In the Great Lakes region, Michigan is home to one of the country’s most unique cultures, which has been copied and imitated by many.
However, if you are not lucky enough to visit this state, I recommend you check out their rap music because they incorporate different textures of the state into their music.
From the legends of rap like Big Sean, Eminem to the outstanding artists like Dej Loaf, and Tee Grizzley, Michigan has only the best to offer when it comes to the rap and hip-hop scene.
Enjoy the musical journey of Michigan with us and experience the unique rap culture this state has to offer.
Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, better known to the world as Big Sean, is the gem of the rap music industry.
Big Sean started his career in 2007, but he got his big break in 2010 with his third mixtape, Finally Famous Vol. 3: Big. After the success of his third tape, he signed to GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. \He released his first studio album, Finally Famous, in 2011, including the US top 10 single “Dance (Ass)” (featuring Nicki Minaj). His third album, Dark Sky Paradise (2015), gained more success and ranked on the US Billboard 200.
Terry Sanchez Wallace, known as Tee Grizzley, gained worldwide recognition from his hit singles “First Day Out,” “No Effort,” “Colors,” and “From the D to the A.” Tee Grizzle started taking rapping seriously when he was serving his time in prison and released his first single “First Day Out” in 2016 shortly after his release from prison on YouTube.
The song was a hit and earned over two million views in less than three weeks. This colossal success landed him a record deal with 300 Entertainment and Atlantic Records in 2017. He released several records that peaked on the US Billboard until this date.
Born on November 25, 1997, Dion Marquise Hayes, known to the world as 42 Dugg, is a Michigan rapper who is currently signed to Lil Baby, Yo Gotti’s respective labels 4 Pockets Full (4PF) and Collective Music Group (CMG).
His songs, “Grace” and “We Paid,” which ranked top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, collaborated with American rapper Lil Baby. His fourth mixtape, Free Dem Boyz, released in 2021, ranked number 8 on the Billboard 200.
Women played a significant role in making Michigan rap popular, and Kash Doll is one of them.
Arkeisha Antoinette Knight, known to the world as Kash Doll, is an American rapper from Detroit, Michigan. She is signed to Republic Records. Kash gained popularity for her hit singles like “For Everybody” and “Ice Me Out.” Kash has also worked with Meek Mill, Big Sean, Iggy Azalea, and K. Michelle.
Kenneth Brian Edmonds, who goes by the stage name Babyface Ray, is one of the Michigan rap scene pioneers. He has produced 26 number-one R&B hits and won 12 Grammy Awards throughout his career. He was also ranked 20th on NME’s list of the 50 Greatest Producers Ever.
Casada Aaron Sorrell, better known as Sada Baby, is another Michigan rapper and musician. He first got international fame in 2018 when his hit number “Bloxk Party” went viral worldwide. His first studio album Skuba Sada 2, was released in 2020 and ranked 125 on the US Billboard 200. In the same year, his song “Whole Lotta Choppas” went viral on the famous video-sharing app TikTok. He later released the remix of that song featuring Nicki Minaj, and it ranked number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100.
LeParis Dade, known internationally as OMB Peezy, is another famous American rapper. He released the song “Lay Down” and its music video in 2016, and in early 2017, he signed a contract with Sick Wid It Records and, later on, 300 Entertainment. However, in 2021, he was charged with possession of a firearm after allegedly shooting at Roddy Ricch and 42 Dugg while filming a music video on set.
Another female rapper, who goes by the name of Mercedes, is an American singer, rapper, and R&B recording artist from Detroit, Michigan. She was signed to No Limit Records. Very few people know that she started her musical career in 1999.
James Dewitt Yancey, known professionally as J Dilla and Jay Dee, was a Michigan record producer and rapper who appeared in the mid-1990s as one of the members of the music group Slum Village. Although he died in 2006, his short career is considered as one of the most influential careers in the hip-hop scene of Michigan rap music.
Aaliyah Dana Haughton, known professionally as Aaliyah, was an American musician, actress, dancer, and model. Known as the “Princess of R&B” and “Queen of Urban Pop,” she helped define Michigan’s contemporary R&B, pop, and hip-hop. Aaliyah’s debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number,” was released in 1994, gaining all the popularity and fame it deserved. Sadly her career ended upon her death in 2001.
Eric Tyrone Breed, known professionally as MC Breed, was an American rapper who produced the hit “Ain’t No Future in Yo’ Frontin’,” which ranked 66 on the Billboard Hot 100. His other single, “Gotta Get Mine” (featuring 2Pac), got 6th on the Hot Rap Singles. Tragically, his career was ended upon his death, but his legacy is left behind.
Dirty Dozen (D12) was an American hip-hop collective from Detroit, Michigan. The group was formed in 1996 consisting Eminem, Proof, Bizarre, Mr. Porter, Kuniva, and Swifty McVay. During the early 2000s, D12 produced chart-topping albums in the United States. Eminem released a song titled “Stepping Stone” on August 31, 2018, in which he officially declared the disbandment of D12.
Daniel Dewan Sewell Brown, better known as Danny Brown, is an American rapper and comedian from Michigan. MTV music channel has defined him as “one of rap’s most unique figures in recent memory.” In 2010, Brown released his first studio album, “The Hybrid.” However, Brown got fame after releasing his second studio album, XXX.
- Instagram Account: @xdannyxbrownx
- YouTube Account: Danny Brown Official channel
- Spotify Account: Danny Brown
Obie Trice III
Obie Trice III is another rapper from Michigan. Unlike other rappers, he used his own name and was signed to Eminem’s Shady Records in 2002. He worked with the record and released the album “Cheers” in 2003 and “Second Round’s on Me” in 2006. However, Trice left the records to create his own record label, Black Market Entertainment.
Born on September 18, 1974, Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, known professionally as Xzibit (pronounced “exhibit”), is a Michigan proud rapper, performer, composer and television presenter. He started his musical journey in 1996 and released his first album, “At the Speed of Life,” on October 15, 1996. His first album got him all the fame and success he deserved, and it ranked 74 on the Billboard 200. This album also contained the hit number “Paparazzi,” which landed him signing a contract with Loud Records later that year.
Mr. Porter Or Kon Artis
Denaun Montez Porter (December 7, 1974), also known as Mr. Porter or Kon Artis, is a Michigan rapper. In addition to rapping, he is a singer, songwriter, and music producer. He was one of the leading members of hip-hop group D12 until its scattering in 2018.
Slum Village is a famous hip-hop group from Detroit, Michigan. Three rappers including Baatin (1974–2009) T3, and rapper and producer J Dilla (1974–2006) formed this group. Their first album Fantastic (Vol. 1), was recorded between 1996 and 1997 but released 9 years later, in 2006.
- Instagram Account: @officialslumvillage
- YouTube Account: OfficialSlumVillage
- Spotify Account: Slum Village
Another Michigan female rapper is Dej Loaf (stylized as DeJ Loaf). Her real name is Deja Monét Trimble, and she was born on April 8, 1991. She is a multitalented person who sings and writes songs. Dej started her music profession in 2011 and released her first single, “Just Do It,” in 2012. After three years, in October 2014, Dej hit the market with her second mixtape, Sell Sole.
Big Herk whose real name is Amery Dennard, was born on August 30, 1969. He is another famous rapper from Michigan who started the rap scene with the Rock Bottom group. However, due to unknown reasons, he left the group and started his solo career by releasing his first single, “Guilty As Charged,” in 2003. He was also featured in several music videos of renowned singers.
The American rapper and record producer Trick Trick, also known as Christian Anthony Mathis, was a member of the hip hop group Goon Squad. In 2005 he released his first album, “The People vs.” which gained fame and popularity all across the U.S.
Byron Dwayne “Guilty Simpson” is an American rapper and songwriter from Detroit, Michigan, whose recording career spans more than 20 years. He signed a music contract with Stones Throw Records. Simpson’s first album, Ode to the Ghetto, was released in 2008, and this album includes production from J Dilla, Madlib and Black Milk.
- Instagram Account: @guiltysimpson
- YouTube Account: Guilty Simpson – Topic
- Spotify Account: Guilty Simpson
La’Reonte Wright, known professionally as Dizzy Wright, is another rapper from Michigan. He started his musical journey by signing a contract with Hopsin’s independent record label, Funk Volume, and released his first studio album “SmokeOut Conversations” in April 2012. His second studio album “The Growing Process” was released on May 22, 2015, reaching number 47 on the Billboard 200.
In the end, let us pay homage to the rap king of Michigan by discussing his career. Very few people know that Eminem’s real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, and he was born on October 17, 1972. Known as one of the greatest rappers, Eminem is the best-selling music artist of all time, with approximately 220 million records sold worldwide. He is credited with spreading hip hop throughout America and is deemed as one of the best music artists in the world.