Florida is one of the sunniest places in the United States. Many people call it the state that has it all. That includes oranges, tropical climate, Disneyworld, the Everglades, and much more. And of course, a thriving hip-hop scene. How many of the Florida rappers do you know?
The sunshine state brings a lot to the American cultural table. Hip-hop is an important part of the Florida scene. Rappers like Rick Ross, Pitbull, and many more have made Florida a famous hip-hop state. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Florida rappers that represent Orlando, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and more.
We start off with one of the most popular Florida rappers. Born FaheemRasheedNajm in September 1984, T Pain has popularized the creative use of the Auto-Tune pitch correction effect. He uses it with extreme parameter settings to create distinctive vocal sounds. After his success with the effect, major artists have adopted it, including Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Future, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, and more. But there are also artists like Jay Z, who released the single D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune) in 2009, directly criticizing the effect and T-Pain. The popular artist released his debut album Rappa Ternt Sanga in 2005. Two years later, he followed it with his album Epiphany, peaking at Number 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Speaking about his style, he defines it as Hard & B, a play on the R&B style.
When you talk about Florida rappers, you have to mention Rick Ross. He is famous and iconic for his music, but also for Jokes about Rick Ross. Google Rick Ross jokes and enjoy. Born in January 1976, the American rapper released his debut single Hustlin in 2006. Before that, he was actually a subject of a bidding war for his signature. Ross signed his first multimillion-dollar deal with Def Jam Recordings, a record label owned by Jay Z. He then released his debut album Port of Miami later in 2006.
Aside from his solo career, Ross was also a lead member of the hip-hop group Triple C’s, alongside fellow rappers like Gunplay and Torch. In 2009, Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group.
We have to mention the rapper who took the name Florida, right? Born in September 1978, Flo Rida popularized commercial hip hop in the 2000s and 2010s. The rapper from Carol City, Florida, had his breakout single Low in 2007. The hit single spent 10 weeks in the United States as Number 1. It broke the record for digital download sales at the time of release. His debut studio album, Mail on Sunday, released in 2008, reached Number 4 on the US chart.
Fun fact: Flo Rida represented San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. He and Senhit performed the song Adrenalina and scored 50 points, finishing just 22nd overall in the final.
In the early 2000s, he was associated with The Eastside Boyz before affiliating himself with other rappers like Rick Ross, Trina, T-Pain, and Trick Daddy.
Our next artist on the list is Danielle Bregoli. Born in March 2003, Bhad Bhabie is an American rapper and internet personality. She became popular thanks to an appearance on Dr. Phil in September 2016. During that appearance, she said the phrase “Cash me ousside, how bout dah”, which became a viral video meme and catchphrase. She became the youngest female rapper to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2017 with her debut single These Heaux. Following that success, she signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Since then, she has expanded her popularity into a reality show, a makeup brand, tours, and a decent music career.
Fun fact: She and her mother have sued three companies for “infringing her intellectual property rights” by using her signature catchphrase without consent. She also threatened to sue Walmart for using it on T-shirts. Bhad Bhabie is a great example of how you can get popular with a single appearance. For her, it was an appearance on Dr. Phil.
Born Rodarius Marcell Green in August 1998, he is an American rapper famous for his strong voice and incorporation of hip-hop. Many recognize him as a trailblazer of trap soul. Wave rose to fame in 2019 with his hit single Heart of Ice. It went viral on YouTube and TikTok, but also peaked at Number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His debut album, Ghetto Gospel peaked at Number 10 in 2019 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. Critics recognize him for his candor and shrewd ability to tug at listeners’ heartstrings. Music is a direct expression of his life. That is why he doesn’t collaborate with other artists often. He is open, but cautious when working with artists. Usually, he works only with artists who share his passion.
Born in 1994, Bobby is a pioneer of Brooklyn drill music. He rose to fame in 2014 thanks to his song Hot Nigga. The hit single peaked at Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He then signed a deal with Epic Records and released his debut EP, Shmurda She Wrote in November 2014. In December 2014, he got arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder alongside other members of GS9. Born as Ackquille Pollard in Miami, Florida to an African-American mother and Jamaican father, he had problems with the law while living in Brooklyn.
Born and raised in Carol City, Florida, Denzel Rae Don Curry started rapping while in sixth grade. He began working on his first mixtape in 2011. Denzel Curry praises local Florida rapper SpaceGhostPurrpas his biggest influence. Curry joined his hip hop collective, Raider Klan, but left it in 2013. He then released his debut album Nostalgic 64 while still in high school. Since then, Denzel Curry has released four more projects.
Ski Mask the Slump God
That is one cool stage name, right? Of course. With such a great stage name, you have to be one of the more successful rappers. Born as Stokeley Clevon Goulbourne, Ski Mask rose to prominence alongside XXXTentacion and their collective Members Only. The American rapper released the singles Catch Me Outside and Babywipe in 2017. Both of them made it to his mixtape You Will Regret, certified Gold by the RIAA. Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Stokeley is of Jamaican descent. Ski Mask the Slump God grew up listening to Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Wu-Tang Clan, and Lil Wayne. His parents also played him some Jamaican music in the house.
Fun fact: His father was also a rapper, using the stage name Sin City. He would often force his son to focus on writing his own rap music. He got his big break in 2014 when he formed the rap group Very Rare with XXXTentacion and released his first song Catch Me on the streaming platform SoundCloud. They then formed the collective Members Only. Speaking about his musical style, he says that he listens to every genre, including rap, rock, classical, and heavy metal, and sometimes even listen to Adele.
The initial YNW stands for Young Nigga World. Born as Jamell Maurice Demons in May 1999, he is an American rapper and singer known for his songs Mixed Personalities, Suicidal, and Murder on My Mind. He has collaborated with Kanye West and Juice Wrld for some of his songs. YNW Melly was arrested in February 2019 and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and faces life imprisonment or the death penalty if found guilty.
Born Bill Kahan Kapri in June 1997, Kodak Black is an American rapper. He first gained popularity with his single No FLockin in 2014. Three years later, in 2017, Kodak Black released his debut album, Painting Pictures. The album peaked at Number 3 on the US Billboard 200 and included his hit single, Tunnel Vision. His rap career has been marked with periods of mainstream success, but also public controversies and legal issues. His legal problems began as early as middle school. But in the late 2010s, his legal troubles spiked significantly. And then in 2019, he was arrested for weapons possession. Sentenced to four years in prison, his sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump.
His music focuses on previous and future criminal misdeeds. He often cites Chief Keef and Boosie Badazz as artists who have influenced him. The New Yorker describes him as having a manifestly youthful voice and mutinous sound. Kodak Black is one of the young rappers who have rejected the old-school emphasis on lyrical variety. Instead, he is described as a mumble rapper.
Born as Janseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, the famous Florida rapper was a controversial figure due to his publicized legal troubles. Known simply as X, XXXTentacion gained a cult following among the youth people and fan base. His music is often described as depression music and alienation-themed music.
Critics praise him for his musical versatility. His music explores emo, trap, drill, indie rock, nu-metal, hip-hop, and even punk rock. XXXTentacion is a leading figure in the emo rap and SoundCloud rap genres that became popular during the 2010s.
Born as Sylvan LaCue in 1990, QuESt is an American rapper from Miami, Florida. He began his career in 2009 with his highly-successful Searching Sylvan mix tape. In 2016, the Miami rapper released his debut album, Far From Familiar. While he is from Florida, the rapper moved to San Diego, California in the mid-2010s in search of a change in scenery.
It is only fitting that we finish off the list of Florida rappers with one of the most successful and widely popular among them. Born Armando Christian Perez in January 1981, Pitbull began his career in the early 2000s. At the time, he produced music in the genres of reggaeton, Latin hip-hop, and crunk music for different labels. He released his debut album, M.I.A.M.I. under TVT Records and the production of Lil Jon. In the 2010s, Pitbull rebranded himself as a pop artist. But he still had singles with rappers and hip-hop artists. For example, Give Me Everything, his single featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer, reached Number 1 on the US charts. He has sold more than 25 million studio albums and 100 million singles worldwide. That makes him one of the best artists in the Latin hip-hop genre.