The Top Locations for the Best Rappers
The rap scene is massive, with all sorts of different subgenres and artists sharing their styles and lyrics in all sorts of manners. But where do they come from? In this listicle, Paul Martin and Sam Roberts take a look at four cities that are home to some of the most recognizable faces in the rap industry.
Atlanta is currently the rap capital of the world, and it’s not hard to see why. The city is currently the breeding ground to the most famous names in the rap game. Some of the best rappers from the area include Young Thug, Future and Lil Baby.
Young Thug is one of a select few rappers who has one of the most expansive and successful family trees in hip-hop. On top of putting Lil Baby on, he also introduced the world to Gunna through his label YSL Records.
Future has been the face of Atlanta rap before anyone considered it to be the most important city for rap. Future has seen seven of his albums top the Billboard 200, and is constantly collaborating with fellow artists such as Drake, Lil Uzi Vert and the late Juice WRLD.
The aforementioned Lil Baby launched himself to the forefront of the rap conversation with a big 2020, capped with an immensely successful release in “My Turn” as well as dropping one of the year’s most popular songs in “We Paid.”
It is clear Atlanta is not even close to giving up the rap crown, and it will be interesting to see which exciting new artists the city breeds next. – Paul Martin
Toronto has silently become one of the biggest rap hubs in the world. Featuring the biggest rap star currently in Drake, Toronto has also bred artists including The Weeknd, as well as Tory Lanez.
Drake is at the forefront in the emergence of Toronto as a rap city, as his popularity seems to get bigger with every release. Drake’s success speaks for itself, and the man has been certifying himself as this generation's Michael Jackson, in which every song and album he releases goes platinum immediately.
The first time a majority of listeners were introduced to The Weeknd was on Drake’s landmark album “Take Care” on the track “Crew Love.” Putting The Weeknd on the track launched him and his label X.O. into rap stardom, all culminating in a Super Bowl performance this year.
Tory Lanez is also one of the city's biggest stars, even if his popularity is less than that of Drake and The Weeknd’s. Five of his releases have charted in the top five of the Billboard 200 and he has had some big singles too, such as “Say It” and “Luv.” – Paul Martin
When talking about which region is producing the best rappers in the game right now, it’s hard to count out North Carolina. North Carolina is responsible for producing one of the G.O.A.T.’s in J. Cole, and one of the current hottest rappers in the industry in DaBaby.
J. Cole currently has 5 platinum albums, and “2014 Forest Hills Drive” was the first hip-hop album to go platinum without any features in 20-plus years. Since DaBaby surfaced with his first studio album in 2019, he has been a driving force in hip-hop with two more albums and a ton of features across the board.
Another young North Carolina rapper who is gaining popularity in the rap game is Lute. He signed onto J’ Cole’s label Dreamville in 2015 and is responsible for collaborating on one of the best rap songs of 2019, “Under The Sun” on “Revenge of the Dreamers III.”
J. Cole will go down as a G.O.A.T. and even though DaBaby has had some trouble in the media recently, he still will bounce back and put out an even bigger representation for North Carolina rappers. – Sam Roberts
When thinking of cities or regions that have the best rappers, it is very hard to count out the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Philadelphia was really put on the map in terms of rap in the early 2010s when Meek Mill surfaced as one of the best rappers in the game.
Meek Mill stands tall with four platinum studio albums and a list of mixtapes that goes on and on. Meek also stands out as a great feature rapper and he is an incredible personality in the city of Philadelphia, as he has given back to his community in countless ways and loves to ring the bell for 76ers games at the Wells Fargo Center.
Another Philly rapper that brings tons of love to the city is Lil Uzi Vert. Uzi has two studio albums that both went double platinum, a platinum mixtape and his famous single, “XO Tour Life,” has gone certified platinum seven times.
Meek Mill and Lil Uzi Vert carry the Philadelphia rap game, but the weight they carry is so strong that Philly is really one of the great cities of rap. – Sam Roberts
Paul Martin is a junior majoring in telecommunications and media studies. To contact him, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Roberts is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email email@example.com.