The best rapper from all 50 states

23 of 51


Artist – Danny Brown

Years Active – 2003-Present

Notable Album – Old (2013)

Sample Rhyme:

“While she listen to the oldie soap operas smoking bogies

On the phone gossiping telling homegirls stories

Girlfriend worries cause her son’s in a hurry

To see the state pen or a cemetery buried

Ma replied do her best but it’s still rough”

Alright, the elephant in the room, so to speak: Michigan’s best rapper isn’t Eminem, at least not on this list. Danny Brown needed to be represented. For those Shady loyalists, don’t worry: he’ll somehow appear later in this list.

Now, Danny Brown. Maybe you’ve heard of him? You should have heard from him. He’s great.

Rap’s appeal has broadened a lot over the last decade or two, but it doesn’t usually work so well as a crossover platform. Rap is rap. Maybe it co-mingles with R&B, but really it’s its own animal.

Danny Brown is the exception. He and his producers have a healthy appreciation for club culture, and it’s easy to hear the influence of EDM on his music.

This makes sense for a Detroit-based rapper. The city is responsible for creating the American middle class as well as some of the earliest examples of electronic music in the country.

Detroit is as present in Brown’s raps as anything else. Though his EDM roots make him surprisingly danceable, his songs are often sober reflections on life in a struggling city.

Next: Minnesota