Everybody’s from somewhere and rappers, more than artists in any other genre, always seem to be the first to big up their cities on wax. No matter the state, country or ward they were birthed, MCs can’t help but put on for their area code. So, in honor of all the native pride, we’ve compiled every homegrown homage we could come up with, in order for you to sift through and pick apart.
Take a look and tell us, did your town get repped right?
1. Dayton Family – “Flint Town”
Outside of its Hip-Hop heritage, Flint isn’t really known for anything positive. But, don’t say that in front of Bootleg, Shoestring and Backstabba. They’ll happily put some stitches in your dome for speaking ill on the birthplace of General Motors.
2. Afroman – “Palmdale”
Even though it he wasn’t too happy about it at the time, Afroman’s probably extremely thankful his folks moved him out the hood and into the two-story crib in East Palmdale. We’re just glad we got this funky dedication to the Cali suburb out of the deal.
3. DJ Quik – “Born N Raised In Compton”
Since The Quiksta would never go out a like a “sucker-ass clown,” the CPT veteran put some bass in the face of the jackers who stole all his studio equipment with this city-claiming single from 1991.
4. Project Pat – “North Memphis”
Although it’s only an intro, Project Pat kicked off both his Hypnotize Mindz solo career and debut album Ghetty Green by delving into the details from his neck of the woods in Tennessee. Extra credit is given for sampling the Days Of Our Lives theme.
5. Big Boi – “West Savannah”
Amidst a timeless classic from the ATL duo, Daddy Fat Sax went solo dolo and laid down this oh-so-chill track about the small, country town he turned loose as slightly slouched, young playa.
6. Ed O.G. – “Boston”
Rocking atop a sample-based backdrop from Pete Rock, the Special Teams crew member lets vacationers know Bean Town is a good place to meet bad people. Benzino, we're looking at you.
7. Jermaine Dupri Feat. Ludacris - "Welcome To Atlanta"
Back in 2001, So So Def ‘s head-honcho partnered up with a budding MC named Ludacris and officially put ATL on the map with this smash single. Hip-Hop hasn’t been the same since.
8. Wale – “DC Or Nothing”
Even though DC is our nation’s capital, Ralph reminds the rest of the country that the D in DMV isn’t the picturesque gateway to the States we’d all like it to be.
9. Will Smith – “Miami”
Until Ricky Rozay and DJ Khaled decide to narrow it down from their county to simply the MIA, Big Willy Style gets the nod in the 305. Bienvenido a Miami!
10. Kanye West Feat. Chris Martin – “Homecoming”
Using an old demo and the metaphor of a breezy female, the Louis Vuitton don channeled his hometown pride and churned out this sentimental single with the lead singer of Coldplay. Can you say Chi-City?
11. Crooked Lettaz – “Tupelo”
Before David, David Banner went on to become the successful solo act he is now, the Mississippi man was one half of the Crooked Lettaz. Their first and only album, Grey Skies, featured this downtrodden introduction to the city where they came up.
12. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Feat. Avant – “Cleveland Is The City”
On the last leg of their deal with Ruthless, The Bone boys dedicated this sentimental banger to Saint Clair St. and the rest of their Midwest digs. Cleveland rocks, indeed.
13. Trick Trick Feat. Eminem – “Welcome To Detroit”
When the 313’s biggest star hooked up with his Goon Sqwad compadre back in 2005, the only thing left to do was put on for all the gangsters and thugs who hold it down daily. Lemmie hear you holler Runyon Ave in this b*tch!
14. T-Pain – “Tallahassee Love”
Always known for his Florida heritage, T-Please Keep Giving Me Features explained how his superstar status manifested in the northern portion of the Sunshine State with this Epiphany banger.
15. Eve Feat. Beanie Sigel – “Philly, Philly”
Lacing Swizz Beatz’ high-class keys like onions on a cheese steak, the Ruff Ryders’ first lady hooked up with the Broadstreet Bully to plug the City of Brotherly Love on her debut, Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders' First Lady.
16. J. Cole – “Song For The Ville”
Over the past two years, Fayettenam has been thrust into the national spotlight because of the hottest Roc commodity. Still, if you’re wondering how heavy the North Carolina town supports their star, check out the highest rated comment on this YouTube video. It says it all.
17. San Quinn Feat. Big Rich, Traxamillion & Boo Banga – “San Francisco Anthem”
Swiping the hook from Scott McKenzie’s classic ode to Cali’s city by the bay, this comfortable update from SQ and the crew perfectly captures the many contrasting elements of ‘Frisco.
18. XV – “Wichita” (Prod. By Just Blaze)
After years of online grinding and climbing uphill, the kid with the green backpack let listeners know his big dreams were coming true with this Just Blaze-produced tribute to the small town he grew up in, from his breakthrough mixtape Zero Heroes.
19. Tech N9ne – “OG”
KC MO’s most notable MC constantly gives it up for his roots. But, over some Bay Area-sounding funk, Tech dedicated this entire single to the world’s capitol of BBQ. We’ll make it to Gates one of these days. Promise.
20. Slim Thug Feat. The Texas All-Stars – “Welcome 2 Houston” (Houston Anthem)
Even he’s dropped quite a few tracks honoring his hometown of Houston, The Boss Of All Bosses capped off his second album with this almost-ten-minute-long assembly of H-Town greats. In case you were wondering, they did it for all you hustlers in the South.
21. Atmosphere – “Say Shhh”
Many of the songs on this list depict their said cities as places that wouldn’t necessarily be ideal to raise a kid. But, on this bonus cut from Atmostphere’s Seven’s Travels, the beloved indie duo let listeners know their home of Minneapolis is the exact opposite.
22. Luniz Feat. Mark Curry – “Oakland Raiders”
Despite being named after Al Davis’ pride & joy, Yuk & Num opted against the football theme and instead dropped this Oaktown history lesson for all their weeples and nephews in the Yay.
23. Wiz Khalifa – “Black & Yellow”
Yes, we know Amber's man never actually says Pittsburgh in this song. But, we’ll be damned if dude didn’t put on for his city with this color-appropriate single. Hell, he preformed it at Heinz field, for Pete's sake!
24. Nelly – “St. Louie”
On the opening track to his 9x platinum debut, the lead St. Lunatic pridefully made sure to let everyone know he shares his home town with Red Fox and Ced The Entertainer. Then, he became just as famous as both of 'em.
25. Dizzee Rascal – “Graftin”
Don’t get it twisted, this list isn’t all red, white & blue. So, if all you know about London is that Big Ben tells time, soak up this grimy introspective into the mind of someone who grew up with some “Ghetto UK style.”
26. Freddie Gibbs – “G.I. Pride” (Prod. By Just Blaze)
Presumably, there weren’t many songs about Gary, Indiana, before Gangsta Gibbs hit the scene with this horn-heavy homage. If that hasn’t changed already, it will.
27. Dove Shack – “Summertime In The LBC” (Prod. By Warren G)
Who are you kidding, Dove Shack? We all know this song could be called "Every Day in the LBC." When was the last time you lucky bastards had to keep a snow shovel on your front porch?
28. Gregory D & DJ Mannie Fresh - "Buck Jump Time"
All the way back in 1989, MC Gregory D and a young DJ named Mannie Fresh shouted out all the urban areas surrounding their New Orleans residence. Now, two decades after asking if NO was kicking it, their part of the map currently stands as home to many of the genre’s most notable names.
29. Redman – “Brick City Mashin”
Even though Mariah already turned this legendary Tom Tom Club sample into one of her biggest hits, The Funk Doc used the high-pitched guitar lick to accompany his daily dirt in Newark. Now, everybody say, I am some-bah-day!
30. Lil Boosie – “Baton Rouge”
Of course Boosie’s got love for the NO, but the currently-incarcerated MC still lets it be known there’s no place like Baton Rouge on this organ-enhanced anthem from his Bad Azz mixtape.
31. Mack 10 – “Inglewood Swangin”
With an album named Based On A True Story, it’s was only appropriate Mack 1-0 flipped an interpolation of Kool & The Gang’s ode to the motion picture city into his own neighborhood anthem.
32. Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Seattle Ain’t Bullsh*ttin”
Despite middle-aged moms knowing all the words to his songs, not a lot of people probably realize the man behind “Buttermilk Biscuits” is actually from Seattle. And, on this Rick-Rubin produced cut, Mr. Mix-A-Lot explains to listeners why his skin is so thick as a result.
33. De La Soul - "Wonce Again Long Island"
In the late '80s, Public Enemy kicked down the door for Long Island and a slew of artists used the opening as an opportunity. But it was De La Soul who helped immortalize the city in song for Stakes Is High by using the suburban area's mighty-sounding nickname as a catchy, chanting chorus.*
No, we didn't overlook J.V.C. Force's lesser known "Strong Island." Respect the originators.
34. Bishop Lamont – “No Stoppin’ Carson” (Prod. By Dr. Dre)
After wondering who he had to kill to get a record deal in the mid 2000s, Bishop Lamont eventually got a spotlight from The Good Doc and knocked out this unstoppable record for his CA stomping grounds.
35. Josh Martinez Feat. Classified & Skratch Bastid - “Going Back To Hali”
Taking a cue from LL Cool J, Josh Martinez and Classified put on for their Nova Scotia background with this stand-out cut from Josh’s slept-on album, The World Famous Sex Buffet.
36. 2Pac – "To Live & Die In L.A."
For as cutthroat and contagious as Los Angeles is, it’s only appropriate the best rap song about the City Of Angels is from someone born in Harlem and starts off with the phrase, “I had sex with your wife, but not in those words.” We love LA, but can understand if you don't.
37. Hi-Tek Feat. Talib Kweli, Slim Thug & Snoop Dogg – “How We Do It”
Even though only one of them is from the gateway to Kentucky, the boys from Reflection Eternal linked up with a few out-of-towners to represent for Hi-Tek’s birthplace, the ‘Nati.
38. Mac Dre Feat. Little Bruce, PSD & B-Legit – “Valley Joe”
“I’m from the V-A-LL-EJO, where selling narcotics is all I know"
E-40 made it a hot line. Andre Hicks made it a hot song.
39. Cam’ron Feat. Jay-Z & Juelz Santana – “Welcome To New York City”
Between all the boroughs, neighborhoods and songs about the city itself, there are probably more dedications to New York than any other noun around. With that said, having Just Blaze on the boards for Cam’s first Roc-A-Fella single gives it the nod above all others. Except...
40. Nas – “New York State Of Mind”
...This one. While Jay did this and Jay did that, Nasty Nas used his Illmatic intro to ensure crime would be on the mind of every Hip-Hop head whenever they thought of his hometown. Nothing’s equivalent.