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The Dirty Dozen (The 12 best rappers not from NY)

This one is a follow up to a post I did elsewhere on the best rappers ever from NY. You’d think since most people think rappers from outside NY-particularly ones from down south-aren’t lyrical, this would be an easy list, but…not so fast.

Lyricism is the key thing here though; you have some rappers who have catchy hooks/dances/verses, but can’t carry an album if you handed it to them. But lyricism is not the only criteria; rappers who have broken new ground also deserve consideration.

My list will have some people that may surprise, but I think true hip-hop heads know who’s who…let the debate begin:

The dirty dozen (in no particular order)

  1. Eminem. That one’s easy! There aren’t too many rappers as good as he is. As a hip-hop head going back to the days of The Sugar Hill Gang, I do not think he’s the best ever (as a lot of Johnny come latelys’ will say,) but he is certainly in the conversation with all of the greats on the microphone.
  2. Ludacris. Very, very underrated lyricist.
  3. Too Short. A legend, some people like him, some don’t, he one of the raunchuest to ever pick up a microphone, but his influence cannot be denied.
  4. Scarface Another legend. With the Geto Boys and as a solo artist, Scarface was in a class of his own.
  5. Andre 3000. Another underrated lyricist. Even Eminem said that Andre is one of the best rappers he’s ever heard. I happen to agree. Funky outfits aside, he is dope.
  6. UGK; Underground Kings (I take them together. One of the best groups in the history of hip-hop.)
  7. Lil Wayne. Like him or not, he is prolific. No one since Tupac has consistently created so much material.
  8. Drake. He is Kanye West without the attitude.
  9. Juvenile. Yeah Master P was the first big rapper from New Orleans, but Juvenile really showed us what that Southern slang was all about.
  10. Kanye West. Prolific hit maker that made intelligent lyrics and the preppie look cool again
  11. Young Jeezy. One of my personal favorites.
  12. Snoop Dogg. Another legend. His first album was a classic, and he’s showed staying power to remain relevant as long as he has.

Honorable Mentions-because I’ve always liked their music: Xzibit, Rass Kass, Eightball & MJG and TI.

About the author


Who's Dwight?

Well, for starters, i'm a Jamaican born resident of New York who loves sports, politics, books (reading and writing them) and meaningful debate. I'm also a published author of two books, several short stories and articles-with more on the way-and most importantly i'm never without an opinion. I try to keep abreast of the world around me and look at things from my perspective-which is sometimes irreverent, occasionally funny, frequently frank, and at times downright weird.

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