The future of music

25 Best Carolina Rappers (North & South Carolina)

April 28, 2023
carolina rappers

Are you curious to find out which rappers have come out of the states of North and South Carolina?

This article walks you through the rap stars that began in North and South Carolina and gives you some examples of which songs and albums to check out.

After reading, you’ll know some of the biggest stars that came from these states and what they’re up to now.

Enjoy our list of the best Carolina rappers…

1. J. Cole

Jermaine Lamarr Cole, who goes by the stage name J. Cole, is a rapper and music producer.

He was raised in North Carolina but was originally born in Germany on a military base.

Cole has earned an impressive 11 wins and 113 awards nominations, including wins for Best Live Performer and Album of the Year.

Having already released five albums, he has one on the way, titled The Fall Off.

Four of his albums have been awarded platinum certification, with his most successful being 2014 Forest Hills Drive which was certified triple platinum after topping the US mainstream, R&B/Hip-Hop, and rap charts!

2. B.o.B

Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., known professionally as B.o.B, is a successful rapper, songwriter, and record producer from North Carolina.

He began his career in 2006 when he signed onto Rebel Rock Entertainment, a record label run by Jim Jonsin.

His debut single “Nothin’ on You”, which features Bruno Mars, shot to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned B.o.B a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year!

He has since been nominated for six other Grammy Awards.

His following debut studio album The Adventures of Bobby Ray soared to number one on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart and was subsequently awarded a double platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.

3. DaBaby

DaBaby, i.e. Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, is a rapper from North Carolina who was formerly known as Baby Jesus.

He gained mainstream prominence when he released his debut studio album Baby on Baby.

Baby on Baby received platinum certification for one million sales and hit number three on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart.

DaBaby’s following two albums proved even more successful, both topping the US mainstream, R&B/Hip-Hop, and rap charts.

Having been nominated for six Grammy awards and twenty-five other awards, DaBaby has won a total of ten awards during his career.

He is one of the best Carolina rappers, so be sure to check him out!

4. Renni Rucci

Courtney Rene, also known as Renni Rucci, is a South Carolina rapper who shot to fame when she rapped over the beat of “Freestyle” by Lil’ Baby in 2017.

The video has been viewed over five million times on YouTube and ultimately caused her to break into the rap music industry.

Renni Rucci has only released two mixtapes, Big Renni, and QuickTape, and both proved moderately successful.

She then released two further singles in 2022; “Don’t Like Me” and “Keep the Change”.

Furthering her fame, in 2021 Rene was added to the cast of the TV show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, which is a show that chronicles the lives and happenings of hip-hop and rap artists in the city.

5. Jermaine Dupri

Jermaine Dupri was born the son of an executive of Columbia Records in North Carolina.

When Dupri was just nine years old his career began, with the help of his father who was coordinating a Diana Ross show.

Young Dupri got on stage and danced with Ross, leading to his start as a dancer for the group Whodini when he was twelve.

In 1998 he broke into the the-hop scene, releasing his first album Life in 1472.

The album was successful, receiving platinum certification and topping the US R&B chart. He has since released another album, Instructions, which performed moderately well.

6. L.E.G.A.C.Y.

L.E.G.A.C.Y. is a rapper from North Carolina.

His stage name stands for Life Ends Gradually And Changes You. A former member of the crew Justus League, he has also had a successful solo career.

His debut album Project Mayhem was a critical success, and Exclaim! called the lyrics “raw and razor sharp”, and his other albums have performed well.

7. 9th Wonder

Patrick Denard Douthit, who goes by the stage name 9th Wonder, is a rapper and record executive from North Carolina.

His career began when he became the producer for the hip-hop group Little Brother.

With twelve solo albums, 9th Wonder has achieved great success.

His third album, The Wonder Years, performed at its best on the US Top Rap Albums chart, where it reached number ten.

8. Cordae

Cordae, full name Cordae Amari Dunston, is a rapper from North Carolina.

He began his fanbase by releasing remixes of popular rap songs, including “My Name Is” by Eminem, which quickly gained popularity on YouTube amongst the rap and mainstream scene.

He released his debut studio album The Lost Boy in 2019, which earned Cordae two Grammy award nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song (“Bad Idea”).

His following album From a Bird’s Eye view also proved popular, reaching number four on the US rap chart.

9. Rapsody

Marlanna Evans, who adopted the stage name Rapsody, shot to fame when she featured on Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, rapping on the track “Complexion (A Zulu Love)”.

This led to Rapsody releasing three studio albums; the second of which, Laila’s Wisdom, was the most successful.

Despite only charting at 125 on the Billboard Hot 200, it received two Grammy award nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.

10. Stunna 4 Vegas

Stunna 4 Vegas, known to his family and friends as Khalick Antonio Caldwell, is a popular rapper from North Carolina.

He has collaborated with many other rappers, including DaBaby and Offset.

His first two studio albums, Big 4x and Rich Youngin performed moderately well, charting in the top 50 of the US mainstream, R&B/Hip-Hop, and Rap charts.

His most popular single was “Go Stupid” with Polo G and NLE Choppa, which has been awarded double platinum by the RIAA.

11. Edgar Allen Floe

Edgar Allen Floe, i.e. Daryl Sams, is a successful solo rapper from North Carolina and a member of Justus League and The Undefined.

He has released six solo albums to date but initially aspired to be a DJ rather than an MC.

His name, a play on words inspired by the writer Edgar Allen Poe, got given to him by The Undefined’s Mal Demolish. Sams explained the meaning behind the name in 1996:

“Edgar Allan Poe was a well-respected writer and storyteller. I tried to incorporate that into my standpoint. He was a dope writer; I’m trying to be a well-respected and dope writer, so it all goes hand in hand.”

12. Big Pooh

Thomas Louis Jones III, who goes by the stage name Big Pooh or Rapper Big Pooh, is a solo rapper and a member of the North Carolina hip-hop group Little Brother.

Big Poos released a whopping thirteen albums between 2005 and 2022.

His albums and mixtapes have been met with a positive critical reception, leading him to be featured on numerous singles with other popular rappers.

13. Slime Dollaz

Slime Dollaz was raised in South Carolina and became a star when the music video for his single “Evil” became an internet sensation in 2018 when it was released on Carl Bennett’s YouTube channel.

His albums The Life of Slime and Red Eyes, both released in 2023, proved popular and brought hit singles like “Shooter”, “All Star”, and “Slick Hating” onto the hip-hop scene.

14. Supastition

Supastition, who has also recorded under the name Kam Moye and Blackmel in previous years, is an underground hip-hop artist from North Carolina.

He has released four albums and five EPs, and while many didn’t chart, they were genuinely received positively.

He is well known for his collaborations with other Carolina artists.

15. Lil Mexico

Another young rapper from South Carolina, Lil Mexico’s real name is Lafazio Jones.

He began his career with the crew Money Makin’ Outlaws and soon began his solo career with hit singles that draw influence from small-town life.

He has been compared to the likes of DaBaby, with his versatility bringing him over 40,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and 45,000 subscribers on YouTube.

His notable collaborations include singles with MB Montana and Pooh Shiesty.

16. Morray

Morae Ebony Ruffin, who claimed the stage name Morray, was raised on Gospel and R&B in North Carolina.

He sang in his local church until he was four years old, releasing his first song at age twenty-two after a short stint in juvenile detention.

His debut single “Quicksand”, from his album Street Sermons, was his most successful, being awarded gold status by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Street Sermons is his only mixtape and charted in the top 50 of the US mainstream, R&B, and rap charts.

He has collaborated with J. Cole and 21 Savage on the successful song “My Life”, which received platinum certification for over one million sales.

17. Mook TBG

Sirod Medrell McDaniel of South Carolina, better known as Mook TBG, shot to fame in 2016 with his series of popular mixtapes.

His most popular release, “Red Roses”, launched his career and led him to release the popular single “To the Dome”.

After a hiatus that lasted for a year and a half, Mook TBG released a new mixtape that housed the regional hits “Drip Givenchy”, “Money Call”, and “Already Know”.

Mook is an up-and-coming rapper that is definitely worth looking out for!

18. Ashnikko

Ashton Nicole Casey, who adopted the stage name Ashnikko, is a North Carolina rapper who rose to stardom after her 2019 collaboration “Stupid” with (Yung) Baby Tate.

The single went viral on TikTok and was subsequently certified gold in the US and Canada.

With two wins among seven award nominations, Ashnikko won a Music Week award in the Music & Brand Partnership category and a UK Music Video Award for Best Pop Video – Newcomer with her single “Hi, It’s Me”.

19. Lute

Luther Nicholson, shorted as Lute, is a North Carolina rapper signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records.

His most popular single with J. Cole features DaBaby and is called “Under the Sun”; it received a platinum certification for sales of over one million units.

Lute is well known for his numerous collaborations with other artists, including Omen, Ari Lennox, and Phonte.

His compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III got certified platinum after it topped the US mainstream, R&B/Hip-hop, and rap album charts.

20. NGeeYL

NGeeYL was born in South Carolina and began his career by sharing his music on his Instagram page, which has now surpassed 60,000 followers.

Signed by record label 300 Entertainment, he shot to fame after a series of hit singles.

NGeeYL is best known for his tracks “Torch,” “Goon,” “Ganger” and “Tales of YL”.

His fame has perhaps been helped by his friendship with NFL All-Star DeAndre Hopkins – what a claim to fame!

21. Toosii

Nau’Jour Lazier Grainger, otherwise known as Toosii, originated in North Carolina.

His first studio album Poetic Pain debuted at number 17 on the Billboard 200, 

22. PG RA

Born in South Carolina, PG RA says he initially turned to music to escape the hardships he faced when growing up in poverty.

With over 46,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, he has shot to fame with multiple rap hits.

His most popular songs are “Selfish” featuring 6LACK, “Back to Bali”, “PFK”, and “Jittabugs”. His latest album, KANDLEMAN, has proved to be a commercial success.

23. Blacc Zacc

South Carolina rapper Blacc Zacc, born Zachary Chapman, began attracting attention in 2019 with the release of his edgy single “Chump Change”.

His late 2019 mixtape Trappin’ Like Zacc had guest features from DaBaby, Stunna 4 Vegas, and Key Glock, among others.

He has since followed up with three new albums, each of which proved successful.

24. Deniro Farrar

Qushawan Farrar, who goes by the stage name Deniro Farrar, is a rapper from North Carolina.

Fader magazine described Farrar’s voice as “an eerily calm rasp that never leaves the emotional range of fuming mad”.

With five studio albums under his belt, his third was his best performing.

Kill or Be Killed was released in 2012 in collaboration with Shady Blaze.

Stereogum named the album number 39 on the Top 40 Rap Albums of 2012 list.

25. Big Mali

Big Mali, who has been named ‘North Carolina’s next rap star’, signed onto the SCMG record label (which also houses DaBaby and Toosii) at the young age of seventeen.

Big Mali released her debut album First Lady in 2020 and later released Gangsta Talk.

She is somewhat of a pioneer, being one of the few female rappers to take off in North Carolina!

Carolina Rappers – Final Thoughts

Searching for Carolina rappers is a unique niche of music, but this list includes some of the biggest stars to come from the North and South of the state.

Now you have an idea of who to listen to; North and South Carolina certainly have some up-and-coming rap stars.

We hope you enjoy checking out these top Carolina rappers!

You may also like: Best Rappers of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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