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20 TOP Michigan Rappers You Should Listen to: New 2023 List!

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Being the home of Motown Records (which is one of the most successful black-owned businesses and one of the most influential record companies in American history) and stars like Aretha Franklin, many do not always think of hip-hop when thinking of Michigan. 

On the contrary, the truth is that Michigan has contributed its fair share to the development and propagation of hip-hop in America and the world over. 

As a matter of fact, Michigan proudly boasts of hip-hop pioneers and legends like Eminem, Street Lord Juan and the Street Lordz, Blade Icewood, J Dilla and Slum Village, Trick Trick, Proof of D12, Chedda Boyz, Big Herk, Esham, and many others. 

Boasting of top hip-hop/rap producers like Helluva, Antt Beatz, and Mac Back on da Track who have done amazing hip-hop production both in and outside of Detroit and also A-list rap artists like Eminem, Dej Loaf, Big Sean, and Tee Grizzley who once dominated the rap scene during their heydays, it is only right to give Detroit, Michigan its flowers. 

That being said, there is a thriving hip-hop scene in Michigan—both in underground and mainstream rap. To help you fully appreciate and understand the hip-hop scene and culture in Michigan, we went ahead to compile this list of 20 top Michigan rappers. 

It doesn’t matter what your rap taste is; even if you are not a hardcore fan of rap/hip-hop, it just makes sense that you know these 20 amazing rappers to ever come out of one of the most dynamic and important places in America.

About the Michigan Rap Scene

In terms of rap, when you think of Michigan you think of Detroit and synonymous with Detroit are Eminem and D12. Eminem alone is easily one of the biggest influences on rap in history but that is not to say Michigan has nothing else to offer. 

Ever since the inception of rap music, and since it found its way to the state of Michigan, the state has produced a number of prominent artists who have earned a name for themselves on both the national and international levels. 

Historically speaking, Michigan has been a hub for rap music, rappers, producers and many associated forms of art since the 1990s. Rappers hailing from this area have a unique style and rhythm to their lines which sets them apart from East Coast, Southern, or West Coast rappers. 

Eminem, along with other prominent names from the region has had a significant impact on rap music, and rap culture, and has been an inspiration for many artists who follow them.

Some of the recent artists from Michigan that have been quite popular include:

Some songs from Michigan that have recently been topping charts include:

With all this incredible creativity, it is no surprise that the Michigan rap ecosystem is alive and happening. There are new songs being released all the time and new artists showing up from Michigan that demonstrate their incredible talent. 

Artists from Michigan are also regularly collaborating with artists from other parts of the country and even other parts of the world. The state is home to a number of rap events and cyphers throughout the year. 

One of the biggest and most popular events is the ‘Summer Jamz’ events hosted by local radio station 97.9 WJLB

20 Top Michigan Rappers

1. Eminem

Born Marshall Mathers III, Eminem is a well-known rapper from Detroit, Michigan. Eminem has established himself as one of the most important and successful artists in the history of hip-hop thanks to his prodigious talent and unbridled lyrical ability. 

His songs frequently explore societal problems, childhood trauma, and personal challenges. Eminem made his debut in the late 1990s with “The Slim Shady LP.”

This was an album that featured his alter persona Slim Shady, who was noted for his dark humour and controversial material. His lightning-fast delivery, complex rhyming schemes, and witty wordplay captured audiences’ attention and held them spellbound.

Eminem’s rap style blends technical mastery with in-depth reflection, and is frequently distinguished by his emotional intensity and storytelling talent. 

Eminem has a long list of critically acclaimed albums to his credit, including “The Marshall Mathers LP” and “The Eminem Show.” He has a devoted following worldwide and several Grammy Awards.

Eminem has had an immense influence on the rap scene and popular culture, and his success has opened doors for a lot of young musicians. Eminem’s artistry continues to be appreciated by audiences all around the world, whether he is delivering reflective songs or launching quick-fire lyrical attacks.

2. Big Sean

Rapper and songwriter Big Sean, real name Sean Michael Leonard Anderson, is from Detroit, Michigan. Big Sean has become well-known in the rap scene for his captivating flows and reflective lyricism.

In 2007, after becoming well-known through his mixtapes, Big Sean earned a record deal with Kanye West’s GOOD Music label. In 2011, he released his debut record, “Finally Famous,” which featured the smash singles “My Last” and “Marvin & Chardonnay.” 

Big Sean frequently covers themes of self-improvement, aspiration, and success in his music. Big Sean’s rap music features memorable punchlines, witty language, and catchy tunes. 

He seamlessly switches between reflective storytelling and upbeat bangers thanks to his fluid and dynamic voice. His musical diversity has grown as a result of his collaborations with numerous musicians, both inside and beyond the rap genre.

Big Sean has put out a number of popular albums throughout the years, including “Dark Sky Paradise” and “I Decided.” His music mirrors his own life experiences, giving listeners a window into his journey and inspiring them to follow their aspirations.

The influence of Big Sean on the rap culture goes beyond only his music. He interacts with his audience on a regular basis, promoting self-improvement, optimism, and mental health awareness. 

He has become a well-known personality in contemporary rap as a result of his distinctive style and inspirational words, which have connected with a large audience.

3. Royce da 5’9″

Rapper and composer Royce da 5’9, real name Ryan Daniel Montgomery, hails from Detroit, Michigan. Royce da 5’9″ has established himself as one of the most accomplished emcees in the business, thanks to his nuanced poetry, storytelling skills, and acute wit.

With a career spanning more than two decades, Royce da 5’9″ first rose to prominence as Eminem and the other half of the rap combo Bad Meets Evil. 

In 2002, he released “Rock City (Version 2.0),” his debut solo album, which displayed his skill with words and his ability to tell meditative tales. Royce’s songs frequently explore redemption, addiction, and personal hardships.

Royce da 5’9″ is renowned for his intricate rhyming schemes and technical mastery. His rap style combines honesty and reflection, giving listeners a peek into his private life and social insights. 

He takes on a variety of themes with consideration and openness, garnering him praise from critics and a devoted following.

In addition to his solo work, Royce da 5’9″ is renowned for his partnerships with other well-known musicians like Eminem, creating unforgettable songs. His catalogue of CDs, which includes titles like “Layers” and “Book of Ryan,” further demonstrates his artistic range.

With his songwriting and storytelling skills, Royce da 5’9″ keeps pushing the envelope and establishing himself as a major figure in hip-hop. He is a renowned musician within the rap genre, thanks to his commitment to authenticity and passion for his profession.

4. J Dilla

James Dewitt Yancey, better known by his stage name J Dilla, was a Detroit, Michigan-born producer, rapper, and DJ who achieved enormous success. Before his tragic death in 2006.

J Dilla, who was one of the finest beatmakers of all time, had a lasting impression on the hip-hop scene. J Dilla’s productions were distinguished by his original sample selections, complex percussion rhythms, and deep, relaxed vibes. 

He had a talent for unearthing obscure samples and reworking them into sublime works of art. He frequently combined jazz, funk, and soul influences in his producing work, which resulted in a distinctive sound that appealed to diverse audiences.

J Dilla first came to public attention as a member of the Detroit-based group Slum Village, but his prowess as a producer was soon recognized. He worked with numerous well-known musicians, including A Tribe Called Quest, Common, and De La Soul

His contributions to albums like “Common’s Like Water for Chocolate” and “The Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia” cemented his standing as a forward-thinking producer.

J Dilla was a skilled rapper in addition to being a superb producer. His solo albums “Welcome 2 Detroit” and “Donuts,” which he recorded under the stage name Jay Dee and which included his reflective lyrics and fluid flow, were released. 

His rhyming technique reflected a feeling of reflection and openness that made it possible for listeners to relate to his personal experiences.

It is impossible to overestimate J Dilla’s contribution to the hip-hop scene. Numerous producers and performers have been influenced by his soulful sound, creative sampling methods, and innovations in the genre. 

Even after his passing, his influence can still be felt, and his works are still held in high regard as proof of his extraordinary creativity and artistry.

5. Trick-Trick

Rapper Christian Mathis, better known by his stage name Trick-Trick, is a significant figure in the Michigan hip-hop scene and resides in Detroit. Trick-Trick has developed a reputation for his strong rap style and lyrical prowess thanks to his dominating presence and gritty delivery.

Trick-Trick began his musical career in the late 1990s. He was born and raised in Detroit. He became well-known for his rigorous “No Fly Zone” policy, which forbade out-of-town artists from performing in Detroit without first getting approval from the city’s hip-hop scene and local artists, and for his street-oriented songs.

Trick-Trick’s forceful delivery and deep, commanding voice define his rap aesthetic. His songs frequently capture the hardships encountered by urban neighbourhoods and the realities of street life.

He has worked with a variety of rappers, including Ice Cube, Royce da 5’9″, and Eminem. Beyond music, Trick-Trick has been involved in community service and has utilized his position to speak out against causes that are relevant to his home city. 

He has promoted harmony and fought to bring about constructive change in Detroit. Beyond his music, Trick-Trick has had a significant influence on the Michigan rap scene. 

His place as a significant figure has been cemented by his towering presence, unadulterated lyricism, and commitment to his community. He remains a well-known figure in Detroit hip-hop, proudly and authentically representing the city.

6. Slum Village

Famous hip-hop group Slum Village was founded in Detroit, Michigan, in 1996. Rappers Baatin and T3 and producer/rapper J Dilla (formerly known as Jay Dee) made up the group’s original lineup. 

They significantly influenced the sound of underground hip-hop and made a positive impact on the growth of the Detroit rap scene. Soulful, jazz-infused sound, intelligent lyrics, and a chill yet upbeat mood are all hallmarks of Slum Village’s music. 

Their distinctive sound, which combines mellow melodies with complex percussion rhythms and sampling, was inspired by producers like J Dilla. They frequently addressed daily problems, social commentary, and introspection in their songs.

The group’s 2000 debut album, “Fantastic, Vol. 2,” received favourable reviews and gained a cult following. It demonstrated their artistic perspective and made them respected figures in the underground hip-hop community. 

Following that, Slum Village released a number of more albums, including “Trinity (Past, Present, and Future)” and “Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit).”

Slum Village had lineup changes and tragedies during their career, including the deaths of J Dilla in 2006 and Baatin in 2009. T3 stayed a constant member nevertheless, continuing to collaborate with diverse musicians to preserve Slum Village’s musical legacy.

Slum Village’s impact on hip-hop transcends its Detroit-based origins. Their avant-garde production methods, distinctive aesthetic, and contemplative poetry have influenced innumerable musicians and permanently altered the genre. 

They remain highly respected as pioneers of underground hip-hop and ambassadors of the Detroit rap scene.

7. Obie Trice

Rapper Obie Trice, also known as Obie Trice III, is from Detroit, Michigan. He became well-known in the early 2000s after Eminem signed him to his Shady Records label as one of his protégés. 

His rough delivery, contemplative lyrics, and open storytelling set Obie Trice’s music apart. In 2003, Obie Trice released “Cheers,” his self-titled debut album, to both commercial and critical acclaim. 

Hit hits from the album, like “Got Some Teeth” and “The Set Up,” demonstrated Obie Trice’s talent for writing gripping lyrics and performing forceful vocals.

His rap music combines street-oriented poetry with introspective lyrics and social critique. Obie Trice frequently goes into his personal history, telling tales of his upbringing, challenges, and victories. 

As he discusses both intimate and more general societal themes, his sincerity and honesty strike a chord with his audience. Obie Trice’s connection to Eminem and Shady Records boosted his reputation in the rap scene. 

Even though his career has had its ups and downs, he has had a big influence as a rapper in Detroit. His perseverance and commitment to his craft are demonstrated by the fact that he has kept releasing songs on his own.

Obie Trice’s contemplative lyrics and his capacity to emotionally engage audiences are clear examples of his contribution to the Michigan rap scene and the larger hip-hop culture. 

His reputation as a recognized artist from Detroit has been cemented by his honest storytelling and unvarnished delivery. His authenticity and raw talent have earned him a loyal fan base who appreciate his ability to capture the essence of life in Detroit through his music. 

Additionally, Obie Trice’s collaborations with other prominent artists in the industry have further solidified his impact and elevated his status as a respected figure in the rap community. 

8. Proof

Rapper DeShaun Dupree Holton, better known by his stage name Proof, was a founding member of the hip-hop group D12, which was formed in Detroit. 

Proof, who was born and bred in Detroit, Michigan, had a significant influence on the city’s rap scene and the hip-hop movement worldwide. Proof’s rap style was distinguished by his witty wordplay, engaging stage presence, and dynamic delivery. 

He was well-known for his freestyle abilities and had a dominating presence on the mic. His ability to move between aggressive flows and introspective narration demonstrated his versatility.

Proof had a crucial role in the development of D12 as one of the group’s original members. Both their 2001 debut album, “Devil’s Night,” and their 2004 follow-up, “D12 World,” featured his contributions. 

Humorous and controversial themes were frequently interwoven into the group’s music, which reflected their friendship and individual personalities. Proof explored a solo career in addition to his work with D12 and put out his debut album, “Searching for Jerry Garcia,” in 2005. 

The album demonstrated his artistic diversity and had songs that examined his upbringing in Detroit, his challenges, and his contemplation.

Proof tragically lost his life in 2006 at the age of 32 after being shot to death. His loss severely affected his friends, family, and fans and left a vacuum in the Detroit rap scene. Proof’s contributions to D12, his solo work, and his other projects have preserved his legacy.

Proof is a well-known figure in the music business due to his skill as an emcee, his contributions to the Detroit rap scene, and his influence on hip-hop culture worldwide. 

Fans and other musicians alike continue to remember and honour him for his charming demeanour, poetic prowess, and commitment to his work.

9. Danny Brown

Rapper Danny Brown, real name Daniel Dewan Sewell, is a distinctive and innovative artist from Detroit, Michigan. Danny Brown has carved out his own niche in the rap world because of his quirky style, exuberant live shows, and outspoken lyrics.

His distinctive voice, energetic delivery, and bold investigation of offbeat subjects define Danny Brown’s rap style. He frequently discusses issues like drug usage, mental health, and the difficulties of urban living in his lyrics. 

He combines wit, comedy, and unadulterated emotion to produce a very alluring and genuine voice. In 2011, Danny Brown released his groundbreaking mixtape “XXX,” which received widespread acclaim for its unflinching honesty and avant-garde rap style. 

The project displayed his distinctive fusion of production with punk influences, unorthodox flows, and open narrative. The ease with which Danny Brown can change between many styles and genres speaks something about his flexibility as an artist. 

He has worked with a variety of performers, including alternative rockers Tame Impala and Purity Ring as well as hip-hop legends Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt.

His albums “Old,” which came out in 2013, and “Atrocity Exhibition,” which came out in 2016, further cemented his status as an experimental and frontier-pushing artist. The latter was widely praised by critics and cemented Danny Brown’s position as a key player in alternative rap.

The influence of Danny Brown goes beyond only his songs. He has earned the admiration and respect of his followers and contemporaries thanks to his quirky sense of style, exuberant stage presence, and willingness to take chances. 

He keeps pushing the limits of hip-hop, changing and questioning established norms. In conclusion, Danny Brown has distinguished himself as a notable performer in the rap genre. 

Thanks to his distinctive style, bold approach to music, and willingness to accept the unexpected. His reputation as one of the most engaging and influential rappers of his time has been cemented by his ability to innovate and enthral listeners with his unadulterated and unedited lyrics.

10. Black Milk

Rapper, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Curtis Eugene Cross, better known by his stage name Black Milk, is a gifted Detroit, Michigan native. Black Milk has earned a reputation in the hip-hop scene for his soulful production, complex lyricism, and musical flexibility.

Jazz, soul, and techno music are all incorporated into Black Milk’s production process to create a rich and dynamic sound. He is renowned for his live instruments, sample-based beats, and rigorous attention to detail.

His production work displays a fusion of old and modern components that results in a distinctive acoustic environment. Black Milk is a suave and reflective rapper that delivers songs that will leave you thinking with clarity and depth.

His songs frequently discuss the intricacies of life, social commentary, and personal experiences. He has a talent for narrating stories and a good sense of how to emotionally engage his audience.

Black Milk’s 2007 debut album, “Popular Demand,” got positive reviews and cemented his reputation in the underground hip-hop community. 

His subsequent spate of well-received albums, such as “Tronic,” “Album of the Year,” and “No Poison No Paradise,” demonstrated both his development as an artist and his willingness to try out various ideas and sounds.

In addition to his solo work, Black Milk has worked with a wide variety of artists, both inside and outside of the hip-hop genre, showcasing his musical flexibility. Well-known artists like J Dilla, Slum Village, and Elzhi have all expressed interest in his production abilities.

Black Milk has made significant contributions to both the Michigan rap scene and the larger hip-hop culture. He has a strong fan base and has received praise from critics for his inventive production, deft lyrics, and commitment to his craft. He keeps developing as an artist, pushing limits and making a lasting impression on the genre.

11. Elzhi

Rapper and songwriter Elzhi, real name Jason Powers, is from Detroit, Michigan. Elzhi has made a name for himself as one of the most revered underground MCs in the rap scene, thanks to his masterful wordplay, insightful storytelling, and vivid imagery.

Elzhi originally came to public attention as a member of the renowned rap crew Slum Village, which he joined in 2001. But his solo work was when he really showed off his mastery of songwriting. 

His mixtape series “The Elmatic,” which was released in 2011, received praise from critics for its reworking of Nas’ legendary album “Illmatic.” Elzhi cemented his name as a noteworthy wordsmith by skillfully fusing his own unique experiences and poetic lyrics into the project.

Elzhi’s sophisticated rhyme schemes, astute analogies, and storytelling prowess define his rap style. His songs give listeners a window into his world as they explore social issues, personal challenges, and introspection. 

His thoughts resound with honesty and emotional depth because of his fluid and accurate delivery. Elzhi has put out solo albums during the course of his career, including “The Preface” and “Lead Poison,” which have won praise from critics for their rich poetry and reflective themes. 

His partnerships with well-known producers and other musicians serve as additional proof of his commitment to his profession.

The influence Elzhi has had on the rap world goes beyond just his amazing poetry. He is well-liked by his colleagues and has a strong fan base who value his exceptional storytelling skills and dedication to upholding the true meaning of hip-hop rhyming.

Elzhi continues to make an impact on the rap scene with his profound words and outstanding skill set. His contributions to the hip-hop world in general and the Michigan rap scene, in particular, have cemented his reputation as one of the most gifted and well-respected MCs of his time.

12. Blade Icewood

Born Darnell Quincy Lindsay, rapper Blade Icewood was most known for his grimy street tales and his contribution to the development of the “Detroit Chopped and Screwed” sound. 

He was from Detroit, Michigan. He belonged to the rap group Street Lord’z and was a well-known personality in the Detroit rap scene. Blade Icewood’s rap style was distinguished by his unpolished rhymes that reflected the hardships of urban areas and the realities of street life. 

His strong approach attracted listeners with a commanding presence. His storytelling skills were frequently on display, brilliantly capturing the grim realities of the streets.

The “Detroit Chopped and Screwed” sound, marked by slowed-down beats and distorted vocals, was made more widely known by Blade Icewood’s songs. During the early 2000s, this genre grew to be associated with the Detroit rap culture.

Blade Icewood, who was killed by a gunshot in 2005 at the age of 28, tragically lost his life. His passing created a vacuum in the local music culture and had a significant impact on the Detroit rap scene. 

However, his music and the enduring impact he had on succeeding groups of Detroit rappers continue to carry on his legacy. Blade Icewood has had a huge influence on the Michigan rap culture, especially in Detroit. 

His unapologetically honest picture of street life struck a chord with many listeners and had an impact on a new generation of urban artists. His contributions to Detroit’s rap scene are still significant in the development of the genre there.

13. Guilty Simpson

Byron Simpson, better known by his stage name Guilty Simpson, is a rapper from Detroit, Michigan. He is well-known for his gritty delivery, cutting lyrics, and partnerships with illustrious producers in the underground hip-hop scene.

His powerful, deep voice and his simple, no-nonsense approach to lyrics define Guilty Simpson’s rap style. His songs frequently describe social issues, street life, and introspective thoughts. 

He has a special talent for using words to create vivid pictures that envelop listeners in his grim world. Guilty Simpson, who first rose to fame through his collaborations with producer J Dilla, issued his debut album, “Ode to the Ghetto,” in 2008. 

His unpolished lyricism was on display in the project, which also cemented his reputation as a recognized figure in the underground rap world. 

He continued to put out solo albums like “Detroit’s Son” and “Dice Game,” which further demonstrated his skill as a lyricist and his capacity to capture the spirit of Detroit’s rap scene.

Madlib, Black Milk, Apollo Brown, and other producers and musicians are just a few with whom Guilty Simpson has worked. Through his collaborations, he has been able to demonstrate his versatility as a performer by adjusting to various production types while keeping his distinctive delivery and lyrical integrity.

Guilty Simpson has irrevocably impacted the Detroit rap scene and the larger underground hip-hop culture with his honest approach to the genre. 

His passion to deliver cutting lyrics and his desire to uphold the rap culture of his hometown has made him a respected and well-known personality in the genre.

14. Apollo Brown

Erik Stephens, also known as Apollo Brown, is a renowned producer and musician from Detroit, Michigan. Apollo Brown has made a name for himself as a sought-after beatmaker in the underground hip-hop scene, thanks to his soulful and sample-based production.

The utilization of vintage samples, melodic loops, and drum-heavy arrangements define Apollo Brown’s producing approach. He has a talent for choosing soulful and jazzy samples that provide a classic and vintage vibe. 

His work frequently inspires feelings of unadulterated passion and reflection. Apollo Brown has created a distinctive sound that melds with the lyrical content of the emcees he works with after collaborating with several excellent artists. 

His beats offer a strong framework for narrative, social critique, and introspection. The discography of Apollo Brown features joint projects including “Trophies” with O.C., “Dice Game” with Guilty Simpson, and “Mona Lisa” with Joell Ortiz. 

He has also released solo albums, such as “Clouds” and “Grandeur,” demonstrating his versatility as a musician and capacity to put together strong bodies of work.

Apollo Brown has gained admiration and recognition from both artists and fans, thanks to his commitment to preserving the essential elements of vintage hip-hop and his adept production methods. 

He has cemented his reputation as one of the top producers of his generation with his contributions to the underground rap industry. The soulful, sample-based production of Apollo Brown has come to be associated with excellence in design and nuanced musicality. 

He is well-respected in the hip-hop community for his ability to convey emotion through his rhythms and produce soundscapes that resonate with listeners.

15. Kid Rock

Robert James Ritchie, better known by his stage name Kid Rock, is a talented musician from Romeo, Michigan. While Kid Rock initially rose to fame for his mix of rock, rap, and country music, he has proven his versatility as an artist throughout his career by fusing elements from other genres.

Kid Rock’s music is a fusion of rock, hip-hop, country, and blues that produces a distinctive sound that defies easy classification. He is renowned for his upbeat presentations, memorable hooks, and his capacity to engage people with his songs.

Kid Rock became well-known in the late 1990s thanks to his album “Devil Without A Cause,” which produced big singles like “Bawitdaba,” “Cowboy,” and “Only God Knows Why.” 

Kid Rock’s dynamic stage presence and the album’s blend of rock and rap elements allowed him to get access to a wider audience. Kid Rock has experimented with country music throughout his career, including on albums like “Rock n Roll Jesus” and “Born Free.” 

He has been able to maintain a diverse and devoted fanbase because of his willingness to mash up genres and push musical limits.

In addition to his music, Kid Rock is well-known for his humanitarian work. He supports numerous charities and nonprofits both in and outside of his birthplace of Detroit.

It is impossible to dispute Kid Rock’s influence on the Michigan music scene and the larger music business. He is a well-known personality in popular music thanks to his ability to meld genres and connect with a variety of audiences.

He continues to be admired for his dynamic performances and his talent for writing memorable, anthem-like songs despite his artistic growth.

16. Esham

Esham, real name Rashaam Smith, is a rapper and producer from Detroit, Michigan, who pushed the limits of hip-hop with his dark and controversial style. 

Esham, also known as the “Godfather of the Wicked Shit,” is credited with creating horrorcore rap, a style distinguished by its morbid and frequently divisive topics.

Dark themes are explored throughout Esham’s music, including terror, death, drug addiction, and societal problems. 

He is well renowned for his unabashed and frequently contentious songs, which are raw and aggressive in nature. Esham has a devoted underground following as a result of his willingness to investigate taboo subjects and question social conventions.

Esham is both a rapper and a record producer. His discography includes the albums “Boomin’ Words from Hell,” “KKKill the Fetus,” and “Closed Casket.” 

His production technique combines dark, atmospheric beats with robust basslines to provide a distinctive auditory environment that goes well with his brooding, contemplative lyrics.

Esham had a huge impact on the horrorcore subgenre and the Detroit rap scene. His unfiltered and unyielding musical style paved the stage for later musicians that adopted the horrorcore genre. 

His contributions to the underground rap scene are admired, and his influence on the genre cannot be understated. Esham may not have everyone’s taste in music, but he stands out in the hip-hop scene for being prepared to tackle unusual and dark subjects. 

He continues to be revered in the underground rap culture and had a lasting impression on the music landscape in Michigan.

17. Clear Soul Forces

Four people make up the hip-hop group Clear Soul Forces, based in Detroit: E-Fav, Ilajide, L.A.Z., and Noveliss. Since its formation in 2008, Clear Soul Forces have become well-known for their hip-hop’s unique yet nostalgic style, dynamic flows, and lyrical content.

The group’s music, which features boom-bap production, soulful samples, and complex rhyme schemes, typifies the heyday of hip-hop. The lyrics of Clear Soul Forces frequently combine brilliant wordplay with introspection and social insight. 

A unified and alluring sound is produced as a result of each member contributing their distinctive style and viewpoint. Their 2012 first album, “Detroit Revolution(s),” received positive reviews and cemented their position as one of the most accomplished rap groups from Detroit. 

Their CD demonstrated their mastery of the written word, their capacity for narrative, and their close ties to the hip-hop culture of their hometown. The projects that Clear Soul Forces kept putting out helped to further establish their reputation in the underground rap industry. 

Albums like “Gold PP7s” and “Still” showed their artistic development while adhering to their distinctive sound. Their music effortlessly combines traditional boom-bap sounds with contemporary sensibilities, making it appealing to fans of both old-school and new-school rap.

In addition to their studio albums, Clear Soul Forces is renowned for their dynamic live shows and engaging stage presence. Their live performances are a testament to their commitment and love of hip-hop, captivating and involving audiences.

Through their genuine approach to hip-hop and their contributions to the revival of boom-bap rap, Clear Soul Forces have had a significant impact on the Michigan rap scene. 

They have cemented their position among the talented artists coming out of Detroit and continue to skillfully and proudly uphold the city’s historic rap tradition.

18. Boldy James

Rapper Boldy James, real name James Clay Jones III, is renowned for his dark lyricism, evocative narrative, and self-reflective subject matter. His distinctive writing style and compelling storytelling have brought him widespread praise and a devoted following in the hip-hop scene.

The intricate storytelling and unfiltered lyricism define Boldy James’ rap style, which vividly depicts the reality of street life and personal hardships. His poems frequently discuss the difficulties marginalized populations endure, the complications of urban living, and drug trafficking.

Boldy James captivates listeners with his distinctive voice and easygoing style, bringing them into his world and enabling them to feel the unfiltered emotions that are there in his music.

He skillfully combines social commentary with personal anecdotes, giving readers a glimpse into the breadth of his experiences.

With his work with renowned producer The Alchemist on the lauded album “The Price of Tea in China” in 2020, Boldy James attracted further attention. The endeavour enhanced Boldy James’ reputation as a gifted writer by showcasing his lyrical skill and storytelling abilities.

Boldy James has worked with a variety of musicians in addition to being a solo artist, such as Freddie Gibbs, Westside Gunn, and Earl Sweatshirt. These partnerships emphasize his adaptability and capacity to work with various production approaches while retaining his own viewpoint.

Boldy James’ influence on the rap world goes beyond just his catchy lyrics. He is regarded as a recognized figure in the underground rap scene because of his capacity to accurately capture the essence of street life and provide thought-provoking narratives. 

His place as a rising star in hip-hop has been solidified by his contributions to the Michigan rap scene and his dedication to upholding the narrative tradition.

19. Tee Grizzley

Rapper Tee Grizzley, real name Terry Sanchez Wallace Jr., hails from Detroit, Michigan and is renowned for his raw energy, colourful lyrics, and gritty narrative. Tee Grizzley first came to fame in 2016, and his compelling style and accurate portrayal of street life rapidly drew admiration.

Tee Grizzley’s rap style is distinguished by his strong, raspy voice and his aptitude for fusing catchy melodies with direct lines. His songs frequently examine the difficulties of urban upbringing, the negative effects of living on the streets, and the pursuit of success in the face of hardship.

Tee Grizzley’s breakthrough song, “First Day Out,” which he dropped in 2016, instantly went viral. His storytelling skills and dynamic flow were on full display in the song, which reflected his own life and personal experiences. 

It launched him into the public eye and created the groundwork for a bright future. His image as a rising talent was further cemented by the publication of his first mixtape, “My Moment,” in 2017. 

His lyrical skill was on full display in the project, which also included contributions from well-known musicians like Lil Yachty and Meek Mill. In 2018, Tee Grizzley released “Activated,” his first studio album, in addition to other popular works.

The influence of Tee Grizzley on the rap scene goes beyond only his music. He has received praise for being sincere and giving individuals who have gone through similar struggles a voice. He has a devoted following thanks to his ability to engage listeners with his unadulterated narrative.

Tee Grizzley’s music demonstrates his flexibility and evolution as an artist as he develops throughout his career. His unfiltered energy, sincere lyrics, and riveting delivery have cemented his spot in the Detroit rap scene and made him a hip-hop artist to watch in general.

20. Sada Baby

Rapper Sada Baby, real name Casada Sorrell, hails from Detroit, Michigan. He is renowned for his distinctive sound, upbeat delivery, and endearing demeanour. 

Sada Baby is a rapper that came out of the thriving Detroit rap scene and is known for his infectious hooks, forceful flows, and unabashed approach to his music. 

Rapper Sada Baby is known for his diverse delivery, which allows him to switch between quick rhymes and catchy songs with ease. The realities of street life, his own experiences, and his unvarnished ideas are frequently reflected in his lyrics. 

To produce a distinctive sound, he combines witty wordplay, punchlines, and compelling ad-libs. When “Whole Lotta Choppas” became Sada Baby’s breakthrough hit single in 2020, he attracted the attention of listeners outside of his neighbourhood and achieved widespread notoriety. 

The song’s infectious energy and catchy chorus propelled it to viral success, solidifying Sada Baby as an artist on the rise. Sada Baby has put out a number of mixtapes and albums over the course of his career, including “Skuba Sada” and “Bartier Bounty.” 

He has worked with both local and out-of-town artists, demonstrating his adaptability to many styles and versatility by collaborating with Detroit artists like Tee Grizzley.

Beyond his songs, Sada Baby has had a significant influence on the rap scene. His increasing popularity has been fueled by his engaging demeanour and amusing online persona. 

His devoted followers value his sincerity, his upbeat performances, and his capacity to infuse the Detroit rap culture with a distinctive flavour.

Sada Baby is a notable character in the Detroit rap scene and a hip-hop artist to watch as he forges his way through the business. This is largely due to his distinctive style, compelling delivery, and unabashed attitude.


As you can see, Michigan has given a lot to the rap industry. Whether that is in regards to music composition and beat creation, technical rapping techniques, or even just style and swag. 

Michigan has been home to and still is home to, some of the most interesting rappers in the industry that are constantly providing the audience and other professionals in the space with new ideas, new styles, new methods of production, and plenty of creativity that helps to keep rap a unique, exciting and special genre to be in. 

There is no doubt that some of the greatest names in rap like Obie Trice, Proof and Eminem have their own special place in the history books, but this is not to say that the new talent coming out of Michigan is any less special, or that Michigan has already dished out the best of rap that it had to offer. 

On the contrary, many believe that there is still an incredible amount of potential in Michigan and creative rap professionals coming out of this demographic. Let’s see where things go for Michigan and its amazing rap scene in the future.