Nowadays, Texas is more known for its Hollywood celebrities than its rappers. However, in the early days of rap, Texans were some of the most recognizable names in the game. Identifying a relatively small number of significant rappers across the Lone Star state is possible. While many rap artists from Texas are known for affiliation with Southern hip-hop or regional styles, some regional features make their way into these ranking lists. Here are the top 20 famous rappers from Texas in order based on influence and popularity.
1. Travis Scott
Travis Scott was born in Houston, Texas, in 1991, and his birth name is Jacques Webster. While he went by Jacques Webster as a child, he adopted the stage name, Travis Scott. He began his career in 2010 and made his major label debut in 2012. His first studio album was titled “Rodeo” and was released in 2015. Travis Scott’s first single was titled “Antidote”. The song’s accompanying music video features American reality star Kylie Jenner and the singer’s oldest son.
2. Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion was born in 1995. She is an American rapper originally from Dallas, Texas. She began her career and released her debut studio album “Good News”. Megan Thee Stallion signed to 300 Entertainment in 2018, where she released the mixtape Fever (2019) and the extended play Suga (2020), both of which reached the top ten of the Billboard 200.
Cornelius “Nelly” Hayes, Jr. was born in Austin, Texas, on November 2, 1974. He began his rap career in St. Louis, Missouri, and has released multiple studio albums, with the most successful being Country Grammar (2000) which peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts and produced two #1 singles: “Country Grammar” and “Ride wit Me”. Nelly’s albums have produced only two other top forty hits: “E.I.” and “Hot in Herre,” which both hit number one.
4. Machine Gun Kelly
Bradley Michael Miller, better known as Machine Gun Kelly, was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1990. Miller’s debut studio album “Lace Up” was released in June 2012. Miller has recently worked with Travis Barker, and Skylar Gray of the rock band, Blink-182 and has teamed up with all three artists in a single project called “Vacation in Hell”.
Brad Jordan, also referred to as “Scarface,” was born in Houston, Texas, in 1970. He began his career as Face and is best known as one of the pioneers of the Houston hip-hop scene. In 2012 he was named “The Greatest Rapper Ever” by VH1. In 1990 he released his debut album “Mr. Scarface Is Back”. The album peaked at #61 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified gold by the RIAA.
6. Vanilla Ice
Robert Matthew Van Winkle, better known by his stage name Vanilla Ice, was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1967. He released his hit single “Ice Ice Baby” in 1990, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. As a result, he was signed to S.B.K. Records and released his debut album “Hooked” in 1991, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
7. The D.O.C
Tracy Lynn Curry, also referred to as The D.O.C., was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1968. His debut studio album “No One Can Do It Better” was released in 1989 and peaked at #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #13 on the Billboard 200. Despite their commercial success, he has been largely ignored by the hip-hop community ever since his debut album. The D.O.C. is currently working on his second studio album.
8. Todrick Hall
Todrick Hall was born in 1985. He is an American singer, songwriter, choreographer, and YouTuber. He grew up in Richardson, Texas. He was a member of the first season of American Idol spin-off American Juniors. Hall gained popularity for his parody videos on YouTube, creating his channel where he regularly uploads content.
9. Riff Raff
Riff Raff, a stage name by Horst Christian Simco, is a rapper from Houston, Texas. He was born in 1982 and went to school at the University of Houston for two years, where he studied theater before dropping out to pursue his rap career. In 2011 he released the mixtape “Summer of Surf,” which caught the attention of MTV, and he’s been performing on The Week in Jams since early 2012.
10. Lecrae Moore
Lecrae Devaughn Moore is a Christian rapper and producer from Houston, Texas. He was born in 1979 and began his career in 2004. He has released nine studio albums and two compilation albums. In 2008 he released his first independent album, “Real Talk”, which received critical acclaim among Christian, mainstream hip hop, and secular music critics.
11. Kevin Abstract
Clifford Ian Simpson was born in 1996, known by his stage name Kevin Abstract. He is an American rapper born in Houston, Texas. He was part of the Brockhampton band from 2013 to 2017 and began releasing his music under the name Kevin Abstract in 2016. His first mixtape, “MTV1987,” was released in June 2014, followed by another mixtape titled “American Boyfriend,” released in September 2014.
12. Yella Beezy
Markies American rapper Deandre Conway, better known by the stage name Yella Beezy, is from Dallas, Texas. He was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1990. He is an American rapper and songwriter from Dallas who got his start in music when the Dallas local music manager Big Quan discovered him on the street. He is best known for the singles “That’s On Me”, “Back At It Again”, “Up One”, and “Goin Through Some Thangs”.
13. Lil Twist
Rapper Lil Twist is from Dallas, Texas, and is American. He was a 1993 baby. He released his first book when he was eleven years old debut single, “The Texas Twist,” which spent six weeks at the top of the Dallas local charts. To raise interest in his anticipated but never released album, Bad Decisions, he released mixtapes like The Golden Child and a song, “Love Affair.”
14. South Park Mexican
Carlos Coy was born in 1970, known professionally as S.P.M. (an initialism for South Park Mexican). He is an American rapper, songwriter, convicted sex offender, and founder of Dope House Records. His stage name is from his upbringing in Houston, Texas’ South Park district. His first single was “El Entrenador”, released in 1995.
15. Erica Banks
Rapper Erica Banks was born in 1998 and raised in DeSoto, Texas. She joined with 1501 Certified Entertainment after the release of her first three mixtapes, and in June 2020, her self-titled mixtape was made available. It gave birth to “Buss It,” which debuted at number one and gained popularity on TikTok. She joined Warner Records in January 2021, and “Buss It” was republished on that label.
16. Asian Doll
Misharron Jermeisha Allen was born in 1996; better known as Asian Doll, Asian Da Brat, or simply Asian, is an American rapper. Her music career began with the release of Da Rise of Barbie Doll Gang Empire in 2015. Other projects include Drippin in Glo (2016), Project Princess Vol. 1 (2016), OuttaSpace (2017), Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2017), Doll S.Z.N., So Icy Princess (2018), her eighth mixtape release UNFUCCWITABLE (2019).
17. D.J. Screw
Robert Earl Davis Jr. was born in 1971 – died in 2000; better known by his stage name D.J. Screw was an American D.J. and rapper from Houston, Texas. He was a popular figure in the Houston hip hop scene and is best known for creating the screwed and chopped style of music, which involves slowing down rap music to allow for freestyling by D.J.s.
18. Paul Wall
Paul Michael Slayton was born in 1981. He is an American rapper, singer, and actor. Paul Wall became affiliated with Swishahouse in 1997. On the advice of Chamillionaire, Paul Wall released his first official mixtape, Get Ya Mind Correct.
19. Big Lurch
Antron Singleton was born in 1976, better known by his stage name Big Lurch, and is a convicted murderer and former rapper from Houston, TX. He is currently in prison for killing 21-year-old roommate Tynisha Ysais and eating parts of her body in April 2002. He was a member of the group Cosmic Slop Shop.
20. Slim Thug
Steve Jerome Thomas was born in 1980; better known by his stage name Slim Thug, he is an American rapper from Houston, Texas. He first became well-known due to his involvement in the smash song “Still Tippin” by rapper Mike Jones. He released his debut album, Already Platinum, which reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart.