Atlanta Hip Hop
All-Time Top 50 Atlanta Rap Artists
For a long time Atlanta hip hop only consisted of the Dungeon Family, at least to the outside world, as Outkast and Goodie Mob became the first artists from Atlanta to reach nationwide success as the two legendary groups easily made history in hip hop and put Atlanta on the map.
What many may not know, before the arrival of the Dungeon Family there was already an existing local hip hop scene. Dating back to the 1980s, Atlanta hip hop has consisted of multiple generations and eras. From the early days with Raheem the Dream, MoJo, MC Shy D, Hitman Sammy Sam, and Kilo Ali, to the 1990s with Outkast and Goodie Mob, to the 2000s with Ludacris, T.I., and Young Jeezy to Gucci Mane and Future dominating music.
Below breaks down numerous Atlanta hip hop legends, highlighting the city’s top 50 rappers of all-time, from the 1980s to the 2010s and 2020s with the rise of Lil Baby, 21 Savage, the Migos, and dozens others.
Atlanta Hip Hop Artists
Not only Atlanta’s top all-time artists, but the number of hits that Outkast released throughout the course of their career has placed them in the conservation as one of the greatest in music’s history. Classic after classic, Outkast never missed with any of their 5 album releases, releasing songs that expanded well beyond the popularity of hip-hop fans.
2. Gucci Mane
Atlanta would not be what it is today without Gucci Mane’s dominance in hip hop during his time on top of the rap game. Gradually moving up the hip-hop ranks following the single “So Icy,” and the 2006 projects of Hard to Kill and Chicken Talk, Gucci Mane would release over 80 albums, mixtapes, EPs, and collaboration projects since his arrival in 2005.
One of rap’s most influential rappers, Future emerged onto the scene during the start of the 2010s. While beginning under Rocko’s A1 imprint, Future’s journey in music dates back years ago as a member of the Dungeon Family, through his cousin Rico Wade. Fast forwarding into the present day, Future has been on a nonstop rise music, possibly becoming one of the world’s largest pop stars, ever since he hit the scene with the Dirty Spite mixtape.
While his debut album I’m Serious was somewhat of a miss, T.I.’s sophomore album of Trap Muzik was an instant success, often considered as one of the greatest rap albums of all time. From beginning his career with the P$C and the In Da Streets mixtapes to becoming one of the best rappers to ever come from the South, T.I.’s southern hip-hop legacy can not be questioned, opening the doors for many trap and street rappers.
Former radio personality became one of the 2000s number one rappers in the business, beginning with the release of Back For the First Time. Number one records like “What’s Your Fantasy,” “Area Codes,” “Rollout,” “Move B****,” “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” and many more had Ludacris constantly on the television, radio spins, and in the clubs.
6. Young Jeezy
The leader of the Trap movement during the 2000s, Young Jeezy released the greatest mixtape of all-time, Trap or Die. Known as “The Snowman,” for his dope dealer persona, Young Jeezy slowly began his career with Come Shop wit Me and Tha Streets Iz Watchin mixtapes, before the release of Thug Motivation 101 took his career to new levels.
7. Goodie Mob
The true forefathers of Atlanta rap music, alongside Outkast, Goodie Mob and the Dungeon Family were the first hip hop acts to make it out of the local markets and bring Atlanta, and Atlanta music, to nationwide audiences. Albums like Soul Food and songs like “Cell Therapy,” “Get Rich to This,” and “They Don’t Dance No Mo” are arguably southern classics.
8. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz
The Kings of the Crunk era, during a time when a Lil Jon produced and featured track guaranteed a hit record, Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz kept the clubs and parties going during the 2000s. From slow jams and party music to club fight songs, the Eastside Boyz had the biggest hits of their era. Their a catalog includes “Bia’ Bia’,” “Couldn’t Be A Better Playa,” “I Like Dem Girlz,” “Who U Wit,” “I Don’t Give a Fuck,” “Lovers and Friends,” and many more.
The Migos were the hottest hip hop act of the 2010s and 2020s, and maybe the most popular and most influential rap group of all time. Consisting of Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff, the Migos almost had a monopoly on the rap game during the peak of their movement. From commercials to major sporting events, Migos occupied every major media outlet as the number one artists of hip hop.
10. 2 Chainz
Beginning with Ludacris and Disturbing the Peace, the artist formerly known as Tity Boi, went from an entourage member of DTP, to being part of the duo Playaz Circle, to starting his own solo career by releasing numerous mixtapes. Following the Playaz Circle hit “Duffle Bag Boyz,” Tity Boi changed his name to 2 Chainz, and thereafter his career saw a spark that led him to becoming one of hip hop’s top artists.
11. Young Thug
Young Slime, also known as Young Thug of Cleveland Ave., started from the bottom and grinded his way to the top of hip-hop. Beginning under the wing of Gucci Mane and later under Birdman’s Rich Gang, Young Thug eventually risen to becoming one of the favorites of today’s generation, releasing two albums, over dozen mixtapes, and featuring with some of the world’s top artists in music.
12. 21 Savage
Representing Slaughter Gang, 21 Savage debuted during 2015 with The Slaughter King and The Slaughter Tape mixtapes. Quickly catapulted to the top of the rap game, 21 Savage would become one of the current generations top rap artists. Albums like Issa Album and I Am > I Was, collabs with one of rap’s top producers in Metro Boomin’, and songs like “Bank Account” and “A Lot,” all led 21 Savage to being one of the top rappers of the late 2010s and 2020s.
13. Lil Baby
One of the newest rappers on the list, debuting only in 2017 with a few mixtapes, the Quality Control signee and 4 Pockets Full owner surpassed all rappers to land at the number one spot in music with only a few years in the industry.
14. Soulja Boy
Whether you love him or hate him, Soulja Boy has accomplished much since releasing 2007 Souljaboytellem.com. A man who was the first to achieve various accomplishments in hip-hop, songs like “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and “Turn My Swag On,” along with releasing dozens of mixtapes and albums, helped solidify his rap career.
15. Kris Kross
The number one hit of 1992, Kris Kross’ “Jump” placed the young artists of Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac on the map. Known for their iconic style of wearing their clothes backwards, Kris Kross became the first teen sensation of hip-hop. With the help of Jermaine Dupri, the duo released three projects during the 1990s, all well received.
16. Killer Mike
A lyrical killer of microphones, Killer Mike may not have had any big hits or any albums that were complete southern classics, with exceptions to projects like I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind mixtape, but Killer Mike is among hip-hop’s most respected. From coming up under the wing of Outkast and Big Boi, to now running hip-hop with Run The Jewels, a group with him and fellow artist El-P, Killer Mike’s artistry has been showcased through years of work.
17. Kilo Ali
While the Dungeon Family were the first nationwide artists out of Atlanta, rappers like Kilo Ali were some of the pioneers of Atlanta’s local rap scene. Tracks like “Freak How You Want It,” “Love In Ya Mouth,” and “Baby, Baby,” all released on his first nationwide release of 1997’s Organized Bass, made his career memorable, but during the early 1990s Kilo Ali was one of a kind and well ahead of his time.
18. Waka Flocka
Beginning as an understudy of Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka was one of the first artists of the Bricksquad movement. Waka Flocka’s emergence during the late 2000s and early 2010s changed and influenced rap of that time, somewhat starting a new Crunk era of rap. Being one of the first rappers to represent Clayton County, Waka Flocka was one of the top street rappers, known for songs like “Hard in da Paint” and “No Hands.”
19. Ying Yang Twins
From Crunk hits to club bangers, Ying Yang Twins were the biggest new faces to the rap game during the 2000s. Debuting with “Whistle While You Twurk” and their album Thug Walkin’, Ying Yang Twins would continue their success with “Say I Yi Yi,” “The Whisper Song,” “Badd,” “Salt Shaker,” and the constant collaborations with Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz.
20. Dem Franchize Boyz
Parlae, Jizzal Man, Pimpin, and Buddie became one of the first Atlanta rap groups to appear on the rap scene during the 2000s. A number of hits, “White Tee,” “I Think They Like Me,” and “Lean With It Rock With It,” led Dem Franchise Boyz to be at the very front of the Snap movement of the 2000s.
21. Rich Homie Quan
With the biggest hit of 2013, “Type of Way,” Rich Homie Quan was on the verge of becoming among the top rappers in hip hop, until the once rising star took a hiatus from music, leaving a successful career on pause.
22. MC Shy D
Originally from the Bronx, but MC Shy D became one of the forefathers of Atlanta hip hop. His career dates back to the late 1980s, beginning his time in music as a signee to Luke Skywalker Records, the home of Luke and 2LiveCrew.
The duo of J Bo and Sean Paul released three classic projects during the early 2000s. First with 1999 classic Against Da Grain, which featured a collaboration with Big Boi on “85 South” and the remix of “U Way” featuring Lil Wayne. Their freshman project was followed by Drankin’ Patnaz and Everybody Know Me, which was highlighted by the dropping of their biggest hit of 2003, the Lil Jon featured “Damn.”
24. Hitman Sammy Sam
Another one of the pioneers of Atlanta hip hop, no other artist was as street and as raw as Hitman Sammy Sam during his reign on Atlanta’s rap scene. Songs like “Knuckle Up” and “Intoxicated” will forever place Sammy Sam in Atlanta history, a longstanding career from the early 1990s to the 2000s.
The motivational and inspirational style of Rocko led him into his own lane during the late 2000s and early 2010s. Debuting with Self-Made, Rocko would continue his success with mixtapes Rocko Dinero, Gift of Gab, and many others, expanding through the course of the 2000s and 2010s.
26. Young Dro
While beginning his career back in the day in the streets of Atlanta, Young Dro became famous with hit song “Shoulder Lean” and his classic debut album Best Thang Smokin’ and DJ Drama’s Day One mixtape. Possibly one of the best lyricists of his time, Young Dro was on top of Atlanta hip hop during his run as one of Grand Hustle and Hustle Gang’s top artists.
27. Shawty Lo
Songs like “They Know,” “Dunn, Dunn,” “Foolish,” and “I’m Da Man” brought hip hop fans to the Bankhead native. Beginning his rap career as a member of D4L, Shawty Lo quickly became a legend in Atlanta’s rap scene, but always was a legend in the streets of Atlanta.
While Duct Tape was taking over Atlanta hip hop, Trouble was anticipating his release from prison and his turn in the rap game. With his first introduction to the music industry being his freshman release of December 17th, Trouble would be on a consistent rise releasing mixtape after mixtape, until his debut release with Mike Will Made It, Edgewood.
29. Yung Joc
Now a reality television star, former recording artist for Bad Boy South entered hip hop with the 2006 hit song “It’s Goin Down,” and the album New Joc City.
30. Gorilla Zoe
After linking with Boyz N Da Hood as the fourth member of the group, Gorilla Zoe would later release music as a solo artist, which included hit songs like “Lost” and “Hood N****”.
31. Lil Scrappy
From his time and introduction to rap with Lil Jon, to being signed with G-Unit, Lil Scrappy emerged during the Crunk era of the 2000s. His notable tracks were the likes of “HeadBussa,” “F.I.L.A,” and “No Problem.” Following his time with Lil Jon, Lil Scrappy would continue his rise in hip-hop with the single “Money In The Bank.”
One of the very first rap groups out of the city of Atlanta, Succes-N-Effect was known for “Freeze” and “Roll It Up.” This group was one of the very first to represent another side of Atlanta, the streets of the ATL, outside of the booty shaking and club music.
33. Raheem the Dream
Possibly the very first rapper from Atlanta to make it to the airwaves, Raheem the Dream was the start of Atlanta’s rap scene and hip-hop movement, debuting over 40 years ago.
34. Boyz N Da Hood
From Young Jeezy, Big Gee, Big Duke, and Jody Breeze to Gorilla Zoe replacing Young Jeezy, two albums and a mixtape gave these street rappers much recognition in hip hop during the mid-2000s. Under P. Diddy’s Bad Boy South label, Boyz N Da Hood would be known for “Dem Boyz,” “Bite Down,” and a host of other songs.
35. OJ Da Juiceman
The rise of East Atlanta’s own during the late 2000s and early 2010s, with help of a cosign from childhood friend Gucci Mane and production by legendary producer Zaytoven, brought the rap game classics like “I’m Getting Money,” “Make The Trap Say Aye,” “Hummer and Jacob,” and more.
36. Yung LA
Former Grand Hustle artist was on a rise during the late 2000s, at least until controversy stopped his career. Somewhat at the lead of the whole swag out era, or “White Boy, Black Boy” swag, Yung LA debut with the Offset Shawty mixtape, and later released other classics like Suntrust Leland, Crush Da Block, and collaborations with Young Dro and J Money.
37. Crime Mob
At the top of the Crunk era with songs “Knuck If You Buck,” “Rock Yo Hips,” “I’ll Beat Yo Azz,” and “Stilletos,” the five member group of Crime Mob, led by Diamond, Princess and Lil Jay, may have been short lived, but they definitely made an impact during the 2000s.
38. Archie Eversole
While some may consider the late rapper a one hit wonder, Archie Eversole’s “We Ready” eventually became one of the biggest songs for all sporting events, and events alike. Released in 2002, sports fans, whether at home watching television or at the stadium viewing the game in person, still to this day hear “We Ready,” as the song became one of the number one sport anthems.
39. 12 Gauge
Known for the hit single “Dunkie Butt,” in which along with the 90s MC’s self-titled debut release, peaked to the top of the charts. Throughout the 1990s, 12 Gauge would release a few projects, but none of his songs reached success and had notoriety like the hit “Dunkie Butt.”
The man behind one of the Crunk era’s biggest hits, Bonecrusher became an instant star in rap with the classic “I Ain’t Never Scared.” A short career, but Bonecrusher left his mark in Atlanta hip hop.
41. The Hard Boys
Making their entrance into music during the early 1990s, The Hard Boys would become known for “Mission to Nowhere,” “Armed Robbery,” and “Criminal Behavior,” all on the classic A-Town Hard Heads. The Hard Boys was an alternative to the Atlanta Bass movement of club music, a raw and street version of ATL.
42. Young Scooter
Numerous of mixtape releases throughout his career, but none could match the classic of Street Lottery. Often known for linking with Future and other top Atlanta rappers, Young Scooter has stayed consistent during his time in hip-hop, producing music for the streets and hustlers alike.
43. Travis Porter
Three individuals of Ali, Quez, and Strap da Fool may not get the proper credit, but the trio briefly carried Atlanta’s rap scene as the biggest artists in the city during the early 2010s, by being somewhat the life of Atlanta’s party scene.
44. Peewee Longway
A career dating back to 2013, the Zone 3 artist has remained one of the hardest working rap artists of today’s generation. Working with top artists like Gucci Mane and Young Dolph, consistency and persistence has help Peewee Longway stay relevant and grow core fanbase.
45. Bankroll Fresh
Another artist that was on the rise, but unfortunately Bankroll Fresh career was cut short. Before his death, the Atlanta legend was known for songs like “Hot Boy” and “Walked In,” and was on the verge becoming the rap game’s next top artist.
46. Yung Ralph
Representing Zone 3’s Cleveland Ave., and nicknamed the Juug Man, Yung Ralph was an emerging rapper during the 2000s. Realistic metaphorical rhymes with a street edge, Yung Ralph represented the average joe out of the streets and out of the urban neighborhoods across America.
Known for the hit “Geeked Up,” Fabo was at the forefront of D4L. As D4L came into the rap game with the hit “Laffy Taffy,” Fabo’s verse and his style easily stood out, becoming one of everybody’s favorite rapper during Atlanta’s snap era.
48. Alley Boy
A street rapper from Zone 6’s Edgewood neighborhood, Alley Boy became the face of the well respected Duct Tape Entertainment. Throughout the 2010s, Alley Boy was one of hip hop’s top rising street rappers, dropping projects like Purgatory, Definition of F*** S***, Nigganati, and more.
49. Baby D
While during the Crunk era Lil Jon was on top, in the streets and clubs of Atlanta and surrounding areas the Oomp Camp was just as popular as the Eastside Boyz. One of the main rappers of Oomp Camp was Baby D, known for Atlanta classic Lil Chopper Toy.
50. J Money
J Money, or J Futuristic, spearheaded the whole swag out and futuristic era of Atlanta’s hip hop scene, despite not being truly recognized for it.
Atlanta Hip Hop Related Topics
**No Order. Artists placement is a combination on a number of hits, longevity, impact, legacy, and current streams and views.**