From a national standpoint, most South Carolina hip-hop artists have remained firmly entrenched underground. But South Carolina’s hip-hop scene makes up for a lack of national attention by offering a supremely diverse array of rap styles.
South Carolina rap offers something for everyone from drill and trap beats to melodic rap and conscious rap. Here are ten of the hottest up-and-coming South Carolina hip-hop artists and rappers in 2021.
Columbia, South Carolina rapper Renni Rucci is one of hip-hop’s fastest rising stars, and she’s breaking out from the underground scene to the main stage full speed ahead. Her “Can’t Be’ video reached got more than 1 million views in under four days in March of this year, and she’s reportedly signed on as a cast member for the 10th season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. Looks like Big Renni is on her way to the big time.
Fellow Columbia rapper Blacc Zacc had his first breakout single in 2019 with his “Sassy” collab with LightSkinKeisha. He followed that up with a Stunna 4 Vegas collab on “Goner” and his first studio album Trappin Like Zacc, featuring a guest performance by Da Baby. Now signed with Interscope Records, Blacc Zacc is knocking ‘em out of the park in 2021 and beyond.
Hard-hitting South Carolina hip-hop artist Lil Mexico started rapping when he was just a small-town kid growing up in Gray Court. Inspired by Lil Wayne, Lil Mexico embodies rapper flash to the fullest. Tattoed, bejeweled, braided, and decked out in designer duds, this dude knows how to put on a helluva show. But the music’s where it’s at, and sharp hooks, trap beats, and Spanish flow make Lil Mexico one of South Carolina’s brightest emcees.
Spartanburg, South Carolina hip-hop artist NGeeYL (pronounced “en-gee-why-el”) is a die-hard trap-rapper known for singles like “Trip Gang” and “Bank Account.” His distinctive style layers a chill cadence over hard hitting beats in an expertly-produced mix of ad-lib and crafted narratives that lend an anthem-like quality to his tracks. This summer, NGeeYL is set to turn up the heat and put South Carolina on blast.
Columbia, South Carolina rapper Mook TBG (TBG aka Talibandz Gang – his label) has been making waves since 2016 with his single “Red Roses.” By 2020 he had completed two projects, including the mixtape Death Chamber 2, along with a Lil Mosey collab. This year, Mook TBG’s been busy putting out tracks one after another on YouTube. His melodic voice spits catchy hooks with AutoTune effects against an eclectic mix of beats that should carry him further into the spotlight in 2021.
Spartanburg, South Carolina hip-hop artist Slime Dollaz first hit the underground scene with his trippy surprise breakout track “Evil” in 2018. Since then, he’s been gaining a loyal fan base for his unique sound and devil-may-care style. Those fans rave about songs like “Drippin,” which garnered over a quarter of a million views, and his series of “Trust Issues” tracks. If you like rappers that don’t sound like anyone else, Slime Dollaz is your man.
Hailing from Orangeburg, South Carolina rapper PG Ra is blowing up the internet with his rough delivery and strong Southern drawl set over pretty beats and dreamy instrumental samples. His chill style is a refreshing contrast to the typically more aggressive style of other South Carolina hip-hop artists in 2021. He’s been featured on Pitchfork several times, and he has almost 10 million collective views on YouTube. That’s not chump change, and we think PG Ra has the talent and drive to go to the top of the rap game.
Rock Hill rapper Shawn Scrilla is one of the best active South Carolina hip-hop artists today. This is real deep underground southern rap, and Scrilla’s not trying to pull any punches. He’s going for the straight headlock, and he could seriously pop off in 2021. His flow is tight, his beats are dope, and his rhymes are fire.
South Carolina hip-hop artist Smoke Gambino has been doing his thing for around eight years now, and he’s been getting local attention since 2016. But he really started racking up plays and views on YouTube in 2019 with tracks like “On My Boys,” “Flight Risk,” and “Flamers.” We thought he would pop off in 2020, but it was a weird year, and it seems King Flamer took a brief hiatus. This year, he’s charging onto the scene with three brand new hardass tracks so far, plus videos to go with them.
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