I’m from Arizona, I love my state, and rep all day. The Hip Hop scene in AZ has always been booming, and full of a wide-array of talent. I decided for the sake of argument, and discussion I would compile a list of the “Top Ten Rappers” from Arizona. This list is not the most “Lyrical, the most “Talented”, or who has the biggest buzz in the street. This is a list of the 10 rappers in AZ who I feel have done the most for the Arizona Hip Hop scene. Whether it be musically, commercially, lyrically, or any of that combined. Hit the jump for the Top 10 (10-6) Rappers in Arizona History in my opinion. Key words “MY” and “Opinion” should be noted.
10. Emerg McVay
Emerg is one of 2 MC’s of the rap/rock group Bionic Jive. Who released one of my favorite albums EVER. The group was on the Anger Management Tour with Eminem and had some mild success on soundtracks. Emerg was always the stand out MC of the group (Shouts to Ako Mack), and had a long run has the host of the Blunt Club. Truly a talented dude.
9. HANNIBAL LEQ
Probably the most distinct voice in AZ Hip Hop. Dude’s raspy delivery is one of a kind and he has been a main-stay in the Hip Hop scene in the Valley as long as I can remember. Plus, the dude is a ridiculous MC!
8. Hot Rod
When Hot Rod got his deal with G-Unit he looked liked the first promising MC to put AZ on the national Hip-Hop map. Then the single and music video w/ Mary J. Blige came out and it was almost guaranteed! Radio in Phoenix didn’t support the single, Interscope stopped pushing the record, and Hot Rod’s project got put on the famous G-Unit shelf. He responded by touring overseas constantly and some-what keeping his name relevant. He’s recently re-worked his image and is the first signee to 50′s new “G-Note” Records.
Survivalist was at one point the biggest Hip Hop group in the state. Their infectious single “Bounce” was making noise on the charts, and they even were covered in Vibe Magazine. The stand out MC of the click and Fo Life Records roster was Bookie. Who’s solo album “Stressin” was criminally slept on. I remember when as a kid a saw the ad for “Stressin” in The Source, and I thought AZ was on the MAP (Dammit I Was Wrong!)! Bookie’s a dope MC, and one of the illest our state has had to offer.
Atllas is probably the first local artist who’s CD I actually purchased. When I was in Jr. High you couldn’t go anywhere with out seeing this dude’s promotional posters for his debut disc “King Of AZ”. He’s probably the first AZ MC I remember hearing on the radio with “Hood Famous”. He made an MTV appearance on MADE, had some sort of deal with the Rawkus 50 (Still not sure what that was/is?), and has continued to put out dope music.