Yo, we’re coming straight outta the Emerald City! The grey skies of Seattle have birthed some of the dopest spitters and illest storytellers in the game.
Hip-hop out here ain’t just a music genre—it’s a culture, a movement.
A lot of cats been grinding, making their mark in the game, but this list right here, this is about the ten that made it big.
So sit back, put those headphones on, ’cause we about to take you on a trip through the top 10 Seattle rappers of all time. Let’s get it!
10. Sam Lachow
Sam Lachow is a producer, songwriter, and director who has become a distinct figure in the Seattle Hip-Hop scene.
Raised in both New York and Seattle, Lachow’s music is a vibrant mixture of his bi-coastal influences.
His independent spirit shines through in his music, with each song bearing his unique signature.
Lachow made a name for himself through his clever lyricism, infectious melodies, and his dedication to the authenticity of his art.
He’s celebrated for his DIY attitude, often producing, directing, and editing his own music videos.
His music often blends different genres, resulting in a unique sound that has helped to shape the city’s diverse music scene.
Sol (Sol Moravia-Rosenberg) burst onto the Seattle hip-hop scene with his debut album “The Ride” in 2009.
His thoughtful lyricism, combined with his genre-blending beats, resonated with fans and critics alike.
Known for his sharp writing and engaging storytelling, Sol’s music often provides a reflective perspective on life’s intricacies and societal issues.
He took a hiatus from music in 2012 to travel, returning in 2016 with a refreshed sound and perspective, continuing to captivate fans and influence Seattle’s rap scene.
8. Blue Scholars
Formed in 2002, Blue Scholars were pioneers of Seattle’s hip-hop scene.
Comprised of DJ Sabzi (Saba Mohajerjasbi) and MC Geologic (George Quibuyen), their music is rooted in addressing political and societal issues, earning them acclaim for their insightful lyricism and socially conscious themes.
Their unique blend of jazz, soul, and hip-hop encapsulates the diversity of Seattle’s music scene.
They’ve been influential in shaping Seattle’s hip-hop landscape, using their platform to amplify the voices of the disenfranchised.
7. Jake One
Jacob Dutton, better known by his stage name Jake One, has been an instrumental figure in Seattle’s hip-hop scene, though his influence reaches far beyond the city’s limits.
As a producer, he’s crafted beats for some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Drake, Rick Ross, and 50 Cent.
Despite his global success, Jake One has remained committed to his Seattle roots, consistently working with local artists and contributing to the city’s hip-hop scene.
6. Gifted Gab
Gabrielle Kadushin, known as Gifted Gab, has carved out her space in the Seattle hip-hop scene with her sharp, punchline-laden rhymes.
Known for her smooth delivery and engaging stage presence, Gifted Gab’s style harks back to the golden age of hip-hop, delivering clever wordplay over soulful beats.
The female rapper has also made waves as part of the hip-hop duo B.A.G. with fellow rapper Blimes.
Her commitment to authenticity and her undeniable skills have solidified her place in Seattle’s vibrant hip-hop scene.
5. Shabazz Palaces
Shabazz Palaces is an avant-garde hip-hop group from Seattle that pushes the boundaries of the genre.
Formed by Ishmael Butler, also known as Palaceer Lazaro, and multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire, the group’s experimental sound incorporates elements of jazz, funk, and African music.
Their complex, abstract lyrics and unconventional production techniques have made them one of the most unique acts in hip-hop.
As the first hip-hop group signed to Sub Pop Records, a label known for its grunge artists, Shabazz Palaces has played a key role in diversifying Seattle’s music scene.
4. Nacho Picasso
Nacho Picasso, born Jesse Robinson, is a central figure in the underground hip-hop scene of Seattle.
Known for his dark humor and self-deprecating lyrics over moody, atmospheric beats, Nacho’s music reflects a different side of the city.
His distinctive style and persona, often referring to himself as a supervillain, sets him apart from many of his peers.
Nacho’s influence can be seen in the growth of Seattle’s underground rap scene, creating space for artists who deviate from the norm.
3. Lil Mosey
Lathan Echols, popularly known as Lil Mosey, is a beacon of the new wave of hip-hop, hailing from the North side of Seattle.
At a very young age, he has made significant strides in the rap industry.
His breakout single, “Pull Up,” was a viral hit and gained him a national audience.
His melodic flow and catchy hooks, exemplified in hits like “Blueberry Faygo,” resonate with the younger generation and represent a newer style of hip-hop that departs from traditional norms.
Despite his youth, Lil Mosey has proven to be a force to be reckoned with.
His rapid rise to fame has brought a renewed spotlight to the Seattle hip-hop scene, making him one of the most significant Seattle rappers in recent years.
His relatable lyrics, often speaking to the experiences of contemporary youth, combined with his ability to create music that appeals to a broad audience, have solidified his place in the industry.
In the space of just a few years, Lil Mosey has transformed from a local high school rapper to a Billboard chart regular – a true testament to the young talent emanating from the Emerald City.
2. Sir Mix-a-Lot
Sir Mix-a-Lot, born Anthony Ray, is a Seattle legend best known for his hit “Baby Got Back.”
But beyond this viral hit, Sir Mix-a-Lot has significantly contributed to putting Seattle’s hip-hop scene on the map.
His music in the late 80s and early 90s broke through the grunge-dominated music scene of the city, proving that Seattle could produce successful hip-hop artists.
His style, often humorous and always catchy, played a significant role in popularizing hip-hop in the mainstream.
Ben Haggerty, known by his stage name Macklemore, skyrocketed to international fame with his partner, producer Ryan Lewis, thanks to their hit singles “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us”.
Macklemore’s deeply personal lyrics about his struggles with addiction, as well as his outspoken support for social issues such as marriage equality, have resonated with a wide audience.
Despite his global success, he has maintained strong ties to his home city, frequently referencing Seattle in his music.
His rise to fame has undoubtedly put Seattle on the map as a hub for hip-hop.
And there it is—ten of the finest to ever pick up a mic in the 206.
From the raw passion of Sol and Blue Scholars bringing the heat with their conscious bars, to the unmatchable energy of Travis Thompson and the profound lyricism of Shabazz Palaces.
We’ve seen legends in the making like Lil Mosey, who’s bringing the new school vibe with his melodic flow, and we can’t forget the veteran spitters like Sir Mix-a-Lot who paved the way for everyone else.
And at the top of the pile? Macklemore, no question.
From “Thrift Shop” to “Can’t Hold Us,” he put Seattle on the global map and proved that we’re not just about grunge and indie rock.
That’s the beauty of Seattle hip-hop, man. We diverse, we unique, we don’t fit in any box!
This list, it’s just a taste of what we got to offer.
The 206 keeps evolving, and I can’t wait to see who’s next to blow up.But for now, these are your top 10, the best to ever do it in the rainy city. Seattle stand up!