Top 10 Best Canadian Rappers: Hip-Hop Artists In Canada

The list of the best Canadian rappers is longer than you might think. While initially, the pool of popular rappers from Canada may seem small, there are many talented Canadian hip hop artists. Some Canadian rappers, like Drake, are well known for their nationality, while some people on this list are more surprising.

Top 10 Best Canadian Rappers: Hip-Hop Artists In Canada

Unlike other scenes around the world, rap was slow to start in Canada and even slower to gain worldwide recognition. That is, until 1998. The single ”Northern Touch" by Rascalz in collaboration with Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust and Choclair was released to worldwide acclaim and Canadian hip hop was finally on the map.

The Top 10 Best Canadian Rappers at Glance:

  • Drake
  • Kardinal Offishall
  • Classified
  • Maestro
  • k-os
  • Tory Lanez
  • Madchild
  • Jazz Cartier
  • Moka Only
  • Preme

1. Drake


Born: October 24, 1986
Labels: Republic, OVO Sound, Universal Motown, Young Money, Cash Money
Years active: 2001–present
Net worth: $150 million

Among the world's best-selling music artists, with over 170 million records sold, Drake is ranked as the world's highest-certified digital singles artist by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He has won four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a record 27 Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards and three Juno Awards. Drake also holds several Billboard chart records; he has the most top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (tied with Madonna), the most charted songs (209) of any artists in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, the most simultaneously charted Hot 100 songs in a single week (27), the most time on the Hot 100 (431 weeks), and the most Hot 100 debuts in a week (22). He also has the most number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Rhythmic Charts.

2. Kardinal Offishall

Kardinal Offishall

Born: May 11, 1976
Years active: 1994–present
Labels: In Our Dreams, Universal Canada, Kon Live, Geffen, M3, Virgin, EMI Music Canada, MCA, Figure IV, Black Stone Colleagues, Capitol Hill, Knee Deep
Net worth: $6 million

In 2005, Offishall's third album, Fire and Glory, was released in Canada. That year, he collaborated with R&B singer Akon for the first time, starting a musical partnership that lasted until 2010. In 2007, he signed with Akon's Kon Live Distribution label, through Geffen, and released his fourth album, Not 4 Sale, the following year. The first single, "Dangerous", became a top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified triple platinum in Canada. Offishall released two gold-certified singles, "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" and "Body Bounce", before leaving Kon Live in late 2010. Since then, his latest singles have been released on his independent label Black Stone Colleagues Inc. In 2012, Offishall released Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself, a collaborative mixtape with producer Nottz.

3. Classified


Born: December 13, 1977
Years active: 1995–present
Labels: Atlantic, Half Life Records, Urbnet, TM3, Sony BMG Canada, UMG Universal Music Canada, Black Box Recordings
Net worth: $5 Million

After years of working on music, specifically eight studio albums, and sorting through label contracts, Classified produced, recorded and released his ninth album, Trial & Error, and signed a nationwide distribution deal with Toronto-based URBNET Records in 2003. Containing collaborations with up-and-coming Canadian artists like Eternia and DL Incognito, as well as Canadian rap veteran Maestro, the album was one of the highest selling independent rap albums in Canada in 2004.

In addition to the release of Trial & Error, 2003 and 2004 were busy years for Classified. With the continuous support of VideoFACT, he was able to release two additional music videos for the singles "Just the Way It Is" and "Unexpected". Classified also continued to master his production skills and joined forces with some of Canada's most prominent emcees, including Choclair and Maestro Fresh Wes. He also teamed up with Shady Records recording artist Royce da 5'9" and opened for Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, The Game, Nelly, MC Grizzly, Captain Capota, Nas, The Black Eyed Peas and Black Moon.

4. Maestro


Born: March 31, 1968
Years active: 1987–Present
Labels: Attic, LMR, Fontana North
Net worth: 5 Million

Williams' interest in hip hop music began at age 11. At age 15, in 1983, he met DJ Ron Nelson, who promoted Williams' music under the moniker "Melody MC" on his radio show, 88.1 CKLN-FM. Nearly two years later, Williams met Farley Flex, who he went on to work with in 1988. That same year, he officially adopted the name Maestro Fresh-Wes and recorded the independent demos, "You Can't Stop Us Now" and "I'm Showin' You". While performing on MuchMusic's Electric Circus, Wes met dance artist Stevie B, who connected him with his NYC-based label, LMR. This changed the climate for hip hop in Canada as Wes performed "Let Your Backbone Slide" for the first time. This song became the first single from a Canadian hip hop artist to go gold, followed by Canada's first platinum-selling hip hop album, Symphony in Effect.

5. k-os


Born: February 20, 1972
Years active: 1993–present
Labels: Universal Music Canada, Astralwerks, Caroline, Virgin, EMI Records, Dine Alone Records/
Net worth: $5 Million

k-os received his first musical exposure with the single "Musical Essence", released in 1993. After the release of his second single "Rise Like the Sun" in 1996, he withdrew from the industry because he was dissatisfied with his musical style. He reappeared briefly in 1999 and released his debut album Exit in 2002. The album received positive reviews but sold relatively few copies. He released his second album Joyful Rebellion in 2004, which received platinum status in Canada. A third album, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco, was released in 2006 and also went platinum. His fourth album, Yes!, was released in 2009. His fifth album Black on Blonde was released in 2013. He released his sixth album, Can't Fly Without Gravity in 2015. From 1996 to 2016, K-os was the third best-selling Canadian hip hop artist in Canada (behind Drake and Swollen Members).

6. Tory Lanez

Tory Lanez

Born: July 27, 1992
Years active: 2009–present
Labels: One Umbrella, Mad Love, Interscope, Time is Money
Net worth: $2 Million

Lanez received initial recognition from the mixtape, Conflicts of My Soul: The 416 Story released in August 2013. In 2015, Tory Lanez signed to Benny Blanco's Mad Love Records through Interscope Records. Lanez released his debut studio album, I Told You, on August 19, 2016, which included the singles, "Say It" and "Luv", which peaked at number 23, and 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively. His second album, Memories Don't Die was released on March 2, 2018. On October 26, 2018, Lanez released his third studio album, Love Me Now?.

7. Madchild


Born: October 21, 1975
Years active: 1993–present
Labels: Suburban Noize Records
Net worth:$4 million

Shane Bunting, better known by his stage name Madchild, is a Canadian rapper. He is part of the Vancouver-based hip hop group Swollen Members. In 2009, he released a solo EP entitled The Madchild EP. In 2012, he released his first album, titled Dope Sick followed by Lawn Mower Man in 2013 and Silver Tongue Devil in 2015. In 1993, he was named a member of the legendary 'Rock Steady Crew'. The Darkest Hour was released in 2017.

8. Jazz Cartier

Jazz Cartier

Born: March 19, 1993
Years active: 2010–present
Labels: Capitol, Universal Canada
Net worth: $400 thousand

Cartier had worked on an early version of his debut mixtape, Marauding in Paradise in 2011 but was not satisfied with the album. After moving back to Toronto, he began working with record producer Lantz and released the song "Set Fire" in 2014. Performing in Toronto-area music venues, he quickly attracted attention — his track "Switch" was regularly played at Toronto Raptors games by team DJ 4Korners, and at a Toronto Red Bull Sound Select show in March 2015 he was introduced by rapper Kardinal Offishall.

9. Moka Only

Moka Only

Born: November 14, 1973
Years active: 1989-present
Labels: URBNET Records, Beautiful Records
Net worth: $4 million

Daniel Denton better known by his stage name Moka Only is a Canadian underground hip hop artist. He has won 3 JUNO Awards, 5 MuchMusic Video Awards, and has been nominated for 11 Western Canadian Music Awards.

Originally from Langford, British Columbia, near Victoria, he is now based in Vancouver. He was previously part of the hip hop group Swollen Members, and briefly a part of Len. Moka has released albums through Feelin' Music, Legendary Entertainment, Battleaxe Records, Domination Recordings, Camobear Records, Wandering Worx and URBNET Records. Moka Only often works with different hip-hop artists and groups, and often works under his alias Ron Contour.

10. Preme


Born: January 8, 1986
Years active: 2008–present
Labels: Reps Up, RCA
Net worth: $2 million

The Canadian Dream is his debut mixtape and was released in early 2008. His sophomore mixtape is called When It Reigns It Pours and was released on November 1, 2010. His third mixtape was to be called True Kings Don't Die but was changed to Dear America and its release date was scheduled for July 4, 2013 but was postponed and released under Sony/RCA as an EP. He also still release a mixtape a week later with additional songs also called Dear America. Billboard magazine reported in March 2013 that P Reign is collaborating with rapper A$AP Rocky for the next release "We Them Niggas" that was a part of P Reign's Dear America EP. P Reign is also collaborating with artists such as French Montana, Waka Flocka Flame and Drake. The EP was finally released on September 9, 2014. His song "Realest in the City" featuring Meek Mill and PartyNextDoor reached #1 on Billboard's "Emerging Artists" chart.


Post a Comment