15 Famous Rappers From New York

Rapper Nicki Minaj performs on stage at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards
Rapper Nicki Minaj performs on stage at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards( Source : complex )

What rappers are from New York? 1. 50 Cent 2. Jay Z 3. Nicki Minaj are some famous rappers from New York.

Many music lovers have claimed that this city is the birthplace of rap. 

The city has a beautiful history in terms of the hip-hop industry. From rap battles to the formation of street gangs, the alleys and arcades of this city have given birth to prominent artists who are now popular all over the world for their talent. 

Rappers like Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, and Jay-Z have proved themselves as the hero of the rap world but also have inspired many amateur artists who want to make their future in the same field. The New Yorkers have seen them grow from scratch and make a brand out of them. 

New York has immensely evolved as the birthplace of hip-hop. Over the years, we can see how the hip-hop industry has flourished so widely and how more and more people are enthusiastic about rap culture. 

With the emerging number of talents and their accessibility all over the globe, it has been a lot easier to connect to people and understand their needs. Therefore, rappers have become more audience-oriented which is a sign of growth in the industry. 

In this list, there are 15 famous rappers from New York who have been reigning in the industry for some significant years. 

1. 50 Cent

50 Cent is one of the most popular New York rappers. His real name is Curtis James Jackson. 

Born and raised in the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York City, the rapper was raised by his Grandparents. He was interested in music from an early age and began rapping in the basement of his friend's house. He used turntables to record the instrumentals.

50 Cent promoting his brand of cognac
50 Cent promoting his brand of cognac( Source : facebook )

His debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', was released in 2003. It became successful in debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and was successful in selling more than 872,000 copies all over the world in the first four days. 

Jackson has been able to sell more than 30 million albums all over the world. In addition, he has also won several awards, including a Grammy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, four BET Awards, Primetime Emmy Award, and American Music Award. 

2. Jay Z

The Rapper from NY Shawn Corey Carter is popular for his stage name Jay-Z. He is one of the most influential people in the rap industry.

According to his mother, the rapper woke up in the middle of the night banging out drums on the kitchen table. In addition, he also began writing raps when he was a teenager.

Rapper Jay Z shares a picture on his social media profile wishing a Happy New Year
Rapper Jay Z shares a picture on his social media profile wishing a Happy New Year ( Source : instagram )

The rapper has collaborated with artists, including Mariah Carey, Kanye West, and Eminem to name a few. However, the rapper may be best known for being married to Beyonce.

Altogether, Hova has sold over 140 million records as of the writing of this article. He is one of the few rappers who can be called the G.O.A.T, (Greatest Of All Time).

3. Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is a prominent rapper from the big apple. She has been working in the rap industry since 2004. 

Her original name is Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, born in the Saint James district of Port Of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago. Nicki released her first-ever mixtape, Playtime Is Over, on July 5, 2007.

Nicki Minaj at the recently released Barbie movie's premiere
Nicki Minaj at the recently released Barbie movie's premiere( Source : facebook )

The rapper appeared in U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart along with her features on Knockout and Up Out My Face. In addition, she has also appeared on Bedrock and Roger That on the album We Are Young Money in 2009. 

The superstar is supposed to be the first female solo artist to have her seven songs on the Billboard 100. At the same time, the rapper has also received the BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist seven times simultaneously.

4. A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky is the stage name of the famous rapper Rakim Athelaston Mayers. The rapper entered the music industry in 2007.

It was in the year 2007 that A$AP joined the A$AP Mob crew. It is a Harlem-based collective of rappers, music video directors, bikers, and fashion designers. All these people shared the same interests in style, art, and music. 

Rapper A$AP presenting his decor line called homemade
Rapper A$AP presenting his decor line called homemade( Source : instagram )

Rocky's song "Peso," released online in August 2011, was played on the main Hot 97 New York radio station shortly after. Record labels noticed him after he published a music video for his song "Purple Swag."

He issued the mixtape Live. Love in October. A$AP to favorable reviews. Since then, Rocky has become the face of Hip Hop fashion as well as experimental and futuristic music.

5. Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur is a famous rapper from New York City. He is more prominently known as 2Pac and Makaveli. 

In 1989, Shakur started making music under the alias MC New York. He started taking Leila Steinberg's poetry workshops that year, and she quickly became his manager.

A black and white picture of the late 2pac showing off his tats
A black and white picture of the late 2pac showing off his tats( Source : facebook )

In November 1991, Shakur released his debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, which references the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now and featured three singles. His discography inspired rappers like Nas, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

Though his career was cut short at the age of 25, Pac became one of the most inlfuential rappers in the history of the genre, and still persisists as the face of Hip Hop.

6. Cardi B

Cardi B is another popular rapper from New York. Her full name is Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar Cephus. 

Cardi B's debut album, Invasion of Privacy, peaked at number one on the American Billboard 200. As a result of the album's positive reviews, she became the first and only woman to win the Grammy for Best Rap Album as a solo artist, and the second female rap album to be nominated for Album of the Year.

Cardi B features her reebok collection
Cardi B features her reebok collection( Source : instagram )

Cardi B debuted in season six of the VH1 reality television program Love & Hip Hop: New York in 2015. Jezebel regarded her as the sixth season's breakout star.

Since then, Cardi has become one of the most beloved and incendiary figures in all of Hip Hop with both her music and her off-studio antics bring in fame and derision.

7. Sean Combs

Sean Combs is one of the most successful and prominent rappers from New York. He is more widely recognized as PuffDaddy or Diddy. 

Combs recorded his debut rap song for a commercial audience in 1997 as Puff Daddy. No Way Out, his debut album, was made available on July 22, 1997.

Diddy wearing a comfy looking kimono by the lake
Diddy wearing a comfy looking kimono by the lake( Source : facebook )

On the album, a number of the label's artists made cameos. No Way Out was a huge hit, especially in the US, where it sold 561,000 copies in its first week of release and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200.

Combs is MTV's Making the Band producer and has won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards. He also started his own apparel company, Sean John, in 1998. 

8. Prodigy

Prodigy is the stage name of the popular rapper Albert Johnson. Albert has been in the industry since the year 1991. 

The rapper met his eventual musical companion Havoc while both were students at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. The pair adopted the moniker Poetical Prophets before deciding on Mobb Deep.

Rapper Prodigy promotes his album B.O.H. in 2022
Rapper Prodigy promotes his album B.O.H. in 2022( Source : instagram )

Prodigy released his first solo album, H.N.I.C, in November 2000. The rapper began his work on the second album, H.N.I.C. Part 2.

It was in the year 2013 that the star released his second album with the Alchemist entitled Albert Einstein. Moreover, he also released an untitled EP of five tracks. The EP was made in collaboration with Bit Torrent. 

9. Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah is the stage name of the famous rapper Dennis Coles from New York. He has been rapping since the year 1991. 

It was in the year 1995 that Coles guest-starred on the debut album of Raekwon entitled Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. A the same time, he has also contributed songs to the Sunset Park soundtrack.

Ghostface Killah rocking a black snapback with a Moschino T Shirt
Ghostface Killah rocking a black snapback with a Moschino T Shirt( Source : facebook )

The rapper's first album was called Ironman and was released in 1996. Similarly, his second album came out in 2000 and became widely successful. At the same time, the album also peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200. 

In addition, other albums the rapper include The Pretty Toney Album, Bulletproof Wallets, Fishscale, More Fish, The Big Doe Rehab, Apollo Kids, 36 seasons, and Twelve Reasons to Die II. Ghostface has also been a part of the animated series Skunk Fu by providing the theme song. 

10. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Julius Dobe is best known as his stage name, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. The stage name is inspired by Ace Boogie' from the movie Paid in Full.

In February 2016, Boogie released his debut full-length effort, a mixtape named Artist, launching his career and placing him on Forbes' list of emerging rappers. The mixtape was created while Dubose was going through a painful breakup, which positively impacted the mixtape's overall sound.

Rapper A Boogie with a Hoodie enjoys his time in a club
Rapper A Boogie with a Hoodie enjoys his time in a club( Source : instagram )

Dubose was selected as one of the top ten members of XXL's 2017 Freshman Class on June 13, 2017. His first studio album, The Bigger Artist, featured cameos from Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and more, and was released on September 29, 2017.

The album's debut track, Drowning with Kodak Black, reached its highest position on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 38, making it one of his highest charting singles.

11. French Montana

French Montana is another popular rapper from New York. The original name of the rapper is Karim Kharbouch. 

French Montana's debut mixtape, French Revolution Vol. 1, which featured collaborations with Tony Yayo, Mazaradi Fox, Jae Millz, and Uncle Murda, was released in 2007. French's debut underground success was the song Straight Cash, which J. Cardim produced.

French at the 2022 Pop Gala wearing a Celine sweater, blue jeans, and Timbs
French at the 2022 Pop Gala wearing a Celine sweater, blue jeans, and Timbs( Source : facebook )

Live From Africa, his second mixtape was made available in 2008. On February 6, 2009, French Montana and Max B released their first joint mixtape, Coke Wave. 

He views himself as a music enthusiast and has used samples from numerous artists, including American singer Lana Del Rey and English soul/R&B singers Adele and Amy Winehouse.

12. Foxy Brown

American rapper Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand is more prominently known by her stage name Foxy Brown. The rapper is also known as Fox Boogie. 

Brown's debut album Ill Na Na was released in 1996 with success. The album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 album charts with a first-week sales total of nearly 128,000 copies.

Foxy Brown wearing a bright yellow turtle neck
Foxy Brown wearing a bright yellow turtle neck( Source : facebook )

Jay-Z, Blackstreet, Method Man, and Kid Capri had guest appearances on the album, which Trackmasters largely produced. 

Following the success of Ill Na Na, Brown formed The Firm with other New York-based hip-hop musicians Nas, AZ, and Cormega. Dr. Dre, the Trackmasters, and their collective band of musicians published the album through Aftermath Records.

13. The Notorious B.I.G

The Notorious B.I.G. is another renowned rapper from New York. He is best known for his lyrical delivery of music. 

The original name of the rapper is Christopher George Latore Wallace. He started rapping as a teenager to amuse onlookers and shared the stage with neighborhood bands the Techniques and the Old Gold Brothers.

Biggie sitting on a throne in an all-red jumpsuit
Biggie sitting on a throne in an all-red jumpsuit( Source : facebook )

Junior Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes, Wallace's trainee group, released their debut album Conspiracy in August 1995. His childhood pals formed the group, featuring rappers like Lil' Kim and Lil' Cease. 

On September 13, 1994, the album Ready to Die was released. After being certified four times platinum, it peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart. 

14. Fabolous

Fabolous is another popular singer based in New York. He is called John David Jackson by birth. 

During his early days, the rapper used to rap under Fabolous Sport. However, he decided to shorten it to Fabolous.

Rapper Fabolous in Houston, Texas
Rapper Fabolous in Houston, Texas( Source : instagram )

On September 11, 2001, Fabolous released Ghetto Fabolous, his self-titled debut album. With almost 140,000 copies sold in its first week, it opened at number four on the Billboard 200. 

Other albums of the rapper include Loso's Way, The Young OG Project, and Summertime Shootout 3: Coldest Summer Ever. Loso's Way sold 99,000 copies in its first week and debuted at the top of the Billboard 200.

15. Busta Rhymes

Trevor Tahiem Smih Jr. is an American rapper, songwriter, singer, and record producer. He is more prominently known as Busta Rhymes. 

Busta Rhymes started making his solo debut album, The Coming, in the summer of 1995, and a month later, he released it in March 1996. He debuted with a hit song a month before the album's release, Woo Hoo! You're all in order.

Busta dripped out in an all-blue colorful suit
Busta dripped out in an all-blue colorful suit( Source : facebook )

Later, he began work on When Disaster Strikes, his second album, which wouldn't be released until September 1997. Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See and "Fire It Up" were two of its smash singles. 

Busta Rhymes released the album Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front in 1998. In January 1999, its debut single, Gimme Some More, which used a sample of Bernard Herrmann's Psycho theme, peaked at No. 6 on the UK singles chart.

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