The Best Southern Rappers of All Time

Over 7.0K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Southern Rappers of All Time
Voting Rules
Only famous rappers who are from or started their careers in the South.

To many people, rap music is historically based in the Northeast, however, as the 1990s proved, Southern rappers are not only as force to be reckoned with, but are some of the best rappers period. Southern rap has grown from a regional form of music to being heard far and wide, and remains one of the best rap genres and easily one of the most recognizable. Southern rap encompasses rappers from Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Houston and Memphis. These are the most popular outposts for good Southern rap. The "Dirty South" sound has influenced rappers from all over the world and its impact cannot be said enough.

So, who are the best Southern rappers? If you're a fan of Southern rap, you know famous names like Outkast, T.I., Mystikal, Master P, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, the Geto Boys, Ludacris, Three 6 Mafia, and Texas rappers like Twisted Black. These are some of the names synonymous with Southern rap and with good reason. They've sold out arenas, had hit songs and have won a slew of awards, including Grammys. There's a reason why Southern hip hop remains wildly popular and it's because of the songs created by the talented rappers on this list.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best Southern rappers. This list answers the questions "who are the best southern rap bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest southern rap musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the musician's music instead of just voting for the most popular southern rap bands that you might've heard of.

Most divisive: Yelawolf
Ranked by
  • Outkast
    2,424 votes

    Emanating from the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, OutKast revolutionized Southern hip-hop with their unique blend of funk, soul, and futuristic elements. Comprised of two equally ingenious emcees, André 3000 and Big Boi, their lyrical prowess and innovative production set them apart from their contemporaries. With six unforgettable studio albums, including the timeless "ATLiens" and the genre-defying "Stankonia," OutKast's impact on hip-hop culture is monumental; their infectious energy and unparalleled creativity remain unmatched to this day.

  • André 3000
    2,309 votes

    As one-half of the groundbreaking duo Outkast, André 3000, born André Benjamin, consistently pushed boundaries in Southern hip-hop with his eccentric personality, intricate wordplay, and incomparable style. Known for his mind-bending lyrics and thought-provoking concepts, André's rhymes have captivated audiences for over two decades. His solo work on OutKast's double album, "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," showcased his extraordinary versatility as an artist, further solidifying his position as a pivotal figure in the annals of rap history.

  • Lil Wayne
    2,182 votes

    From his humble beginnings with the Hot Boys to becoming the self-proclaimed "Best Rapper Alive," Lil Wayne has consistently raised the bar for Southern rappers. Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.'s unmistakable raspy voice and relentless punchlines have cemented him as a heavyweight in the game. Having released numerous chart-topping hits and highly influential mixtapes, Weezy's impact on hip-hop is undeniable, inspiring a whole generation of artists that came after him.

  • J. Cole
    1,713 votes

    Fayetteville, North Carolina's J. Cole climbed his way to the top through his heartfelt storytelling and thought-provoking lyrics. Known for his conscious narratives that touch on social issues, personal struggles, and triumphs, Cole's authenticity made him a standout among Southern rappers. With five number-one albums to his name, including the critically acclaimed "2014 Forest Hills Drive," J. Cole's profound influence on the rap landscape remains undiminished.

  • Scarface
    1,909 votes

    Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Scarface is widely regarded as one of the most influential and skilled emcees to emerge from the South. As a member of the pioneering group Geto Boys, he introduced the world to Southern hip-hop's darker side with vivid storytelling and fierce lyricism. His solo career, which includes the groundbreaking "The Diary," has solidified Scarface as a legend in the rap game, inspiring countless artists who followed in his footsteps.

  • Pimp C
    1,160 votes

    As a founding member of the legendary Texas duo Underground Kingz (UGK), Pimp C played a massive role in shaping the sound and image of Southern hip-hop. Known for his smooth production skills and unapologetic rhymes, Chad Lamont Butler's impact on the genre is still felt today. Even after his untimely passing in 2007, Pimp C's legacy continues to grow, reaching new generations of fans and artists alike.