Local legends: Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Eyedea, Doomtree, I Self Divine, etc.
Hot right now: P.O.S., Dessa
Up-and-coming talent: Toki Wright, Astronautilus, Greg Grease
Check out live shows at: First Avenue, Triple Rock Social Club, in-store at 5th Element
Best rap parties/festivals: Soundset
Tune into: 89.9 KMOJ; 89.3 The Current
As a state synonymous with whiteness and public radio, Minnesota doesn't tend to stand out in many peoples' minds as a place for rap fans or talent. But as the home to independent label Rhymesayers, it's become something of a destination for those drawn to hip-hop with a political or classical bent. Rick Ross may as well be a foreign word to many residents, but the city is also one of the few places where Bon Iver fans can typically rattle off half a dozen local rappers, thanks to a strongly supportive music scene that includes community radio stations; venues like First Avenue, which consistently books local showcases while drawing major national tours; and events like the Soundset festival, which regularly draws a who's who of historic and underground acts.. Although the strong emphasis on old-school hip-hop elements and lack of national profile may be a turn-off to some, Minneapolis offers a lot of resources to those with a specific set of hip-hop interests. Also, it's the home of the best child rap collective in the game, Y.N. Rich Kids. Here's to watching them work their way up.