Top 20 best Minnesota rappers: #20-11

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In 2012, rap music is as definitive a part of Minnesota lore as the Mall of America -- or anything else Muja Messiah name-checks in "Leech Lake" or Slug mentions in "Shhh." Names like Hip Hop High, Headshots, Rhymesayers, the Hip Hop Fest, Soundset, and more signify tangible pieces of a local culture that has been steadily growing for decades, and shows no sign of waning. A bevy of local musicians do more than their fair share to keep hip-hop alive and vital, and so they're the ones who figure into our top 20 Minnesota rappers. --Reed Fischer


20> Ice Rod
Origin: Minneapolis | Active: 2003-present | Songs: "Your Body is a Sk8park" and "Camera Phone"
Michael "Ice Rod" Gaughan is the Andy Warhol of our rap generation. Before you die, you must witness an Ice Rod show. His flamboyant outfits and retro steez make him a walking art show. Ice Rod was "wag" even before the word existed, and he probably should be taking royalty credits for that shit. He currently is on the road with his "Chatroulette Dorm Room Freestyle Tour" which is even better than his days taking stage dressed like the Ultimate Warrior and rocking out on a double- or triple-neck guitar with half-naked girls dripping in gold. No one can match the creative genius that is Ice Rod, and if he ever completes that transfer to record, watch out Christian right-wingers. You might have a new enemy. --Lars Larson

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Photo by Clark Patrick
19> Prof
Origin: Minneapolis |Active: 2007-present | Songs: "Whiskey," "Myself," and "Rocketman"
"Grab a bottle of Jameson and put it in my face," is Jake "Prof" Anderson's version of pillow talk, and part of a lengthy conversation he's begun about his drinking and the partying that comes along with it. His latest solo album, King Gampo, has its share of serious moments too. Whether the versatile rapper is unloading his rapid-fire side, or taking a more soulful lean with his impressive singing voice, it's all in the spirit of engaging an audience -- even if they're likely to laugh at his expense. What they won't do is doubt his dexterity on the mic. --Reed Fischer

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Stophouse Music Group
18> St. Paul Slim
Origin: Saint Paul | Active: 2002-present | Songs: "Shut it Down" and "Horses in the Ghetto"
If hip-hop music is the CNN of the streets, then maybe that makes St. Paul Slim the Anderson Cooper of our rap scene. Slim is deadly series and truthful with the subject manner alerting heads that not everything is so great in the Land O' Lakes, but when it calls for a time to just let loose he can jam out with the best of them. He has already shared stages with Atmosphere, Slick Rick, and MC Lyte and he is a current labelmate with another rising rapper in Prof. In most circles he is known for his quiet demeanor, but they always say it's the quiet ones you have to look out for. --Lars Larson

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24 comments
ware74
ware74

This list is a disgrace to all real niggaz tryna do it in the city all these suburbian cats on the list but no real street niggaz wtf Mn is so political when it comes to this shit who the fuck is picking the list cause whoever it is don't know shit!! Everybody on the list is from the same circles and crews one thing I know fa sho is st Paul slim shoulda been top 5.... What a joke!!!!

Whereisyourmind
Whereisyourmind

There's a guy named Kristoff Krane who should be on this list. Snubbing him is similar to not including Lebron James on a list of top 20 NBA players.

Cybarra 33
Cybarra 33

Nice to see that City Pages is finally doing something like this and giving recognition to to some rappers from the cities.  For those that are running off at that mouth about the rappers claimin to be from Minneapolis when they are from the suburbs.  Big Jess is born and raised Minneapolis and still lives Northside.  Not only that, but he should definitely be top 10.  Not only is he one of the best rappers around but he is also one of the best producers.  He definitely should have had a deal a long time ago.

Derekfurreal612
Derekfurreal612

Toki should be ranked higher and lil buddy mclain should be top ten

eazy-z
eazy-z

citypages, nice decision to put a picture of a dude straight outta an abercrombie & fitch catalog under the headline "Top 20 Best Minnesota rappers". sims makes eminem look like eazy-e. the statement is clear, the generic suburban caucasian male is the face of minnesota rap. the boys in the hood are always hard....and nice!

roo+ratz
roo+ratz

i love this state. the trees are just the right height. the rappers are mostly a lighter shade of brown. hip hop gin blossoms all around. chinese hip hop scholars pilgrimage to downtown stp to study with mcnally hip hop philosophers – mpls, nyc, lbc, chik-a-dee. lets raise a toast to radio friendly rap – the local urban delicacy served with a slice of suburban plain toast... aww fudge, i already said toast. wait hold up...

rcdawg
rcdawg

if you rate anyone from Doomtree  above I Self Divine you're crazy misinformed

jenthescientist
jenthescientist

What about the artists that CP constantly ignores? We know Atmosphere and Brother Ali ad the likes have impact... What about the fresh, forward-thinking, thought-provoking artists like Ecid, Carnage, Moonlight Grammar? Just because someone isn't under the Rhymesayers or Doomtree umbrella, doesn't mean they should be ignored or taken as an afterthought- especially when a lot of these artists follow the "formula" of those preceding.

MRDOUCHEBAGGS
MRDOUCHEBAGGS

all the people on your list suck you sorry sons of bitchs.....lol

Greg
Greg

When Slug says something, it will cause controversy within the hip-hop scene simply because it's Slug and his opinion carries a lot of weight.  People actually care because he is respected and has gained respect within the rap community.  

Sorry Gimme Noise, this just isn't the case for you.  This is such an obvious attempt to grab page views and cause debate.  It's written without respect for the scene, which unlike you, Slug has in spades. No wonder rappers can't stand the media.

Morebasslesstreb
Morebasslesstreb

more articles by CP that don't report on CURRENT news worthy items. 

I never thought i'd say I miss andrea... but holy crap! every week now CP posts an article that is sure to spark debate and drama. This sucks. A year from now, CP is going to be a lot less respected if it continues down this path. CP, please please please STOP the theatrics. START focusing on the artists and their current endeavors.  

Nasir Killed Jay-Z
Nasir Killed Jay-Z

Why didnt little peanut and fat money make this list? Y'all hating!

Jaron
Jaron

Slug was right about the city being over-saturated with rappers. The fact that City Pages is going to try and create a top twenty out of such average/below average talent is pretty hilarious.  Also, to anyone on this list claiming to be "from Minneapolis,"  please stop. We know what suburb you come from.

Spook by the Door
Spook by the Door

yup.. definately going to spark a huge thread based on what i've seen already

bushytop
bushytop

knowledge. i feel like whoever is making this list needs to sit down and read the cp's own article from a few years ago. http://www.citypages.com/2004-...

i respect the hustle and grind of some of the cats "rapping" right now, but they got a ways to go before i will ever call some of these dudes mc's. basically, if i see dessa ranked ahead of  i self divine, i will lose my shit. go listen to some micranots, abstract pack, and get a little lil buddy in your life.

Elisa
Elisa

Ha! Clearly you're not reading the rest of the Gimme Noise blog if you think CP isn't reporting on current local music! Yeah these top 20 lists are a bit lame, but it's people like you who are reason these lists get so many hits!

Why not, instead of being an contradicting whiner, you go read the dozens of other blog posts about what's actually going on in the Minneapolis music scene - and comment there? If you actually care about artists' current endeavors, seek out those stories. They're definitely there.

Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

Who really cares if one is from the suburbs, especially when discussing the Minneapolis - St. Paul area.  Both cities are tiny in terms of land area (MPLS is 55 sq miles and STPL is only 53 sq. miles) and are surrounded by over 330 suburbs.  My point is more and more artists will be coming from other parts of the Twin Cities area than from the central cities.  You really can't fault someone who grew up in a suburb like Lauderdale and claims to be from St. Paul or Minneapolis.  Furthermore, what's with all this talk about being "over-saturated"?  Are you (and Slug) complaining that MPLS - STPL is over-saturated with actual talent or just mediocrity? If it's the latter, again - who cares as most of the mediocrity will never be heard and won't cramp Slug's game, right? Honestly, only in Minnesoduh would one complain about there being too many bands or rappers.

BTW, how did City Pages come up with these rankings (methodology)? I ask because Astronautalis, Prof, and St. Paul Slim should be ranked much higher.

Morebasslesstreb
Morebasslesstreb

Elisa, 

Thanks for assuming I don't read the other articles, or share / comment on them. 

I do. I'm just tired of seeing CP pull stunts like this to create buzz, drama and traffic to the site. 

Thanks for calling me a "contradicting whiner". Sorry for caring about the integrity of this blog and site. 

You post reminds me of the hip hop scene. I decided to make a claim about something I don't like, and all of a sudden I'm a huge hater or CP, and I don't support the other blog posts? 

Incorrect. It's the opposite. I do enjoy this blog, and the support it provides to the community. Which is exactly why I don't like this new direction it's taken. 

Take note of the fact I was able to reply to your post without name calling. butt face. :) 

Jaron
Jaron

I have been going to hip hop shows in Minneapolis since the late 80's. I know mediocrity when I see it and I am seeing it from many (not all) of the above rappers.  Slug, Brother Ali, POS and Eyedea (rest in peace) are the only "greats" but that is just personal opinion.

"You really can't fault someone who grew up in a suburb like Lauderdale and claims to be from St. Paul or Minneapolis"

I don't care where they came from if they are good. Just be real and stop claiming you are from a city where you simply are not from. I'm born and raised on the SOUTH SIDE of MPLS. Someone from Lauderdale is not, and cannot claim they are "from" MPLS. True Minneapolitans would agree.

Jasong
Jasong

 You'll also never be "from" Mpls.  You'll always be "from" San Diego. Therefore people born and raised in Mpls would correct you if you said you were 'from' Mpls.

Get it?

Silverfeedback
Silverfeedback

 I moved to San Diego from MPLS and ill NEVER be a San Diegan . Now way that u r where u live

Jason Dorweiler
Jason Dorweiler

Oh blah blah blah. So I was born in Victorville CA, and raised in Paramount CA, but I have spent most of my life in South Minneapolis and St Paul. You are where you live, contribute, and stay. If you have been going to shows since that era, then you should have the education to realize there is no true minneapolitatanant...and do you happen to know the background on all of these rappers? 

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