17 Best Rappers From Kentucky

Kentucky is known for many things, from fried chicken to horse racing to bourbon. Most people don’t realize Kentucky is also home to some of the best up-and-coming rap artists in the game.

Read on as we take a look at the best rappers from Kentucky.

Rubi Rose

Rubi Rose

Lexington, Kentucky’s Rubi Rose has carved out a lane for herself as one of the leading ladies in hip-hop. Rubi caught her first break as the main model in Migos’ video for Bad and Boujie. To keep herself in the public eye, she regularly appeared on DJ Akademiks' twitch streams, sometimes attracting hundreds of thousands of users.

Capitalizing on the success of her public appearances, she released her first mixtape, For The Streets, in 2020, which featured collaborations with PartyNextDoor and Future. The following year, she was featured in the 2021 XXL Freshman issue alongside 42 Dugg and Pooh Shiesty. With new music on the horizon, the future seems bright for Rubi Rose.

EST Gee

EST Gee

Hailing from the Clarksdale Projects in Louisville NOY Lexington, EST Gee has quickly become one of the best rappers from Kentucky. Before finding rap music, EST Gee was a standout football star and attended Indiana State University before playing briefly for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL. Realizing there was more out there for him than football, he turned to music.

EST Gee began releasing music in 2017 and built a buzz thanks to his breakout track, Stains. His 2020 mixtape Ion Feel Nun and the follow-up I Still Don’t Feel Nun helped cement EST Gee as one of the best rappers in Kentucky. His first official LP, I Never Felt Nun arrived in September 2022 to great fanfare, and he’s poised to set the rap game on fire in 2023.

Troy Money

Troy Money

Troy Money of Bowling Green, Kentucky, was introduced to street life at a young age. With his father behind bars for his entire childhood, Troy spent much of his time in the streets, learning about life the hard way. A gifted high school athlete, Troy Money had a shot at going pro but had trouble applying himself in school. Instead, he turned to music.

Troy began putting out mixtapes and generating a local buzz in Kentucky. While a run-in with the law sidelined his music dreams momentarily, Troy Money is back to putting out heat. In the summer of 2022, he released his Cheap Phones and Turkey Bags project with Starlito, which features appearances from EST Gee and Don Trip.

Lil 30

Lil 30

Another young rapper coming from Louisville, Lil 30, has only been in the game a short while, but he’s spent each second leaving his mark on the city. Since entering the rap game in 2021, you can count on Lil 30 to drop a new single each month, with an accompanying video shot by friend and videographer Flacko.

2K Baby

2K Baby

Louisville’s 2K Baby is one of the most promising new artists hailing from Kentucky, and in his short career, he’s already produced some of the biggest hits to ever come from the state. 2K Baby first began rapping at age 15, recording a self-shot video for his song Old Streets. Within months, the video had taken off, and it was clear that 2K Baby had a future in the business.

Following the success of Old Streets, he released his first full-length project, Pregame Rituals, in 2020. Pregame Rituals was an instant hit, featuring songs like Faxts and Old Soul, which featured G Herbo. Not one to rest on his success, 2K Baby followed his successful first project with his latest album, First Quarter, in 2021.

2forwOyNE

2forwOyNE

DaWoyne Lawson, better known as 2forwOyNE, is a Lexington-based rapper and producer and a frequent collaborator of breakout Kentucky rapper Jack Harlow. 2forwOyNE’s first exposure came from behind the scenes, working as the executive producer on several Jack Harlow projects, including one of his first breakout mixtapes, 2017’s Gazebo.

Emerging from behind the scenes, 2forwOyNE released his first project as an artist, 2020’s Growin’ Pains, to critical acclaim. He’s also a member of The Homies, alongside several other producers and emcees, and he’s featured on several tracks on their album, Umbrellas.

Time will tell if 2forwOyNE decides to spend more time behind the boards or in front of them, but he seems poised to succeed regardless of the avenue he chooses.

Deacon the Villain

Deacon the Villain

In Kentucky hip-hop, Louisville, and Lexington get most of the love. Still, there are excellent artists from all over the state, including Deacon the Villain, who calls Versailles, Kentucky, his home. While attending Morehead College, Deacon formed the group CunninLynguists, one of the most legendary crews in underground hip-hop.

Deacon has a lengthy discography of solo works and albums from the CunninLynguists. Away from the mic, Deacon has contributed to many of the culture’s biggest magazines, including XXL and HipHopDX. Deacon is also a close friend of Shaun King and works tirelessly as an activist in support of social justice causes.

Heavy Honcho

Heavy Honcho

One of Louisville’s youngest talents, Heavy Honcho, is quickly rising through the ranks to become one of the best rappers in Kentucky. Honcho’s music centers around growing up hard in Kentucky, and he’s been captivating audiences with his captivating tales of the struggle since 2021.

With tens of thousands of subscribers on YouTube and scores of monthly listeners on streaming services, Heavy Honcho is poised to take over the rap game in the coming years.

RA Scion

RA Scion

Lexington, Kentucky’s RA Scion, has worked tirelessly throughout his career to place himself at the forefront of alternative hip-hop music, and he’s amassed an impressive catalog of his own music while also managing a successful label.

After discovering the Fat Boys in the early 80s, RA Scion decided a career as a rapper was all he wanted, and he began working tirelessly on his craft. After relocating to Seattle, he formed Common Market with DJ and producer Sabzi. All told, he’s put out seven projects and appeared on countless other artists' songs, including the CunninLynguists.

When he isn’t behind the mic, he’s in front of it, managing artists and producing projects for his SCIONtific record label.

Vory

Vory

Originally from Houston, Vory began to make waves when he relocated to Lexington, Kentucky. A frequent collaborator of Bryson Tiller, he delivers a similar array of flows and has no difficulty transitioning from gritty verses to beautiful vocal melodies in the chorus. His debut full-length album, Lost Souls, arrived in 2022.

Behind the scenes, Vory is also one of the most prolific writers in the game, and his pen won him a Grammy for his work on The Carters’ album Everything is Love. Beyond his work with Beyonce and Jay-Z, he’s also worked with Drake and Rich The Kid.

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