New Orleans stuck its flag into Planet Rap with a purpose over 20 years ago, and the whole world saw it waving. From Cash Money and No Limit’s international reach to a simmering scene of street-level indie labels that pumped out sounds from singsong, upbeat bounce to crafty, lyrical hip-hop, the ’90s marked a golden age for the city cradled by the Mississippi, in whose fertile crescent all American music was arguably born.
In more recent years, Cash Money, the enduring champion, has become a global powerhouse of extraordinary impact and reach. Via boundary-shattering champions like Big Freedia and the late Nicky da B, bounce music has traveled far beyond the project courtyards and block parties where it was born. Artists like Curren$y, Jay Electronica, and August Alsina continue to define the sound of the city to fans around the world, and back at home, New Orleans keeps growing talent. Here’s some of the latest crop.