Doechii performs on the Coachella Stage during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 21, 2023 in Indio, California; Taylor Bennett backstage at the Summerfest Music Festival 2024 on June 21, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kevin Abstract at the 2024 Governors Ball held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on June 9, 2024 in Queens, New York.
Source: Getty Images

Redefining Hip-Hop: Meet the Best Up-and-Coming LGBT Rappers in the Game Right Now

These up-and-coming LGBTQ+ rappers represent the best of the new school. Meet the artists who are pushing the boundaries of rap and beyond!


Jul. 2 2024, Published 9:49 p.m. ET

The rap industry, long perceived as a bastion of hypermasculinity and heteronormativity, is witnessing a transformative wave. LGBTQ+ rappers are not only carving out a space for themselves but also challenging norms and enriching the genre with their unique voices and experiences.

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While yet to be mainstream, these artists have garnered substantial followings and are making significant impacts with their bold expressions and lyrical prowess. Here are seven prominent up-and-coming Black and brown LGBTQ+ rappers reshaping the rap landscape.

Taylor Bennett

taylor bennett rapper
Source: Getty Images/Astrid Stawiarz

Rapper Taylor Bennett visits the SiriusXM Studios

Taylor Bennett, hailing from the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, is a dynamic rapper and the younger brother of Chance the Rapper. His album "Broad Shoulders," featuring artists like Donnie Trumpet and King Louie, showcases his lyrical depth and versatility.

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Bennett prides himself on making positive music. His open bisexuality and candidness about his experiences add a rich layer to his artistry, making him a significant figure in the LGBTQ+ rap scene.

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skaiwater rapper
Source: Getty Images/Nykieria Chaney

Skaiwater performs during Music Midtown at Piedmont Park

Tyler Brooks, professionally known as Skaiwater, is a British rapper and songwriter from Nottingham. Identifying as non-binary and using they/them pronouns, Skaiwater brings a fresh perspective to the rap scene. They recently teamed up with their longtime best friend and rapper Lil' Nas X for their single "light!"

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Their music, characterized by its innovative beats and introspective lyrics, has gained traction. Skaiwater's openness about their identity and commitment to authenticity resonate with a diverse audience, making them a rising star to watch.

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Cakes da Killa

cakes da killa
Source: Getty Images/Bryan Bedder

Recording artist Cakes da Killa attends I.R.Love presented by Espolon at House Of Yes

Rashard Bradshaw, better known as Cakes da Killa, is an electrifying presence in the rap world. His innovative and infectious style combines elements of hip-hop, house, and electronic dance music.

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Cakes da Killa's sharp lyrics and energetic performances have earned him a loyal fan base. He is unapologetically himself, using his platform to challenge stereotypes and advocate for LGBTQ+ visibility in the music industry.

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Kevin Abstract

kevin abstract lgbtq rappers up and coming

Kevin Abstract of Brockhampton perform at the Sahara Tent at 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival weekend 1 - day 2 on April 16, 2022 in Indio, California.

Kevin Abstract, born Clifford Ian Simpson, is a trailblazing rapper, singer, and songwriter. As a founding member of the collective Brockhampton, Abstract has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of hip-hop. His solo work, including the critically acclaimed album MTV1987, delves into love, alienation, and identity.

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Kevin's openness about his sexuality and nuanced storytelling has made him a voice for many young LGBTQ+ individuals navigating similar experiences.

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Source: Getty Images/Randy Shropshire

iLoveMakonnen attends the record release party for "Drink More Water 6" at No Vacancy

Makonnen Kamali Sheran, known as iLoveMakonnen, burst onto the scene with his hit single "Tuesday," featuring Canadian rapper Drake. His eclectic style and catchy hooks have kept him relevant in the music landscape.

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Recently, iLoveMakonnen released his pop album Inflated Sense of Self, showcasing his artistic growth. iLoveMakonnen's openness about his sexuality has helped pave the way for other LGBTQ+ artists in the hip-hop community.

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doechii rapper
Source: Getty Images/Astrida Valigorsky

Doechii performs during the 2024 Governors Ball at Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Jaylah Ji'mya Hickmon, known as Doechii, has earned the "Swamp Princess" title with her unique style and captivating performances. Her song "Yucky Blucky Fruitcake" went viral on TikTok, catapulting her into the spotlight. She's also causing waves with her single "Alter Ego" with one-half of the City Girls, JT.

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Bisexual and bold, Doechii's music celebrates individuality and self-expression. Her dynamic presence and lyrical confidence make her a standout figure in the rap world, promising an exciting future.

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These six artists are pushing the boundaries of rap and fostering a more inclusive and diverse music scene. Their contributions will help shape the future of hip-hop, ensuring that it reflects a broader spectrum of voices and experiences.

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