streamed song of all time by A$AP Rocky: Praise The Lord with 1.24B streams

3
50 Cent

Streams as a lead artist: 11.75B
Streams as a featured artist: 4.58B
Most streamed song of all time by 50 Cent: In Da Club with 1.53B streams

2
The Notorious B.I.G.

Streams as a lead artist: 11.93B
Streams as a featured artist: 338.9M
Most streamed song of all time by The Notorious B.I.G.: Hypnotize with 1.16B streams

1
JAY-Z

Streams as a lead artist: 12.63B
Streams as a featured artist: 8.82B
Most streamed song of all time by JAY-Z: Umbrella with 1.57B streams
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