These Underground Rappers From North Carolina Are Putting Their Cities on the Map

The south has something to say — and you should definitely put these underground rappers from North Carolina on your radar expeditiously.


Dec. 22 2023, Published 4:49 a.m. ET

Discover Proudly Amplifies Diverse Voices

It is easy for us to overlook underground rappers because they might not have the same level of fame as mainstream artists. But if you delve deeper into today's hip-hop landscape, you'll find many lesser-known artists who have immaculate talent.

The newcomers are continuing to craft a lane for themselves in a genre that is frequently evolving.

North Carolina is a state known for its rich cultural history and diversity. It has also produced iconic entertainers like J. Cole, Jermaine Dupri, and The-Dream, among others. Below is a list of up-and-coming underground rappers from North Carolina who are making a lasting impression on hip-hop.


tia corine
Source: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

TiaCorine performs onstage during day three of Rolling Loud Miami.

TiaCorine is a Winston-Salem, North Carolina native who began her musical journey in 2017. With a distinct brand image and authentic delivery, she has found a way to hone in on and master her craft. Fascinatingly, she also finds a way to infuse her love for anime in her aesthetic and songs, which works.

The "FreakyT" rapper became a viral sensation during the pandemic when her viral single “Lotto” took off.

Article continues below advertisement

Rich Dunk

Gritty storytelling and infectious beats are at the core of Rich Dunk's journey as a rapper, and this recipe has been successful thus far.

At a point, hip-hop felt oversaturated with many artists using the same adlibs, intonations, and rap cadence; however, Rich Dunk has proven that he is in a lane of his own and can tailor his sound to the times while staying original. He is signed to Da Baby's Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment record label.


Fans don't call him RonSoCold for nothing — his bars are definitely icy and he has earned his stripes when it comes to rhythmic flow.

RonSoCold's tracks are characterized by their relentlessly melodic energy and wordplay. Beyond his ability to cleverly string rhymes together in a way that is cohesive and lyrically top-tier, he cares about the genre and puts creative thought into the process. As one of his Instagram posts read: "ion rap this real n---a poetry."

Article continues below advertisement


Source: Instagram/@shyfromdatre

$Shyfromdatre poses next to a mirror.

$hyfromdatre's wordplay is top-tier.

The enigmatic wordsmith has crafted a name for herself in a genre that is male-dominated and highly competitive. In the past, the North Carolina rapstress has named Nicki Minaj as one of her artistic inspirations. Although the "6,000 Degrees" rapper has managed to keep her life private, it is clear that she has a bright future ahead of her in the industry.


After the release of his popular project A F--k Mixtape, BigBabyGucci's career began to garner public attention. The rapper, whose full name is James Haley, has put in the work to become one of rap's most promising and most recognized underground artists. Some of his popular songs include "Drop Top Lexus," Dinero" and "Pecan Pie."

Some of his career inspirations include Kanye "Ye" West, Partynextdoor and Drake.

Rappers are known to frequently insert slang into their work, and in an interview with Onestowatch, the North Carolina native spoke about how his hometown shaped his artistic direction: "Growing up in North Carolina influenced my music, the most by the things I say. The slang I use is really southern and you can tell I'm country."

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

It’s not just a magazine. It’s a lifestyle!

Sign up for our newsletter for early access to content, special promotions and giveaways.

Dope content. No spam. We promise.

More from Bleu Mag

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Bleu Mag. Bleu Mag is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.