In American culture, rap is always tied to New York. It was the birthplace of rap, but lost its throne to Southern music.
However, in the 1980s, the city rose to its former glory with hip hop as many famous rappers from New York, including Kurtis Blow, Slick Rick, Run D.M.C., Rakim, LL Cool J, KRS-One, along with numerous others, emerged from the city and ruled the world of rap with their unique touch and style.
The 2000s is a new era for New York rappers as several top New York rappers are creating a thriving scene that will soon put the city back on top of the rap game. Although iconic New York rappers such as Jadakiss, Fabolous, Nas, 50 Cent, and Styles P are still very much present, there are now dozens of new rappers with the potential to reignite the New York rap landscape.
We will feature a wide range of artists today, from New York drill artists to mainstream rap artists making their mark on the world of music.
1 Pop Smoke
Rapper Bashar Barakah Jackson, known by the stage name Pop Smoke, was closely associated with Brooklyn drill. He rose to stardom with his hit singles “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior” in 2019.
2 Lil Tjay
Tione Jayden Merritt, known as Lil Tjay, is another New York rapper and singer. In 2018, Lil Tjay signed a contract with Columbia Records, and in 2019, he released his first album, True 2 Myself that features only drill artists from New York City. His first album, True 2 Myself, debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, marking the album as his first charted release.
3 French Montana
Karim Kharbouch is known professionally as French Montana. He released his debut mixtape in 2007. Karbouch’s 2010 single “Choppa Choppa Down” became his first break-out single.
4 A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Artist Julius Dubose is known professionally as A Boogie wit da Hoodie. His highest-charting singles are “Numbers” (which debuted at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100), “Look Back at It” (number 27), and “Drowning” (number 38).
5 Lil Tecca
Tyler-Justin Anthony Sharpe goes by the stage name of Lil Tecca. Among his most notable tracks was “Ransom,” which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
6 Fivio Foreign
Maxie Lee Ryles III is known professionally as Fivio Foreign. He made waves in 2019 when he released the single “Big Drip,” a remix of which featured rappers Quavo and Lil Baby. Ryles also appeared on Drake’s song “Demons” which was released in May 2020. This song was charted at 34 on the Billboard Hot 100, gaining him his first Billboard-charting single.
7 ASAP Ferg
Darold Durard Brown Ferguson Jr. goes by the stage name of ASAP Ferg. He is a proud member of the hip hop group A$ A.P. Mob, with whom he signed a record deal with Polo Grounds and R.C.A., the same labels that launched A$ A.P. Worldwide. His first album, E.P. Floor Seats, was released on August 16, 2019, which featured his hit single “Dreams, Fairytales, Fantasies.
8 Sleepy Hallow
Tegan Joshua Anthony Chambers goes by the professional name Sleepy Hallow. In 2018, he produced his first hit single, “Flows,” which broke the records; this song also featured Sheff G. His single “Deep End Freestyle” featuring Fousheé won certified platinum by the RIAA in August 2020. The following year, he hit the world with another great single, “2055,” which ranked at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his highest-charting song.
9 Young M.A
Top New York male rappers aren’t the only ones who rule the scene here. Female rappers rule the city as well. Katorah Kasanova Marrero is professionally known as Young M.A. With the release of the quadruple-platinum hit single “Ooouuu,” she first earned across-the-board glory, reaching the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 and achieving over 300 million YouTube views on the music video.
Due to fame and quality rap, Young M.A was selected for B.E.T. and MTV Artist of the Year and Female Hip-Hop Artist of the year awards.
Born Justin Irvin Rivera on September 23, 2001, he is better known under his stage name J.I the Prince of N.Y. or just J.I. His single “Need Me.” has crossed over 100 million streams on Spotify.
11 Sheff G
Michael Kyle Williams goes by the professional name Sheff G. In 2017, his single “No Suburban” gained prominence due to 22Gz’s song “Suburban.”
12 Rich The Kid
Dimitri Leslie Roger, who goes by Rich the Kid’s professional name, is a New Yorker rapper. Signed to Rostrum Records, he released his debut studio album on March 30, 2018; The World Is Yours. The World Is Yours 2, his second studio album, was released on March 22, 2019, and Boss Man, his third studio album, will be released on March 13, 2020.
13 Bobby Shmurda
Ackquille Jean Pollard goes with the professional name Bobby Shmurda, is an American rapper. He is considered one of the pioneers of Brooklyn drill music. He earned fame in the year 2014 with his hit single “Hot Nigga” which ranked number six on the Billboard Hot 100.
14 Dave East
David Lawrence Brewster Jr., known professionally as Dave East, is a multitalented rapper and actor. Hailing from Harlem, New York, East started his career in the year 2010 and earned fame in 2014 from his eighth mixtape, Black Rose.
15 Dream Doll
DreamDoll is another gem in the world of female New York rap. Her rap career began when she signed to D.J. Self’s Gwinnin Entertainment label and released her debut single “Everything Nice” in May 2017.
16 Kay Flock
The song “Not in the Mood” is a collaboration between Lil Tjay and American rappers Fivio Foreign and Kay Flock. Producers BS Beats and AyoAA worked together on the single, which was released on October 22, 2021.
17 Joey Badass
Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, better known professionally as Joey Badass (stylized as Joey Bada$$), is an American rapper, singer, and actor. He is one of the pioneers of the hip-hop collective Pro Era. Joey Badass released his debut mixtape, 1999.
18 Sheck Wes
Khadimou Rassoul Cheikh Fall goes with the professional name Sheck Wes, a New York-based rapper and professional basketball player. He rose to fame after releasing his 2017 song “Mo Bamba.”
19 Dusty Locane
Dusty Locane is another NewYork artist who made a significant contribution to rap and music.
20 Rowdy Rebel
Chad Marshall goes with Rowdy Rebel’s stage name, signed to GS9 and Epic Records. Rowdy Rebel appears in Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga” video as a proud member of the Brooklyn-based GS9 crew.
21 Flipp Dinero
Christopher Saint-Victor is known professionally as Flipp Dinero. He earned fame from his 2018 single “Leave Me Alone,” which was declared certified 4x platinum by the RIAA and acquired over 525 million plays on Spotify.
22 Tupac Shakur
Tupac Amaru Shakur, known professionally as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered one of the greatest American rappers. Throughout Shakur’s journey to fame, he encountered both talent and trouble. As he rose to fame, the more he was entangled in gang warfare and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely death in 1996.
23 The Notorious B.I.G.
New York-based The Notorious B.I.G. was a renowned rapper and songwriter is considered one of the best in his time. His debut album Ready to Die in 1994 received fame and love worldwide. Sadly in 1996, he became the victim of a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles and died. His album Life After Death was released two weeks after his death.
Jay-Z is a household name in music, and rap is undoubtfully one of the world’s best music artists. His first album, Reasonable Doubt, achieved new heights of success in 1996, and since then, he has produced many hits music albums. However, he was charged with assaulting, and the jury gave him a three-year probation sentence back in January 2000.
As one of the greatest rappers of all time, Nas has recorded seven platinum, and multi-platinum albums in the U.S. He scored fifth on MTV’s list of the five greatest M.C.s of all time in 2006. In 2012, he was ranked second on The Source’s Top 50 Lyricists of All Time list. Besides being a world-class rapper, he is also an entrepreneur.
26 Sean Combs
Puffy, Puff Daddy, or Diddy, the three-time Grammy-winning hip-hop legend, started his career as a talent director at Uptown Records before launching his own record label. His first album, No Way Out, was certified 7Xplatinum, and his song I’ll Be Missing You topped the Billboard charts.
27 Post Malone
Singer-songwriter, Post Malone, is the first artist to top both Billboard Rap Airplay and Adult Contemporary as a lead artist. He is appreciated for his insightful songwriting. His songs cover all types of genere, including country, grunge, rap, and R&B. However, Malone has been blamed for “appropriating” African-American culture and called a “culture vulture” by the public.
28 50 Cent
From living a drug dealer’s life and getting arrested at an early age to evolving into “Rap God” Curtis James Jackson III’s life journey has been a roller coaster. He chose to be called 50 Cent for the stage, releasing back-to-back hit singles with his albums sold in millions. However, life showed no mercy to “Rap God,” In 2015, he filed for bankruptcy protection due to economic crises.
29 Method Man
Known professionally as Method Man, he is a member of the hip-hop duo Method Man & Redman and a member of Wu-Tang Clan. Grammy-winning collaboration with Mary J. Blige, I’ll Be There for You, won him the award. As well as appearing on Method & Red and Oz, he has also appeared in several films.
30 Cardi B
We cannot complete this article without discussing the “Rap Queen” Cardi B, who rose to prominence due to her unique rapping style. She started her career as a strip dancer and internet celebrity. Due to her popularity, she was featured in Forbes and Time 100. Her triple-platinum-certified first album, Invasion of Privacy, outshined the Billboard 200. Among all the female rap solo artists, she was the only one to win the Grammy for the Best Rap Album.
Some FAQs About New York Rappers
Soulja Boy, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Loon, Juelz Santana, Max B, Ar-Ab, Kodak Black, 03 Greedo, G-Dep, Bobby Shmurda, Marion ‘Suge’ Knight, YNW Melly, B.G., Tay-K, C-Murder, Casanova are the famous NewYorker rappers who are currently in jail.
OJ Da Juiceman, Young Thug, Future, Migos, Peewee Longway, Chief Keef, Pooh Shiesty.