French Hip Hop
List of the Best French Rappers
As French rappers are in one of the world’s most prominent countries, the booming rap scene of France has been an international leader of hip-hop for decades. Creating the number one market of rap music in Europe, with the help of the country’s diversity, numerous artists have stepped up, becoming global stars in music.
Following the development of hip hop during the 1970s, the genre eventually began to expand, landing in France during the 1980s. Through the influence of American rap artists, the very first French rappers began to surface.
The 1980s and 1990s saw the rise of MC Solaar, Suprême NTM, the rap group Assassin, Ménélik, Ministère A.M.E.R. (Stomy Bugsy and Passi), Fabe, Les Sages Poètes de La Rue, and La Cliqua. While people behind the scenes, like DJs, Radio hosts, and producers, such as Dee Nasty, Lionel D, Jimmy Jay, or Cut Killer, also played an intricate part in the growth.
After the foundation of French hip-hop was successfully constructed, the 2000s and into the 2010s brought in a new batch of French rappers. This included PNL, Kery James, L’Algerino, Sniper, 113, Oxmo Puccino, Lino and Ärsenik, Akhenaton, Pit Bacardi, Mystik, Ol Kainry, Youssoupha, and several more.
Now, French rappers have created a reach well beyond the borders of France, especially as many of France’s hip-hop artists have origins from Africa, including places in Central and West Africa, such as Cameroon and Congo, as well as North African countries like Morocco and Algeria. This has led their music to reach all French markets worldwide, thanks France’s diverse demographics.
Top 50 French Rappers
Jul, originally from Marseille, rose to fame in the French hip-hop music scene when he started his career in 2013 with the launch of his first album named Dans ma paranoïa. The album was a massive hit, and since then, he has been unstoppable, releasing almost 24 projects and an unlimited number hit songs.
Raised just outside of Paris, Ninho entered the music scene in the mid-2010s with a series of mixtapes. These included Ils sont pas au courant Vol.1 in 2013, En attendant I.S.P.A.C. 2 in 2014, and M.I.L.S in 2016, which was his most successful release before his debut album Comme prévu. Ninho has achieved great success in the French-speaking hip hop markets, with three albums reaching number one, including Destin in 2019 and Jefe in 2021.
Niska, who was raised near Paris with a Congolese background, made his debut in 2014 with the track “Guévaraché” and subsequently released his first project, the mixtape Charo Life, in 2015. He has released three albums, including the platinum-selling Zifukoro in 2016, the diamond-certified Commando in 2017, and the triple-platinum Mr Sal in 2019. He is well-known for his popular songs “Réseaux” and “Salé”.
4. Koba LaD
Koba LaD initially started his music career as a member of Seven Binks before branching out on his own in 2018. His debut single “Ténébreux” quickly gained popularity, and he has since released several albums, such as VII, Détail, and L’Affranchi. Among his most well-known tracks are “Daddy Chocolat”, “Doudou”, “Coffre Plein”, “RR 9.1”, and “Train de vie”.
Naps hails from Marseille and made his debut in 2014 before releasing his first album in 2015, Ma ville & ma vie. He has released a total of nine albums so far, with his most successful ones being Les mains faites pour l’or, À l’instinct, and Best Life. Among his most popular tracks are “La Kiffance”, “6.3” featuring Ninho, “Favela” featuring Soolking, “Best Life” featuring GIMS, and “Pochon Bleu”.
The Parisian native Lacrim, a top French rapper with an Algerian heritage, kickstarted his career in the early 2000s. He gained recognition after collaborating with Mister You on various tracks in 2009 and later released his debut project, Liberté Provisoire in 2010. Lacrim has since released nearly a dozen projects, ranging from mixtapes to full-length albums. Some of his most popular songs include “AWA,” “Gustavo Gaviria,” “On Fait Pas Ca” featuring Lil Durk from Chicago, “Boston George,” and “Ce soir ne sors pas”.
With Guinean and Senegalese roots, MHD started his career in music during the early 2010s and gained recognition for his “Afro Trap” series, which started in 2015 and consisted of ten volumes. Since 2016, he has released three albums, starting with his self-titled debut MHD, followed by 19 and Mansa.
One of the many Algerian French rappers who were raised in the city of Marseille, L’Algerino has been actively involved in music since the 2000s. He released his first album, Les derniers seront les premiers, in 2005. With a total of 9 albums, including his most successful one, International, released in 2018, and several number one hits, L’Algerino has become a legendary figure in the French entertainment industry.
The Moroccan Parisian Lartiste has a unique ability as a French rapper, blending R&B, urban pop, and hip-hop, making him one of the most versatile artists in the industry. He first emerged during the 2000s and dropped his debut mixtape, Rap 1.9, in 2010. His illustrious career has given us chart-toppers such as “Chocolat,” “Mafiosa,” “Catchu,” and “Vai et viens.”
Booba, an iconic French rapper, started his journey in hip-hop during the 1990s by joining the rap group Lunatic and the collective 92i. He launched his solo career in 2001 with the song “Repose en paix”, which was a precursor to his album Temps mort in 2002. He has been active in the industry for nearly three decades, initially showcasing his talent with Lunatic in 1995 with their album Sortis de l’ombre and collaborating with the legendary French DJ Cut Killer on various tracks.
Kaaris is an artist from Ivory Coast who started his career in the late 90s and early 2000s. He made his true debut in 2007 with his mixtape 43e Bima. Since then, he has released six albums, several mixtapes, and worked on a collaborative project with Kalash Criminel. Some of his most famous songs include “Diarabi,” “Tchoin,” “Blow,” “Bling Bling,” and “Arrêt du cœur”.
12. Black M
Black M is a renowned French rapper who has made a significant mark in the industry during the 2010s. He has maintained his position as one of the most entertaining, versatile, and talented figures in the business, even in the 2020s. He has released multiple acclaimed albums, showcased his ability to transition from music to the big screen, and received numerous global award nominations and accolades.
Gazo has recently emerged as one of the top rising French rappers making waves in the French hip-hop scene in recent years. Hailing right outside of Paris, Gazo began to gain popularity in 2019 with the start of his “Drill FR” In a relatively short time, Gazo has released multiple mixtapes, Drill FR and KMT, and a host of number one French rap songs. He has since established himself as one of the most promising young rappers in France. With his talent and drive, it’s clear that he is on the path to becoming one of the most important voices in French hip-hop.
Orelsan is a French rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor who emerged on the French music scene in the late 2000s. He gained recognition for his witty and satirical lyrics that often poked fun at French society and culture. His breakout song was 2007’s “Saint Valentin”, only to release his debut album, Perdu d’avance, a couple years later in 2009. Alongside a successful music career of releasing multiple classic albums, including the diamond selling La fête est finie (2017) and Civilisation (2021), Orelsan has appeared in several films and television shows.
Maes is a rising star in the French rap scene, known for his hard-hitting lyrics and dynamic flow. Raised right outside of Paris, Maes gained notoriety with his debut album, Pure. Before the 2019 release, Maes released multiple mixtapes, Réelle vie and Réelle vie 2.0, one was released during his incarceration. Since, with each new release, Maes has cemented his place as one of the most exciting new voices of French hip-hop.
Raised in Marseille, Alonzo began his career in the 1990s as a member of the French rap group Psy 4 de la Rime. The group gained popularity with their first album, “Block Party”, which was released in 2002. Alonzo went on to release his first solo project, Un dernier coup d’oeil dans le rétroviseur, in 2010, which helped solidified himself as a solo artist. He has since released over ten albums, mixtapes, and EPs, including Avenue de Saint-Antoine of 2016, 100% in 2017, and 2022’s Quartiers Nord.
17. Heuss l’Enfoiré
Heuss l’Enfoiré is a French rapper who has been making a name for himself in French hip hop since 2018. Raised outside of the city of Paris, coming from an Algerian background, Heuss l’Enfoiré unique style quickly caught the attention of hip-hop fans across France, sometimes blending sounds of different genres of music, including trap, rap, and Afro music.
The Paris native PLK has produced some of France’s top hip-hop hits of the past few years, such as “Émotif (Booska 1H),” “Attentat,” “Problèmes,” and “Un peu de haine,” among others. He began during the early 2010s, collaborating with different artists, either as a featured artist or a member of a group, such as Paname Bende. In 2015, he released his first solo EP, Peur de me tromper.
SCH hails from Marseille and made his debut in 2015 with the project A7. Since then, he has released six albums with his latest being Autobahn in 2022. Over the course of his almost decade-long career, he has produced several top songs including “Fusil”, “Otto”, “Je la connais”, “Mayday” with Ninho, “Champs-Élysées”, “Mode Akimbo” with Jul, among others.
Zola, a top rising French rapper from the southern suburbs of Paris, entered the music scene with his first single “Blizzard” in 2017. Gradually, he gained recognition in the French rap community. Zola’s latest album, Diamant Du Bled, released in 2023, is a sequel to his 2020 classic album Survive. He has produced several chartbusters including “Papers” with Ninho, “Wow”, “Ouais Ouais”, and “Amber”.
Kalash spent most of his formative years on the West Indian island of Martinique. He has infused the French urban music scene with a unique blend of dancehall and hip-hop. Kalash first appeared in the late 2000s, collaborating with renowned dancehall artists, until the 2010s, he established himself as a prominent artist in his own right.
Naza hails from the Hauts-de-France region, located just north of Paris. He has Congolese roots and has been active in the music industry since the mid-2010s. This French rapper made his debut with the song “Tout pour la money” after linking with the French music legend Youssoupha. Naza’s impressive catalog includes songs such as “Joli bébé” featuring Niska, “MMM”, “Loin de moi”, “Souris Verte,” “P*Tain de m*rde”, and several projects from 2022’s B.I.G Daddy vol. 1 to 2017’s Incroyable.
Coming from a Congolese background, Gradur grew up in the northern France region of Hauts-de-France near the Belgium border in the metropolitan area of Lille. He started his music career with the rap group 59 and later began releasing music as a solo artist in 2013. Some of his top songs include “Ne reviens pas”, “Rosa”, and “Oblah”. He has released albums such as L’Homme au bob, ShegueyVara 2, and Zone 59.
25. Mister V
French rapper, comedia6n, and influencer Mister V has been taking France’s music industry and social media by storm. He began his career on YouTube, where he posted humorous videos and rap parodies. His unique style and comedic talent quickly gained him a large following. He then transitioned into the music industry, releasing his debut album Double V in 2017, which received critical acclaim and was a commercial success.
26. La Fouine
La Fouine, a French rapper with Moroccan roots who grew up in Trappes, gained popularity in the early 2000s. He released his first project, Planète Trappes, in 2004 and has since gone on to release multiple successful albums, including Bourré au son (2005) and XXI (2021). He has also released several mixtapes, including Capitale du crime volumes 1 through five, and has collaborated with other notable French and international artists such as Booba, Soprano, and Rick Ross. Some of his popular singles include “Ma Meilleure,” “Quand je partirai,” and “Va Bene.”
27. Mister You
Born and raised in Paris’ Belleville neighborhood, while also being Moroccan descent, Mister You rose to fame in the early 2010s after releasing a series of projects and singles. He first gained recognition with his EP Mi ange, mi démon in 2004. He is an artist who delves into the societal challenges and harsh realities of growing up, drawing from his own experiences. Despite this, he has a versatile style and can cover a wide range of hip-hop genres.
Sofiane was raised in Saint-Denis, located in the northern outskirts of Paris. He made his mark in the French hip-hop scene with his mixtape “Blacklist” in 2011, which displayed his genuine and unfiltered rapping style. Sofiane had previously made his debut with the projects Première claque and La vie de cauchemar in the late 2000s. His popularity skyrocketed after the release of Blacklist, leading to the launch of several successful albums, including JesuispasséchezSo, Bandit Saleté, Affranchis, and La Direction. All of these albums secured a spot in the top three charts and were certified platinum.
Hamza, who was born in Brussels and has Moroccan roots, started rapping at a young age. In 2013, he released his first solo project, the mixtape Recto Verso, which helped him gain a significant following. He has since released a number of successful albums and mixtapes, including Paradise, 1994, H-24, Santa Sauce, and his latest work, Sincèrement, which features collaborations with renowned international artists such as Offset of the Migos, Damso, and top Nigerian artist CKay.
Gambi is one of the top rising French rappers, infusing fun and energy into the country’s hip hop scene. He hails from the eastern suburbs of Paris and made his debut in 2018 with the track “Makak 3”. Despite having released only one album, titled La vie est belle, Gambi is rapidly rising in popularity and is known for hits such as “Popopop,” “Hé oh,” and “Dans l’espace.”
Another rising star in the French rap scene, RK entered the music industry in 2018 and has gained significant popularity since then. He has released several albums and mixtapes, ranging from Insolent in 2018 to Mentalite in 2022, along with hit songs like “Lola,” “C’est mon sang,” “Bae,” and “Rockstar.”
The artist formerly known as Mr. Franglish has been in the music industry for more than ten years, originally hailing from Paris and coming from a Congolese background. Franglish made his debut in 2013 and has gradually climbed the ladder of success to become one of the top rap artists in France. He has produced several number one songs, including “C’est plus l’heure” featuring Dadju, “My Salsa” with Tory Lanez, “Biberon,” and “Sans moi,” which have all been well-received by French music lovers.
KeBlack was first introduced to France’s music scene by the renowned French rapper Youssoupha in 2015. He has a unique style of pop-rap music that blends hip-hop and Afro music, being one of the first of his kind. Some of his most popular tracks have been the likes of “Bazardee,” “Tchop,” and “Completement sonne.”
Born in Algeria, but raised in France, Rim’K began his music career in the late 1990s as a member of the rap group 113, before venturing into a solo career. Making his debut during the early 2000s, following the release of L’enfant du pays, his solo career would take off. He has since released several successful albums, including Maghreb United, Fantôme, Famille Nombreuse, and Mutant. With years in the industry, Rim’K has now emerged as one of the top veteran French rappers in the business.
Vald began to make his presence known in French hip-hop during the early and mid 2010s.Hailing from right outside of the city of Paris, Vald first gained attention with the project NQNTMQMQMB in 2012. His style often blends multiple styles of rap into dark humor, surrealism, and introspection. He has released several successful albums, including 2017’s Agartha, which debuted at number one on the French albums chart.
OBOY, a prominent French rapper who has gained significant popularity, started his music career in 2018 with his first album “Southside”. Originally from the Greater Paris region, OBOY began his rapping journey in his teenage years, collaborating with local artists before making a name for himself. He has since released four albums, including “Omega,” “Mafana,” and “No Crari,” along with successful tracks such as “TDB” and “Cabeza.”
Congolese French rapper SDM began his career by following his association with the legendary French hip-hop collective 92i. He launched his first set of singles in 2019 and gradually became popular over time. SDM gained more popularity after the release of his second album, 2022’s Liens Du 100.
38. Moha La Squale
One of the several rising French rappers, Moha La Squale first gained attention with his freestyle videos on social media, and soon became known for his raw, authentic sound. His debut album, Bendero, was released in 2018 to critical acclaim and has solidified his position as one of the most promising talents in French rap.
39. Kalash Criminel
Originally born in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kalash Criminel grew up in the Paris suburb of Sevran. He began rapping at a young age and quickly developed a following in the French rap scene. His music is known for its gritty, streetwise sound, and socially conscious themes. His debut album, La Fosse Aux Lions, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim, and he has since become one of the most prominent voices in French rap.
Flenn entered the music industry in 2013 with a freestyle performance on YouTube. Over the years, he has established himself as a leading French rapper by releasing three successful albums, namely Alcat’Rap, Flou, and Moudja. He has contributed significantly to the French hip hop scene by creating numerous popular tracks, among which “Liyam” is the most noteworthy.
French rapper Niro is a rising star in the French hip-hop scene. Born in Morocco and raised in France, Niro has been making music since his teenagae years. He first gained attention with his mixtapes and underground releases, but it was his debut album Paraplégique in 2012 that really put him on the map.
42. Hornet La Frappe
Originating from the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, Hornet La Frappe made his hip-hop debut in 2014 with the EP Réussir ou Mounir. His presence brings French hip-hop a blend of hard-hitting lyrics with catchy beats. This has led to a release of a string of successful albums and singles that have earned him a respect as a French rapper in France’s forever growing rap scene.
Beginning during the 2000s, Dosseh would begin to make a name for himself within French hip-hop with the 2011 mixtape Summer Crack. Since then, he has released several successful albums, including Yuri and Vidalo$$a. Dosseh’s style is known for its unique blend of raw, street-inspired lyrics that often draw inspiration from his upbringing and his background. Dosseh has long cemented himself in a position as one of most innovative and acclaimed French rappers.
44. Moha K
Known for his unique style and lyrical prowess, Moha K has recently emerged as one of France’s top next up rap artists. The Moroccan-French rapper Moha K debuted in 2019 with the singles “Différent” and “Rêve.” His most notable songs have been hits like “Vroum Vroum” and “Elle (pt.1),” while also gaining recognition with several collaborative tracks with French pop star Marwa Loud.
French rapper Timal is among France’s top rising stars in the French hip-hop scene. Originally from the Sevran suburb of Paris, Timal has garnered a significant following in recent years as his music is characterized by his gritty and authentic flow. He debuted in 2016 with a series of releases, “1eme rapport,” “2eme rapport,” “3eme rapport,” and “4eme rapport.” This led to his freshman album, the acclaimed 2018 release of Trop Chaud.
Landy is a French rapper who has gained significant attention for his unique style and approach to music. Raised in Sevran, a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, Landy began his music career in 2017 with the release of his debut single “Vaisseau mére”. Since then, he has continued to produce hit after hit, including the 2019 album of Assa Baing, while collaborating with the top French rappers, like Jul, Bramsito, Koba Lad, Lartiste, GLK, and many more.
Lefa made his entry into the French hip hop scene in 2015 with his first single “Intro” and the popular track “Quelques minutes”. Since then, he has launched a total of 8 albums and mixtapes, starting with Monsieur Fall in 2016 and DEMINEUR in 2022, with Fame in 2019 being his most successful, featuring his top hits “B***h” and “Paradise”.
Dinos made his debut in the music industry back in 2013 with his project L’alchimiste. However, he revamped his career in 2017, and ever since then, he has been on a nonstop rise to the top. He has released several albums such as Imany, Taciturne, Stamina, and Hiver a Paris after making a mark in French hip hop. Some of his most popular songs include “Placebo”, “Du Mal a te dire”, “No Love”, “Helsinki”, and many others.
Sadek, a French rapper from Seine-Saint-Denis, has been making music for quite some time now. He first gained recognition in 2011 with the release of his single “On dit quoi gros” and followed it up with his debut album La legende de Johnny Niuuum in 2012. Despite a slow start, Sadek has managed to build a solid discography with over five albums, including Changement de proprietaire in 2023, and hit singles like “Madre mia” and “Kimono.”
Laylow made his debut in 2016 with the release of his album Mercy and has been maintaining his consistency ever since. He has dropped several albums including Digatalova (2017), .RAW (2018), .RAW-Z (2018), TRINITY (2020), L’Etrange Histoire de Mr.Anderson (2021), all of which have resulted in numerous chart-topping French hip-hop tracks.
Honorable Mention French Hip Hop Artists:
– Guy2Bezbar Instagram: @Guy2Bezbar and Youtube: Guy2Bezbar
– Hayce Lemsi Instagram: @Hayce Lemsi and Youtube: Hayce Lemsi
Top French Rappers Related Topics:
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*Unofficial Order. The more popular artists that have a combination of the most followers, streams, views, and most recent releases are near the top.