More of the Best Rappers Over 40 in the Hip-Hop Game
Hip-hop has always been considered a young man’s game. Who’s the new hot artist? Who’s creating a unique sound? Who’s bringing something different to the genre? These are questions rap fans are constantly asking themselves.
But, there’s still room for the MCs who laid the foundation for today’s generation of artists. For some, they have been making hits for decades, for others, they are just coming into fame.
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Here are the best rappers over 40.
An obvious choice for this list. Although he hasn’t released an album since 2017, he keeps fans on their toes by appearing on guest verses every so often. His rapping ability still excites hip-hop fans to this day.
Although Nas enjoyed plenty of success early in his career, he’s enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, thanks to his collaborative albums with Hit-Boy (King’s Disease, King’s Disease II, King’s Disease III).
Everyone always knew he was a talented lyricist, thanks to his contributions to albums with The Roots. But in recent years, he’s been working on his own, putting out some of the fiercest bars in the genre today. He just put out an album in this year with El Michels Affair titled Glorious Game.
I have to include 3 stacks here. Yes, I know. We still haven’t gotten that solo album. But, his pen is still respected in the genre. Please Andre, just come back.
Originally known as one half of Clipse, Pusha T has grown into a solo star in recent years. His last two albums, It’s Almost Dry and DAYTONA, are masterclasses in coke rap.
Once signed to Young Jeezy’s CTE World, Freddie Gibbs had more success as an independent artist. Since the release of his 2014 collaboration album with Madlib, Piñata, Gibbs has been on an absolute tear, releasing excellent every year for the past decade.
Have hip-hop fans forgotten about Lupe Fiasco? I know everyone is in love with his early mixtapes (A Rhyming Ape, Revenge of the Nerds) and his first few studio albums (Food & Liquors, The Cool), but have you listened to his recent work? His 2022 album, DRILL MUSIC IN ZION, was one of the best of the year.
Lil Wayne is not quite at the peak he was between 2007 and 2010. But, he still must be respected. He’s been just as active as any rapper out there, putting out a collaborative album with Rich the Kid in 2021, Trust Fund Babies.
We didn’t forget about the ladies. She continues to serve as an inspiration for countless female MCs who are popping now. Including Ice Spice, who recently signed to Nicki’s Heavy On It Records.
He’s grown into an incredibly successful actor, but that doesn’t mean that his pen game still isn’t nice. His positive and uplifting music is still needed in the genre. He just released the album, A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1 & 2, in 2021.
2 Chainz has been on an incredible run since turning 40, releasing some of his best work to date, including Pretty Girls Like Trap Music and Rap or Go to the League. I often forget his age because he has a knack for making his music still sound so relevant.
Killer Mike is often in the news because of his activism, but I hope people don’t forget about his music. His Run the Jewels albums with Killer EL-P have been mindblowing. This Atlanta rap legend has time for activism and bars.
The fastest-rapping MC in rap is still going strong. He returned to the game in 2020 with the release of the album, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, which is filled with features from current rap stars and OG hip-hop legends.
I don’t know how many times I have to say it. Buffalo rap is here to say, and we can thank Westside Gunn, the leader of Griselda Records, who’s put out more music than almost any artists in rap for the past decade. Despite that, he still puts out some of the hardest street music out there. Plus he’s just fly as hell.
Conway the Machine
Westside Gunn’s brother, Conway the Machine is probably a more talented MC. Although he’s just as street as his brother, his witty and creative rhymes continue to impress fans who are still getting put on to his music.
I’d be remiss to not mention Missy Elliot. She hasn’t released a solo album since 2005, but her impact is still felt. She just recently became the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Royce da 5’9”
Royce was always a talented MC, just listen to his early work with Eminem. But, in the last decade, he’s grown into a more polished and focused wordsmith, putting out great albums with DJ Premier and excellent solo work.
Tony Starks has been consistently putting out quality albums since 1996. I mean there are almost too many great albums to name: Supreme Clientele, Fishscale, Twelve Reasons to Die, Sour Soul, The Brown Tape. I mean, it just doesn’t stop, and I love it.
Almost nobody has been as consistent as Tech N9ne for the past 24 years. He’s released an album almost every year since 1999, and his fans love it. He’s considered a legend in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo.
Don’t be fooled by his laid-back delivery. This Detroit rapper has been on fire since his 2020 album with The Alchemist, The Price of Tea in China. Since then, he’s been releasing nothing but heat.
The raspiest MC in hip-hop. Jadakiss hasn’t slouched one bit. Fans love him for his music with The Lox, but his pen game is still nice as a solo artist.
How can you not love Rapsody? Her voice is beautiful, her delivery is clear and crisp, and her lyrics are precise. I love her music and her last two albums, Eve and Laila’s Wisdom, have been particularly exceptional.
I never know what Danny Brown is going to do when he hops on a song, I just know that I’m going to be entertained. His 2023 collaborative album with JPEGMAFIA, SCARING THE HOES, is unlike anything you’ve heard this year.
I know Method Man is still having a successful career as an actor, but don’t sleep on his rapping skills. He still drops projects to remind fans why he was so beloved as a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Unlike Method Man and Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck was always underrated as a member of Wu-Tang. But, he’s no longer playing the background, as he’s been putting out great music as one-third of CZARFACE for the past decade.
One of the kings of underground rap, Roc Marciano is a legend among backpackers, making incredible music since 2000.
The OG of rappers. Rakim was ahead of time in terms of flows and rhyme patterns. He was a trailblazer in the genre. But, he’s still not letting young cats have all the fun, as he just released an album in 2022, Melrose.
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