Somalia is a creative hotbed of talent, producing musicians, actors, models and more.
Many talented Somali rappers in the country and around the world produce chart-topping hits in genres like drill, hip-hop, electronic, and folk fusion. Today, we'll look at the best Somali rappers.
Yahye Guled Hassan, better known by his stage name, GeeYou, is a British hip-hop artist.
Although GeeYou is native to Northwest London, he's of Somali descent and is a crucial part of the current Somali rap scene.
His first song, “Slide Thru,” was an instant hit that went viral in the summer of 2019. GeeYou also produced a music video for “Slide Thru” with GRM Daily, a prominent British media company.
K'naan is a Somali-Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, and activist. He was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, on April 16th, 1978, as Keinan Abdi Warsame.
The future rapper fled the country with his family in 1990 due to the Somali Civil War, and they settled in Toronto, Canada, where K'naan began his music career.
K'naan's music is a fusion of hip-hop, reggae, and Somali folk music, and he's been releasing studio albums since 2004.
He has won numerous awards for his music, including three Juno Awards and an MTV Award.
3. Baby Mane
Baby Mane is a rising star in the UK rap scene. He's of Somali descent and was born in Tottenham, London, England, entering the rap game around 2009.
Mane's music is a mix of drill, grime, and trap, and his lyrics are often personal and introspective. The rapper tackles a wide range of topics, from his upbringing in Tottenham to his struggles with mental health.
4. Cabdalla Rasaas
Cabdalla Rasaas is a rapper from Mogadishu, Somalia. He was born in 2008 and is one of the youngest Somali rappers leading a new generation of artistry.
The rapper gives a voice to teens in Somalia, connecting with locals and the diaspora worldwide.
He started rapping at age 11 and is one of the most promising voices in Somali rap today.
Richi is a Somali rapper currently based in East London. He's a newer rapper and crucial figurehead in London's up-and-coming Somali rap scene.
The rapper is involved in the East London rap collective Malistrip, which produces UK fusion music like trap and drill.
A frequent collaborator of other Malistrip artists like Ridla, Baby Mane, and AK, Richi is an influential and prolific artist sure to make waves in the future.
6. Layla Hendryx
Layla Hendryx is a rapper of Somali and Djibouti descent. She grew up in Ottawa in Eastern Ontario and now works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The rapper started releasing music in 2015 and quickly became known for her witty humor, clever lyrics, and trap beats.
In 2018, she gained attention when she made it on the list of NOW Toronto's Toronto musicians to watch in 2018: hip-hop edition.
HMD (pronounced: ‘Hamdi') is a Somali rapper from Manchester, England. He was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and lived in Denmark briefly before settling in the West Midlands with his family.
HMD began rapping at a young age, and he quickly developed a following in the Somali community in Manchester.
He released his debut mixtape, “W16NTER,” in 2017, and the rapper followed it up with several successful singles. “DEEN” is his biggest hit to date, and the track gained over a million streams on Spotify.
8. Robin Banks
Robin Banks is a Toronto-based rapper who's been active on the scene since 2015. He's famous for his trap sound and intense lyrics, dealing with themes of gun violence, mental health, and loyalty.
Banks launched his debut album, The Entertainment, in October 2015, and he followed it up with four more successful records. His most influential track is “Come Thru,” an upbeat song about looking for love.
Freek, real name Mustafa Mohamed Ismail, is a rapper of Somali heritage. He was born on July 23rd, 1990, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to Somali parents, who immigrated in the 1970s.
The rapper entered the music industry in 2015 with his single, “Aslan 3Adi,” and released his first album, 150, in 2022. He gained attention for his unique style, blending trap, hip-hop, and underground, and collaborating with big names like Don Fuego and Eyez.