23 Best Canadian Rappers From Toronto & More

When you think of Canada, many are more likely to think of hockey and maple syrup rather than world class rappers. That said, the Great White North has produced many super talented rappers!

Here’s our list of some of the best Canadian Rappers ever.

1. Drake

Best Toronto Rappers, Drake

Of course, no list of best Canadian rappers would be complete without Drake on the list. Drake is not just the biggest artist in Canada, but one of the most famous musicians in the world.

Drake’s records have sold millions of copies, and his streaming numbers dwarf his biggest competitors.

Drake began his career acting before launching into the music industry. He first made waves with his initial three albums, Thank Me Later, Take Care, and Nothing Was the Same.

Critics raved about the melancholic rap stylings Drake brought. As of now, Drake has veered into new styles and genres to push his brand and music to new heights.

Drake is the most famous Toronto rapper, and he is an official ambassador of his local basketball team, the Raptors. He also purchased partial ownership of the football club A.C. Milan in 2022.

2. Tory Lanez

Tory Lanez

Tory Lanez was a star in Canadian hip-hop during the 2010s. He first made a name for himself with the mixtape, Conflicts of My Soul: The 416 Story. Lanez steadily climbed the charts with each passing year, he even nodded a Grammy Award nomination for his song “Luv” in 2016.

Sadly, his career took an unexpected turn in 2020 when Lanez admitted to shooting Megan Thee Stallion, another famous, although not Canadian, rapper.

The revelation shocked the music scene, and Lanez soon found himself in legal trouble. The court found him guilty of three charges related to the attack, and he faces decades of jail time.

3. Choclair

Choclair

Choclair never topped the commercial charts, but Canadian rap fans know he is one of the best artists in the scene. The rapper of Jamaican descent has been making music since the 1990s and has captivated audiences who made him a hit in the underground music scene.

Choclair initially broke out in 1997 with his EP, What It Takes. The success of the record and accompanying music videos earned Choclair a Juno Award and helped introduce his music to a wider audience.

Since then, Choclair has put out several albums and contributed with many artists. Choclair released his latest album in 2006, but he continues to tour and occasionally writes music.

4. Nav

Nav

Nav is a rapper from Ontario who began his career as a producer. Fortunately for the young producer, he got the shot of a lifetime when Drake asked him to co-produce the song “Back to Back” in 2015. The international success the song experienced allowed him more freedom to explore making music by himself.

The next year, Nav established himself as an elite rapper with his single “Myself.” The song went viral and introduced the young artist from Rexdale, Ontario to a wider audience.

He has since signed with fellow Canadian The Weeknd’s record label. In 2020, Nav released the song “Turks” which became his highest-charting single and helped him gain even more popularity with American fans.

5. Kris Wu

Kris Wu

Fans associate Kris Wu with his work in Asia, but the rapper spent many of his formative years in the Great White North.

Wu got his start with the band Exo, a South Korean-Chinese boy band. Wu quickly established himself as one of the breakout members of the group, and fans considered his rapping a highlight of Exo’s music.

After his years with Exo, Kris launched a successful solo career a few years into his group endeavor. The Canadian artist found plenty of success on his own both in singing and acting.

Kris Wu’s career had to stop after victims pressed criminal charges of sexual abuse against him. His career is on hold as he serves 13 years in prison in China.

6. PartyNextDoor

PartyNextDoor

PartyNextDoor was destined for success in 2013 when he became the first artist Drake signed to his OVO Sound label.

With the Canadian legend backing him up, and the exposure he gained from the association with Drake, PartyNextDoor set out to create new and exciting music. He released his self-titled debut EP in 2013, in which he wrote and rapped on several high-profile songs.

PartyNextDoor had his biggest success in 2017 with two Grammy Award nominations. The first nomination was for Best R&B Song for his song “Come and See Me.”

The other nomination was a shared Album of the Year nod, as a featured artist on Drake’s album Views. PartyNextDoor also wrote the hit song “Work” for Rihanna.

7. Roy Woods

Roy Woods

Woods, born Denzel Spencer, took the name Roy from another boy who lived in the same area as him. He chose his stage name thanks to a poll he took from his high school class.

Woods has had the backing of Drake since the beginning of his career, with the Toronto rapper promoting Woods’ debut EP, Exis.

Since then, Woods has carved out a successful career in the rap game, most notably with his debut album Say Less. The album peaked at 26 in Canada and even charted in the United States.

Although the success of Roy Woods cannot be only attributed to his partnership with OVO Sound, it was a major uplifter for the artist from Brampton, Ontario.

8. 88GLAM

88GLAM

88GLAM is a hip-hop duo from Toronto consisting of Shakqueel “88Camino” Burthwright and Derek “Wise” Bissue. Derek Wise and 88Camino had previously rapped together in a different group before forming 88GLAM and signing with the XO record label.

The group hit the ground running with its debut single “12” which featured The Weeknd.

The group has produced two albums, two mixtapes, and one extended play. The Juno Awards nominated the duo four times for awards, including Breakthrough Group of the Year and Rap Recording of the Year.

Rumors came up in 2020 that 88GLAM was breaking up, but both members quashed those reports quickly. However, the group left their record label and has been on hiatus since 2020.

9. Killy

Killy

The Toronto rap scene is full of young artists with a whole career ahead of them ready to prove their worth. Killy is another example of that vibrant scene, and he began rapping in 2015.

Like many rappers of the era, Killy got his start through popularity on SoundCloud. He released a few tracks on the platform that helped him break into the underground rap scene in the city.

Killy had his biggest hit in 2017 with “Killamonjaro.” The song went platinum in his home country, and it allowed Killy to make new connections with other artists.

Since his viral single, Killy has released six albums and a slew of singles. The artist has four Juno Award nominations under his belt and several platinum and gold certifications.

10. Belly

Belly

Belly was born in Palestine but spent most of his life in Ottawa, Ontario. He began his rap career at 21 years old, significantly later than many of his contemporaries.

Belley released his first single in 2007 with the song “Pressure.” The cut was an early hit for the rapper, peaking at number 10 on the charts and opening up new avenues for Belly.

Belly created his most controversial song later in the year with “History of Violence,” an anthem detailing the War in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

Soon after, Belly won a Juno Award before taking a hiatus. 

Today, Belly raps with XO and Roc Nation and has contributed production and vocals for several artists. Belly collaborated with both the Weeknd and Beyonce among other artists.

11. Jazz Cartier

Jazz Cartier

Jazz Cartier is one of the hottest musicians in Canada today, and his music has earned him several awards and honors.

Fans best know Cartier for his debut album Fleurever along with his early mixtapes. His mixtape Hotel ParanoiaI won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year, and he has several other nominations under his belt.

Toronto is Cartier’s birthplace, though he bounced around many locations as a child, including Kuwait, the United States, and Barbados.

Jazz Cartier’s frequent travel and exposure  to new cultures and music gave him an appreciation for variety and diversification. Thus, he makes music that draws from his multi-cultural experiences.

In 2021, Cartier returned from a brief hiatus and released his second album, The Fleur Print.

12. Tablo

Tablo

Though he spent several years growing up in South Korea, Tablo’s family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia; and now he has Canadian citizenship. Tablo studied at Stanford University and set out to find a career in music.

Though he struggled to find initial success in the ‘90s, few people could have expected the young man to explode the way he did when he joined the Korean hip-hop group Epik High in 2001.

Tablo works as the producer and leader of Epik High and remains one of the best rappers active in Korea. The artist has also taken on plenty of solo work and incorporates many different styles such as trip-hop or trance music.

Outside of music, Tablo wrote a fiction book and starred in the film How To Steal a Dog.

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