I traced the underground hip-hop scene in Alaska back to the 90s. One of Alaska’s first record labels, 50 Belo, signed Alaska Redd in 1994. He was one of the original pioneers of the rap scene out there. He built out his own recording studio, Redd Dot Studios, in 2002 and is still making music to this day.
Then there was Bay Dilla with Out Da Cutt Entertainment. They had a premiere recording studio in Anchorage and formed AK’s first hip-hop collective the Up North D-Boys. Producer Raw Beatzz worked in that studio and is widely regarded as one of the top producers to come out of Alaska. Another notable producer, Sk8God, is part of the new wave spreading outside the state.
Joker The Bailbondsman is another major legend in the AK rap game. He has worked with big names like Bizzy Bone of Bone Thugs and Harmony for the single, “Money In A Ziplock Bag.” He was arguably one of the most well-known rappers from Alaska before getting himself locked up in 2008.
Josh Boots is another pioneer of the underground hip-hop scene. He helped raise the bar for quality in Alaska rap when he partnered with fellow rapper, Akream, to bring Arctic Flow Records to life. Along with the notable rappers mentioned above, they helped bring music industry practices into the wilderness of the early Alaska hip-hop scene. As well as encouraging and influencing young rappers like Keezy of the hip-hop collective Sky Division.
Incorporated into Arctic Flow was South Anchorage producer, Alkota. The producer runs The Drum Broker, the largest online hip-hop drum sample business. He was featured at the beginning of the short documentary, 907’s Own, which explores the untold story of the Alaska hip-hop scene.
The State of Underground Hip-Hop In Alaska
The Alaska hip-hop community is enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. This time last year the 5th annual Alaska Hip-Hop and R&B Awards were being held in Anchorage. The nominees featured artists like Bishop Slice, the quick spitting emcee from Fairbanks, Starbuks, and videographer Crimeski.
Right now, though, a name that is on everybody’s tongue is Tayy Tarantino. The local video series, Indie Alaska, featured the rapper in one of their videos last year.
2018 also saw the second annual AK Rhymefest which was founded by Valley emcee, D The Lyricist. As well as a viral video from a group of Alaska Native teenagers showcasing Tlingit culture in a bilingual music video.
Underground Alaska Hip-Hop Playlist
Pairs Well With
Unsigned Alaska Rappers To Follow
Cemoni The Goddess