Notable Artists: Young Buck, Starlito, Pistol, Kool Daddy Fresh, Blow Pop Crew, Quanie Cash, Haystak, Jelly Roll, Dee Goodz, Openmic, Yung Coca, Chancellor Warhol, Stix Izza
Most Underrated Artist: Starlito
Most Underrated Contribution: Blow Pop Crew’s foreshadowing of crunk with “Drop the Bass”
As the center of country music and a hub for rock, Nashville is rarely thought of as a hip-hop city, but Cashville has its fair share of local standouts and rap history. In the ‘80s, a hip-hop scene mirroring the park jams and ciphers of New York emerged, spearheaded by the Blow Pop Crew, who would have a brief moment of national visibility and help spark a regional sound with their song “Drop the Bass.”
Local artists Kool Daddy Fresh and Pistol kept hip-hop culture active in Nashville throughout the ‘90s, but the city saw its first real exposure with the success of its biggest mainstream star, G-Unit member Young Buck. For the past several years, the city’s standout artist has been Starlito (formerly All Star), whose gritty raps have garnered national attention and accolades, particularly on his Stepbrothers collaboration with Memphis rapper Don Trip.
With a strong music industry infrastructure, as well as a burgeoning scene full of promising up-and-comers like Dee Goodz and Stix Izza, the Music City may have the right ingredients to keep drawing attention for its other genre.