23 Best Ohio Rappers, From Columbus & Other Cities
From Columbus to Cleveland, and even to Cincinnati, Ohio has some super talented rappers. Today we’re going to discuss some of that talent by sharing what we believe to be the best Ohio rappers ever.
Kid Cudi started rapping at the tail end of his high school years. However, before finding success in the music industry, he worked at various clothing stores, which is also how he met his mentor Kanye West.
In addition to working on multiple songs with West, Cudi has built an illustrious solo career and founded his own record label Wicked Awesome Records. Outside of music, his professional endeavors include fashion design, modeling, and acting.
Cudi’s lyrics are packed with raw emotions and are unafraid to tackle mental health matters, candidly share personal struggles and experiences, and delve into various other introspective topics.
Young Bossi is an artist who isn't afraid of change. He wants things to get better for the poor, and he'll go to extremes to try and get it.
His songs depict threats of gun violence, curb stomping, and even full frontal attacks. He's real and is not afraid to voice when he is upset with the world.
This is the Ohio rapper for you if you like hard rap, social change, or violent themes.
Shakur, also known as Shakur Moss, is very mainstream. Through his iconic look of a heavy lid and dreadlocks, he screams street rapper. While this might seem like a negative trait, Shakur is great because he is the best at this style of music.
While you have probably heard songs similar to his and seen rappers who share a look, none of them will sound as eloquent and well-spoken as Shakur. This rapper takes the time to decide what he wants to say before articulating himself.
Erzi is a rapper who can create catchy rhythms and exciting noise, but his authentic strong suit is storytelling. The rapper creates intricate songs full of arching details that don't always stand out immediately.
Erzi is the rapper you must listen to a few times. While you might vibe with his music immediately, it will improve each time you listen and pick up on new details. This story-oriented rapping makes Erzi stand out in the contemporary scene, as this skill is more associated with nineties rap.
Kipp Stone is a true example of zero to hero. This artist has risen to fame from his humble beginnings as a no-name rapper off the streets.
He has seen major collaborations with other bigger artists, such as Bif Heff and D.J. Steph Floss. Kipp has even gone on to be hired by Marvel to write a song about Black Panther.
Hecava Mecca is a very political artist. She strives for racial equality, and many popular songs tackle this theme. She also points out that beauty standards are incredibly white leaning and wants the world to know there is more than one way to look good.
Her songs feature some vocals with a lot of flavor, catchy drum beats, and even some strong synthesizers.
While originally from Georgia, Floco Torres has moved to Ohio and has made a real effort to adapt to the scene. His songs evoke a melancholy theme of wonder and exploration that is surprisingly lacking in the rap scene.
These upbeat and clean themes are coupled with the artist's good nature and sensible personality. This artist takes pride in knowing that he is a good person, just trying to make a living by spreading the good word of the world.
D.Hilla is a master of sing-speak. He loves to prioritize a message over other factors, and he helps to compensate for this by using a lot of auto-tuning. His beats, however, are unlike other artists and stand on their unique ground.
The beats that come out of this artist exceed plainness by using fast-flowing sounds and exciting themes.
Another artist known for their editing skills is Ripp Flamez. This Cleveland rapper has mastered the art of auto-tune and has gone on to create a variety of songs using it. Unlike some rappers who use the auto-tune to patch up their subpar vocals, Ripp uses it as a form of expression and art.
Ripp Flamez creates a lot of fast pace beats and electronic-sounding rhymes that are perfect for hyping up a crowd. Next time you are looking to throw a party, consider throwing on some of the most exciting jams by Ripp.
What I like about Bankie iZ is that he has a lot of variance in his sound. A lot of artists excel at making one type of song and try to stick to their strengths. However, Bankie iZ utilizes a wide range of his voice to create different songs.
Between his softer songs that slow down the rhythm and more exciting and pop-inspired raps, Bankie iZ is a rapper who has something for everyone.
Billard is another artist who has made their name out of nothing. As someone reasonably unknown a few years ago, striking collaboration with a big name like Machine Gun Kelly was a big deal and really helped put his name on the map.
Their collaborated song, “All Eyez On Me,” features a mixture of their strong suits. While MGK excels at catchy rhymes and loud messages, Billard brings a sense of sincerity and clarity to the song. Their voices do well to complement each other, and the result is a song for the ages.
Lil Cray is likely the best freestyle rapper listed on today's list. As one of the best Ohio rappers, he brings a skill that few other locals really excel at. One of his biggest hits, “Kyrie Irving,” is a freestyle rap he created from scratch.
There is something truly enticing about someone who can create something out of nothing on the spot like that and still make it sound appealing.
Tae Miles is a man of several talents. He's a great midwestern rapper but stands out on the scene because of his ability to sing.
Many different rappers, both big and small, try their hand at singing. While it is certainly not unheard of for some of these rappers to show some talent, that isn't always the case. Many rappers fail to manage both singing and rapping vocals, as the two are just very different skill sets.
Tae Miles is terrific because he is an artist who manages to not only do both of these but excels at making music that utilizes both skills.
Shawn K is an artist who doesn't look how he sounds. His voice is incredibly rough, and you would think he was a lifetime smoker after listening to him. Despite this, Shawn K is a relatively young artist who makes good music with his distinct voice.
The deceptively young artist is often compared to Travis Scott, whose style is very relaxed and borderline alternative rap. However, Shawn K is not derivative, and his interesting voice leads to a truly one-of-a-kind listen.
Paper Paulk is another artist who plays to his strengths. He writes many songs, and so many of his songs are about gaining success that it is no wonder he has found it.
This artist shows his poetic roots by creating long-winded rhymes that use a lot of dialects not usually found in music. Regardless of vocabulary, though, Paper Paulk is someone who knows how to hype up a crowd.
Not only is IOU T.A. one of the best Ohio Rappers out there, but he's also one of the best Columbus rappers. This younger artist spews rhymes that can resonate with a younger crowd.
One of IOU T.A.'s bigger hits, “Lifestyle,” depicts the lifestyle of a character who struggles between their thug life and taking care of their family. They just want the world to be quieter, which a lot of younger people can relate to.
Another artist who collaborated with Machine Gun Kelly, Tezo, is a big name. He has consistently put out regular albums since his debut and has collaborated with a wide variety of artists to fill in the gaps.
When he is not creating his works of art, Tezo is featured on various other songs by Ray Jr., ManMan Savage, and Two 9.
Bow Wow is a rapper with songs as catchy as his name. His rhythm tends to be fast-paced, and his songs give off an exciting feeling.
Outside of his talent for rapping, the artist has even appeared in a few movies. Unsurprisingly, a man of such talent was discovered and promoted by one of the greats like Snoop Dogg.
Despite being an incredibly talented rapper that one would assume started perfecting his craft from a very young age, NicX actually started rapping by force. His friends in high school were very into rapping, and their group pressured the young student into joining in their fun.
Over time, NicX grew to love the art of rap and indeed found himself while using it as a form of self-expression.
The artist is a little more obscure than other rappers on this list, but his talent has netted him some collaborations with names like Well$ and 6lack.
Ampichino is one of the most prolific rappers to come out of Ohio. Since entering the music scene in 2001, he has created and mixed 16 solo albums, and it doesn't seem like he is stopping there.
His latest album is great because it tackles many feelings we experienced during the pandemic. As many people felt trapped, isolated, and like they couldn't do anything to remedy their situation, Ampichino uses his voice to reassure us that it is a mutual feeling.
Minus the Alien
One of the best things about Minus the Alien is what he stands for. This rapper believes in the power of local communities and that paying good deeds forward can lead to large-scale change. On top of that, the artist has been very public about his views on body positivity.
Beyond his belief in positive change, Minus the Alien is great because he makes great music. His jazz-inspired beats and often romantic themes carry his melancholy voice from an everyday rapper to a true stand-out. Minus is a rapper you should check out.
Flames OhGod is a rapper off the street. His videos are exceedingly low-budget, seeing as how each depicts the same few locations and uses a low-budget camera. Fortunately, there is more to him than just his music videos.
This rapper stands out because he excels at riding beats. Many rappers, especially those from Akron, Ohio, have moved toward the trend of offbeat flow. Flames OhGod goes against the grain in this aspect, and it helps the small-town artist to stand out more.
Ren Fetti is an artist who likes to work smarter rather than harder. If he has the option to use a tool, he has shown that he is not afraid to use it.
This rapper pulls out all the stops. Between sampling, voice alteration, and even heavy bass, he is willing to create music that sounds like nothing before it. His unique style creates a robotic tone with remnants of soul sprinkled throughout.
Top Ohio Rappers, Final thoughts
Even though Ohio isn’t particularly known for its rap scene or musical history, this midwestern state has managed to create some gifted individuals. So if you were enthralled by any of the best Ohio rappers listed above, make sure to check out their creative music videos and add their songs to your playlist.
P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!