Rapping the "D-town"

How could we define the Detroit underground rap?

The Detroit underground rap has something raw and dark inside. You can feel the harshness of the industrial city inside of the Detroit rapper’s rhymes.

Although the influences and the variety of artists are numerous in Detroit, they all have something in common: the Detroit stamp.
Detroit rap is like the mirror of the city, it is a savant combination of horror trips that can be found in acid rap.The horrorcore you will find in artists’ music like Esham has its roots mostly in reality.
Detroit City is well known in America for its dangerosity. Crime belongs to the evey day life, particularly in the ‘hood.

The Detroit hood is a place where it is hard to survive. People have to deal with guns, drugs and poverty. The many pressures and the pain people keep bottled inside is reflected in the music of people who “rep the D-town” like Kage and T-Roy who are both Detroit native and residents artists:


Their songs are about real life experiences.

I had the chance to be in touch via email with Detroit rapper Backstab The Kingpin. Although we don’t share the same points of views about Eminem, we had the occasion to exchange some constructive ideas and I have learnt a lot from him about Detroit. I have interviewed him and my interview has been posted on a French hip hop website:


The typical Detroit style can also be found in Backstab’s second album for instance. If you listen to tracks like “Raw Raps” and “Madd Rhyma”, you will enjoy a typical Detroit sound.

Have you ever heard about an artist called Hysteria? She is white. She a Detroitresident and she is an emcee. Moreover: she is a genuine artist and she is talented. It is really worth listening to her rap that can be classified as hardcore rap. She raps with conviction and her voice sounds like the voice of a black woman.
She deserves credit for her work. You can discover more about her on this website:


It is really worth having a deeper look at the Detroit underground artists. Many of them are talented and all of them have (even if they don’t like each other), something in common: the Detroit flavor.