A List Of Sacramento’s Best Under-The-Radar Rappers
While its often overshadowed by San Francisco, Oakland and Vallejo, the Sacramento hip-hop scene has a rich history and has played a major part in shaping the west coast sound we know today. Rap artists from Sacramento like Brotha Lynch Hung, X-Raided and C-Bo, who are considered pioneers of the city’s hip hop scene, paved the way for other rappers to follow suit. While the city shares some similarities with other Bay Area rap styles, Sacramento also has its own identity and sound which distinguish it from the rest.
The Sacramento hip-hop scene has been an underrated spot for some time now and it’s time to take a closer look at what makes it so great.
Who Are The Top Up-And-Coming Rappers from Sacramento?
If you’re looking to begin your journey into the world of Sacramento rap, then this is the perfect place to start. Hip-hop is having a moment in Sacramento and Endless Crate is here to tell you about it. This city has produced a number of talented rappers over the years and continues to produce some of the best underground hip-hop in California, as well as one of its coolest up-and-coming scenes.
With that in mind, EC has compiled a list of some must-know artists who have become synonymous with Sac Town’s flourishing underground rap scene.
Related Reads: West Coast Rappers You Should Be Listening To
Among Sacramento rappers, The Philharmonik is a renaissance man. Whether it’s producing, rapping, singing, or engineering, this Sacramento artist brings a refreshing style to his music. From beat making and singing to rapping, The Philharmonik’s versatility as an artist has allowed him to develop a signature sound that should appeal to mainstream and underground audiences alike. As one of Sacramento’s premier artists, he knows how to keep listeners engaged in his music by fusing genres, creating experimental sounds and pushing the boundaries of what’s expected. He mixes his own vocal stylings with compelling melodies to make for a unique listening experience, and has an amazing ability to tell a story while also keeping you dancing and grooving along. Fans of Outkast and Childish Gambino will dig The Philharmonik.
Born in Nigeria and raised in the North Highlands/Citrus Heights area, Igwe Aka is a Sacramento rapper who stands out from the rest and has a voice of his own. Eschewing genre constraints he creates soundscape that are at turns soulful or brash, providing a versatile style of hip-hop that plays with different rhythms and instrumentation. He deftly plays with multiple genres, including reggae, soul, pop, and African beats while creating a lyrical world where he reflects on his upbringing while also making space for joyous celebration. His lyrics go deep about life in his hometown, straying away from the typical hip-hop content. One thing you can be sure of when listening to Igwe is that his style is always evolving and growing with him. In a crowded scene of talented Sacramento rappers, Aka’s music and sound are truly unique and he’s definitely a west coast artist to keep an eye on.
PAINI is an up-and-coming Sacramento rapper whose powerful delivery and lyricism have already turned heads in the local hip-hop scene. This Sacramento heavyweight rapper is noted for his ability to be both rugged and raw, yet crisp and clean. He brings a certain level of heat to every track, bringing both an aggressive edge and a melodic boom bap style that makes him a force to be reckoned with. Through his work with Sac-Town producers like Mon$rock, PAINI has already started to make a name for himself—showing his versatility as an artist while keeping it hot with his signature flow on his path to become one of the city’s most respected spitters. A new talent with a firm grasp on his craft, PAINI stands to become one of the region’s undisputed rap icons in no time.
Nash Boogie is one of the latest artists to emerge from Sacramento’s flourishing underground hip-hop scene. A rapper and producer who makes his own beats, Nash’s music is characterized by his distinct flow, highly personal lyrics, and innovative approach. From reality raps to melodic flows, Nash has something for everyone in his arsenal. He has a knack for weaving intricate narratives that build upon themselves until the climactic conclusion of each verse. Nash’s lyrics can often surprise you with a clever play on words but his flow is what always stays true to form. And his ability to weave complex narratives as well as keep his listeners engaged with catchy hooks have made him one of the hottest new artists coming out of Sacramento in years. Sometimes abstract, sometimes political, always truthful, Nash Boogie’s songs are known for their ability to continue resonating with listeners long after they’ve stopped listening.
Sacramento duo UnlikePeople are a force to be reckoned with. Comprised of producer Telly McLean and rapper Dceased, they’re not your typical Sacramento hip-hop act. Their music is gritty and raw in the best possible way, making them somewhat of an anomaly in the local scene. While a lot of present-day Sacramento rap has a polished, club-ready sound, the rugged beats behind UnlikePeople’s songs give them a unique, hard-hitting vibe. Dceased has staked out his own lane with on point lyricism and narrative storytelling ability. Complementing Dceased’s flow, producer Telly’s hazy boom bap beats are rhythmic, melodic and haunting, creating a complete package that far outpaces most of their peers.
With a flow reminiscent of an era when classic hip-hop reigned supreme, Ernest Brevard Gibson III (a.k.a. EGDABEAST) is the next big name in Sacramento rap. His fans call him the young future legend, and it’s easy to see why. A rapper and producer who cuts his own unique lane with the classic west coast sound, his music is reminiscent of rap’s golden era, but with a modern touch that’s sure to appeal to young listeners who weren’t even born when people like E-40 first started dropping albums. EGDABEAST’s rapping is also distinctly Californian in its swagger and vibe—he’s mastered both flow and style, which makes him hard to ignore in a scene already saturated with talent. His skills don’t stop at his lyrics though, he’s got skill behind the boards as well. Among Sacramento rappers, EGDABEAST is definitely one to watch.
Originally from Hickory, North Carolina, Yumz Awkword has been creating music his entire life and stands out among Sacramento rappers for his iconoclastic approach. Starting in his early teens, Yumz took it upon himself to record and release his own music independently and over the next couple years he founded his current group Awkword Society (a.k.a AWK14), released music and started throwing shows in his local area. Soon after, he moved to Sacramento at the age of 22 to work with Bedroomtrap Records (a label based out of Sacramento). Musically, Yumz attacks the mic with confidence and full force, as if he’s been waiting his entire life for that moment. His flow is tight, his voice powerful. Yumz is also a prime example of rap’s new wave of experimentalism, a rapper who molds his sound into something unexpected while creating songs that make you want to listen again and again.
Nate Curry is a Sacramento rapper who’s flown somewhat under the radar nationally, but who’s building an impressive following locally. He’s quietly winning over even the most discerning ears with his uplifting, danceable sound and his clever lyrics. From a distance, Curry’s music seems like party anthems. His songs are dance-y and upbeat, with lyrics set to mood-lifting beats. But they’re also introspective and serious, often tackling topics like depression, anxiety and addiction. (“It’s like therapy, but fun therapy,” Curry says of his music.) His unflinching approach has already earned him legions of local fans, including hometown heroes like Mozzy.
Baegod is a rapper and singer known for her effortless back and forth rapping and singing over bass-line driven production. As the co-founder of Sacramento’s Bedroomtrap label, Baegod brings an unorthodox style of R&B meets melodic rap meets trap style production. Pushing a sound that blends genres seamlessly, she and fellow Bedroomtrap co-founder/producer Sbvce have created arguably one of the most forward thinking sounds in Sacramento rap music today. She has a good ear for melody and cadence, no matter what style she’s rapping in—from the laid back rhythms of R&B to the heavy 808s that dominate her sound, Baegod can adapt as well as any artist out there.
Kita Mihal may be one of the least flashy rappers coming out of Sacramento. Her style is chill and melodic and she’s got a unique flow and vibe that’s not quite like anything else coming out of the city. The beat and production quality of her songs (often produced by Bedroomtrap’s Sbvce) make them stand out from the rest, but it’s her lyrics that create memorable moments for listeners. She has a distinct voice, and her preference for down to earth lyrics is refreshing in an over-saturated world of highly produced rap songs. She’s on the rise and seems to be one of the next great artists that’s coming out of Sac Town this generation.