The Best Rappers From New Orleans

Over 3.6K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Rappers From New Orleans
Voting Rules
Only famous rappers who were born in or started their careers in New Orleans, LA.

Shooting to widespread acclaim and mainstream success at the end of the 1990s, rappers from New Orleans, Louisiana played an important role in the expansion of Southern rap. Their beats were hot, the lyrics focused on New Orleans and good times, and took the localized bounce sound and brought it to the mainstream. Two labels, Master P's No Limit and Birdman's Cash Money, were the most important for New Orleans rappers. With its focus and distinctive sound, New Orleans rap remains wildly popular and that's due to its rappers.

So, that said, who are the best New Orleans rappers? It's not an easy question to answer, especially when you have the likes of Lil Wayne, Master P, Mystikal, Juvenile, Curren$y, Soulja Slim, Big Tymers and 504 Boyz. All of these New Orleans rappers helped take New Orleans rap and Southern hip hop mainstream. Their unapologetic lyrics and pride in being from the Dirty South helped distinguish it from other Southern outposts like Atlanta and Houston. It's impact on rap can't be understated.

That said, it's up to you to determine who is the best New Orleans rapper. If you notice a rapper from New Orleans missing, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best New Orleans hip hop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest new orleans hip hop musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular New Orleans hip hop bands that you might've heard of.

Most divisive: Birdman
Ranked by
  • Lil Wayne
    1,288 votes

    An artist whose moniker is synonymous with New Orleans hip-hop, Lil Wayne's unique wordplay and distinctive voice have propelled him to the upper echelons of the rap industry. A true innovator, Wayne has consistently impressed fans with his versatile lyrical style, demonstrated across a sprawling discography that includes platinum-selling albums and mixtapes that have become cultural touchstones. With an unyielding work ethic and a penchant for pushing artistic boundaries, it's no wonder Lil Wayne is often heralded as one of the Crescent City's finest musical exports.

  • Juvenile


    816 votes

    Born and raised in the Magnolia Projects, Juvenile's influence on NOLA's rap scene cannot be overstated. From his debut album Solja Rags to his work with Cash Money Records, Juvenile has left an indelible mark on the genre. His unique delivery and ability to seamlessly adapt to diverse production styles are testaments to his staying power in an ever-changing musical landscape. Longevity and undeniable talent make Juvenile a formidable force in New Orleans rap history.

  • Master P
    568 votes

    As the mastermind behind No Limit Records, Master P transformed the trajectory of Southern hip-hop and laid the foundation for countless NOLA rap artists to follow in his footsteps. At the helm of various successful business ventures, including a clothing line and sports management company, Master P set a blueprint for other entrepreneurs in the industry. Demonstrating a work ethic as fierce as his lyrical prowess, Master P's impact on the New Orleans rap scene remains unparalleled today.

  • $uicideboy$
    656 votes

    Forgoing the stereotypical bounce-infused sound associated with NOLA rap, Suicideboys challenge expectations with their eclectic fusion of Southern hip-hop and dark, atmospheric beats. This duo, consisting of cousins Ruby da Cherry and $crim, has amassed a global following by delving into themes of substance abuse, depression, and personal struggles. Suicideboys’ fearlessness in tackling taboo subjects and their genre-bending soundscapes solidify their place among New Orleans' most innovative rap artists.

  • Hot Boy$
    445 votes

    Comprised of Lil Wayne, Juvenile, B.G., and Turk, Hot Boy$ contributed to the revolutionization of the Southern rap sound as pioneers of the Cash Money Records movement. Their 1999 album Guerilla Warfare is considered a defining release of the era, showcasing their seamless chemistry and unmatched storytelling abilities. As a collective, Hot Boy$ showcased the incredible talent fostered within the NOLA rap scene during the late 90s.

  • Soulja Slim
    742 votes

    Though his life was tragically cut short, Soulja Slim's impact on the New Orleans rap community remains significant. With gritty, raw lyrics reflective of his tumultuous upbringing in the Magnolia Projects, Slim painted vivid pictures of the struggle faced by many in the city. His honest, unfiltered storytelling resonated with fans, ensuring his legacy as an influential figure in NOLA rap history.