South Dakota rappers and hip-hop groups


Hip-hop is a genre that originated in the Bronx in the 1970s and has since spread across the globe, with its influence reaching even the most unlikely of places. One such place is South Dakota, a state known more for its natural beauty than its music scene. However, a vibrant hip-hop community has emerged in recent years, with numerous rappers and groups making a name for themselves both locally and nationally.

The history of hip-hop in South Dakota

The history of hip-hop in South Dakota is a relatively short one, but it is nonetheless fascinating. Hip-hop first made its way to the state in the 1980s, with rappers and DJs performing at backyard parties and local clubs. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that the scene began to grow and establish its own identity.

Despite being a small state, South Dakota has produced some notable hip-hop artists and played an important role in the growth of the genre in the Midwest.

Early influences and pioneers

One of the first South Dakota hip-hop groups to gain attention was The Movement, a collective of rappers and producers from Sioux Falls. The Movement’s music drew from a variety of influences, including West Coast G-Funk and East Coast boom-bap, and they quickly gained a reputation for their energetic live shows.

Another influential figure in the state’s early hip-hop scene was DJ Lazer, a Sioux Falls resident who became known for his mixtapes and remixes. DJ Lazer helped to popularize hip-hop in the state and paved the way for future generations of South Dakota rappers.

Despite the challenges of being a hip-hop artist in a state with a smaller population and fewer resources, The Movement and DJ Lazer persevered and laid the groundwork for the growth of the local scene.

The growth of the local scene

Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, the South Dakota hip-hop scene continued to grow. More artists began to emerge, with rappers from Rapid City, Aberdeen, and other parts of the state gaining recognition. The internet also played a significant role in the scene’s development, with YouTube and SoundCloud providing a platform for artists to share their music with the world.

One of the defining characteristics of the South Dakota hip-hop scene is its diversity. Artists from different backgrounds and regions of the state have come together to create a vibrant and inclusive community. From the socially conscious lyrics of KOTA The Friend to the more party-oriented music of Sioux Falls rapper BdotCroc, there is something for everyone in South Dakota hip-hop.

Notable moments and milestones

One of the defining moments in South Dakota hip-hop history came in 2017 when rapper KOTA The Friend performed at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. KOTA, who hails from Sioux Falls, had been building a buzz for himself through his introspective lyrics and smooth flow, and the Red Rocks show signaled his arrival on the national stage.

Other South Dakota hip-hop artists have also achieved notable success. In 2018, Aberdeen rapper Kipp G released his debut album “Black Tuxedo” to critical acclaim, showcasing his unique blend of trap and soul influences. Rapid City rapper Dialectic also gained attention for his introspective and socially conscious lyrics, and was featured on the popular hip-hop blog Pigeons and Planes.

As the South Dakota hip-hop scene continues to grow and evolve, it remains an exciting and dynamic part of the state’s cultural landscape. With new artists emerging and established acts continuing to push boundaries, the future looks bright for hip-hop in South Dakota.

Prominent South Dakota rappers

The South Dakota hip-hop scene may be small, but it is mighty. From solo artists to collaborative groups, there are a number of talented rappers making a name for themselves both within and beyond the state’s borders.

Solo artists making a name

Jerm is one of the most notable solo artists to come out of South Dakota. Born and raised in Sioux Falls, Jerm’s music draws from a variety of genres, including R&B and trap. He has collaborated with a number of well-known artists, including KOTA The Friend and Indiana-based rapper Freddie Gibbs. Jerm’s unique sound and style have garnered him a dedicated following both in South Dakota and across the country.

Another rising star in the South Dakota hip-hop scene is Ira Sioux. Hailing from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Ira’s music often touches on themes of identity and cultural heritage. His lyricism and authenticity have earned him a loyal fanbase and critical acclaim.

Collaborations and partnerships

One of the things that sets the South Dakota hip-hop scene apart is its collaborative spirit. Rappers often work together on tracks and in live performances, creating a sense of community and support that is unique to the area. One example of this is the group Soulcrate Music. Based in Sioux Falls, the collective has been active since the early 2000s and has collaborated with a wide range of artists over the years, including fellow South Dakota rapper Krownz.

Rappers with a unique South Dakota sound

Many South Dakota rappers incorporate their surroundings into their music, creating a sound that is uniquely their own. Krownz, a Sioux Falls native, often references the state’s flat and expansive landscapes in his lyrics, giving his music a distinct sense of place. Abeasity Jones, another South Dakota rapper, draws from the area’s rich Native American heritage in his music, infusing it with traditional rhythms and sounds.

Despite its size, the South Dakota hip-hop scene is thriving, thanks to the talent, creativity, and collaboration of its many artists. Whether you’re a fan of old-school beats or cutting-edge sounds, there’s something for everyone in the world of South Dakota hip-hop.

Influential hip-hop groups and collectives

Hip-hop is a genre that has taken the world by storm, and South Dakota is no exception. While solo artists have certainly made an impact on the South Dakota hip-hop scene, there are also a number of influential groups and collectives that are shaping the scene. These groups not only provide a platform for artists to collaborate and create together, but they also offer a sense of community and support that is vital for any burgeoning music scene.

Groups shaping the South Dakota scene

One of the most notable groups in South Dakota is the Black Mask Movement. This Rapid City-based collective includes rappers, producers, and visual artists who are all dedicated to creating politically charged music that addresses issues like police brutality and Native American rights. The Black Mask Movement is more than just a music collective, however; it is a movement that seeks to empower and uplift marginalized communities through art and activism.

Another group to watch is the South Dakota Souljas. Based in Sioux Falls, this collective draws from a wide range of influences, including jazz and soul. The South Dakota Souljas have gained a following for their live shows, which often feature a full band and a diverse lineup of guest performers. Their music is a reflection of their diverse backgrounds and experiences, and they are committed to using their platform to promote social justice and equality.

Collaborative projects and albums

One of the most exciting aspects of the South Dakota hip-hop scene is the collaborative spirit that exists within it. Artists are constantly working together on projects and albums that showcase their unique talents and perspectives. One recent example is The Sioux Empire Podcast Network’s “605 Hip-Hop Mixtape.” This mixtape features tracks from a variety of South Dakota rappers and producers, and it showcases the wide range of talent within the state’s hip-hop community. The mixtape is a testament to the collaborative spirit that exists within the scene and the willingness of artists to come together to create something special.

The impact of local groups on the national stage

While the South Dakota hip-hop scene may still be relatively small, there are a number of groups that have made an impact on the national stage. One such group is the contingent of rappers and producers associated with the Missouri-based label Strange Music. Several South Dakota artists, including rappers Suli4Q and Boy Big, have worked with Strange Music over the years, earning them a wider audience and helping to put the state’s hip-hop scene on the map. These collaborations are a testament to the talent and creativity that exists within the South Dakota hip-hop scene and the potential for it to continue to grow and thrive in the years to come.

South Dakota’s hip-hop venues and events

South Dakota may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of hip-hop, but the state actually has a thriving scene that’s worth exploring. From popular venues to annual festivals and community gatherings, there’s no shortage of opportunities to experience the unique flavor of South Dakota hip-hop.

Popular venues for live performances

Despite its size, South Dakota has a surprising number of venues that are popular among local hip-hop artists. In Sioux Falls, for example, places like Icon Lounge and the District have hosted a wide range of acts, from up-and-coming rappers to established DJs. These venues offer a unique atmosphere that’s perfect for experiencing live hip-hop music.

Meanwhile, in Rapid City, the Dahl Arts Center and the Summer Nights festival have provided stages for some of the most talented hip-hop artists in the state. And if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, be sure to check out Crow Peak Brewery in Spearfish. This popular brewery often hosts hip-hop shows alongside craft beer tastings, making it the perfect spot for music and beer lovers alike.

Annual hip-hop festivals and events

If you’re looking for a more immersive hip-hop experience, South Dakota is home to a number of annual festivals and events that are sure to satisfy. One of the most popular is the Black Hills Hip-Hop Festival, which takes place in Rapid City each year and features a lineup of local and national acts. This festival is a must-attend for any true hip-hop fan, and it’s a great way to discover new artists and connect with other fans.

Other notable events include the Sioux Falls Hip-Hop Festival, which celebrates the best hip-hop artists from the Sioux Falls area, and the Native POP: People of the Plains festival, which showcases a wide range of indigenous artists from across the region. These festivals are a great way to experience the unique cultural influences that shape South Dakota hip-hop.

Open Mic nights and community gatherings

Finally, South Dakota’s hip-hop scene also includes a number of community gatherings and open mic nights. These events provide a platform for up-and-coming artists to showcase their skills and connect with other members of the scene. For example, the Poet’s Corner open mic in Sioux Falls is a popular spot for poets and hip-hop artists alike, while the Underground Movement showcase in Rapid City is a great place to discover new talent.

Overall, South Dakota’s hip-hop scene may be small, but it’s definitely worth exploring. Whether you’re a die-hard hip-hop fan or just looking for something new and exciting to check out, there’s something for everyone in this unique and vibrant community.

The future of South Dakota’s hip-hop scene

Up-and-coming artists to watch

As the South Dakota hip-hop scene continues to grow, there are a number of up-and-coming artists that are worth keeping an eye on. One such artist is Sioux Falls rapper Zan Dreamin, whose music draws from a variety of genres and showcases his impeccable flow and lyricism. Another emerging talent is Vayll, a rapper and producer from Rapid City who combines introspective lyrics with hard-hitting beats.

The role of technology and social media

As with any music scene, technology and social media are playing an increasingly important role in the development of the South Dakota hip-hop scene. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have allowed artists to reach wider audiences and connect with fans around the world, while software like Ableton and FL Studio have made it easier than ever to produce high-quality music from home.

Supporting and nurturing local talent

Ultimately, the future of South Dakota’s hip-hop scene will depend on the support and nurturing of local talent. That means providing aspiring rappers and producers with the resources they need to create and share their music, as well as promoting the state’s hip-hop culture both within and beyond its borders. If the past is any indication, the South Dakota hip-hop scene has a bright future ahead.