This list provides a breakdown of rappers who sing just as well as they rap.
While rapping requires clever lyricism and flow, singing demands different vocal skills altogether. This list proves that there are plenty of rappers who can sing extremely well.
Some of the singing rappers on this list are names you’ll be expecting, while others may take you by surprise.
Let’s dive in and check out some of the best singing rappers of all time.
20. Kid Cudi
Take yourself back to 2009 – Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon has just dropped and life was good.
Thanks to this album, Cudi’s career skyrocketed, and many considered him to be the next big thing in rap. Despite this, many fans have criticised his newer releases, claiming the artist now has an ego too big for his talent.
This brings us to his singing. Some fans argue that Cudi doesn’t have the singing chops he may think, while others defend him, claiming that he is just as talented a singer as he is a rapper.
His performance on 88-Keys’ ‘Ho’ is Short For Honey’ is one of Cudi’s best vocal performances, and that’s why he’s ranked on this list.
19. Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar has cemented himself as one of the most important rappers of the modern generation.
His album To Pimp A Butterfly has become a culturally significant album thanks to its social messages as well as its musical intrigue.
Many may be unfamiliar with Lamar’s singing talent as it is something that the rapper keeps rather well hidden.
Tracks such as ‘American Dream,’ ‘God is Fair,’ and ‘Nasty’ all exhibit the rapper’s ability to hold a tune. His choice to sing seems to divide fans, however, with many calling for Lamar to stick with what he does best – rapping.
18. J Hus
J Hus has been credited with pioneering the genre afroswing, a sub-genre developed in the UK during the mid-2010s that’s derivative of dancehall and afrobeats.
His most popular track ‘Who Told You’ was released in 2023 and featured hip-hop icon Drake. It reached No. 2 on both the UK and the UK R&B charts.
J Hus flexes his vocal ability on a number of his choruses, showcasing his smooth voice that transitions seamlessly back and forth from his rapping.
Although not the most dynamic with his vocals, they work well within the context of his music.
17. Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator is an artist who keeps listeners on the edge of their seats, creating music that is consistently unique and interesting.
His debut mixtape Bastard saw his online popularity grow, his mainstream exposure evolving more with the release of his debut album Goblin.
Tyler, the Creator, born Tyler Gregory Okonma, didn’t start his career with a good voice – it has developed over time, with the artist becoming more confident with his sound.
His track ‘WHARF TALK’ features the rapper singing to the surprise and delight of many of his fans. However, there are some who insist he should stick to rapping.
16. Chance the Rapper
In 2013, Chance the Rapper, born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, released Acid Rap, a mixtape full of original songs, garnering over one million downloads and becoming certified diamond before its streaming release.
This drop excelled Bennett’s career tenfold, and got him named as one of the best rappers of that year.
In 2021, the rapper appeared on the Jimmy Fallon Show and performed a country version of Nelly’s country rap anthem ‘Hot in Here.’
Although the performance was meant to be a bit of fun, Bennett accidentally exposed his skills as a singer, flawlessly switching into country mode to deliver a strangely satisfying performance.
Ever since that moment, Chance has been recognised as a rapper who can sing.
When Drake first started making records, he introduced a new genre.
The rapper managed to blend rap and pop to create hip-hop music that was much more accepted in the mainstream, and his music continuously found its way into the Top 40.
What made Drake’s music so unique was his blend of rapping and singing. This is evident in tracks such as ‘One Dance’ and ‘Passionfruit’ where the performer opts to sing more than he raps.
While he may not have the strongest vocal ability, there’s no doubt that Drake is famed for bridging the gap between rapping and singing.
For this reason – as well as his phenomenal commercial success – he is firmly amongst the best-known singing rappers of our time.
14. Baby Tate
Baby Tate shot into the spotlight with her viral single ‘I Am.’ Previously, she released her debut EP ROYGBIV under the name Yung Baby Tate, and later went on to release her debut full-length album Girls.
The young female rapper has seen huge success on TikTok after her transformation the 80s hit ‘Hey Mickey’ went viral.
In many of her tracks, Baby Tate doesn’t just rap, she sings. Several of her choruses demonstrate she is a rapper who can sing, adding extra dimensions to her records, and flexing her broad musical talents.
13. Mac Miller
Malcolm James McCormick, known as Mac Miller, was a much-loved young rapper who released his debut mixtapes K.I.D.S and Best Day Ever when he was just 18 and 19 respectively.
As his career progressed, Miller began experimenting with jazz, incorporating elements of the genre, as well as funk, soul R&B, into his work.
His subtle pivot to contemporary jazz enabled Mac Miller to explore his singing voice more deeply.
Although not considered a conventionally good singer, the artist managed to use his rough yet expressive voice to suit the music he was creating, adapting his vocals to fit perfectly with his style of music.
Duckwrth, born Jared Lee, released his first project Nowhere alongside singer-songwriter and record producer, The Kickdrums.
The following year, he released his debut full-length album I’m Uugly and later signed on with Republic Records. His music has been used in the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and in HBO’s series Insecure.
Lee has been recognised for his theatrical flow which also translates into his singing style. His fans feel connected to him thanks to the love that you can feel baked into the tracks.
The way he delivers both rap and vocals translates into his passion for his craft.
11. Doja Cat
Doja Cat is an artist who loves the spotlight. Whether she’s saying something outrageous, “reinventing” herself somewhere, or dressing up like a cat, you can’t help but be curious about what she’s up to.
The rapper blew up after her music began going viral on TikTok, with many users enjoying her melodic raps and catchy hooks.
Although a rapper at her core, Doja Cat can carry more than just a tune. She is a rapper who sings pretty well.
In 2020, she performed her hit ‘Say So’ at the Billboard Music Awards where she transformed the introduction of the song into a slowed-down, jazzier version. This forced her to flex her well-polished, impressive vocal chops.
10. André 3000
André 3000 is, without a doubt, one of the most cherished rappers of his generation. With fans spanning continents and generations, the performer is considered an important member of the hip-hop community.
Despite being thought of as a rapper first and foremost, André 3000 also possessed an impressive singing voice that decorated many OutKast tracks.
Their most famous track ‘Hey Ya!’ sees the rapper singing on the chorus, creating a catchy chant that many will sing for years to come.
‘Ms. Jackson’ also exhibits the rapper’s voice, requiring some falsetto notes in the chorus that make up the most sing-alongable sections of the track.
T-Pain may be the king of auto-tune, but, believe it or not, he is amongst the best singing rappers out there.
T-Pain’s career took off in the early 2000s when auto-tune was an exciting new tool to create something new within the music industry. The rapper, born Faheem Rashad Najm, noticed this untrodden ground and utilised auto-tune throughout his career.
However, behind this mask of heavily edited rap tracks, Najm was hiding a secret singing ability which he has expressed much more recently.
The rapper has begun performing his own songs as well as covers without an electronic aid and the results have been a pleasant surprise.
8. Saint JHN
Saint JHN is a fresh addition to the world of hip-hop. The versatile artist has flown somewhat under the radar for a large chunk of his career.
The rapper gained recognition for his track ‘Roses Remix’ which saw him team up with rap titan Future.
Saint JHN fans know how well the rapper performs live. He has the ability to harmonise with the records and demonstrates vocal runs that even some seasoned singers can’t contend with.
It’s for this reason that Saint JHN is well-regarded as one of the best singing rappers in the game.
JID, born Destin Choice Route, got his start releasing a number of independent projects before releasing his debut studio album The Never Story which received public praise.
Throughout his career, he has been nominated for three Grammy Awards including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance. His 2022 album The Forever Story became his highest charting album, peaking at No. 12.
Route is also a talented singer, having taken singing lessons throughout his career, surprising listeners with his vocal ability.
His vocal abilities are best demonstrated in tracks such as ‘Hereditary,’ ‘Workin Out,’ and ‘All Bad.’
6. Post Malone
Post Malone is known for his laid-back rap delivery, often keeping his tone smooth and relaxed, avoiding stretching the musical scales too much.
It wasn’t until he tried an Elvis tribute that Post Malone got recognised for this singing ability.
NBC gathered a collection of performers such as Shawn Mendes and Blake Shelton to do a rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘If I Can Dream.’ Amongst these performers was Post Malone who took on the bridge of the song.
Fans were blown away by the rapper’s raspy yet powerful voice, and ignited a call for him to integrate more singing into his music.
5. Mos Def
Dante Terrell Smith, known professionally as Mos Def, kickstarted his career in 1994 with the rap group Urban Thermo Dynamics. He later formed the duo Black Star with fellow hip-hop artist Talib Kweli releasing their album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star.
In 1999, he released his debut solo album on Both Sides and continued to drop a string of releases. He is now considered one of the greats.
Mos Def – who now goes by Yasiin Bey – is also known for his silky smooth vocals, releasing some experimental jazz tracks such as ‘Umi Says.’
He also sings on a number of other tracks such as ‘Kalifornia,’ ‘Beauty in the Dark,’ and ‘Boogie Man Song.’
4. Nicki Minaj
Not everyone is familiar with Nicki Minaj’s vocal ability, as the performer is known for her work in the hip-hop industry.
However, a performance in 2012 enlightened people to Minaj’s singing talents when she took on Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,’ alongside popstar Katy Perry.
The live performance shocked casual music fans, surprising them with a voice many weren’t expecting from the “Queen of Rap.”
This said, loyal fans of the rapper were already aware of Minaj’s hidden talent. She had previously sung multiple times in her records, notably on hit tracks such as ‘Super Bass’ and ‘Your Love.’
3. Missy Elliot
Unless you live under a rather large rock, you’re probably familiar with Missy Elliot.
The legendary rapper has been active in the industry since the early 90s, producing multiple albums, receiving four Grammy Awards and being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Throughout her career, Elliot has both rapped and sung on her records, performing both vocal styles to an equally high standard.
While other artists may lean their talent towards one end of the spectrum, Missy Elliot is an artist who doesn’t make you wish she chose one.
2. Childish Gambino
Politically charged and musically irresistible, Childish Gambino is famous for his ability to put what many are thinking into a smooth rap track.
Songs such as ‘This is America’ are laced with social-political issues, inciting change and critical thinking among the masses.
Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, can also belt out a tune if needs be. His track ‘Me and Your Mama’ required Glover to hit some challenging high notes which the rapper does with ease and finesse.
‘Redbone,’ the performer’s best-known track, also pushed his limits, and saw the singer-rapper use his falsetto to an impressive degree.
1. Lauryn Hill
When you think of singing rappers, Lauryn Hill will always be one of the first names that comes.
Whether she’s delivering an immaculate flow on tracks such as ‘Everything is Everything,’ or singing her heart out in tracks such as ‘Killing Me Softly,’ there’s no denying the talent she possesses.
Lauryn Hill is credited with popularising melodic rap, and helping female rappers reach mainstream popularity.
She has been listed as one of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Tie by Rolling Stone while Billboard names her as the greatest woman rapper of all time.
She has the most Grammy Award wins of any female rapper, with 8 under her belt including Best Rap Album.
Lauryn Hill could well be the finest example of a truly great rapper who can really sing.
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