New Jersey rapper Fatboi Sharif

5 New Jersey Rappers You Should Be Listening To

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New Jersey is a state with plenty of unique qualities, but one thing it’s not often associated with is the greatness of its hip-hop. Before you get started on that whole “Jersey Shore” thing, though, there are so many artists out there who are doing amazing things. New Jersey has a long history of music and dance, and New Jersey hip-hop has had its share of incredible artists emerge over the years – from Redman and Naughty By Nature to Rah Digga and Mach-Hommy. The New Jersey of today is also ablaze with hip-hop talent, and these 5 rappers are leading the way.

Related Reads: 10 East Coast Rappers You Should Be Listening To

Fatboi Sharif

Fatboi Sharif is a hard artist to describe. His music is a mix of layered writing and haunted radio plays. Whatever you call it, just don’t say it’s horrorcore. “I honestly hate that word,” Sharif recently said in an interview with Spin. “If anybody is saying that about my music, they’re not really listening.” To those who are paying attention, it’s clear Fatboi Sharif approaches his craft differently than other MCs. When he raps you can hear his voice moving at two speeds, the kind of blur only possible from a person confident enough to play with the cadence of their words. Fatboi Sharif’s 2021 album, Gandhi Loves Children, and 2022 EP, Cyber City Society, are testaments to the fact that there’s still room for risk-taking in hip-hop. Both are introspective into a complicated mind, with complex flows and lush, off-kilter production, proving why he’s among the best rappers in New Jersey

Josiah The Gift

When most of us think about a sword, we picture a steel blade wielded on a battlefield. But when Josiah The Gift thinks of it, he’s not imagining a weapon that could pierce an opponent’s skin—he’s picturing the power words can have to move people. This theme is reflected across his latest double album, Mightier Than The Sword. “As I was putting the pieces together, the first half of the album displayed the sword aspect (side A) and the second half gave more meaning to the pen (side B), and how it can inspire for positive changes in life for the ones that don’t get that message from music often,” Josiah said in a recent interview. Released across two parts, the album is bursting with bars that showcase Josiah The Gift’s strongest rhymes to date.

Vincent, The Owl

Vincent, The Owl isn’t your typical rapper. He’s built a following by being himself, whether he’s in his native Jersey City or performing at premier venues like Webster Hall and Bowery Electric. His live performances are raucous and the stuff of local legend and he’s known to freestyle outside the local corner store all hours of the night. His crew, known as OWL (short for Operate with Liquor), are also a source of entertainment in the Jersey City area and a force to be reckoned with in their own right. Vincent, The Owl’s latest album, 2WO OWL, features some of the best raps Jersey has to offer alongside a bevy of raw production from 2wo offishall.

Joe College

Joe College is a storyteller, a poet, and one of the best New Jersey rappers. He’s a student of the rap game who’s carving his own path, putting a signature twist on what the genre’s most prominent artists have done in the past. He’s big on flow, cadence, and melody and his sound is a mix of 90s rap and old school production mixed with minimal, low end beats. The music he makes is as much an homage to classic rap as it is a statement of his own uniqueness. It all comes together in a way that feels fresh, familiar, and exciting at once.

Shadee Clarke

Shadee Clarke is an artist who is not afraid to tell listeners what he thinks and how he feels. While this type of honesty is not unique in hip hop, it’s still refreshing to hear from artists who put their hearts and souls into their music, who aren’t afraid to put out content that is personal in nature. With his latest album, Flowers Bloom, Shadee Clarke does just that, crafting an album that weaves together stories about his station in life and his hopes and dreams. Flowers Bloom also features a stellar production cast including Ohbliv, Creestal and Velvetian Sky, who help craft a set of laid-back and reflective tracks.