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Detroit's Impact on Hip-Hop Culture

A city that prides itself on strength and honor, Detroit has seen its share of ups and downs within and outside of hip-hop. Rough economics and other harsh conditions have made creating music a form of escape for many, as much as it is a path to success. The past 15 years in particular have been exciting for the Motor City’s rap scene, and are kind of a reminder of what Motown did for soul music. With so many different styles to choose from, the Detroit movement arguably rivals any to spring up since the dawn of the new millennium.

Rising from the underground to a historic place as one of the most successful musicians across all genres, Eminem is Detroit’s hip-hop mascot. A more niche talent, producer J Dilla carried the town’s spirit across the globe as a key factor in the careers of artists, including Common and Q-Tip, and was also notably responsible for what many consider to be Slum Village’s brightest moments. Aside from these giants, plenty continue to shape the ongoing legacy of this place with an essence that is magic and gritty all at once. The following list details Detroit’s players who have made the greatest impact on hip-hop culture.

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