The ten greatest Midwest rappers of all time
The Midwest is the bastard child of the American rap scene at large -- unsung and independent, with a massive chip on its shoulder. The most talented artists from the Midwest have succeeded each with their own unique style and flavor, regardless of what was making money elsewhere in the country at any particular time, so it's not surprising that areas like Minneapolis, Detroit and Chicago have become breeding grounds for new, innovative alternative rappers like Dessa, Danny Brown and Chance the Rapper. But those names are new and still relatively unproven. The following artists have been battle tested and have not only survived, but thrived. Continue reading for the ten greatest Midwest rappers of all time.
Granted, if Twista had never come up with his rapid-fire delivery, he most likely wouldn't have made as much noise. But it's not only his fast tongue and incredible breath control that make him notable, it's his originality and deep understanding of individual phonemes and how they flow together. You can't just say anything fast and have it sound good, you have to write the verse to be fast-adaptable, and that's a skill that Twista has mastered.
Atmosphere has had an immeasurable influence on independent hip-hop. Slug may not have the cleanest, most pleasing flow around, but alternative white rappers from here to Timbuktu have been jacking his swagger for years. His melancholy lyrics resonate powerfully with the growing pains of an angst-ridden young adult. And the importance of Ant's production cannot be understated; without his ambivalent, moody, but ultimately catchy beats, Slug could never have gained traction because, let's face it, with an MC as inwardly focused as Slug, somebody else has to provide the access point.
8. Royce da 5'9
Royce came up with Eminem in the Detroit duo Bad Meets Evil (Royce is Bad and Eminem is Evil), known mostly for their self-titled song on Eminem's major debut, The Slim Shady LP, as well as their EP, Hell: The Sequel, released in 2011. Now, Royce is best known for his role in Slaughterhouse, the Shady outfit with Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I. Though his work in groups has received a lot of attention, his best, most consistent work has probably come as a solo artist.