The Thirteen Best St. Louis Rappers
To be successful in St. Louis hip-hop you need a club anthem. To change the world you need a versatile catalog and the ability to entertain any type of crowd you're placed in front of. To create a buzz and make yourself one of the most sought-after rappers in the city, you need a self-reliant work ethic. Saint Orleans has all of the above. As the newest member of the Force crew, he has merged powers with one of the most recognized collectives in the St. Louis area to broaden his profile. His hit single "We Don't Luvem" is a St. Louis classic and will be played in this city by clubgoers and DJs forever. The difference is Saint Orleans is not a club rapper. He hails from New Orleans and moved here many years ago to flee the violence of the Big Easy. His rap name, Saint Orleans, pays homage to both cities. He has organized and released a very successful clothing line with his self-made crew Aviator Gang, which has also helped his partner M-Eazy release a few noteworthy singles and a solo mixtape. His latest project, Top Shelf, gives us more than a few reasons to be on high alert when it comes to watching his growth. Without fail, Saint Orleans will out-rap you, get more radio spins than you and easily out-work you. He often foot-soldiers his own mixtapes and can be caught in traffic distributing his music to eager fans. His performances are energetic and magnetizing. Saint Orleans should be everyone's favorite rapper.
Whether you're talking about club music, lyricists or gangster-rap music, you can't mention St. Louis rap and not mention this man. He fits perfectly into every mold. He created a song many moons ago called "Thick Wit It," which has developed over the course of time to be just as classic in St. Louis hip-hop as Nelly's lead single from Country Grammar. Keem (formerly known as Hakeem Tha Dream) has created sonically perfect St. Louis party music, writing heartstring-pulling, compelling stories. Ciphers and battles? He's done that as well. He has showcased a level of versatility many can't even fathom: Keem, without a shadow of a doubt, is a St. Louis rap legend. Anything he touches in this city works out in his favor. He can rhyme better than most rappers you will encounter, yet for some reason people resist giving him the proper credit he deserves -- while continually dancing to the music he creates. He recently spit a freestyle over Migo's track "Versace," which received airplay on the radio as if it were the official remix. These days you can hear Keem on the Lou Gotti Boyz lead single "Twerkaholic" with Laudie and Luey V.
Stevie Stone is from St. Louis and signed to Tech N9ne's label Strange Music. He tours with Tech N9ne and collaborates with him on a regular basis. But local media tends to ignore the fact that we have a rap artist signed to the biggest indie-rap label in the country living right here. Stevie Stone is a true success story, finding his potential every day. If he's signed to Strange, theres no need to wonder about his rapping ability. He's worked hand in hand with St. Louis underground fixture Spaide R.I.P.P.E.R. and is partially the reason Phat Buddha Studios can claim dominance over the downtown area. Stone is not your typical St. Louis rapper. He has slowly built an empire off the radar as a indie artist while releasing albums and touring the world. His music is different but engaging; his performances are designed for stadium audiences.