When you first press play on any new rapper’s song, the first thing you will inevitably notice is their voice. Whether it’s fair or not, vocal tone can be a deciding factor in whether you will give any new MC the time of day in your rotation. It can be argued that most rap listeners might prefer a baritone or bass-styled voice that can pull you into a song like a fish on a line.

There have been many iconic deep-voiced rappers since Hip Hop’s inception. Many of the MCs to bless the mic have at least a somewhat lower register. There is much diversity within the group of low-voiced rappers, but also a very obvious lineage between generations of similarly styled tones. In this list, we have pointed out the best of the best in the deep voice rapper category and how they, at times, intersect.

1. The Notorious B.I.G.

The first rapper you think of when you think of deep voices is more than likely Biggie. From “It’s all good, baby, baby” to “Throw your hands in the air if you’s a true player,” the lines he delivers with baritone are some of his most iconic. The Notorious B.I.G. was the first plus-sized rapper with a voice that had real fortitude to match.

Since his death, no one has ever been able to fill the void of Biggie’s one-of-one, punchy yet slick delivery. However, there have been others in a similar realm. He has stayed within the frame of Hip Hop relevance for decades as he remains — as he claimed in heavy timbre on “Hypnotize” — “sicker than your average.”

2. DMX

The Yonkers legend’s distinct grovel in his vocal delivery evoked the pitbull he claimed to be one with. DMX spit fire with more passion than craft, more vigor than finesse and more depth than yelping. He was a deep-voiced firecracker.

While DMX often barked as an ad-lib and took on a higher pitch, the fill-in he was most known for was his heavy growl. The bars he rapped after the growl always held more bass than a subwoofer reverberating.

3. Giggs

This rap statesman has a depth to his voice that inherently made him one of the first U.K. street rappers to become renowned across the Atlantic. It’s nearly impossible for any collaborating rapper to match the authority that his tone gives him. You can even hear that dichotomy present on both his tracks on Drake’s album More Life.

When Giggs started out, the U.K. rap scene was mainly just grime, and he became the center of that genre. Now he has seen the space evolve into the drill-heavy state that it’s in now. Giggs remains the originator of all the swagger and depth that made it all possible.

4. Rick Ross

Rick Ross has the deepest ad-lib ever in “HUH.” That expression alone on wax qualifies him for this list. He is also the most prominent big guy in rap with a deep voice since Biggie.

There are countless examples of bars and hooks delivered by Ross that cement his status as of one of the most captivating deep voices in rap. That said, “I think I’m Big Meech, Larry Hoover / Whippin’ work, hallelujah / One nation under God / Real n**gas gettin’ money from the f**kin start” may be the most potent of all time.

5. Tupac

Tupac’s voice was an essential element in guiding listeners into the depth of his offerings in his music. There isn’t another deep voice in rap that helped transcend an MC’s words more. When Tupac rapped, he made you listen with his passionate delivery, but his vocal quality just made it that much more moving.

His tone was emphasized even more when he began collaborating with other Death Row Records artists. Tupac’s voice against Snoop Dogg’s struck an incredible balance. Then when that collaboration merged with Dr. Dre, it created a real spectrum of pitches that blended seamlessly.

6. Pop Smoke

The deepest voice in drill is still Pop Smoke’s. There have been many other rappers who have popped up since his passing who sound like near duplicates in vocal texture, but no one else’s is quite as menacing.

It’s fair to claim that Pop Smoke may have the most bass in his voice of any rapper ever. When he rapped, it felt like he took over the entire low register of each track he appeared on — it was almost as if Pop added bass to the speakers.

7. 50 Cent

50 Cent’s voice dropped even deeper after the tragic incident in which he was shot nine times. You can hear the difference between his earlier mixtapes and the film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, for example. His deep texture remarkably set a standard for a truly masculine rap presence in the early 2000s.

To say there wouldn’t be the deep-voiced drill legend Pop Smoke without 50 Cent is an understatement. Pop Smoke even paid homage to 50 multiple times, interpolating his songs on his albums. 50 Cent influenced a generation of street rappers and the Hip Hop sound as we know it.

8. Tyler, The Creator

The more hipster version of deep-toned rap arrives here on our list. Tyler, The Creator’s first certified hit, “Yonkers,” was a staggering display of baritone raps. Due to the song’s title, one can only assume that it was inspired by the legend DMX.

Even though Tyler sometimes performs in smoother tones, his gravely deep voice has stayed with him through many of his eras. On his 2021 offering Call Me If You Get Lost, he came with a barrage of hard-hitting raps in an opus of low textures.

9. Scarface

In Scarface’s late 2023 NPR “Tiny Desk concert,” the world got reintroduced to the depth of his compelling storytelling in a newly intimate setting. His baritone cascaded as he went through highlights of his catalog, which exuded everything from complex grief to weed-induced fantasy.

Throughout his two decades of albums, Scarface had a Houston drawl that didn’t need to be chopped and screwed to be deep. On one of the greatest tracks from his 1994 opus he rapped, I never understood why / I couldn’t see a man cry until I seen man die” in the heaviest delivery imaginable, which allowed you to envelop yourself in his pain and philosophy.

10. Freddie Gibbs

Gangsta Gibbs sounded like a strange combination of Tupac, Slim Thug and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony when he first popped up on the scene. The last gave him his Midwest pattern flow, while his deep vocal tone echoed the first two artists.

Gibbs has had a prolific career that easily ricocheted from classic and soul sample styles to energetic trap beats. However, his vocals shine through the most when there’s a pinging guitar sample in the beat to spring off Gibbs’ heavy timbre.

11. Young M.A

Young M.A has a guttural element to her delivery that feels rooted in her East New York upbringing. On her breakout single “OOOUUU” when she raps, “You call her Stephanie? I call her Headphanie,” the bass in her tone enunciates the jokey bar, bringing it to new heights.

Young M.A’s raps aren’t just clever; she has an incredibly crafty pen that has garnered the respect of top-tier MCs like Eminem. The way she delivers her punchlines can at times throw you off and bring you back unexpectedly. But when the bars hit in her deep cadence, it always makes you shake your head in disbelief.

12. GloRilla

The young Memphis spitter’s voice grabs you as soon as you hear it. The depth with which she speaks protrudes through speakers commanding you to move along to the beat with her.

On her breakout single, “F.N.F. (Let’s Go),” the way she raps lines like, “I’m F-R-E-E f**k n**ga free” will make you wanna break something.

There is a truly empowering quality to the depth of GloRilla’s delivery. It feels like she says every bar with her chest and that exudes a confidence that anyone would wish to possess.

13. Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes is one of the catalysts delivering in this tone since the early ’90s. His deep register is sometimes juxtaposed with a zany higher pitch, which makes its depth that much more effective. No one is more dimensional and captivating on the mic.

The New York–born artist has a lot of different voices that he likes to use to capture different feelings. There is a smooth, deep and rich voice for seduction purposes; a speedy, hard-hitting and powerful voice when he’s being more emphatic; and a wild, twisted and disjointed voice for excitement. Either way, he excels every time he hits his deepest-toned pocket.

14. Black Thought

The Roots frontman raps better than most. Black Thought’s flow sounds like a burgundy furniture set surrounded by smoke in a cigar lounge. His deep rasp elevates his masterful lyricism to another level.

Black Thought twists words and brings them back together like a master craftsman. This allows him to have as much fortitude in obscure concepts as in depth-filled storytelling to make true lyric lovers feel fulfilled upon listening.

15. Rakim

The label of the unequivocal originator of the dynamic deep voice in rap belongs to Rakim. From the mid-’80s to infinity, every bar that the God MC spits is filled with a kind of precision and depth that will satisfy your ears.

In his early work with Eric B, Rakim had an already deep texture. However, as his career progressed, he took on more life, and his pitch went lower and lower. Now when you hear the rapper rock a mic, he almost sounds like a standup bass being plucked in different patterns.

16. Foxy Brown

The OG for deep-voiced rap ladies rounds out our list. Artists like Young M.A and GloRilla feel like fruit off the tree that is Foxy Brown. Though she has a sensual appeal as well, every bar she spits has a hard-nosed, depth-filled edge that makes your ear perk up.

Brown is a true innovator in tone on a record. She always undercuts the beats she’s on, almost propelling the lighter tones to easily surround her. She uses her depth to her full advantage.