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Rap and Hip-Hop Songwriters

Today’s Best Rap & Hip-Hop Songwriters

A Look At A Few Of The Greatest Songwriters In Hip-Hop Music

Since rap and hip-hop music hit the Billboard charts in the 1980s with “Rappers Delight”, there has been a long list of talented rappers who have left their mark on the recording industry. Many of were influenced by the pioneers and legends of early rap, including Ice Cube, Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., who helped bring rap songs into the mainstream during the 1990s. Here’s a closer look at a few of the greatest songwriters in hip-hop music who have achieved Billboard success:


After bursting onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “My Name Is” in 1999, Eminem’s name quickly became synonymous with rap music. The rapper is widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters in rap music, often penning songs after his own life experiences. Not only has he had 10 number one albums on the Billboard 200 but also has accumulated five number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Love the Way You Lie,” “The Monster,” “Not Afraid,” “Lose Yourself,” and “Crack a Bottle”).


Often collaborating with other hip-hop music icons, rapper and producer Jay-Z has been featured on four number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Umbrella” with Rihanna, “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys, “Crazy in Love” with Beyonce and “Heartbreaker” with Mariah Carey). He’s also racked up 21 Top 10 hits dating back to the late 1990s. In 2017, Jay-Z was recognized for his contributions to rap music and named one of the greatest songwriters when he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Kanye West

With four number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Heartless” and “Stronger,” and 17 total top 10 hits, Kanye West has been proving to be one of the greatest songwriters in rap music since releasing his debut album “The College Dropout” in 2004. Although his outspoken nature has earned him his fair share of critics, it’s difficult to deny his talent as a rapper. With 21 Grammy Awards, he’s one of the top award winners of all-time.

Missy Elliott

Arguably one of the best songwriters for female hip-hop music, Missy Elliott has been churning out hits for years. While her own hits, like “Work It” and “Lose Control” reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the early to mid 2000s, she’s also written hit songs for Beyonce (“Signs”), Ciara (“One Two Step”) and Aaliyah (“One in a Million”).


Not only did Nas write hit songs for himself with “If I Ruled the World” and “I Can” but he’s also the songwriter behind Will Smith’s iconic hit, “Gettin’ Jiggy With It.” Over the years, Nas has received two top 10 Hot 100 Billboard hits, “Hot Boyz” in 2000 with Missy Elliott and “I’m Gonna Be Alright in 2002 with Jennifer Lopez.

Kendrick Lamar

A relative newcomer to hip-hop music, rapper Kendrick Lamar already has two Billboard Hot 100 hits under his belt. Including Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and his own “Humble.” His debut album premiered at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart in 2012 and was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the Grammy’s. His next two albums each debuted in the number one spot.

Andre 3000 and Big Boi (Outkast)

As the duo Outkast, Andre 3000 and Big Boi racked up three number one hits (“The Way You Move,” “Hey Ya!,” and “Ms. Jackson”) on the Billboard Hot 100 in the early 2000’s.

It is difficult to narrow down the list to the best singer and songwriter in this music field. Each of these artists has undoubtedly left a lasting impression. With so many number one hits and albums, it’s no wonder they’re considered to be among the greatest songwriters of the past decades.

You might also like these related blogs on top songwriters:

About us: Foxhedge Music is a management company and recording studio located in historic Leipers Fork. Our mission is to support and encourage songwriters. We believe they are the back-beat of Music City, while we continue to invest our time and resources in the Music City community. Through the Music City SongStar Songwriting Contest, we want to give songwriters a chance to have their music heard. We’re believers in creativity, chasing dreams and getting the chance to pursue your passion. Need inspiration? Explore Secrets to Better Songwriting or How to Sell A Song.

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