15 Best Texas Rappers You Will Love

Discover Some of the Best Texas Rappers

Fans of hip-hop are likely familiar with the big-name greats from the Houston scene, but there are a host of talented rappers from all over the state of Texas. On this list we’ll be counting down some of the best Texas rappers from the old school and new school alike. 

Best Texas Rappers (Summary)

Texas is the home of a host of underrated old school rappers, such as Oak Cliff Assassin and Ron C. Texas has also given rap fans some well-known legends like The D.O.C. in the old school and Travis Scott in the modern era.

1. The D.O.C.

Most hip-hop fans likely think of The D.O.C. as an L.A. rapper due to his association with Dr. Dre. Many aren’t aware that The D.O.C. got his start in his hometown of Dallas with his group Fila Fresh Crew. While D.O.C. would later take a more g-funk approach, his 80’s material is classic old school hip-hop. 

Favorite Song by The D.O.C.: “I Hate to Go to Work” is a classic 80’s rap that’s self-explanatory in its intentions. Before D.O.C. went gangster, he was still penning thoughtful rhymes about the drudgery of work. 

2. Oak Cliff Assassin

Oak Cliff Assassin is an obscure Dallas rapper who remains little known even among hip-hop diehards. Oak Cliff hasn’t been active since the mid-2000’s, but he left behind several great albums that added a Texas spin on the popular g-funk of the day. 

Favorite Song by Oak Cliff Assassin: “Dallas to Houston” is a great ode to the Texas scene that features a great guest spot by popular Houstonite Ganksta Nip.

3. P.K.O.

Another obscure gem from the old school Texas scene, P.K.O. were essentially San Antonio’s answer to N.W.A. Rapper Kottonmouth is the star of the show in this gangster rap collective, and he would go on to have a great but overlooked solo career. 

Favorite Song by P.K.O.: “Life in The Ghetto” is classic hip-hop in the style of N.W.A. or Public Enemy, painting a stark look at ghetto life over record scratches and funky beats.

4. UGK

The classic duo of Bun B and Pimp C helped put Houston on the map along with the Geto Boys back in the 90’s. In UGK’s earlier years the group were in Port Athur, TX. While not exactly a hotspot for Texas rap, UGK are beloved enough in Port Arthur to have been given their own official holiday in the city

Favorite Song by UGK: “Cocaine in the Back of the Ride” is a classic from UGK’s debut Too Hard to Swallow. I love a lot of UGK songs but I chose an early classic to represent them before they were “claimed” by Houston, so to speak. 

5. Ron C

Another overlooked 90’s rapper who was part of Dallas hip-hop collective Nemesis (who are also underground), Ron C mixes Texas-style southern rap with elements of G-funk and Bay area beats. Ron’s 1996 album Raw 4 Life is hard to track down nowadays, but if you ever wanted a sequel to Snoop’s Doggystyle, this gem should be of your interest. 

Favorite Song by Ron C: “Strapped” is classic old school cool, with dope beats and Parliament/Funkadelic style synthesizers and bass giving the song a funky 70’s feel. 

6. Trae Tha Truth

Trae is a Houston native who’s an affiliate of Guerilla Maab and DJ Screw’s infamous Screwed Up Click. A cousin of fellow Houston juggernaut Z-Ro, Trae might not get as much critical attention as some of his Houston peers but he deserves a seat at the table nonetheless. Unlike many of his Screwed Up peers, Trae hit his artistic peak in the mid-2000’s and is still putting out records.

Favorite Song by Trae Tha Truth: “Losing Composure,” the title track of Trae’s great 2003 album, manages to be dark and gloomy while also smooth and oddly relaxing. I love the classical-inspired samples like the eerie violins. 

7. Lil Keke

Another affiliate of the Screwed Up Click in Houston, Lil Keke’s first album Don’t Mess Wit Texas is an overlooked classic from the scene, and Keke has continued to have a prolific rap career since. His early music combines elements of southern rap and g-funk, and later he would explore genres like crunk. 

Favorite Song by Lil Keke: “Something About The Southside” is a smooth and groovy ode to the hood. While many rappers were warning about the dangers of the thug life, Lil Keke displays a fond reverence here.

8. MO3

Hailing from Dallas, MO3 was an up and comer who tragically passed away in 2020 at a young age. Mixing elements of the old school southern rap with modern trap influences, MO3 definitely had a lot more to offer and it’s sad to see that his career was cut so short.

Favorite Song by MO3: “One of Them Days Again” is a great collaboration between MO3 and Boosie Badazz from the pair’s 2020 mixtape. MO3 was going places but he died shortly after this release.

9. Lil Loaded

Another great rapper from the new school who tragically took his own life in 2021 at only 21 years old, Lil Loaded was a legitimate member of the Crips gang. He rapped about street life with the same gusto as his 90’s and early 2000’s forefathers. Between legal troubles and a turbulent personal life, Loaded put an end to his life and left us fans wondering what great music we would miss out on.

Favorite Song by Lil Loaded: “Loaded Lean” is a great track from Lil Loaded’s 2019 mixtape, but the whole album is a fun listen. Unlike many rappers, Loaded kept his tracks short enough that you wanted to play them again.

10. Tay-K

You might be starting to sense a trend here with the details I’m sharing about Texas rappers. While some in the scene might be “studio gangsters,” guys like Tay-K were heavily involved in criminal and gang activity. It’s a shame Tay-K was charged with murder and robbery, because his 2017 mixtape #SantanaWorld is great. The guy was making great music at a young age but made too many bad decisions.

Favorite Song by Tay-K: “The Race” is a great opener to Tay’s mixtape, and this crossover between cloud rap and trap takes on a new meaning when you find out Tay-K was literally on the run from police at the time of recording this track.

11. BooGotti Kasino

BooGotti Kasino has a goofy name, I’ll admit it. He’s got a goofy aesthetic as well, with references to video games and Dragon Ball Z adorning his album covers. Yet it’s precisely this willingness to be unique that’s made him one of the hottest modern rappers in Fort Worth. 

Favorite Song by BooGotti Kasino: “Play With That Monkey” is a metaphorical track, and not an especially deep one. But with BooGotti’s infectious delivery and the general fun spirit of the track, it’s hard not to bop your head to this one.

12. Asian Doll

One female rapper who made waves in the Dallas scene with her own unique anime-inspired aesthetic and explicitly sexual lyrics is Asian Doll, who is now based in Atlanta. In addition to her great delivery and captivating aesthetic, Asian Doll incorporates influences like UK drill and other forms of electronic music into her own work, which is unique for southern rap. 

Favorite Song by Asian Doll: “Dope Boy“ is a great track from her Fight Night mixtape. Asian Doll owns her sexuality and attitude with style, and her incorporation of unique influences sets her apart from many other sexually-oriented female rappers.    

13. C Struggs

Not all rappers die at the hands of the “thug life,” of course. C Struggs was still an up-and-coming talent when he died of cancer in 2018, and his 2015 album Still N Da Streets is a tragically overlooked gem. Hopefully with time Struggs’ music will catch on.

Favorite Song by C Struggs: “I’m Yo Pusha” is just a great classic southern rap track. Choosing to abstain from the trap and cloud elements that have largely defined Texas rap for the past decade or more, Struggs’ music sounded at home with the elders of the game. 

14. One Gud Cide

A sadly underrated Fort Worth duo from the mid-90s consisting of Evil Seed and Twisted Black, One Gud Cide released some of the best hip-hop that combined elements of conscious rap and gangsta rap. This music is dark and realistic, and while there’s not much fun or partying to be had here, their debut Look What the Streets Made is a gritty classic. 

Favorite Song by One Gud Cide: “Makin It Right” explores a concept many gangster rappers don’t tackle. The entire rap is essentially a prayer where the duo asks for forgiveness for misdeeds on the streets. 

15. Travis Scott

While Travis Scott’s reputation hasn’t been the best since a tragedy occurred at one of his concerts, the Houston rapper’s impact and talent cannot be denied. 

While I personally think his output has been steadily going downhill since 2015’s Rodeo, that album’s good enough to earn Scott a seat at the table. A lot of trap music has a strong reliance on high production value, but this album has a serious atmosphere that a lot of pop-oriented trap lacks.    

Favorite Song by Travis Scott: “3500” is Travis Scott’s epic eight minute track featuring 2 Chainz and Future. This track has a dreamlike feel to it with some borderline psychedelic elements, and it never loses engagement. 

There you have it, 15 of the best Texas rappers. While there are countless other talents from the great state of Texas, I hope this list exposed you to some new talents while reminding you of some familiar classics as well. 

This article was written by Avery and edited by Michael.

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