The best rapper from all 50 states

16 of 51


Artist – Json

Years Active – 2005-Present

Notable Album – Braille

Sample Rhyme:

“Tryna get people to trust in The King (My God)

The One they call Yahweh

Stand firm and affirm till they call my name

One thing I have blood bettin’ on my days

Unaware of a snake see I’m on that grace

I feel the pressure huh”

As rap’s popularity continues to grow, it can accommodate more and more multitudes. It can be fun, celebratory, angry, political, sad, horny and, evidently, also faithful.

Iowa-based rapper Json embodies that last surprising bit. He produces well made, exceptionally produced raps that are about and for God. That in and of itself isn’t unique — Chicago rappers Kanye West and Chance the Rapper both released albums this year that have been referred to as “gospel rap,” after all.

What makes Json stand out, in Iowa and elsewhere, is his wholesale commitment to being an evangelical rapper. His youth was split between St. Louis, Los Angeles and drugs, the latter of which seemed set to ruin his life.

He and his wife were able to get clean thanks in part to their faith in Jesus Christ. He would focus his life on Christianity, and use rap to preach the same message that saved his life.

Json’s career arc is almost entirely unique within rap. It’s a genre of music that tends to be crude and occasionally cruel, so the fact he could turn it into something unmistakably positive is something special.

Next: Kansas