Best Chicago Rappers – Who Are The Most Famous Chicago Rappers?

Share This Post

The hip-hop scene in Chicago is among the best in the United States. The rap scene has produced great artists of various styles. Some of the popular Chicago rappers include Kanye West, Common, Da Brat, Chance the Rapper, Polo G, and many more. What is great about Chicago rap is that its artists have never classified or defined themselves in a single genre or sound. The Chicago rap scene is rich and has a variety of different influences. You can find East Coast hip-hop influences as much as West Coast hip-hop influences.

Here are a few styles that you can find in Chicago. Chopper is a style where rappers have an incredibly fast flow. It originated in the Midwest in the 1990s, and Chicago embraced it. The best example of this style is Do or Die. Kanye West and his success had a huge influence and effect on the local hip-hop scene. That gave birth to the chipmunk soul, a style famous for sampling and pitching up soul vocals.

The drill scene and drill music are also popular in Chicago. The new sound recently got popular. It is a style that is very slow, and repetitive, with a huge influence on trap music. Last, we have Gospel rap, with notable examples like Chance the Rapper. Kanye West also has an album in this style.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most famous Chicago rappers.

Polo G

polo g e1670750920504

Born Taurus Tremani Bartlett in 1999, Polo G is a famous songwriter, record executive, singer, and rapper. He rose to prominence in the past several years, thanks mostly to his singles Finer Things and Pop Out. His debut album Die a Legend was certified platinum by the RIAA. He was born in the Old Town area of Chicago. He went to Lincoln University with a broadcasting major but opted to forgo school on his first day. Polo G decided to pursue a music career full-time. He is affiliated with the Chicago gang Mickey Cobras.

Juice Wrld

juice w

Here is another popular American rapper. Considered a leading figure in the emo rap scene and one of the first rappers that got famous thanks to SoundCloud. Juice Wrld gained popularity in the mid-2010s.

He derived his stage name from the movie Juice, which was released in 1992. He stated that it represents “taking over the world”.Born as Jarad Anthony Higgins in December 1998, Juice Wrld began his career as an independent artist and finally signed with Interscope Records in 2017. His hit single Lucid Dreams peaked at Number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The famous rapper died of a drug overdose on December 8, 2019. His first posthumous album, Legends Never Die, matched chart records for a posthumous debut.

Fun fact: Higgins learned to play the piano at four years old. He then took up the guitar and drums, while playing the trumpet for band class. You can say he was quite talented in music.



Well, Kanye West officially changed his name to Ye recently. He was born Kanye Omari West, and most people still recognize him by his birth name. Kanye was actually born in Atlanta, but he was raised in Chicago. He gained recognition as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s. He produced singles for several artists and was responsible for developing the chipmunk soul sampling style. In 2004, Kanye released his debut album and pursued a solo career. During his career, he has explored and experimented with different musical elements. For example, he has used orchestral arrangements, synthesizers, and even autotune. Ye remains one of the best-selling music artists, with more than 160 million record sales. He has won a Grammy Award 22 times, making him 10th on the list of all-time Grammy winners.

Do or Die

do or die

We touched a bit on this famous American hip-hop artist. The rap trio is from the West Side of Chicago. It consists of Belo Zero, AK, and N.A.R.D. The group experienced some mainstream success with their platinum single Po Pimp in the late 1990s. The track became a local hit in Chicago and helped the group sign with Rap-a-Lot-Records. In the 2000s, they released their much darker and street-oriented album Get That Paper. The group has been featured on countless projects by various artists.

Chance the Rapper


Arguably one of the most famous Chicago rappers, Chance the Rapper released his debut mixtape 10 Day in 2012. But he gained mainstream recognition in 2013 following his second mixtape, Acid Rap.

Born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett in April 1993, he is also a member of the Chicago collective Savemoney. Chance is the vocalist for the band The Social Experiment. As a Chicago celebrity, he is heavily involved in social activism in the Chicago community. He was born in Chicago and resides in the city to this day.

Fun fact: his interest in music began with Michael Jackson, who he listened to on cassettes in his childhood. Nowadays, he lists Common, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Souls of Mischief, MC Hammer, and James Brown as artists that have influenced him.

Chief Keef


Chief Keef is regarded as a representative of Chiraq, the gangsta rap culture in Chicago. He calls himself Sosa, the same as his peers and the media. Born Keith Farrelle Cozart in 1995 Chief Keef is an American rapper. He became popular during his teen years in the early 2010s among high school students in the South Side area of Chicago. Kanye West remixed his popular local single I Don’t Like in 2012. That raised Keef’s profile and made him popular among the US public. The media considers him a symbol of the drill music scene in Chicago. He is among the most popular of the younger generation of Chicago rappers.

No Name

no name

Pronounced No Name, she is an American rapper and poet from the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. Born Fatimah Nyeema Warner, No Name began rapping and performing slam poetry in 2010. She gained wider recognition in 2013 when she appeared on the track Lost on the mixtape Acid Rap by Chance the Rapper. In 2016, she released her debut mixtape Telefone to critical acclaim. Two years later, her debut album came out. She credits musicians like Avril Lavigne, Nina Simone, Kanye West, and Missy Elliott as her influences.

King Von

king von e1670750937137

Born Dayvon Daquan Bennett in 1994, King Von is an American rapper signed to Lil Durk’s record label Only the Family. He had six half-siblings from his father and three siblings from his mother. Raised mostly by his mother, Von went to jail at age 16 for the first time. He had a long history of legal troubles. He dated rapper Asian Doll for a while until his death in November 2020.

G Herbo

g herbo1

Born as Herbert Randall Wright III in 1995, he is also known as Lil Her. G Herbo is a Chicago rapper signed to Machine Entertainment Group. He grew up in Chicago and dropped out of school at age 16 to pursue a music career. He cites Meek Mill, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, and Yo Gotti as his inspiration.

G Herbo and fellow rapper Lil Bibby are close friends and they have collaborated on many songs.

Vic Mensa

vic mensa

Born as Victor Kwesi Mensah in 1993, he is an American rapper and member of the group Kids These Days. He broke up with the group in May 2013 and released his debut solo mixtape afterward. He is now signed to Roc Nation. Mensa is the founder of the hip-hop collective Savemoney. He and Chance the Rapper collaborate often. Vic Mensa has been outspoken on the issue of gun violence.

King Louie

king louei

Spin Magazine wrote in 2012 that King Louie is among the Chicago rappers that made Chicago the hottest hip-hop scene. Born as Louis King Johnson Jr in December 1987, he resides in the Eastside of Chicago. During his high school days, he began building his following through one-on-one mixtapes. He would hand out CDs at bus stops and parties and build his fan base. In 2007, he released his debut mixtape, Boss Shit.

Fredo Santana

fredo sant

Born as Derrick Coleman in July 1990, he is the older cousin of Chicago rapper Chief Keef. He began recording music in 2011. Just do not mistake him for the professional NBA player Derrick Coleman. They do share the same name, but they are not the same person. The Chicago rapper died of a seizure on January 19, 2018. His first mixtape, It’s a Scary Site was released in September 2012.

Lupe Fiasco

lupe f e1670750897116

Lupe rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his debut album, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor. He is also the frontman of the rock band Japanese Cartoon under his real name. Speaking of it, his real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco. Born in February 1982, Lupe Fiasco developed an interest in hip-hop during his teenage years. Initially, he disliked the genre because of the use of vulgarity and misogyny.

Besides music, Lupe has pursued a career in fashion. He runs two clothing lines. Speaking of his music, Lupe, alongside Common, MosDef, and Talib Kweli has been credited as a pioneer of the conscious hip-hop movement. This rap movement focuses on social issues.

Da Brat

da brat

Born in 1974 as Shawntae Harris, Da Brat is a female rapper from the Chicago area. She began her rap career in 1992 when she signed with So So Def Records. In 1994, Da Brat released her debut album, Funkdafied, and sold one million copies. It made her the first female solo rap act to receive a platinum certification. During her career, she has earned two Grammy Award nominations.

Fun fact: She dated Allen Iverson in the late 1990s. In an interview in March 2020, she discussed coming out as a lesbian and why it took her 25 years to do so.

Lil Reese

lil reese

Next on our list we have Tavares Lamont Taylor, or known professionally as Lil Reese. Born in January 1993, he is part of the drill scene in Chicago. Lil Reese is famous for his collaborations with Fredo Santana, Chief Keef, and Lil Durk. He even gained popularity thanks to featuring on Chief Keef’s hit, I Don’t Like. Lil Reese caught the eye of producer No I.D., who helped him sign with Def Jam hip-hop label.



Let’s finish off the list of best Chicago rappers with one of the most famous representatives. Born in 1972, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, or Common, is an American rapper and actor. He was formerly known as Common Sense. Common debuted in 1992 with his album Can I Borrow a Dollar and gained critical acclaim with his second album in 1994, Resurrection. In the late 1990s, Common maintained an underground following that helped him sell a large number of records. Common won the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. He also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song he co-wrote and performed with John Legend, Glory, from the 2014 movie, Selma. In that movie, Common co-starred as Civil Rights Movement leader James Bevel. His acting career also includes appearances in Street Kings, American Gangster, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright, Hunter Killer, and many more.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore