Scottish rappers have long been making a name for themselves. With their unique styles, multicultural backgrounds, and distinct accents, Scottish rap is an ever-growing genre that won't stay still.
Read on to discover the best Scottish rappers below!
Joseph Heron, better known by Shogun, is a Scottish rapper famous for appearing on The Rap Game UK.
Shogun was born and raised in Paisley, Scotland, about 20 minutes west of Glasgow, in 1997. He grew up with his mum in poverty but started rapping with friends to stay off the streets.
In just a few years, Shogun was studying Sound Production in college. He entered the music scene in 2016, releasing hits like the hard-hitting track Vulcan and two EPs.
The rapper received a nod from the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and collaborated with top UK grime artists like Dizzee Rascal.
Darran McGarvey is a rapper and social commentator known by his stage name, Loki. He's from south Glasgow and grew up in a housing estate called Pollock.
Born in 1984, Loki entered the rap game in 2003. He didn't release his studio albums until 2014 and 2017. However, he spent the early part of his career teaching hip-hop skills to at-risk kids.
Loki worked for BBC Radio Scotland, presenting programs on social inequality issues. He hosted three TV series, published books, and staged a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
With a creative, cutting-edge music technique and a career always on the move, Loki has always been a Scottish rapper to watch out for.
3. Gav Livz
Gavin Livingston, a Scottish rapper, and businessman, is known as Gav Livz. He founded and now directs Scheme to a Dream Entertainment. Livingston was born in 1988 and raised in Rutherglen, a town in the southern part of Glasgow.
Livz is recognized as a prominent figure in the hip-hop genre for her collaboration with fellow artist MC-VA, forming a duo known as The Neds. Notably, Livz and MC-VA proudly embrace their Scottish accent in their music, contributing to the growing Scottish rap scene.
The Neds released a digital album in 2010. It topped over 10,000 sales, leading to his appearances at music festivals. On the heels of his newfound success, Livz went on a solo career.
The other half of the duo is MC-VA, a Scottish rapper known for his unique style and lyrical prowess. He first gained popularity in the underground rap scene in Glasgow and has since become a well-known figure in the Scottish music industry due to his time in The Neds.
The rapper was born Mohammad Akhtar in Glasgow and grew up in a council house. He raps about his humble beginnings, touching on poverty, inequality, and urban life with clever wordplay.
Overall, MC-VA is a talented and respected artist who continues to impact the Scottish music scene even after he left The Neds.
5. Steg G
Steven Gilfoyle, also known as Steg G, is a Scottish rapper who has been making waves in the music industry for quite some time now. Born in Glasgow, he joined the hip-hop scene in the 90s and is the CEO and founder of one of Scotland's first hip-hop labels.
Steg G is known for his unique style and ability to blend different genres of music seamlessly. He has an extensive discography spanning over 30 years and over ten albums.
He's also an advocate for mental health awareness. He uses his music as a platform to raise awareness about the issue.
Born Drew Devine, Werd is a rapper based in Edinburgh, the nation's capital. He's been making waves for years, and we'd be remiss if we didn't add him to this list.
He began his career in the mid-2000s, releasing a series of mixtapes and EPs that quickly gained attention for their raw, honest lyrics and unique style. Since then, he has continued to build a devoted following with his powerful live performances and critically acclaimed releases, including his albums Untitled Scot and The Path.
Along the way, Werd has collaborated with other artists and producers, from Devlin to Dr. Syntax, cementing his status as one of Scotland's most exciting and influential musicians.
Did you know Scotland has an indigenous language? That's right, it's called Scottish Gaelic, and over 60,000 people in Scotland speak the language.
In 2017, it was high time we had a Scottish Gaelic rapper, and Griogair Labhruidh, better known as Eólas, appeared on the scene to satisfy us.
He hails from the tiny village of Ballachulish, in the western part of the Scottish highlands, and he started rapping in Gaelic to fuse tradition with his love for hip-hop.
Today, he produces music and works in language preservation, traveling the world and meeting indigenous emcees and rappers that create songs in their native languages.
Solareye is the premier member of the Scottish hip-hop group Stanley Odd. The rap collective hails from Edinburgh on the east coast and has released six albums.
With Stanley Odd, Solareye is a regular performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, T in the Park, and other local festivals. He's famous for retaining his Scottish dialect and rapping about social issues.
Solareye gained national acclaim with positive reviews from sources like Scotland on Sunday, and he continues to release music in his Scots dialect.
9. Madhat Mcgore
Madhat Mcgore was born in Edinburgh in 1988. He entered the music industry in 2002, writing hard-hitting tracks about his home and growing up Scottish.
The artist had a brief stint as half of a rap duo alongside his friend, fellow Edinburgh native Riddlah. However, he's made a name for himself in his solo career, going by the moniker Madhat.
10. Wardie Burns
This list wouldn't be complete without Wardie Burns, a classic artist and one of the first rappers in the iconic group Sons of Scotland.
With Sons of Scotland (SOS), Burns released his first album, a hit 2011 mixtape in collaboration with Werd.
The album, Vagabonds in Space, is eerie and offbeat, solidifying Burns's place within the horror rap subgenre.
11. Nity Gritz
Nity Gritz is a smaller rapper but still deserves his place in Scotland's hip-hop scene. He's made a career as a battle rapper, emceeing in live venues like clubs and festivals.
The rapper is from Edinburgh, and his distinct east coast dialect is evident in his music. He likes to add clips of spoken word to his songs, adding the voices of local Edinburgh residents and chatting about everything from sports to social issues.
Nity Gritz released his first mixtape in 2009 and continues to work as a rapper and emcee in Scotland.
Top Scottish Rappers, Final Thoughts
Scottish rappers are using their music to tell stories about their lives and experiences on the gritty streets of Glasgow, the bustling city of Edinburgh, and the rural Highlands.
With their unique blend of Scottish culture and hip-hop, Scottish rappers are carving out a space for themselves in the music industry and are here to stay.
We hope you enjoyed this round-up and are ready to start listening to Scottish rappers!