The shortest rappers have to fight that much harder to prove their worth in an industry that occasionally values physical appearance as much as musical prowess. But that begs the question. Who are the shortest rappers?
Most rappers will tell you that height doesn’t matter. And for the most part, they are correct. Their personalities are so large that it almost makes up for any deficiencies they may have height-wise. But one could argue that tall musicians have a much easier time dismissing the height question than their shorter counterparts.
Well, the shortest rapper won’t come as a shock because people associate his name with his height. However, some of the other names on this list may surprise you.
Here are the Shortest Rappers in Hip Hop
1). Bushwick Bill – 3’ 8” (1.12m)
Richard William Stephen Shaw, also known as Bushwick Bill, stands at the top of this mountain. While all the other rappers on this list are conventionally short, this artist was born with dwarfism.
Shaw wasn’t blind to his limitations. The rapper mentioned his height on several tracks, lamenting the fact that he lived in a world that favored tall people. Shaw took offense to the stigma associated with people like him, comparing dwarfism to important subjects like race and poverty.
The rapper had a tumultuous career. In the early 1990s, he lost his right eye after shooting himself during an altercation with his girlfriend. Despite becoming a born-again Christian and attempting to turn his life around in the mid-2000s, Bushwick fell afoul of the law in 2010 when he was arrested for possessing illegal substances. The rapper died in 2019 following a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
2). Lil Kim – 4’ 9” (1.5m)
Lil Kim came to fame decades ago when B.I.G discovered her at the age of 20. And yet, it came as quite the shock to her fans to learn, so many years later, that she was under five feet.
Often compared to short stars like Adrienne Bailon and Snookie, Lil Kim is one of the shortest rappers (and women) in Hollywood. The artist is not oblivious to her height. She has revealed in multiple interviews that she always resented her short stature and dark skin, arguing that the men around her always flocked to taller, lighter women.
Kims inferiority complex did little to stifle her talents. She had to fend for herself on the streets as a teenager after being kicked out of her home. Born Kimberly Denise Jones, her debut double platinum album sold six million copies when it came out in 1996.
She continued to dominate the hip-hop arena in the following years, selling an impressive 15 million albums worldwide. These days, Kim mentors other female artists.
3). Missy Elliott – 5’ 1” (1.57m)
Missy Elliot told her listeners she was 5 foot 2 on ‘One 2 Step’. But that particular line in the song is not true, though many people believe it. She’s actually 5 foot 1. Then again, on Twitter, she said she’s almost 5 foot 2, which is correct.
But it is doubtful that she cares one way or the other.
Born Melissa Arnette Elliott, Missy Elliott started her career as a member of the group ‘Sista’ before joining ‘Swing Mob.’ She worked alongside stars like Aaliyah, SWV, and Timbaland before kickstarting her solo career in the late 1990s.
‘Supa Dupa Fly,’ her first album, debuted at number 3 (Billboard 200). No other female rapper had achieved such a feat before. In 1999, she continued to break records when a remix of ‘Hot Boyz’ dominated the Hot Rap Singles Chart for 18 weeks. A Grammy Winner that has sold over 30 million records in the US, Missy Elliott had a tumultuous childhood.
Because she thought that her mother would die at the hands of her abusive father, she refused to have sleepovers at the homes of her friends. At one point, Elliott threatened to shoot her father.
When the rapper and her mother finally escaped, Elliott was afraid that her father would find and kill them. Elliott thrived despite these difficult trials, becoming an inductee in the ‘Songwriters Hall of Fame.’
4). Foxy Brown – 5’ 2” (1.57m)
At 5’ 2”, Foxy Brown is one of the shortest rappers you will ever meet. You wouldn’t know it because she has such a strong personality, at least on her records. Born Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand, Brown hit the ground running with ‘III Na Na’ in 1996.
Her debut album was an incredible success, selling millions of copies globally. Brown has worked with everyone from Dr. Dre and L.L. Cool J to Nas and Toni Braxton.
In some people’s eyes, Brown’s legal troubles have tainted her career. However, the hip-hop community credits Brown as an icon on par with the likes of Lil Kim.
5). Eazy E – 5’ 3” (1.59m)
No one thinks of Eazy E as a short rapper. They know he’s short, but he achieved so much during this brief career that his height doesn’t matter, not to the people that loved his music. Born Eric Lynn Wright, he worked with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube to create N.W.A.
People credit the artist for propelling gangsta rap to new heights. They speak fondly of his contribution to ‘Straight Outta Compton’, N.W.A’s debut studio album. Despite the controversy it courted, ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is regarded by many musical professionals as one of the most influential albums ever recorded.
Eazy E pursued a short solo career before joining Cube and Dre to form N.W.A. He returned to his solo career after the group splintered. The rapper was 30 when he died in 1995 due to complications related to his AIDS diagnosis. To the hip-hop community, Eric Lynn Wright is not just one of the shortest rappers but also the godfather of gangsta rap.
6). Jermaine Dupri – 5’ 3” (1.61m)
Jermaine Dupri knows his worth. Besides arguing on one occasion that he is more influential than Outkast, Dupri went so far as to challenge P Diddy to a versus battle. Diddy turned him down and then went the extra mile by calling Dupri’s arms short.
Diddy and Dupri are close friends, so no one took the comment seriously. Though, Dupri responded soon after with a video showcasing his beat-making skills.
Dupri doesn’t take himself seriously even though he has worked with legends such as Janet Jackson, Usher, Ludacris, Weezer, and Aretha Franklin, to mention but a few.
Born Jermaine Dupri Mauldin, the producer’s father was a talent manager. Because he was coordinating a Diana Ross show, Dupri had the opportunity to dance with Ross at the tender age of 10.
By 12, the artist was dancing for Whodini, making a notable appearance in their music video (Freaks Come Out At Night). Older fans have commended Dupri for creating ‘Kriss Kross.’ The teen duo’s 1992 album went multi-platinum. Though, that was hardly his only significant achievement in the 90s. He also created ‘So So Def’ and the R&B group ‘Xscape.’
7). Lil Wayne – 5’ 5” (1.65m)
Unless you met him in person, you wouldn’t know that Lil Wayne is one of the shortest rappers by simply looking at him. His greatest weapon is the confident demeanor he manifests on stage.
To his credit, the rapper is not afraid to admit that he’s short. Wayne has mentioned his height on tracks like ‘Open Safe’ and ‘Pop That,’ which shows that his short stature is not a source of embarrassment.
To be fair, Lil Wayne is taller than average. But as his music has proven, he doesn’t care either way. Newcomers tend to dismiss the rapper as another successful, out-of-touch star.
While the moniker ‘lil’ meaning little today is used out of tradition as opposed to its small & youthful connotation as we have many examples such as lil flip being tall, Lil Wayne being one of the lil rappers in Hip Hop has been attached to his name and fitting due to his small size and physique.
Later on, he found fame, but he still felt alone. Wayne continues to advocate for mental illness. He mentions his struggles in his music, encouraging his listeners to ask for help whenever their dark thoughts become louder than they can bear.
Despite the challenges, Lil Wayne’s star continues to rise. So far, he has sold 120 million records globally. His collection of accolades includes Grammy, BET, Billboard Music, and MTV Video Music Awards.
The executive producer is also the CEO of Young Money Entertainment, his record label.
8). Big Boi – 5’ 6” (1.68m)
Big boi is not a big boy. However, the name stands out because it is a stark contrast to his height. Big boi is not the shortest rapper. He’s almost average height. That being said, his short stature is difficult to ignore.
Big Boi was born Antwan Andre Patton. The singer, rapper, and actor is best known for his success with Outkast, a highly popular hip-hop duo.
Big Boi and Andre 3000 (Andre Lauren Benjamin) met at Tri-Cities High School, officially combining their musical talents in 1992. Outkast released four albums before Patton and Benjamin decided to go their separate ways.
The pair wanted to pursue solo careers. They released their first solo albums as a double album (Speakerboxxx/The Love Below).
9). Bow Wow – 5’ 7” (1.7m)
You cannot talk about the shortest rappers without mentioning Bow Wow. Most people think he’s the shortest rapper, but that is not true. Snoop dog discovered Bow Wow in the late 90s. The artist was just 13 when he released his first album.
But by 2003, he had decided to drop ‘Lil’ from his name. ‘Unleashed,’ his third album, came out around this time. The artist changed his name because he was getting older. He recognized that he was no longer the child people remembered.
More importantly, he wasn’t the only rapper using ‘Lil.’ Bow Wow was irritated by the number of rappers calling themselves ‘Lil.’ Because he couldn’t tell them to stop, he decided to drop ‘Lil’ once and for all.
While everyone agreed that ‘Bow Wow’ was a better fit for the young adult than ‘Lil Bow Wow,’ the rapper couldn’t escape the jokes about his short stature.
Bow Wow rarely references his height. In the years since he matured into a proper adult, most people have agreed that he’s closer to ‘average height’ than ‘short. But he looks shorter than most rappers, and people have continued to joke about his height.
Besides his musical career, Bow Wow has made several appearances in movies and TV shows, including ‘Like Mike,’ ‘Roll Bounce,’ ‘Tokyo Drift,’ and ‘F9’.
10). Eminem – 5’ 8” (1.73m)
Eminem doesn’t look like one of the shortest rappers, and technically speaking, he isn’t. It would be more accurate to call him average, which is why his height is rarely mentioned, if ever.
Eminem is somewhat contentious in some circles because of his skin color. Some people have dubbed him the greatest rapper in hip hop history. But others believe that only a black artist can occupy that position.
However, even Eminem’s loudest critics recognize him as a dominant force in hip-hop. The rapper dropped out of school after failing 9th grade three times. Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, he was determined to succeed in the music industry.
After demolishing his foes in the Rap Olympics (1997), Eminem caught the attention of Dr. Dre, who chose to collaborate with the young rapper despite criticisms from associates who preferred to distance themselves from him because he was white.
Dre’s gamble on Eminem paid off. Eminem has sold a whopping 220 million records globally. People credit the artist for breaking racial barriers and creating opportunities for white rappers to succeed in the hip-hop arena.
These are not the only short rappers in the hip-hop industry. But they attract a lot of attention because of their height. If you knew about Bushwick Bill and Lil Kim, you probably thought Bow Wow would come in third place. But as you can see, he is hardly the shortest rapper in the world. There are plenty of artists in hip-hop that Bow Wow towers over.
Right that’s enough talk about the short rappers, here’s the tallest rappers in Hip Hop
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