The 15 Best Boston Rappers Essay
The 15 Best Boston Rappers – not an easy list to compile. Boston is about as famous for rappers as New York is for the Mets – but as with the Mets, even Boston has a rap star or two. This led me to really scour the Boston rap seen lately – thank you to all who helped me compile this list. Collaborations between artists on this list are so common, I chose not to call them out in most instances. Without further adieu, I present the 15 Best Boston Rappers (in no particular order)…
SOME THESE SAMPLES CONTAIN EXPLICIT LYRICS
- Guru – Guru hails from Roxbury. Guru stands for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal. He founded the rap group Gang Starr in 1987, and at one point was signed to Virgin Records. He died of cancer in 2010. Sample: Moment of Truth.
- Sam Adams – Sam Adams hails from Cambridge. He later moved to Wayland, where he was a soccer star in high school. He started making music on his Macbook, and released Boston’s Boy in March 2010. It reached #73 on The Billboard 200. He has zero street cred. Sample: Driving Me Crazy.
- Akrobatik – Akrobatik hails from Dorchester. He has collaborated with many other Boston area artists, and his music has been featured in HBO’s The Wire, ESPN’s Playmakers, and a variety of movies and video games. Sample: Remind My Soul.
- Slaine – Slaine hails from Boston. He is best known for his work with the group La Coka Nostra, which also included Everlast. He released his solo debut this month. He acted in both Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and apparently landed in a role in an upcoming Brad Pitt movie. Sample: Rich Man, Poor Man.
- Mr. Lif – Mr. Lif hails from Boston. He now performs alongside Akrobatik as part of the group The Perceptionists. His is often noted for his politically inspired lyrics. Sample: Because They Made It That Way.
- Professor Lyrical – Professor Lyrical hails from Lowell. He is a Northeastern University math teacher by day, a lyricist and emcee by night. He recently released an album called The College Project, in which he utilized his students as designers, sound engineers, and featured artists. He was on my intramural basketball team on season, and I had no idea he was a professor or that he rapped. Sample: The Focuz is Back.
- 7L & Esoteric – A rap duo, 7L and Esoteric are best known for their battle raps. They received some publicity in The Source for their single “Def Rhymes,” released in 1999. Sample: Def Rhymes.
- Termanology – Termanology hails from Lawrence. His 2006 single “Watch How it Go Down” garnered significant national and international interest. His single “This is Hip Hop” also received publicity in The Source‘s Unsigned Hype column. Sample: Watch How It Go Down.
- Supraliminal – Supraliminal hails from Somerville, giving him instant cred in my book. He’s my up and comer worth watching. Sample: The Uprising.
- Ed OG – Ed OG hails from Roxbury. Although he is not mainstream in the US, he has a cult following in Boston and internationally. Sample: Boston.
- Reks – Reks stands for Rythmatic Eternal Kings Supreme. Sample: 25th Hour.
- Dre Robinson – Dre Robinson is a Jamaican born but Boston-based rapper. He’s often referred to as Boston Dre, and has a large following in New England. In 2005 The Boston Globe named him one of 10 local artists to watch, and The Source featured him as an MC ready to make a national impact. Sample: Wha Do Dem.
- Jaysaun – Sample: On Your Job.
- Krumbsnatcha – Sample: Getting Closer to God.
- Dagha – Sample: No Labels.
Sev-One – Sample: I’m the Man.
Insight – Sample: Rap Religion.
Granite State – Granite State is a duo that hails from Exeter, NH. Had to rep the New Hampshire, and these guys are legit – if they were from Boston I would have put them in the top 15. Sample: Darker Than Blue.
That’s a rap. If you’ve got any other Boston area artists that you think are worthy of a mention, leave a comment below.