Several rappers have come out of Florida through the years, some of which you’d be surprised to learn came from The Sunshine State. Do you know which rap artists from this state are the best? Continue reading to find out who makes our list of the 21 best Florida rappers of all time!
1. Rick Ross
First on our list is rapper Rick Ross who initially began rapping under the name Teflon Da Don. While he was born in Mississippi, his family moved and he spent his childhood in Carol City, Florida. He began his rap career in the 2000s, releasing his first single in 2006 called Hustlin’ on his debut album Port Of Miami. The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 charts and sold over 187,000 copies in just one week.
He quickly became an influential part of the rap community and released another album in 2008 called Trilla, which topped the Billboard 200 charts too. He founded Maybach Music Group, which is a record label, and was a part of the rap group Triple C’s. He released Deeper Than Rap, Teflon Don, God Forgives, I Don’t, and several other albums. The most recent album he released was Richer Than I Ever Been in 2021. Some of the songs he’s known for include Here I Am, Mafia Man, Money In The Grave, and Idols Become Rivals.
2. YNW Melly
Next is YNW Melly who rose to fame in 2016 with his breakout song Murder On My Mind, which was released shortly before he was charged with the murders of two other rappers that were part of the YNW group. He released a mixtape in 2017 while still in jail, which was Collect Call, and featured rappers such as Lil B. In 2018, singles such as Melly The Menace, Slang That Iron, Butter Pecan, Medium Fries, and Virtual were released.
It wasn’t until 2019 that he released his debut album called Melly Vs. Melvin, which landed on the Billboard 200 in the eighth position. In 2021, he released a second album called Just A Matter Of Slime. He has other well-known songs including 223’s featuring the rapper 9lokkNine, Suicidal featuring Juice Wrld, and Mixed Personalities featuring Kayne West. While highly regarded as a rapper, he is still in prison awaiting trial on the double murder charges.
3. Kodak Black
Kodak Black makes our list since he is from Pompano Beach, Florida, and is one of the more popular rappers of the mid-2010s. It wasn’t until 2014 that he gained attention when he released the song No Flockin’, but it was when Drake danced to Skrt in a social media video he released in late 2015 that people really began to listen to Kodak Black. His debut album Painting Pictures hit three on the Billboard 200 chart and had songs including a big hit with Tunnel Vision, which made it to sixth place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 2018, the single ZEZE made it to two on the Hot 100 chart, which helped his second album, Dying To Live, hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart. He is still releasing music after his latest legal situation with a new album released in 2022 called Back For Everything. You can hear his music on television shows including Ballers, Atlanta, Wrestle, and Hightown.
4. Denzel Curry
Next on our list is rapper Denzel Curry from Carol City, Florida, who is best known for songs such as Ultimate, Melt My Eyez, Walkin, Clout Cobain, Ricky, and more. He had started rapping when he was in sixth grade because he struggled with issues relating to not accepting his mother as a Jehovah’s Witness.
It wasn’t long before the friendship he had with fellow rapper Rick Ross gave him the bump he needed to gain even more attention. His first album dropped in 2013 and was called Nostalgic 64. Imperial was released in 2016, and he has released three more albums since then including Melt My Eyez See Your Future, which came out in 2022.
A lot of people know of XXXTentacion because he was one of the early adopters of using SoundCloud to release his music. He started releasing his rap songs on the platform in 2013, and he quickly became a viral sensation because of his unique angle on the emo rap genre. Some of his hit tracks include King, I Don’t Wanna Cry, Hope, Bang Bang, Look At Me, and Tightrope.
What made him stand out was the emotional element that he included in his rap songs, and he had three albums released between 2013 and 2018. Sadly, he didn’t get to see his career become what it could have been since he was shot and killed during a robbery attempt in 2018. Since then, another album was posthumously released and people are still enjoying his music several years after his untimely death.
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6. Bobby Shmurda
Next is Bobby Shmurda who was a Florida rapper that utilized the hip hop style Brooklyn drill in his raps, which mixed the UK and Chicago styles together. His biggest hit song was Hot N*gga, which was released in 2014 and landed on the Billboard Hot 100 charts at number six.
People enjoyed his trap music because it was different, and he was a huge deal in the rap community until he was arrested in 2014. Some of his other big hits included No Time For Sleep, Hot Boy, Living Life, and Shmoney.
Calling all auto-tune enthusiasts, the next rapper on our list is T-Pain, who really made auto-tune a popular sound. He influenced a lot of other rappers to begin using auto-tune, and his name is synonymous with it. Some of his biggest songs include Bartender, I’m Sprung, Buy U A Drank, and I’m N Luv.
His first album was released in 2005, and it was called Rappa Ternt Sanga, with a follow-up in 2007 called Epiphany. He released five albums after that including the 2023 album On Top Of The Covers. You can find his music in movies and television shows including Step Up 3D, Friday Night Lights, Magic Mike, Pitch Perfect, and Tom & Jerry.
8. DJ Khaled
Next is DJ Khaled who has been around the industry throughout his life and is one of the most popular rappers out of Florida. He knows how to mix songs and make crazy beats, but he isn’t too much into talking in his music. Most people began listening to him when his track All I Do Is Win came out in 2010, which became a triple platinum single. He is more than a rapper, he is an inspirational figure with his videos on Snapchat that talk about success and the ways you can succeed in your own life.
9. Lil Pump
Lil Pump is from Miami, and he began on Soundcloud like a lot of other rappers, but his songs deal with loving life and having a carefree spirit. He rose to fame when he was 17, and has had several hit tracks including Gucci Gang, D Rose, I Love It, and Arms Around You. He has released a few studio albums including the 2017 self-titled debut album, then Harverd Dropout, and Lil Pump 2, which dropped in 2023.
Another name you’re going to recognize is Pitbull, who is famously known for having Floridian and Cuban roots, which is a heavy influence on his musical style. His beats are very distorted, and he has a lyric style that is unique compared to a lot of other rappers. He released his debut album in 2004, which was M.I.A.M.I. and contained Culo. This was his breakout song, landing on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 32. The album made it to 14 on the Billboard 200 and was what made him a household name.
11. Flo Rida
Flo Rida gets his name straight from Florida, and his hit song from 2007 Low was what made him a household name. This was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, Hot Rap Songs, and Mainstream Top 40 charts, which broke records as the biggest digitally downloaded track. With more than 80 million records sold, he is an international rap star.
Next is 9lokkNine who first released songs in 2018 and has quickly become a hot rap artist and producer. He has released hits such as Crayola, Why You Lying, 10 Percent, and No Relay. He has been in prison since 2021 when he was found guilty of identity theft and other charges.
13. Rod Wave
Rod Wave is next on our list, and he is a unique rapper that combines rap with singing. His most famous song is called Heart On Ice, which is all about how you feel when you don’t get what you want. He is one of the rappers who created what we know of as soul trap music.
Next on our list is GHOSTEMANE who is darker than a lot of other rappers since he also gets influence from heavy metal, rock, and industrial black metal. While he doesn’t do the high-pitched squeals that often accompany screamo, you can hear the influence in his style. He has had hits such as Fed Up, To Whom It May Concern, Squeeze, and Mercury: Retrograde.
15. Trick Daddy
Calling all 90s rap fans, you probably know of Trick Daddy as he gained immense popularity in the 90s and is one of the biggest rappers out of Florida. He had huge hits including one of his early songs Shut Up, which featured Trina, and we will talk about her in a minute. Other tracks he is known for include I’m A Thug, Sugar, Take It To The House, and In Da Wind.
Trina became famous for hanging around Trick Daddy and being featured in his songs, and as a fellow Florida rapper, he helped her gain success in the industry. She was one of the first big female rappers with her first hit single Da Baddest Bitch dropping in 2000. It is because of her that we now have Cardi B and Nicki Minaj these days. She was known for singing about her personal life, and her voice is incredible.
Next on our list is Hotboii who is most famous for songs such as his breakout track Don’t Need Time when he was 20 years old. This song had more than 75 million views on the site YouTube and helped his career skyrocket to stardom. Mixing influences from artists such as Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, his music is beloved by the rap community. He released the album Double O Baby in 2020, Life Of A Hotboii in 2021, and Blinded By Death in 2022.
18. Sean Kingston
If you feel beautiful then you probably have played the 2007 hit song Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston, who also makes our list because he was born in Miami, Florida. He is known for mixing his Jamaican and Floridian roots to create a blend of rap that was smooth and a little more reggae than other rap artists.
Beautiful Girls remains his most well-known song with it hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, although Fire Burning, Beat It, Letting Go, and Why U Wanna Go are also popular tracks. His albums include his 2007 debut Sean Kingston, Tomorrow, Back 2 Life, and Road To Deliverance.
19. Vanilla Ice
Attention all 90s fans, you didn’t think we’d get through our list without mentioning Vanilla Ice, did you? This Florida rapper has to be on our list given his hit song Ice Ice Baby, which was released in 1990, and it samples the Queen song Under Pressure. Regardless of the jokes, was very popular in the 90s and carried him to instant fame. Even though he is not rapping these days, Ice Ice Baby remains an iconic track that has us reliving the 90s.
Calling all football fans, Plies who was born in Fort Myers, Florida, first started out in college at Miami University as a wide receiver before turning to music and becoming a rapper. He is best known for his song Bust It Baby Part 2, which was released in 2008 and featured Ne-Yo. He has also worked right alongside other famous rappers such as Akon, T-Pain, and Ashanti. He released four albums including The Real Testament in 2007, Definition Of Real in 2008, Da REAList in 2008, and Goon Affiliated in 2010.
Lastly, Mase makes our list, and you may remember him from the 90s since he was one of the most popular rappers during that decade after he signed with Diddy. He has been a part of some of the most iconic songs of our time including Mo Money Mo Problems, Been Around The World, and Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.
He creates raps that are softer, and he has a very melodic voice, which sets him apart from a lot of other rappers. He released Harlem World in 1997, which featured his most well-known song Feel So Good, then followed that album up with Double Up in 1999. His last album came out in 2004 called Welcome Back.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.