I didn’t really expect to find a rich history of independent Arizona rappers. I found a few emcees from the early 2000s, but really, hip-hop has only been thriving in this desert for the past decade or so.
I was first introduced to the local Arizona rap scene back in 2015 when Futuristic collaborated with Sam Lachow for the single, “Watch Your Mouth.”
Watch Futuristic “Watch Yo Mouth” Ft. Sam Lachow
Then in 2016, I saw Phoenix rapper Mega Ran at Nectar Lounge who had independent Arizona rapper, Roqy Tyraid, on tour with him. Mega Ran moved to AZ in 2006 and made a name for himself the following year under the moniker Random. He released an ode to the old school video game Mega Man and has been a popular nerd-core rapper ever since.
Listen To Mega Ran “Megaman Forever”
The only other Arizona hip-hop I found from the mid-00s were the Vendetta Kingz. Five rappers who formed their collective in 2006. One of the guys has passed, but the group just released an album on January 11th and it slaps.
Seattle rap veteran Grieves took Phoenix rapper Mouse Powell on tour with him at the end of last year. They came through and performed at the Crocodile to benefit Homeward Bound Pet Adoption.
The State of Underground Hip-Hop In Arizona
Right now, some seriously dope hip-hop is being made in Arizona. I think the heat from global warming got to all of the rappers and they’ve been on fire ever since. Through all of my searching, I kept finding more and more talent.
I stumbled across the Arizona Hip-Hop Festival which takes place in Phoenix every year. The lineup for last year’s 5th annual festival boasted 300+ artists. That’s not the only festival in the state either. Tucson has their own celebration for hip-hop which is coming up soon on March 9th.
Ali Tomineek is a young viral sensation to come out of Phoenix. In high school, he would rap on camera for a segment that would eventually be dubbed #FridayFlow. Eventually, the idea came around to turn it into, what is now, a highly successful album.
The south Phoenix native rapper, Delly Everyday spent 2018 releasing 365 new songs. Making Delly the first rapper ever to release a song every day for an entire year.
I found quite a few really talented videographers who are working with an insane amount of talented artists from all around the state. As well as a hip-hop radio show that does weekly freestyles. Do yourself a favor, go to Instagram and follow; Josh Lerma, BullisVisions, and Lyricist Lounge AZ. Also big shoutout to DJ Pest and the WeAreTheUmbrella Youtube channel.
Overall, there’s a hell of a lot of talent in Arizona. I will mos’ definitely be continuing to dig through these crates and explore the hip-hop scene that’s starting to bloom out of the desert.
Indie Rap From Arizona Playlist
Follow These Independent Rappers From Arizona
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