Hip-Hop (or Rap) is one of the most popular music genres in the world. Since its inception in the late 1980s and early 90s, rap music has become increasingly popular with each passing year. In this time, the genre has undergone some of the most radical changes. Many sub-genres have evolved, each having its own fan following.
Although the terms rap and Hip-Hop music are often used synonymously with one another, there lies a subtle difference between the two. But we are not here to talk about that. In this article, we’ll be talking about the 30 top DJs in the Hip-Hop world right now.
We have included both the well-known and the lesser-known DJs, to keep this a level playing field.
If you are into rap music, then you might have heard about many of these names. However, many of you will disagree and have their favorites. We cannot put everyone on this list for obvious reasons.
Without wasting any more time, here is the list of best Hip Hop DJs in 2021.
1. DJ Snake
DJ Snake is one of the most prominent names in Hip-Hop DJs. He was born in Paris as William Sami Étienne Grigahcine. His first single “Turn Down for What” was a massive success at the time, making his presence known to the industry. Since that song, DJ snake has released numerous hits and is showing no signs of slowing down. Besides Hip-Hop, DJ snake also works with EDM, Trap and Dubstep genres.
Artists like MØ, Lil Jon and Justin Beiber love to work with DJ Snake. He is known for creating distinct, catchy beats with a faster tempo than traditional rap music. His latest single Fuego, features, Sean Paul, Tainy, and Anitta.
2. DJ Khaled
This one needs no introduction. Everyone knows who DJ Khaled is and what he does. Many rappers, including Lil Wayne and Birdman, consider him to be a crucial reason for their success. His contribution to the Hip-Hop scene in the 2010s was critical for the genre’s success.
DJ Khaled is now a worldwide sensation and immensely popular on social media platforms. His latest album from 2019 “Father of Asahd” features many other famous artists like Chris Brown, Cardi B and Nas. DJ Khaled is one of the only few Hip-Hop DJs who have the honor of being a Grammy award recipient.
Besides music, DJ Khaled is into writing and has also made a cameo appearance in the film Bad Boys for Life.
GRAMATIK aka Denis Jašarević is a Slovenian DJ and producer who specializes in Hip-Hop and Trip-Hop. He is active in the scene since 2008 when he came out with his debut album Expedition 44. The album was a success which Denis had not anticipated.
Since then, he has gone on to release several more albums and EPs. GRAMATIK’s fans like the distinct chill out vibes from his music. Many hip-hop fans don’t know about him, and I would recommend that you give him a try.
4. DJ Square Biz
DJ Square Biz is one the most underrated DJs out there. He is unlike most DJs on this list as he has not released a popular mixtape. Square Biz is mostly a performer, and he is known for giving spectacular live performances. Word of mouth and social media are helping Square Biz gain popularity rapidly.
He is a native of Houston and is well-respected for hosting live events in New York and LA. 2020 might be the year when Square Biz releases his first mix-tape.
5. DJ Enuff
DJ Enuff or Ephram Lopez is a DJ and a famous radio personality. You can listen to him on HOT 97 radio station on weekdays, from 4 PM to 6 PM. He is probably the most deep-rooted DJ in this list. In his early days, Ephram played at local clubs where he came across a budding rapper who went by the name of The Notorious BIG. The two worked together until Biggie’s death, after which Enuff took a break from music as well.
In his career, he has helped out many fellow artists like 50 Cent and Kanye West in their rise to stardom. Currently, his focus is more on the radio stuff.
6. DJ Clue
Ernesto Shaw, popularly known as DJ Clue is an American DJ of Panamian heritage. He is the founder of Desert Storm Records. Initially, he worked with Jay-Z and Roc-a-Fella Records in the late 90s before coming up with his record label.
Clue’s debut album, the Professional, was a hit with a Platnum RIAA certification. The album has appearances from many of renowned names in Hip-Hop such as Jay-Z, DMX, Nas and Ja Rule.
7. DJ Greg Street
Greg Street is another lesser-known DJ on this list. Despite his limited popularity, Greg Street is respected amongst the rap industry. Everyone knows about his work and his talent. People recognize Greg Street as a leader and a voice of the people.
Originally from Atlanta, he is famous in many other areas including Houston, Dallas and Mississippi. If you are from any of these regions, then you might be able to visit one of his live shows in the future.
8. DJ Prostyle
Again one of the underrated entries of this list. DJ Prostyle or Alexander Ricardo Santelises is a Dominican-American DJ and producer. He is very active on the radio in multiple cities, including Orlando and New York.
He appeared on ABC network’s Good Morning America a few years back.
9. Jazzy Jeff
A living legend, Jazzy Jeff, is arguably the most experienced Hip-Hop DJ in the world right now. He used to work very closely with Will Smith in the 80s. They formed a duo called DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince which was a great success at the time. The pair went on to receive 4 Grammy nominations, out of which they won 2. Soon, the duo broke up and Jazzy went solo. He received many other awards during his fantastic career.
Besides music, Jazzy Jeff has starred in a sitcom titled, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”.
Famous for playing live instruments and beats on the MPC drum machine, AraabMuzik is active in the game since he was a teenager. He was born Abraham Orellana in Rhode Island. AraabMuzik was good at drumming since a very early age, which soon transformed into a passion for music. He got into the rap scene and was inspired by producers like Swiss Beats and Dr Dre.
As of now, AraabMusik has numerous mixtapes, EPs and albums to his name.
11. DJ Kay Slay
The New York Times identifies Kay Slay as “Hip Hop’s One-Man Ministry of Insults”. It is for you to figure out why they do that. Kay Slay was born as Keith Grayson in New York City.
The industry likes to call him by many nicknames. Some of them are quite funny, like the Drama King and Slap. Your Favorite DJ. He was a graffiti artist in the beginning, who began dealing in drugs after the decline in graffiti movement in the 80s.
He spent a few years in jail, and since being out, he has devoted his life to the Hip-Hop music.
12. DJ Cipha Sounds
Cipha Sounds is a comedian, a VJ, a producer and a DJ. He is of Puerto Rican heritage and was born as Luis Diaz in the Bronx. People adore him and his ability to make the audience laugh and have a good time.
Cipha owns a Music Management Company which goes by the name of Jack Move Inc. He is an all-rounder in every sense, as manages each of his roles so elegantly.
Josh “Shadow” Davis is one of those DJs who like to experiment with instrumental music which can be imbibed into Hip-Hop. Davis introduced himself to the Hip-Hop arena with his first full-length album called Endtroducing. His initial work was as a radio jockey for the University of California’s radio station KDVS.
As of now, Shadow has several EPs, mixtapes and many singles to his name.
14. DJ Clark Kent
The Superman of DJs, he is an icon in the rap industry. His real name is Rudolfo Franklin, and he hails from Brooklyn. During his early days, he worked as a producer with many of the big names including the likes of Biggie Smalls and Mariah Carey.
His biggest hit was Mariah Carey’s “Loverboy”, which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later he would work with Jay-Z and produce three songs from the album “Reasonable Doubt”.
15. DJ Wonder
DJ wonder trained himself in NYC after moving from Delaware. His career began with the HOT 97 like many other top-level Hip-Hop DJs. DJ Wonder worked as the Executive Producer with DJ Cipha Sounds on the Cipha Sounds Effect. He currently mixes on the Shade 45 radio, where he has his personal show called DJ Wonder Presents: AnimalStatus.
DJ Wonder likes to perform at live events in some of the most reputed clubs and lounges in NYC.
16. DJ Carisma
Probably the only female on this list, DJ Carisma has earned her spot here. Hailing from LA, California, DJ Carisma means business. Not only on this list, but DJ Carisma is also one of the few women who chose DJing as a career, more so when it comes to Hip-Hop.
She is one of the wealthiest DJs and serves as an inspiration to thousands of young girls who dream of being a Hip-Hop DJ.
17. Tony Touch
Tony Touch is not only a DJ, but he is also a rapper himself. Many also know him as the DJ who break-dances. His debut album was a commercial success and featured many industry giants like Eminem, Wu-Tang Clan, Busta Rhymes and many more. If the criteria are the number of artists you’ve worked with, then Tony Touch might be the best Hip-Hop DJ of all time.
As of now, Tony Touch has six full albums and numerous mixtapes to his name.
18. Peter Rosenberg
A Hip-Hop DJ who doesn’t use a stage name is a rare thing to see. Rosenberg is one of those rare DJs. Besides DJing, Rosenberg has a close association with the WWE where he has served as a guest commentator on multiple occasions.
Peter Rosenberg is known for supporting underground rappers from NYC. He has released two mixtapes and has worked with artists like Kendrick Lamar and ASAP Rocky.
Saladin shares his name with the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria. Many would argue that he’s a sultan himself. Iconic Underground Magazine calls him “Chicago’s Ghetto Rockstar”. You can sense the influence of House and Electro House genres in his beats.
His fans love him, and they flock to see him wherever he performs. Many of his hits have been featured on prominent charts like Billboard and Beatport. You can catch Saladin during one of his live performances in Chicago.
20. Funkmaster Flex
Like most of the DJs on this list, Funkmaster Flex is a regular on HOT 97 radio. Born to Jamaican immigrants, he began DJing at local NYC clubs from a young age of 16. His four mixtapes went on to receive a Gold certification from RIAA.
His most notable contribution to rap music is the formation of the Flip Squad. Flex collaborated with some of the most reputed DJs from NYC like Cipha Sounds and Enuff. In later years, he also worked with many big-name rappers including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, DMX and Dr Dre.
21. DJ Holiday
DJ Holiday was born as Robert Avery, and he hails from Atlanta. Since his high school days, he was interested in DJing, and soon after he formed a company called Plush Blue Entertainment. This company organized live events around the Atlanta area where underground Hip-Hop artists could perform.
After working with rappers like Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj and Gucci Mane, Holiday has become one of the most popular DJs in the current rap scene.
22. DJ Envy
Raashaun Casey or DJ Envy, as he is popularly known is a host of the radio show The Breakfast Club. Envy was working with DJ Clue in the early days of his career. He considers Clue to be his mentor and the reason for his success. Envy had humble beginnings, as he started as a gardener for Clue. Clue saw the potential in Envy and took him up in his crew.
Since, then DJ Envy has become a household name in Hip-Hop culture, especially on the radio. 50 cent and Jay-Z are a couple of artists who have worked with Envy in the past.
23. DJ Whoo Kid
The Mixtape King, or DJ Whoo Kid, or Yves Mondesir, is a producer of Haitian descent. He hosts the Whoolywood Shuffle show on Sirius/XM Radio Shade 45. He is currently with the G-Unit records and is one of the most influential DJs in their ranks.
Rightly called the Mixtape King, he has countless mixtapes to his name, with artists all over the rap world. He has hosted several mixtapes for prominent rappers like 2Pac, J-Cole, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent.
Besides rap, Whoo Kid has also worked with many EDM artists as well.
24. DJ Ill Will
Originally from South Bend, Indiana, DJ Ill Will currently resides in LA. He is one of the most influential rap DJs of the 2000s, and he helped many artists during that time. Many artists in the game like Soulja Boy, Chris Brown, Tyga, Trey Songz & Drake owe their success to Ill Will.
His most impressive feat is releasing more than 200 mixtapes in a short span of 3 years. Not sure how he did that. He has built a global brand for himself by working with not only Rappers but R&B and Pop artists as well.
25. Don Cannon
Don Cannon is not only a terrific DJ, but he is a songwriter and a producer as well. He used his first turntable at a teeny age of 5, and by 11 he had DJed at numerous events. When most of us are playing with toys, Don Cannon was playing Hip-Hop music at parties.
He moved from Philadelphia to Atlanta where he met DJ Drama and DJ Sense. They formed a group knows as the Aphilliates during their college years. Now, Don Cannon produces tracks for some of the top-notch artists like Lil Wayne, Ludacris and 50 Cent.
26. The LA Leakers
DJ sourMILK and Justin Credible are the founding members of the group The LA Leakers. They both had made a name for themselves before forming the group in 2009. Since then, two more members Mando Fresko, and Ryan Deelon, have joined their ranks.
Together they have released numerous mixtapes and have worked with artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z and Nas.
27. DJ Skee
Not only a Hip-Hop DJ but also a businessman, Skee is probably going to be a billionaire in a few years. His name has come up in magazines like the Billboard Magazine and even Forbes.
His most ambitious project is the Dash Radio, which is now the world’s largest all-original digital radio network.
His has released more than 100 mixtapes throughout his career with many reputed artists.
28. DJ Mustard
Dijon Isaiah McFarlane or DJ Mustard is probably the youngest DJ on this list. But don’t let the age fool you, Mustard is a master when it comes to rap music.
He rose to prominence after producing a song for Tyga called “Rack City”. Since then, Mustard has shown no signs of slowing down. He has released three studio albums from which the latest one “Perfect 10” peaked at #8 on Billboard 200.
Coups2Cross or C2C is a French Hip-Hop musical group based in Nantes. 20Syl, Greem, Atom and pFeL are the 4 DJs of the group. Each of them uses a separate turntable to produce distinct sounds. The 4 of them met in high school, and soon they got to mixing. All of them were inspired by the turntable legends of that time including DJ Shadow and DJ Qbert.
Despite being not very popular in the Americas, C2C is a well-known name in the European rap scene.
Alain Macklovitch or A-Trak is the owner and President of the Fool’s Gold record label. He hails from Canada and his career spans over more than 20 years.
A-Trak rose to fame after winning the DMC World DJ Championship in 1997, at the age of only 15, also making him the first Canadian to do so. Over the years, he has helped out many fellow members of the Hip-Hop community, including Kid Cudi, Danny Brown, and Flosstradamus.
DJs have been a crucial part of any Hip-Hop outfit since the early days. Now, their importance has only increased as more of our music is electronically generated. Modern rap DJs perform in high-end clubs all over the world. Many of them are underground artists, and not many people know about them.
However, I hope you liked this post. Stay tuned for more such posts at Loud Beats.