The well-known landmarks of Chicago include rich musical history. It has given birth to many well-known musicians, rappers, singers, and bands. Chicago’s contribution to rap music has been just as vital and influential as it has been for other genres of music from the city. Like any other group of musicians, there are different styles from the diverse cultures in Chicago’s neighborhoods. These groups pioneered a new and unique sound that inspired artists worldwide.
This post will provide 25 famous Chicago rappers well-known for their music. By looking at the list of famous Chicago rappers, you will see which ones have contributed most to the city’s musical history. These rappers are not limited to just the past few years, and it is also not restricted to just the city of Chicago.
Table of Contents
- 1. Kanye West
- 2. Juice WRLD
- 3. Polo G
- 4. Lil Durk
- 5. Chance The Rapper
- 6. Chief Keef
- 7. G Herbo
- 8. King Von
- 9. Lupe Fiasco
- 10. Twista
- 11. Common
- 12. Earl Sweatshirt
- 13. Mick Jenkins
- 14. Calboy
- 15. Noname
- 16. Joey Purp
- 17. Lucki
- 18. Da Brat
- 19. Montana of 300
- 20. Taylor Bennett
- 21. Fredo Santana
- 22. Lil Reese
- 23. Rockie Fresh
- 24. Open Mike Eagle
- 25. Lil Zay Osama
1. Kanye West
Ye (born Kanye Omari West) was born in 1977, commonly known as Kanye West. He is an American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. He is also the founder and owner of the record company GOOD Music. Kanye West is also a record producer who has produced numerous singles for famous music artists. He started his career in music production in the mid-90s and then formed the hip-hop group, Go-Getters with Chicago rappers GLC and Timmy G. He went solo in 2002 with his debut album “The College Dropout”. Being heavily influenced by the Chicago drill rap style, he expressed a darker vision than most of his Chicago-based rap peers.
2. Juice WRLD
Jarad Anthony Higgins was born in 1998 – died in 2019; known professionally as Juice WRLD, he is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from the Calumet Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for his breakout hit “Lucid Dreams”. Malphurs started producing music in late 2014, when he was 17 years old, using FL Studio. During this time, he released songs on YouTube and SoundCloud under Lil Wizzy.
3. Polo G
Taurus Tremani Bartlett was born in 1999, known professionally as Polo G. He is an American rapper. With his hits “Finer Things” and “Pop Out,” he became well-known (featuring Lil Tjay). His 2019 debut album, Die a Legend, was certified Platinum by the RIAA and reached number six on the US Billboard 200.
4. Lil Durk
Durk Derrick Banks was born in 1992, known professionally as Lil Durk. He is an American rapper and singer. He founded and contributed primarily to the group and record label Only The Family (OTF). He is affiliated with the Young Chop movement alongside artist Famous Dex and Tink. His debut album Signed To The Streets (2015) had success, peaking at #62 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
5. Chance The Rapper
Chancellor Johnathan Bennett was born in 1993. He is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He started to get known in 2013 when His initial two mixtapes were made public. His third mixtape, “Coloring Book,” in 2016, became an instant success and earned Bennett three Grammy’s out of seven nominations.
6. Chief Keef
Keith Cozart was born in 1995, commonly known as Chief Keef. He is an American rapper, record producer, and music video director. He gained notoriety with the aid of fellow Chicago-based rappers such as Lil Durk, Lil Reese, and Fredo Santana. His debut album Finally Rich (2012) peaked at #5 on Billboard 200 album chart and included “I Don’t Like,” which was certified Platinum by the RIAA.
7. G Herbo
Herbert Randall Wright III was born in 1995, better known by his stage name G Herbo (formerly Lil Herb). He is an American rapper from Chicago. G Herbo is signed to Machine Entertainment Group. He has released the mixtapes Welcome to Fazoland, Pistol P Project, Ballin Like I’m Kobe, and Strictly 4 My Fans.
8. King Von
Dayvon Daquan Bennett was born in 1994 – died in 2020; known professionally as King Von, he was an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. He was signed to Lil Durk’s record label Only the Family and Empire Distribution. He was one of the youngest rappers signed to a major label at the time of his passing.
9. Lupe Fiasco
Wasalu Muhammad Jaco was born in 1982, better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco. He is an American rapper, singer, record producer, and entrepreneur. His first record helped him gain popularity in Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor (2006). His latest album, Tetsuo and Youth (2018), peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200.
Carl Terrell Mitchell was born in 1973, better known by his stage name Twista (formerly Tung Twista). American rapper and music producer Illinois’s Chicago is where. He is primarily renowned for his chopper-style rapping and once being the fastest rapper in the world English-speaking rapper, according to Guinness World Records in 1992, being able to pronounce 598 syllables in 55 seconds. He is a founding member of the group Playaz Circle. His debut album Adrenaline Rush (1996) included the hit single “Overnight Celebrity” and his later albums In Close (1998), Kamikaze (2000), and The Day After (2003).
Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. in 1972, is an American rapper and actor. Album one, Can I Borrow a Dollar from Common, was released in 1992. and continued a significant underground following into the late 1990s, gaining notable mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians. His first major-label album, Like Water for Chocolate (2000), received commercial success and acclaim, particularly for its singles “The Light” and “Go”.
12. Earl Sweatshirt
Earl Stevens was born in 1994, better known by his stage name Earl Sweatshirt. He is an American rapper. He is from Los Angeles and gained recognition from a series of mixtapes released in 2010. His debut album, “Doris”, was released in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.
13. Mick Jenkins
Mick Jenkins was born in 1991, known professionally as Mick Jenkins. He is a rapper and songwriter. His debut studio album, The Water(2015), received universal acclaim, and his work has earned him recognition as a rising hip hop star.
Calvin Lashon Woods was born in 1999, professionally known as Calboy. He is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He is signed to Paper Gang Inc. and did a partnership with Polo Grounds Music and RCA Records. In 2017, Calvin had a breakthrough locally with his releases through Paper Gang Inc. “ANXIETY” & “Calboy the Wild Boy”. In 2018, he became prominent after releasing his viral song “Envy Me”, later serving as the lead single from his debut EP, Wildboy, released in 2019.
Fatimah Nyeema Warner was born in 1991, known professionally as Noname (pronounced “no name”). She is an American rapper, poet, and record producer in Chicago. Noname has been running a book club since 2019, focusing on controversial works by authors of color. Together with fellow rappers Smino and Saba, she makes up one-third of the musical band Ghetto Sage. Her debut project, titled Telefone, was released in 2016, followed by Room 25 (2018).
16. Joey Purp
Joseph Davis was born in 1993, better known by his stage name Joey Purp. He is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. He is one half of Leather Corduroys. He is one of the founding members of Savemoney. He is a founding member of the Chicago collective SaveMoney. His debut studio album, “Quarterthing”, will be released in 2019.
Lucki Camel Jr. was born in 1996, known professionally as Lucki (stylized in all caps). He is an American rapper and record producer from Chicago, Illinois. He came to public attention in 2013 after receiving recognition for his debut project, Alternative Trap. Since then, Lucki has worked with prominent music figures, releasing songs with Chance the Rapper, FKA Twigs, Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt, and Lil Yachty. He has now signed with the record label Empire.
18. Da Brat
Shawntae Harris-Dupart was born in 1974, better known by her stage name Da Brat. She is an American rapper. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she began her career in 1992, the year she signed with So So Def Records. Her debut album Funkdafied (1994) sold one million copies, making her the first female solo rap act to receive a platinum certification and the second overall female rap act (solo or group) after Salt-N-Pepa. She is best known for her 1996 debut album Funkdafied, which produced the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles “Funkdafied” and “Shawty Get Loose”.
19. Montana of 300
Walter Anthony “Tony” Bradford was born in 1989, better known by his stage name Montana of 300 (or simply Montana). He is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. His debut studio album, Fire in the Church, was released in 2016. He is best known for his rap style, incorporating trap, R&B, and drill beats, while making remixes to hit songs that, like his originals, often include religious subtext.
20. Taylor Bennett
Taylor Bennett was born in 1985 and is a former college football quarterback and Georgia House of Representatives member. He started as a student at Georgia Tech before transferring to Louisiana Tech. At Georgia Tech, he focused on international affairs. In the fall of 2008, he later enrolled at Louisiana Tech as a graduate student with a major in Information Systems Security. John Marshall Law School in Atlanta is where Taylor also earned a law degree.
21. Fredo Santana
Derrick Coleman was born in 1990 – died in 2018; known professionally as Fredo Santana, he was an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. The older cousin of Chicago rapper Chief Keef, Santana, began recording music in 2011, releasing a series of mixtapes throughout 2012 and 2013. His debut studio album, Trappin Ain’t Dead, was released in 2013 via Savage Squad and peaked at number 45 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
22. Lil Reese
Tavares Lamont Taylor was born in 1993, known professionally as Lil Reese. He is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. His debut mixtape, ‘Don’t Like’, was released later that year. Since the first mixtape release, Taylor has gone on to release six mixtapes in total, including the 2013 ‘Supa Savage’ mixtape, as well as three EPs, including the 2017 collaborative project ‘Supa Vultures’ EP with Lil Durk.
23. Rockie Fresh
Donald Howard Pullen was born in 1991, known professionally as Rockie Fresh, and is an American rapper. He was signed to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group and Atlantic Records. Pullen is known for his alternatively influenced hip-hop style and his associations with recording artists Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy and Joel & Benji Madden of Good Charlotte.
24. Open Mike Eagle
Michael W. Eagle II was born in 1980, known primarily by his stage name Open American hip hop performer and comedian Mike Eagle. He belongs to the hip-hop group Project Blowed and resides in Los Angeles, California. He is originally from Chicago, Illinois. Additionally, he has participated in Thirsty Fish, Swim Team, and Cavanaugh.
25. Lil Zay Osama
Isaiah Dukes, born in 1997 and raised in Chicago, Illinois., known professionally as Lil Zay Osama, is an American rapper. His music, which he describes as “pain music”, reflects his violent upbringing on the South Side of Chicago and explores subjects including grief, trauma, and survival.