The 34 Best Southern Rappers Ever

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Andre 3000 famously said “the south got something to say.” And over 25 years later, southern rappers are definitely still making sure that their messages are heard loud and clear. Southern rappers were once overlooked as the less talented, more country counterparts to the major East coast and West coast stars. Whereas now, the south has morphed into arguably hip-hop’s most dominant geographical area. 

Atlanta of course leads the way, with several hip-hop icons hailing from and getting their sauce from ATL shawty. A-Town’s influence and impact, some could say revivals that of New York or California.

Two of the best rappers alive were bred in New Orleans, while Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Memphis and Texas have also produced a few G.O.A.T.s

Okay, so now that we know that the Southern states are running things, which southern rappers are we considering the top dogs?Have you ever wondered who are the best southern rappers? If so, we've got you covered! Here are the 34 best southern rappers ever. And of course, this list is in no particular order.

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34. 2 Chainz

Hometown: College Park, Georgia

This Georgia-bred legend has been serving up his flavorful raps and swagger for a minute. And has recently crossed over into hosting popular digital shows like GQ’s Most Expensivest. His unique style, combined with his dope collaborations, at one point made him one of the most sought after features artists around. Is it safe to say, 2 Chainz is one of the dopest from the south? Truuuuuuu.

33. Killer Mike

Hometown: Atlanta

Killer Mike's impact on hip-hop definitely extends beyond the rap music he makes. Aside from his ATL raps and being a member of Run the Jewels, he is known for his social and political activism, using his platform to address issues like racial justice and police brutality. Killer Mike's unique blend of insightful social commentary and southern hip-hop has earned him a place among the most respected rappers around.

32. Pastor Troy

Hometown: College Park, Georgia

Pastor Troy is a legend. The rapper blessed us with anthems and classics.

31. Pusha T

Hometown: Virginia

Another one of the great lyricists of the south, Pusha T has built his lengthy career off of the strength of being a rapper's rapper.

30. Scarface

Hometown: Houston

According to many, Scarface THE greatest southern rapper of all time. This Houston legend crafted hard-hitting rhymes and set the Southern rap scene ablaze starting back in the 1980s with the iconic group Geto Boys. From "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" to "Smile", Scarface's tracks aren't just songs; they're anthems that defined a generation and region.

29. Lil Baby

Hometown: Atlanta

Lil Baby is one of the most popular rappers right now. The Grammy Award winner has risen to the top of the charts and the top of the rap game. He’s got street cred and a string of hits. He’s got bangers that hit hard and others that hit even harder. His 4x platinum 2020 album, My Turn was one of the biggest albums of that year. 

28. UGK

Hometown: Port Arthur, Texas

UGK can't be overlooked when we’re discussing the most important and respected southern rappers ever. This Texas-based duo, made up of Pimp C and Bun B has been earning the credits with timeless anthems, classic albums authenticity and grit and swag. UGK helped lay the foundation for what modern southern rap sounds and looks like. People often talk about Eminem murdering Jay-Z on a song, but Pimp C straight slaughtered his “Big Pimpin” verse. Way before the untimely death of Pimp and Bun, solidified their status as two of the dopest rappers period. Drake can agree that Bun B manages to still keep it Trill. 

27. Wale

Hometown: DMV

With his unique blend of clever wordplay, smooth flow and vivid storytelling, Wale is one of the greatest lyricists to come out of the south. Hands down. The wordsmith and DMV native started killing it on the mic in the late 2000s. In his prime, he delivered several hit songs like  "Lotus Flower Bomb" and “Bad” and collaborated with Rihanna, Lady Gaga and his MMG fam.

26. Soulja Boy

Hometown: Atlanta

While he may not have been the first best southern rapper, Soulja Boy definitely belongs on the list of all time greats. Long before Lil Nas X reached the top of the charts, thanks to TikTok, Soulja was arguably the first rapper to go viral on YouTube.

25. Trick Daddy

Hometown: Miami, Florida

If we're talking about the G.O.A.T. southern rappers, Trick Daddy's name has to be in that convo. Born and raised in County of Dade, this Miami OG has been an unofficial mayor of MIA. A pioneer and  trendsetter, he’s had an influence on the careers of Trina, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled. Raw and real, Trick Daddy represented what Miami rap was all about.

24. Jeezy

Hometown: Atlanta

They couldn’t ban the Snowman, and we couldn’t leave Jeezy off our list of the illest southern rappers to ever do it.

23. J. Cole

Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina

J. Cole is one of the greatest rappers of all time. So how could he not be one of the best rappers bred in the south? This Fayetteville native has been spitting fire since day one. With hits like "No Role Modelz" and "Middle Child," Cole has proven time and again that he's got the flow and the bars to keep us hooked. His unique style? Unmatched. His guest appearances? Insane. His impact? Monumental. J. Cole isn't just a rapper; he's a storyteller, an artist, a voice of a generation.

22. Jay Electronica

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

With profound lyricism and a powerful message, Jay Electronica has left a lasting legacy in Southern rap. His much-anticipated debut "Exhibit C" demonstrates his exceptional talent and is one of the many factors that have etched his name on our the list of best Southern rappers.

21. Young Dolph

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

The independent powerhouse from Memphis, Young Dolph's high-energy performances and genuine lyrics, seen in tracks like "Preach," are key to his success. His ability to stay true to his roots has made him an essential figure in Southern rap. RIP to Young Dolph, his absence is surely felt.

20. Ludacris

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Ludacris' rapid-fire flow and charismatic personality shine through in hits like "Move B*tch." His dynamic presence on records have solidified his status as one of the best Southern rappers.

19. Missy Elliot

Hometown: Portsmouth, Virginia

Missy Elliott is a trailblazer for women in the industry and one of the best Southern rappers. Known for her innovative music videos and hits like "Work It," Missy has continued to break barriers in the hip-hop world.

18. T.I.

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Proclaiming himself as the "King of the South," T.I.'s influential sound has defined Southern hip-hop for years. His hit song "Whatever You Like" showcases his smooth delivery and skillful storytelling.

17. Ski Mask the Slump God

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Known for his frenetic flow and unconventional style, Ski Mask The Slump God is a standout talent in the Southern rap scene. His distinct sound and energetic performances, like those in "Catch Me Outside," have made him an exciting force in the genre.

16. Denzel Curry

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Denzel Curry's aggressive style and profound lyricism have made him a standout in Southern rap. With tracks like "Clout Cobain," Curry consistently delivers raw, energetic records to his dedicated fanbase.

15. Kodak Black

Hometown: Pompano Beach, Florida

Kodak Black's unique sound combines deep and often introspective lyricism with fresh Florida beats. His hit song "Tunnel Vision" showcases his storytelling skills and knack for creating viral hooks.

14. XXXTentacion

Hometown: Miami, Florida

XXXTentacion's music was marked by emotional depth and raw energy. Known for his versatility, XXXTentacion’s work spans a range of genres, making tracks like "Sad!" unforgettable. RIP to a legend, you are missed.

13. Curren$y

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

Curren$y's laid-back flow and cool demeanor are truly unique in the world of Southern rap. Tracks like "Bottom of the Bottle" showcase his relaxed style and smooth lyrical delivery. His latest project with Jermaine Dupri stamped his status as a southern rap legend - as if he wasn't already one.

12. Migos

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Migos, made up of Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff, have redefined Southern hip hop with their signature "triplet" flow and catchy hooks. Their hit song "Versace" perfectly encapsulates their dynamic sound. They have a seemingly endless amounts of hits beyond that one, too. Rest in peace to Takeoff; he really blossomed as an artist towards the end of his time here, which left fans with a firm understanding of his musical prowess. Quavo and Offset have continued to stay beyond relevant in their solo careers.

11. Lil Yachty

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Lil Yachty's bright, playful style and melodic sound make him a unique presence among the best Southern rappers. His track "Poland" showcases Yachty's knack for catchy hooks and fun, energetic approaches to musical innovation. Watch out for more releases from him and his Concrete Club collective, which includes Dc2Trill, Draft Day, and Karrahboo, amongst many talented others.

10. Travis Scott

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Known for his auto-tuned vocals and atmospheric sound, Travis Scott has left a significant mark on the hip-hop scene. His hit "Sicko Mode" is an iconic anthem that showcases his unique style. His Cactus Jack record label has managed to stay on the cutting edge of the latest sonic trends in music, with acts like Sheck Wes, SoFaygo, and Don Toliver.

9. Rick Ross

Hometown: Miami, Florida

The boss of Miami, Rick Ross' smooth flows over luxe beats have become a staple in the industry. Tracks like "Aston Martin Music" encapsulate Ross' unique style and extravagance. His storytelling skills have secured his place among the best Southern rappers.

8. Playboi Carti

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

A torchbearer of the new generation, Playboi Carti's psychedelic and experimental sound, exemplified in hits like "Magnolia," makes him a standout among best Southern rappers. His influence extends well beyond the South, leaving a significant impact on the hip-hop genre as a whole.

7. NBA Youngboy

Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

NBA Youngboy's gritty, raw sound encapsulates the streets of Baton Rouge. His authentic lyrics and aggressive beats have made him a prominent figure in the current hip-hop scene. His creative approaches in tracks like "Untouchable" showcase his undeniable talent.

6. Juicy J

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

One of the original members of Three 6 Mafia, Juicy J helped put Southern rap on the map. With his distinctive Memphis sound and enduring hits like "Bandz a Make Her Dance," Juicy J has easily proven his place among the best Southern rappers.

5. Outkast

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

The two members of Outkast, André 3000 and Big Boi's lyrical genius has helped shape Southern rap. Their unique, genre-blending style, seen in "Hey Ya!" is a testament to their unmatched creativity.

4. Young Thug

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

A pioneer of modern hip-hop, Young Thug's eccentric and versatile style has left a noticeable mark on the genre. Tracks like "Hot" highlight his ability to make any beat his own, securing his spot among the best Southern rappers.

3. Future

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

From "Mask Off" to "Life Is Good," Future's unique style and powerful delivery have made him a staple in Southern rap. He masterfully combines melody with hard-hitting lyrics, resulting in a sound that is undeniably his.

2. Gucci Mane

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

A pioneer of trap music, Gucci Mane's influence on Southern rap is immeasurable. His distinctive flow and memorable hits like "Lemonade" have secured his status in the industry.

1. Lil Wayne

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

At the number one spot on our list of the best Southern rappers, we've got Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne's exceptional lyricism and iconic sound have earned him a place in hip-hop's hall of fame. With countless hits including "A Milli," Lil Wayne continues to reign as one of the best Southern rappers.

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