Since its beginnings in the early 1970s, hip hop culture hasn’t only exploded, it has remained largely consistent in terms of its popularity. With its heavy counterculture themes, it may have taken on different incarnations since its inception, but something that hasn’t changed at all is the cities that have consistently had the strongest hip hip culture and influence within them.
Here are the top hip hop cities in the United States, presented to you in alphabetical order:
There’s simply no question that the city of Atlanta is the capital for hip hop cities in the southeastern United States.
The diverse, energetic, and immigrant friendly city is home to many of the most famous names in the hip hop world, including Ying Yang Twins, Gucci Mane, and Young Jeezy. There’s also a very strong underground scene in Atlanta as well.
While Atlantis may not be the only city in the southeastern region of the United States to be immensely popular with the hip hop culture and community, it still arguably is one of the most overlooked cities, as other cities such as New Orleans or Memphis are likely to get more attention.
It’s no secret that Memphis is a music city clear and through, and it attracts a very wide range of singers, artists, and musicians.
Today, Memphis thrives as a music city just as it did back in its origins in the blues, and just like Atlanta, it also has a very strong and pronounced underground scene as well.
It should also be noted that one of the most popular hip hop movies ever put to the cinematic screen, Hustle and Flow, was made in Memphis. The film was nominated for and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The city of Miami attracts endless tourists and visitors each year for a large number of reasons, but with particular thanks to its white beaches, blue water, and yes, it’s very rich and energetic nightlife. It’s one of the most diverse cities in existence and quite possibly the biggest tourist city in the southeastern United States.
Hip hop may not be what makes Miami so well-known, but the presence of hip hop is still very strong in the city. Numerous famous artists such as Flo Rida and Pitbull are from the city, and the hip hop party scene in the city is virtually unparalleled. If you want to go to a city with very strong hip hop vibes, Miami will absolutely need to be a city that you try out.
New Orleans, Louisiana
As with Memphis, Tennessee, the city of New Orleans in Louisiana is steeped in musical history as well. Many famous contributors to the hip hop world hail form New Orleans, including Juvenile, Curren$y, Master P, Lil’ Wayne, and Birdman (the founder of Cash Money Records).
Today, New Orleans has one of the very strongest presences of southern hip hop in the United States.
New York City, New York
Last but not least, New York City is quite arguably the capital of hip hop in the entire world (even more so than Atlanta or Los Angeles) because not only does it have a very strong hip hop presence, but it’s also where hip hop originated back in the 1970s.
Numerous artists in the hip hop scene call New York their home, including DJ Kool Herc, Ghetto Brothers, LL Cool J, and RUN DMC. That’s not to mention that the underground hip hop scene in New York is very strong as well, with a number of recent breakouts occurring in the city
including Flatbrush Zombies and Action Bronson.
And of course, the Big Apple is also well known as the ‘Concrete Jungle’ of America. There’s simply no question that rap and hip hop plays a role in that.
Top Hip Hop Cities In The United States
All in all, these are the top cities in the United States with the strongest hip hop culture and influence. Granted, there are many other cities with a very strong hip hop and rap culture as well, including Chicago in Illinois and Los Angeles in California, but these are the cities where the rap culture continues to thrive at its strongest and where we continue to see breakout stars hitting the scene and gaining celebrity status on a seemingly regular basis.