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15 Rappers from Minnesota you should know in 2022

Rapper, KayCyy Pluto painted gold
Screen shot from KayCyy Pluto's "OKAY" music video

Minnesota is home to a whole lot of musical talent. Rap and hip-hop continue to be two of the most prominent genres in the Minneapolis community. Several Minnesota rappers are hard-working musicians who are putting out quality content that often doesn’t get the attention it may deserve.

If you’re sick of hearing the same ten songs on Spotify’s Rap Caviar playlist, check out this list of rappers from Minnesota. Find an artist you enjoy below and support them by blasting their music in the gym or on your way to work.

LoveOfPharaoh

LoveOfPharaoh’s real name is Josiah Kakish. He is a rapper and producer from Columbia Heights, Minnesota. LoveOfPharaoh raps and sings about relationships, anxiety, and love with his Drake-inspired vocals.

His story is especially unique. In our interview, he openly talks about what it was like growing up with a gay father.

He formed a movement called Sota GANG (Going After New Goals). He envisioned it as a movement of different individuals with ideas who motivate each other to chase their dreams.

He has produced most of his music projects. He has also collaborated with Realistic Productions in some of his music releases.

He moved to Oahu, Hawaii in 2020 to focus on his mental health. It was there where he found inspiration and mind wellness.

He is currently living and working with his producer in Atlanta. He is constantly releasing fresh music, creating a larger volume of work than I’ve personally seen from any artist in the state of Minnesota.

iLLism

Hip Hop artist Envy and R&B vocalist Fancy are a husband and wife duo known as the musical group iLLism.

The duo’s sound is musically robust. They capture the Minneapolis funk sound and add their own originality.

Through imaginative lyricism and vocals that bring life to every track, iLLism uses personal experiences to express and relate to the listener.

They utilize Hip hop and creativity to erupt ideas and emotions that empower their listeners while also making a lasting contribution to the culture.

Emanuel Carter

Emanuel Carter, whose real name is Carter Jackman, is a 19-year-old alternative hip-hop singer/songwriter, rapper, and producer from the Twin Cities.

Emanuel hit the stage at a young age, performing in Minneapolis clubs as early as 13 years old.

Exposure to the tight-knit community of local jazz, folk, and blues musicians at a young man has given his sound as an artist a particular uniqueness.

Each of Carter’s songs gives three-minute glimpses into his romantic-yet-worn soul, telling intimate stories of lost love over meticulously crafted instrumentals.

His production brings together the tight thumping rhythms of hip hop, the lyricism of folk music, and warm and adventurous sonics of experimental R&B.

Emanuel uses his creative vision to build engrossing songs with his immersive production and songwriting.

J’mere

J’mere is an American Hip Hop artist born in Pennsylvania, raised in Tennessee, and now resides in Minnesota.

In 2021 he released four singles and a handful of music videos including, “Never Fall”. J’mere was an opening performer for DaBaby in June of 2021 at the Payne Arena in Texas.

Keep an eye out for more releases and shows from J’mere this year.

Pelly

Pelly draws inspiration from his favorite rappers 2Pac, Nas, and A Tribe Called Quest.

Pelly is a fan of anime, and he decided to incorporate Dragon Ball Z into a song he wrote. The tune has had some success on Tiktok, garnering over 350,000 shares and 5 million+ streams.

Pelly does not corner himself to just one genre, which makes his music interesting. I’m looking forward to watching Pelly create and experiment with his art as he progresses.

Check out more of Pelly’s music on Spotify.

KayCyy Pluto

KayCyy Pluto, whose real name is Mark Makora Mbogo, was born on September 23, 1997, in Kenya.

He moved to Minnesota with his family at the age of 9. After graduating high school, KayCyy moved to NY, then LA to pursue a career in music.

Somewhere along the line, he met Kanye’s manager (and former Def Jam vice president of A&R) Abou “Bu” Thiam, which sparked an incredible opportunity to write for the biggest names in music, including Travis Scott, Lil’ Wayne, and Kanye West.

KayCyy’s most congratulated works can be heard on the deluxe version of Kanye’s latest album Donda. He co-wrote “Keep My Spirit Alive (pt 2),” “Praise God,” “Hurricane,” and “24.”

The contributions to Kanye’s tracks have even earned KayCyy a Grammy nomination.

In an interview, KayCyy said that due to several last-minute changes to Kanye’s record, he was surprised to hear his voice made the cut on his album.

His latest track “OKAY” was produced by Gesaffelstein, a famous French producer who’s worked with Daft Punk, The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, and several others.

At age 24, KayCyy has somehow already accomplished the achievements of a seasoned veteran musician. Keep an eye out for the anticipated release of his upcoming album, Who Is KayCyy?.

Moni Bags

Moni Bags, who’s real name is Da’Moni Harris in 2001, was raised by his mother in St.Paul, Minnesota. He began recording audio and videos of himself rapping and uploading to YouTube.

At the age of 15, Moni Bags dropped his first official music video on YouTube called “Nobody” in 2018. In 2021 he would drop another, “Carmel Marble Cake”.

His latest video “No Hook / Still Love Me” has a beat and vibe that’s undeniably catchy.

If you like what you hear, favorite the video and add it to your playlist.

JoJo Picasso

Jojo Picasso is influenced by the genres of rap, R&B & Rock. The first few songs Jojo recorded in 2018 were recorded by Kayycy Pluto.

Coming off his collaboration with artist Just Jimi, his project titled Delete All That Shit recently dropped in 2021.

The first song from Delete All That Shit, “Are You Ok,” sets the vibe for the rest of the impressive 15 track record.

On this album, there is an assortment of Minnesota artist appearances, such as Daddy Dinero, Radio Ahlee, Tarxan, Ty $tick, Ty Prophecy, Z Boy, and Jode Exo.

He tells listeners to keep a lookout for his upcoming country single “Don’t Worry,” expected to release this year.

JuneThaKid

Minneapolis rapper JuneThaKid is another emerging hip-hop artist with high potential.

On his debut EP Rhonda’s Son, June incorporated East Coast lyricism with hard-hitting bars, relaying themes of family, identity, and mental health. He is a part of the group Basement Gang with fellow artist $aiku and producer Quasi Uno.

Carnage the Executioner

Carnage the Executioner (real name Maynard Terrel Woods) is an old-school rapper, beatboxer, looper, and music producer from the Twin Cities.

He is also a member of famous rap groups such as Ill Chemistry, Carnage & the Last Band Standin’, and Saltee. In 2012, he was recognized as one of Minnesota’s best rapper in the Top 20 Rappers list by the City Pages.

A few years back, Carnage began eating a plant-based diet. His advocacy toward animals and eating healthy has become a way of life.

He even wrote an entire album titled Ravenous that talks about his transition to becoming a “Plant-based poet”.

Brother Ali

Brother Ali (real name Jason Douglas Newman) is an albino rapper from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He is a member of the Rhymesayers Entertainment hip hop collective and raps mostly about racial inequality, human rights, and how the world could be better.

Outside of music, he is also a political activist in Minneapolis who fights for the rights of the minority groups in Minnesota and the whole United States in general. Even the world.

Prof

Prof (real name Jacob Anderson) is a rapper, singer, and songwriter from Minneapolis, Minnesota, formerly signed under Rhymesayers Entertainment.

His goofy persona has created a fan base that continues to spread across the country. Prof is one of few artists from Minnesota to perform a sold-out show in one of the most popular venues in Minnesota, the First Avenue Mainroom. Isn’t that every Minnesota musicians dream?

Prof was dropped from his label in 2020 just before the release of his album Powerhorn Suites when sexual assault allegations came out against closely-associated members of the Minnesota rap artist community.

Yung Gravy

Yung Gravy is the stage name of Matthew Raymond Hauri, who is a rapper, songwriter, and producer from Minnesota.

He was born on March 19, 1996, and first gained fame from his music in 2017 from his painful-to-listen-to songs “Mr. Clean” and “1 Thot 2 Thot Red Thot Blue Thot,” which blew up on Soundcloud.

Although his songs and vocal delivery are cringy, there are many fans who enjoy his music.

He attributes his inspiration to the rise and success of hip-hop rappers such as Lil Peep and Lil Yachty. He is signed to the Republic record label.

Mac Irv

Also known as Lawrence Mckenzie, Mac Irv is a rapper from Minnesota and a basketball player for the South Bay Lakers.

His stage name, Mac Irv, is an abbreviation from his last name – McKenzie, and his Irving Avenue home. One of his key role models in rap music is Jay-Z, who he praises to be lyrically blessed in the art of storytelling through rap.

Atmosphere

It isn’t exaggeration to say that Atmosphere put Minnesota hip hop on the map.

The Minneapolis rap duo of Slug (real name Sean Daley) and Ant (real name Anthony Davis) formed in 1996.

Ant is a DJ and producer who has notably produced almost every track the group has worked on.

The group has been featured in several magazines such as Vox and Marquee and has also received international recognition for its work.

The group has also had the honor of being presented with a star outside the mural of Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue due to performing sold-out shows at the venue and their positive influence on Minnesota’s rap culture.

Mod Sun

Mod Sun (real name Derek Ryan Smith) was born on March 10, 1987, and is a singer, songwriter, and rapper from Bloomington, Minnesota. To be fair, Mod Sun is no longer a rapper, but more of an emo kid gone rapper gone pop punk.

His interest in music was sparked by Bud Gaugh (Derek’s father lived next door to Gaugh), who was the drummer of the band Sublime.

He started his career as a drummer for the emo bands Four Letter Lie and Scary Kids Scaring Kids. He then began his rap career in 2009.

Mod Sun can play multiple instruments, including guitar, piano, and drums.

He has done collaboration projects with notable acts such as Blackbear, G-Eazy, Machine Gun Kelly, Tana Mongeau, and Avril Lavigne.

Following Machine Gun Kelly’s lead, Mod Sun switched genres again and is now writing and releasing pop punk music.

Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014

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