The future of music

35 Best Los Angeles Rappers You Should Know

December 12, 2023
los angeles rappers

I’ve selected the best Los Angeles rappers you should know, spotlighting the artists who are defining the current and future sound of the LA hip-hop scene.

This article introduces you to the dynamic voices and compelling stories emerging from one of the world’s most influential music hubs.

Top Los Angeles rappers you should know

  • Dr. Dre
  • Ice Cube
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Tyler, The Creator
  • Coolio
  • The Game
  • Ice-T
  • Eazy-E
  • YG
  • Fergie

1. Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre, full name Andre Romell Young, is perhaps one of the biggest names in rap history!

His career began when he became a member of World Class Weckin’ Cru, and he went on to pave the way in the subgenre of West Coast G-Funk.

Dr. Dre is the proud owner of seven Grammy Awards, as well as four other awards.

With three studio albums, his second album 2001 was certified 6x platinum with sales of nearly eight million in the US!

For LA rappers, the first person you check out has got to be Dr. Dre.

2. Ice Cube

O’Shea Jackson Sr., better known as Ice Cube, is said to be a contributor to the popularity of gangsta rap.

In 2016 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the crew N.W.A, something he well and truly deserves!

As a solo artist, Ice Cube has certainly made his mark on the rap scene.

With ten studio albums, five of which are certified platinum.

He has even earned himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

3. Snoop Dogg

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. is far better known as Snoop Dogg or Snoop Doggy Dogg.

His career shot off when he featured on a track with Dr. Dre in the early 90s.

With 27 award wins and 98 nominations, he has changed the course of rap forever.

His debut studio album Doggystyle sent his career soaring when it topped the US Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip Hop album charts, later being certified quadruple platinum.

Snoop Dogg is a name that everyone knows, and no one is soon to forget.

See also: Best 90s Rappers

4. Tyler, The Creator

Tyler Gregory Okonma, i.e. Tyler, The Creator, is more of a recent rap star.

He shot to fame in 2011 when he released his single “Yonkers”, which sold over one million copies.

Tyler, The Creator has won ten awards for his work, receiving an additional 37 nominations.

His most recent studio albums, Igor and Call Me If You Get Lost, topped the US Billboard 200, R&B/Hip Hop, and rap album charts.

Tyler, The Creator is certainly one to listen to if you’re into alternative hip hop, jazz rap, R&B, and neo-soul.

5. Coolio

Artis Leon Ivey Jr., otherwise known as Coolio, began his career with the rap collective WC and the Maad Circle.

He soon began his solo career, with the likes of his debut album It Takes a Thief, which sold over one million copies.

Coolio is definitely best known for his single “Gansta’s Paradise”, which he released in 1995.

The song was the biggest-selling single of the year and has appeared on many lists of the best hip-hop songs ever, winning Coolio a Grammy Award.

6. The Game

Jayceon Terrell Taylor, known by his stage name The Game, is a Los Angeles rapper that has made his mark on the rap scene over the years.

Seven of his studio albums have topped the US rap charts, among others, earning The Game two Ozone Awards.

He often collaborates with fellow rapper 50 Cent, and together they produced three hit singles.

“Hate it or Love it” was perhaps their most successful, shooting to the top of the US R&B/Hip Hop and Rap charts.

7. Ice-T

Tracy Lauren Marrow, who goes professionally as Ice-T, began his career as an underground rapper.

He took off when he released his debut studio album, Rhyme Pays which was certified Platinum and charted in the US mainstream and R&B charts.

In total, he has sold over twenty million albums in the US!

Ice-T also won two Grammy Awards in the categories Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (“Back on the Block”) and Best Metal Performance (“Bum-Rush”).

8. Eazy-E

Eazy-E, known to his friends and family as Eric Lynn Wright, is the leader of the group N.W.A.

He has been coined the ‘Godfather of Gangsta Rap” due to his help in bringing West Coast rap and gangsta rap to the mainstream.

His debut solo album Eazy-Duz-It performed well on the US Billboard Hot 200, the US R&B/Hip Hop, and the Australian album charts.

It has since been certified double platinum and continues to be one of the most popular West Coast rap albums out there.

See also: Best West Coast Rappers

9. YG

Keenon Dequan Ray Jackson, best known by his stage name YG which is short for Young Gangsta, is a popular Los Angeles rapper.

He is the holder of two awards: BET Best Collabo, Duo, or Group and iHeartRadio Hip-Hop/R&B Song of the Year.

YG’s debut studio album My Krazy Life put him on the map after it reached the top of the US Rap album chart and number two on the US R&B/Hip Hop charts.

It is still his most popular, and has been certified platinum for over one million sales!

10. Fergie

Stacy Ann Ferguson, who goes by her mononymous nickname Fergie, began her rap career as a member of the Black Eyed Peas, a well-known hip-hop group.

It wasn’t long before she broke into the solo scene, and she signed to will.i.am’s label.

Fergie’s debut studio album The Dutchess has sold over twelve million copies, shooting to the top of the Australian album chart and number two on the US Hot 200 album chart.

It has since been certified 5x platinum, and certainly made Fergie one to watch.

11. will.i.am

William James Adams Jr., who goes by the stage name will.i.am, is the lead member and founder of hip hop group the Black Eyed Peas.

He has also had a successful solo career, having released four studio albums.

His most popular album was #willpower, which was released in 2013 and reached the top 10 of the album charts in the US, Australia, France, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK!

It has since been certified Platinum by the RMNZ.

12. Nipsey Hussle

Airmiess Joseph Asghedom, who was better known by the stage name Nipsey Hussle, became popular for his thirteen mixtapes.

He sadly passed away in 2019 due to a shooting, but he certainly left his mark on West Coast hip hop.

His three most popular mixtapes are Crenshaw, Mailbox Money, and Slauson Boy 2.

They performed well in the US Billboard 200, R&B/Hip Hop, Heatseekers, and Independent album charts.

13. Roddy Ricch

Rodrick Wayne Moore Jr., who goes by the stage name Roddy Ricch, is an extremely successful Los Angeles rapper.

His debut studio album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial topped the US Billboard Hot 200 album chart and got certified 2x platinum.

Roddy Ricch is the winner of a total of 23 albums and 99 nominations, including a Grammy for Best Rap Performance for his single “Racks in the Middle” with Hit-Boy.

He has six other Grammy nominations under his belt too!

14. Jay Rock

Johnny Reed McKinzie Jr., known by his stage name Jay Rock, is a Los Angeles rapper whose career took off when he became a member of the hip-hop group Black Hippy along with big names Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul.

He has three Grammy nominations and a win in the Best Rap Performance category for “King’s Dead”.

His solo career is pretty impressive, too! Jay Rock’s studio album 90059 shot to the top of the US Rap album chart, and number two of the R&B/Hip Hop chart.

15. Xzibit

Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, otherwise known as Xzibit, is an LA rapper whose career took off upon the release of his debut studio album At the Speed of Life.

The album charted in many countries, including the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

His most popular album, however, was Restless which received great critical acclaim.

It was awarded platinum certification by the RIAA and the MC after topping the US R&B/Hip Hop album charts and selling over a million copies in Canada.

16. ScHoolboy Q

Quincy Matthew Hanley, i.e. ScHoolboy Q, began his career in the hip-hop crew Black Hippy alongside Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, and Ab-Soul.

His debut mixtape ScHoolboy Turned Hustla garnered some attention in 2008.

His solo career took off with the release of his third studio album Oxymoron, which topped the US Hot 200, R&B/Hip Hop, and Rap album charts.

He has won three BMI awards: two Most Performed R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and London Pop Award Songs.

17. Vince Staples

Vince Staples is a successful Los Angeles rapper and the holder of a BET Hip Hop Award in the category of Impact Track for his work “Kingdom” with fellow rapper Common.

He does have one other nomination but just missed out.

Staples’ debut studio album Summertime ‘06 put him on the map, reaching number two on the US Rap album chart, number three on the US R&B/Hip Hop album chart, and number thirty-nine on the US Hot 200 album chart.

18. Warren G

Warren Griffin III, nicknamed Warren G, is very well-known for his service to West Coast rap.

He formed the trio 213, which was comprised of Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg.

Warren G’s claim to fame – he’s the younger step-brother of Dr. Dre!

After introducing Snoop Dogg to Dre, Griffin wanted to begin his solo career.

His work won him an NME Award in 1995 for Best Rap Artist!

His debut studio album Regulate…G Funk Era soared to the top of the US R&B/Hip Hop charts.

19. Ras Kass

John R. Austin II, otherwise known as Ras Kass, is a member of two hip-hop groups: The HRSMN and Golden State Warriors.

He has been coined “one of the best rappers of all time” and even got ranked as one of the “Top 50 MCs of Our Time” by About.com.

His debut solo studio album Soul on Ice, which was released in 1996, performed moderately well.

It reached number 169 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 35 on the US R&B/Hip Hop Album charts.

20. Drakeo The Ruler

Darrell Wayne Caldwell, i.e. Drakeo The Ruler, is known as “the most original West Coast stylist in decades”!

He has released two studio albums: The Truth Hurts and Keep the Truth Alive.

DJ Mustard remixed his song “Mr. Get Dough”, and it became a huge hit!

Being viewed on Youtube over 6.2 million times as of 2019, this single caused his breakthrough and he subsequently released several popular mixtapes.

21. D. Savage

Dylan McCord, who is best known by his stage name D. Savage, is a Los Angeles rapper who began his career on SoundCloud.

His single “30 Round Clip” caused him to go viral, and since then his career has been flying!

His SoundCloud success has allowed D. Savage to collaborate and appear with many other artists, including Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, Yung Bans, Flash Gottii, and Trippie Redd among others.

22. DJ Quik

David Marvin Blake, known by his stage name DJ Quik (or Da Quiksta), is a G-Funk/West Coast hip-hop rapper from Los Angeles.

In 2012 he won the award for Biggest Celebrity DJ and also earned an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Rap/Hip Hop artist.

DJ Quik has released nine studio albums, and each has been exceedingly successful!

His most popular is his debut album Quik Is the Name, which has been awarded platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America for exceeding one million sales!

23. 03 Greedo

Jason Jamal Jackson, or 03 Greedo, is a popular LA rapper who rose to prominence after the release of his seventh mixtape Purple Summer, which lead to two follow-up mixtapes Purple Summer 2: Sun Don’t Shine and Purple Summer 03: Purple Hearted Soldier.

His early career has been highly influenced by Southern rap, which is more apparent in his early work.

Before 03 Greedo was taken into custody to serve his 20-year sentence, he said he finished over 3000 songs so that the world could still hear his music!

24. B-Real

B-Real, known to his friends and family as Louis Mario Freese, began his career as one of the lead singers of the group Cypress Hill, a member of the rap metal crew Kush, part of the hip hop group Serial Killers, and the rap rock group Prophets of Rage!

B-Real’s debut solo album Smoke n Mirrors shot his solo career into action, peaking at number five on the US Heatseekers Albums chart, number twenty on the US Independent Albums chart, and the US Billboard 200.

25. Hopsin

Marcus Jamal Hopson, who goes by the stage name Hopsin, is a Los Angeles rapper who has achieved great success.

His latest studio album Minor Disturbance is due to be released in 2023, so make sure to keep an eye out for that!

He has had a series of popular studio albums, with his most acclaimed being Knock Madness, Pound Syndrome, and No Shame.

All three are charted in multiple US charts, Australia, Canada, and even New Zealand!

26. Blueface

Jonathon Jamall Porter, who goes by the stage name Blueface, is an LA rapper who shot to fame when he went viral for his offbeat rapping style.

It wasn’t long before record labels were chasing after him and he released his hit single “Thotiana”.

“Thotiana” has had several remixes, with one featuring YG and Cardi B, and is by far Blueface’s claim-to-fame track!

It reached the US Hot 100, R&B/Hip Hop, rap, and mainstream charts, as well as charting in Canada, France, New Zealand, and the UK.

27. Earl Sweatshirt

Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, who is better known by the stage name Earl Sweatshirt, is a popular Los Angeles rapper and songwriter.

His debut studio album Doris soared to number one on the US Rap Albums chart and later got certified gold by the RIAA.

Doris brought us three hit songs that are perhaps Earl Sweatshirt’s most well-known: “Chum”, “Woah” featuring Tyler, The Creator, and “Hive” featuring Casey Veggies and Vince Staples.

The 2012/13 hits have been certified gold and put Kgositsile on the map.

28. Nate Dogg

Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, who owns the stage name Nate Dogg, quickly became known as the “King of Hooks” for his impressive guest vocals.

He found his fame when he teamed up with his cousin Snoop Dogg and Warren G and soon began working with big names like Dr. Dre.

With nominations for four Grammy awards for his work, Nate Dogg has certainly proved that he can do it on his own as well as with his trio.

Of his three studio albums, his second (Music & Me) was the most successful.

It reached number three on the US R&B/Hip Hop album charts.

29. Zack de la Rocha

Zack de la Rocha is a phenomenal rapper from Los Angeles who is best known for leading the band Rage Against the Machine.

He has played a huge part in promoting left-wing politics and prides himself on being a political activist through his music.

Soon after Rage Against the Machine disbanded, Zack de la Rocha began his solo career, appearing on several tracks and albums with guest vocals.

30. Baby Keem

Hykeem Jamaal Carter Jr., known as Baby Keem, is an LA rapper who shot to fame after releasing two mixtapes, The Sound of Bad Habit and Die for my Bitch.

The latter landed itself on the US Billboard Hot 200.

Baby Keem later teamed up with Kanye West, and together they produced the single “Praise God”.

It charted in a whopping seventeen countries and later got awarded platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.

31. G Perico

G Perico is a great Los Angeles rapper who is known for his West Coast/G-Funk sounds.

He was involved with gangs from a young age, and even released his first few tapes while he was in jail!

His popular mixtape Shit Don’t Stop caused him to get his life back on track and allowed him to focus on his career.

32. Too Short

Todd Anthony Shaw, i.e. Too Short, is known to be a pioneer of West Coast rap.

He began recording music in the 80s and has since released 21 studio albums!

Three have been certified gold, five have been certified platinum, and one double platinum for sales of over two million!

His double platinum album is titled Life is…Too Short reached number 37 on the US Hot 200 album chart and number nine on the US R&B/Hip Hop album chart.

Too Short continues to release albums still; he’s certainly one of the hip-hop legends!

33. WESTSIDE BOOGIE

Anthony Tremaine Dixson, who goes by the stage name WESTSIDE BOOGIE, is a great Los Angeles rapper.

His career began in his local church choir, but he only began to take his music seriously upon the birth of his son, Darius.

He released his debut studio album Everythings for Sale in 2019, which reached number 28 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, number 18 on the R&B/Hip Hop album chart, and number 61 on the US Rap album chart.

34. D Smoke

Daniel Anthony Farris, who adopted the stage name D Smoke, rose to prominence after he won the very first season of Rhythm + Flow (a Netflix music competition show).

This prompted him to take his career seriously since his last album was released in 2006.

The subsequent release of his 2020 studio album Black Habits earned D Smoke four Grammy Award nominations in the categories of Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Outstanding New Artist, and Music Video of the Year.

35. WC

William LaShawn Calhoun Jr. is better known as WC, which is pronounced: “dub-c”.

He began his career as a member of the group Low Profile, before moving on to begin his crew WC and the Maad Circle.

He moved onto a solo career when he released his studio album The Shadiest One in 1998, which reached number 2 in the US R&B/Hip Hop album charts and sold over one million copies in the US alone (and 1,670,000 throughout the rest of the world)!

Best Los Angeles Rappers – Final Thoughts

Los Angeles has an impressive resume when it comes to rappers!

So, now you know exactly which LA rappers to check out, as well as which of their hits people are loving.

We hope you enjoyed this walk through Los Angeles rap history!

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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