Top 10 Cities with the Best RappersHip-hop was born on the streets, and its heartbeat echoes loudest within specific cities. These creative hubs nurture raw talent and foster sounds that push the boundaries of the genre. You've heard the legendary MCs from these iconic cities, seen their influence on music, and now it's your turn to decide where the hottest bars get dropped.
Some places are no-brainers - hip-hop royalty has practically sprung from their very sidewalks. But some underground scenes are bubbling over, holding the next lyrical geniuses. Is your hometown a hidden gem, or do time-tested hubs still dominate?
I can't believe Houston and Atlanta are at the top. They are a disgrace to rap, in my opinion. It's easily between New York and LA, but I have chosen New York. It's hard to choose, and they have contributed the most to rap and actually have the decent rappers. Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and many more. LA has all of NWA, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Xzibit, and The Game. I'd say Detroit would come third, but other than Eminem, they have a lot of underrated rappers like Obie Trice, other members from D12, and Slaughterhouse. But of these three, New York has been the most consistent and has been in the game at all times, and some of the greatest rappers come from there.
New York by far. We put the rap game on the map and we are still strong. All these rappers came after we paved the way. Come on now! Let's not ever forget that. This new introduction to rap needs to stop trying to take credit. Half of this music today makes no damn sense. What happened to lyrics that speak the truth?
The discussion of the best rap song should start and end with "Gangsta Gangsta." The members of NWA alone should be enough to place LA at the top. Add Tupac and Snoop, and there really isn't a question. But if you need more, go ahead and talk about The Game and Kendrick Lamar. That should be more than enough to at least parallel New York at the top. But Detroit being ahead is a flat-out joke. Let's not forget who gave Detroit its best rapper... Thank you, Dr. Dre.
Why is LA below Houston and Detroit? I don't know many rappers from those two cities. In LA, we got NWA, Snoop, Xzibit, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Ice T, and Hopsin.
I'm a die-hard Eminem fan, but Detroit doesn't have as many good rappers as L.A. No city does.
Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, The Game, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, Xzibit, Nate Dogg...
There is only one best rap city: L.A.
Although Eminem is the most successful, Obie Trice and Royce the 5'9 could be the most underrated rappers. Another reason for Detroit is that all the rappers there have a story. Just alone, Eminem's story is amazing and one in a million. Listen to Brain Damage. It explains how he was almost killed as a kid. Fame isn't the only aspect that matters. Detroit also has a ton of underground rapping.
Yeah, this is how I picture it. Detroit is top in underground rap. Look at Blade Icewood, Stretch Money, Chedda Boy Malik, Big Herk. They can compete with any of the top rappers. They represent the D and do their thing. And Eminem, he came from the D and is one of the most legendary rappers.
Los Angeles would go second with NWA, Easy E, Ice Cube. Snoop Dogg, the swag master, the pimpin' king of rap, and Dr. Dre, the biggest producer! And where is the love for Pittsburgh? Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Huey Mac making a name for themselves. Morgantown rappers are getting recognized too, like Ponce, Raheem the Dream, Scuba Steve, and Kons Beats.
A lot of rappers on my playlist are from Atlanta and are very talented, like Gunna, who doesn't even have to raise his voice to be a good rapper. There is so much insane music from here, from Playboi Carti, 21 Savage, Gucci Mane, Ludacris, Lil Baby, JID, Future. The list goes on. The point is, this city just hits different.
NYC may have started rap, but Atlanta perfected it. Rap took over Atlanta in the early 2000s and has consistently generated more rappers than any other city in America. We are all biased because there are certain rappers that we like better than others, but if you look at the current music charts for rap, you'll quickly notice the majority of the rappers at the top of the list are from Atlanta.
If you're a country singer, you go to Nashville. If you're a rapper, you go to Atlanta. It's as simple as that.
Atlanta has produced a bunch of talent, and most of the rappers from there have made successful careers. The only problem is that their lyrics all sound the same, with money and designer clothing being the only things they talk about.
Chicago really invented the drill rap category. A lot of amazing rappers are from here, like King Von, Juice WRLD, Lil Durk, Kanye West, Chance The Rapper, Polo G, Chief Keef, and many more.
Chicago started the whole drill scene, and it was one of the craziest styles of rapping you could ever see. It took what rap already was to a whole other level.
Kanye and Twista. Enough said. I wouldn't say they're the best, but they still got good competition.
H-Town started the chopped and screwed movement, which is now known worldwide. All the big Southern rappers are now getting their albums chopped and screwed. Another thing H-Town started was the sippin' on drank epidemic. In my opinion, H-Town also has the best talent when it comes to rap. Not to mention the best hip-hop groups, such as Screwed Up Click, Swishahouse, Boss Hogg Outlawz, Color Changing Click, Chamillitary, and Wreckin' Yard, just to name a few. No other city matches the talent H-Town has put out.
Yung D-Avid is an upcoming artist who has been influenced by the best in Houston! The legends reincarnated! Look him up!
Houston is the number one rap city as far as underground/street rap goes, hands down. Atlanta is the top rap city as far as fake rap goes.
How is Compton not higher on the list? Eazy-E, the father of gangsta rap, is from here. That's better than 99% of mainstream rap on its own.
1. New York
The best rappers of the 80s and half the top ten best of the 90s, and most of the few good new rappers of the 2010s are from Compton. New York should be 1, but Compton should be 2.
Hello? You people know nothing about rap. This is where all the real rappers come from on the west coast.
The Crossroads... that is all.
MGK is the best rapper right now, and he's not going up alone. Second is NYC, third would be Detroit.
From the population proportion, Cleveland has produced more talent than NYC.
Boosie, Kevin Gates, Lil Wayne, Drake, NBA YoungBoy? Give me a city with 5 rappers who could currently beat these 5. New York has good rappers, but they are all old, with the exception of a small few. The same for L.A. I cannot believe y'all put ATL up that high either. This list is a mess without New Orleans being in the top 2-3, if not #1. Maybe these cities have better legends, but New Orleans has history as well as the present. I am not even from Louisiana, but I know it has fire music.
NOLA - in the words of T.I., "Point Blank Period." You have to look at this per capita. How can you compare NOLA with NYC and LA? These are my reasons:
1. ALL of No Limit, not to mention Master P paved the way for Jay Z and Diddy by branching out into other investment opportunities. From the projects to now being worth $500 million. Soulja Slim would still be on the scene had he not been shot. C Murder if not in jail, Mac if not in jail, Mystikal.
2. ALL of Cash Money - Lil Wayne (#2 rapper in the world behind Shady), BG, Manny Fresh, Birdman.
Also, these were independent labels. Ten years ago, rappers were owned by the industry.
Man, I'm from Philly, and everybody I know can rap well, so Philly deserves at least top 3.
Don't know how updated this list is, but PnB Rock, Lil Uzi Vert, and Lil Dicky are three of the hottest rappers right now.
Philly has the best rappers, hands down.
Flo Rida and Pitbull alone pretty much defeat the entire list (other than Usher who, by the way, is from Chattanooga). Period.
A lot of rappers from Memphis are raw and original. They aren't really the type that have copy and paste lyrics like in Atlanta.
You have a lot of the old school greats such as Project Pat, Skinny Pimp, Three 6 Mafia, Playa Fly, 8Ball & MJG, and Young Buck. Then you have a lot of up and coming rap stars such as Yo Gotti, Lil Wyte, Zed Zilla, Don Trip, and Young Dolph. Juicy J has begun an amazing solo career. And you also can't forget Memphis was the birthplace of crunk music and horrorcore rap. This city should be higher on this list!
Memphis should be higher on this list because they delivered Gangsta Walk.
Brooklyn should, and I think people would agree, be top 3 along with Compton and Harlem if they were considered cities. So, I'm just going to say places of extreme hip-hop influence. The three places I just mentioned have, and still will, make a big part of hip-hop forever.
Warren G, Snoop Dogg, and Nate Dogg. Not as good as NYC but definitely worth mentioning.
No one mentioned Wordsmith or Caddy Da Don. I was at the African American festival and saw them live. They could bury any other city alone. I also actually got a chance to meet Hurricane The King while I was there. He was passing out flyers. I didn't even know he was a rapper from Baltimore and still lived here until I Googled him. He is so underrated and humble. He wasn't even performing, though. Laugh out loud. If Baltimore got behind people like him, Caddy, and Wordsmith, they will get on!
Some casual fans of rap don't realize 2Pac actually started his career here. He first got publicity shortly after moving to Oakland.
King Los is the best freestyler hands down. He is very talented. Lor Scoota and Young Moose created many bangers, and Davo is a great artist as well.
The 6 God himself (Drake) started a hip hop revolution in Toronto! Drake, PartyNextDoor, Majid Jordan, 40 the producer, The Weeknd, P Reign, and then the pioneers of Toronto rap: Kardinal Offishall, Shad, and K'naan.
Toronto is up and coming. It also has the most popular rapper in the game right now.
Canada, especially Toronto, is up and coming. PND, Tory Lanez, Weeknd, and Majid Jordan is a pretty impressive list of new rappers making a huge impact.
Sir Mix-A-Lot, Macklemore, Blue Scholars, Grynch, Sam Lachow. So underrated that it kills me to see us this low. Macklemore is mainstream now, and Sir Mix-A-Lot was a one-hit wonder. But everyone else is raw and straight hip hop.
Seattle is the top! Rising up rappers with real messages. Peep Jamil Suleman, he's coming up and about to blow in the game. Don't forget Sol and Sam Lachow.
Young Buck, Starlito, Kool Daddy Fresh, Jelly Roll, Yung Coca, Quanie Cash, Pistol, Haystak, Dee Goodz, Blow Pop Crew, and Stix Izza. We have the best rappers ever. They just aren't popular yet. Plus, we started crunk music. Don't believe me? Look up "Blow Pop Crew - Drop the Bass." It's a crunk music song that came out in 1986, way before Memphis stole it from us. Stix Izza is the best rapper alive, and Starlito and Young Buck are also in the top ten best rappers alive. Cashville (Nashville) is the new best rap city!
Yeah, Pittsburgh should be in the top 15 at least, knocking Minnesota out of there. Wiz Khalifa is big, so is Mac Miller. Huey Mack is getting big, as are a lot of other underground rappers getting out there, going to some of the same studios Wiz and Mac got their start. Oakland should be in the top 10. That is gangster rap paradise along with Compton. Show respect for Tupac, E-40, etc.
Wiz Khalifa and Taylor Gang, up and coming Mac Miller (Most Dope), RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, and you've got a group that can go up against even New York, Chi-town, and L.A.
Best drill music. Great mainstream offering with the likes of Dave, AJ Tracey, Bugsy Malone, Slept, JME, Giggs, Chip, and many others.
Extremely good hardcore lyrical political offering too with Akala, Lowkey, Black the Ripper, and Mic Righteous to name a few.
Old school MCs are also excellent with Dizzee Rascal, Kano, So Solid, and dozens more.
A top 5 city by any way you measure it...
Grime is where it's at!