Rap in California began dominating the radio and record sales during the early to mid-90s when G-funk and Record labels like Death Row Records, Lench Mob Records, Suge Knight, and Dr. Dre’s Death Row Records emerged.
Currently, there are many world-renowned Californian rappers like Snoop Dogg and Doja Cat who are making their mark today. Keep reading to find out more about them.
1 Dr. Dre
California rapper Dr. Dre is a producer and audio engineer. He is the founder and C.E.O. of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. It was Dr. Dre who popularized the West Coast G-funk subgenre of hip hop. After becoming a successful rapper, he encouraged many other rappers’ careers, including 2Pac and Snoop Dogg.
2 Ice Cube
Ice Cube is the main reason for gangsta rap’s popularity. His most famous album, N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, played a significant role in West Coast rap’s identity. Ice Cube’s success and songs influenced a host of rappers, and he is the greatest rapper ever lived on the West Coast.
3 Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is considered a great lyricist among the greatest rappers and lyricists of all time. Lamar is regarded as the most influential celebrity of the twenty-first century due to his impact on the music industry. Kendrick was also in 2016 list of 100 most influential people in Time magazine.
Eazy-E was regarded as the godfather of gangsta rap. He also played a significant role in making gangsta rap and West Coast rap famous across the coast by forming N.W.A., one of the most renowned rap groups. Sadly he died at the young age of 30 after losing the battle with AIDS.
5 Donald Glover
Donald Glover’s albums had earned him a lot of success, and he won a Grammy award for the hit number Redbone. Besides rapping, he also performed in different plays and became famous after playing the role of a college student in the sitcom Community.
6 Nipsey Hussle
At the age of 33, Nipsey Hussle, an American rapper, was tragically shot and killed. Several young people have been influenced by Hussle’s music and activism.
7 Doja Cat
Her name is familiar to anyone who enjoys rap music. Doja Cat song Mooo! went viral in 2018, which made her a global celebrity.
8 Tyler, The Creator
Born on March 6, 1991, Tyler Gregory Okonma, better known as Tyler, the Creator, is a famous California rapper and record producer. Tyler released his first solo mixtape, Bastard, in 2009. After the success of his first mixtape, he released several albums, which won him a Grammy Award, a BRIT Award, and an MTV Video Music Award.
9 Nick Cannon
Nicholas Cannon is a comedian, rapper, and television host. He played a Significant role in The Nick Cannon Show, America’s Got Talent, and The Masked Singer T.V. shows. Besides hosting and rapping, he has also acted in many films like Drumline, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, and Roll Bounce. Cannon has been accused of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks multiple times.
Anyone who enjoys rap music is sure to be familiar with Tyga. He is a famous rapper, television artist, and songwriter. Even though Tyga started his music career well, he was hit with long negative reviews and poor sales. He was also troubled by a series of legal issues. But his attackers were silent after the release of his hit album Legendary.
11 Frank Ocean
Known for his unconventional production methods and wide vocal range, Frank Ocean is considered one of the most revered musicians of his generation. People credited him with reviving and popularizing jazz and funk-influenced R&B music. Due to his contribution to music, his name was in the 100 most influential people by Time magazine.
Saweetie is a female California rapper who gained acclaim after releasing her debut single Icy Grl on SoundCloud. The song’s video broke the internet as it gathered 100 million views on YouTube. After earning much fame, she was signed by Warner Records. Besides this, she is also signed to Artistry Worldwide, Max Gousse’s record label manager.
13 Roddy Ricch
Known for his mixtape Feed Tha Streets II, which included the Billboard Hot 100-charting single Die Young, Roddy Ricch is arguably one of the most prominent trap artists of the current generation. A Grammy Award was given to Nipsey Hussle for Racks in the Middle, which features Ricch.
14 Big Sean
Another famous rapper from California, Big Sean, has worked with respected record labels, such as Def Jam Recordings, GOOD Music, and Roc Nation. Known for his luxury lifestyle, he bought an 11,000-square-foot Beverly Hills home for $8.7 million. Because of his excellent fashion sense, he established a clothing company called Aura Gold in 2013.
15 Tyrese Gibson
Grammy-nominated California rapper Tyrese Gibson is renowned for his hit track, Sweet Lady. Besides rapping, he is also a famous author, and he has also written three-volume comic books and two New York Times bestsellers books.
16 Tay-K 47
California-based Rapper Tay-K is renowned for his Billboard-charting and platinum-certified track The Race. Unfortunately, he was arrested for murder charges by U.S. marshals when his song was released. Following his conviction in the death of Ethan Walker, he was later indicted for another murder.
Taking a look at the performance of his studio albums The Beautiful & Damned and When It’s Dark Out, it can be seen that G-Eazy has had considerable success as a rapper. Unfortunately, his successful career ended when he was arrested in 2018 on suspicion of assault and the use of narcotics.
18 The Game (Rapper)
Known as The Game, rapper Jayceon Terrell Taylor is well known for leading the West Coast hip-hop scene. He started his rapping career with Dr. Dre’s label. His album The Documentary went viral, and he was nominated for two Grammys for his song.
19 Jaden Smith
Another famous rapper from California, Jason Smith, the son of legendary actor Will Smit, is also a multitalented star like his father. Jaden has persisted in his acting career, released two albums, and launched his own clothing line.
California Rapper and producer William James Adams Jr., goes professionally as “will.i.am,” is a leading member of the Black Eyed Peas. Later, he went solo and released tracks such as the N.B.A. Live theme Go! . He won Grammy awards seven times and wrote Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential movement theme song, Yes We Can.
21 Scott Caan
Scott Caan is another California rapper and actor. He is the co-founder of the now-defunct rap group called The Whooliganz. Besides rapping, he is also famous for his role in the T.V. series Hawaii Five-0. Like all the kindhearted people, Scott also works with humanitarian organizations, like Surfers Healing, Life Rolls On, and TheraSURF.
22 Ty Dolla Sign
Ty Dolla Sign rapper and songwriter. He has played a significant role in the success of several songs released by famous artists like Chris Brown, Jhené Aiko, and Rihanna.
23 Lil Xan
Nicholas Diego Leanos, professionally known as, “Lil Xan,” rocketed to fame with his hit song Betrayed from the album Total Xanarchy.
24 Keenon Jackson
Keenon Jackson is a famous California rapper whose hit single My Nigga, collaborated with Rich Homie Quan and Young Jeezy, earned B.E.T. Hip Hop Award for Best Collabo, Duo or Group. However, Keenon was also charged in 2020 with robbery and was imprisoned for arraignment.
- Spotify: Keenon Jackson
25 Swae Lee
Swae Lee is a California rapper and musician regarded as the “Songbird of the Generation.” Born on June 7, 1993, his birth name is Khalif Malik Ibn. He is a member of the famous hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd.
26 Keith Stanfield
California rapper and actor Keith Stanfield is best known for depicting real-life figures such as Snoop Dogg and Jimmie Lee Jackson in biographical films. Lakeith Stanfield also earned the Breakthrough Performer award at the Hamptons International Film Festival for playing the role of rapper Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton.
- Spotify: Keith Stanfield
27 Nate Dogg
Nate Dogg is a California rapper and composer famously known for his associations with famous rappers like Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Dr. Dre, and has earned the nickname The King of Hooks. Besides this, he had produced three albums and several hit singles.
28 Mike Shinoda
In addition to being a founding member, vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter of Linkin Park, Ike Shinoda was also part of the hip-hop group Fort Minor. Besides being a rapper, he is a graphic designer and has exhibited his artworks on his band’s album covers.
As the lead singer for the R&B band B2K, Omari Ishmael Grandberry, aka Omarion, achieved fame with hits like Bump and Girlfriend. His solo album ranked at number 1 on the Billboard 200.
30 Snoop Dogg
Now let’s talk about the Californian main rapper and gem Snoop Dogg, a famous American rapper whose life is an inspiration for many young rappers. Rap was his way of distracting himself from his unstable family life, and he ran into trouble with the law as a teenager; however, once he released his debut album, nothing could hold him back.