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Vinny Virgo, who plays Hooch and Hive in Tampa, Florida on Jan. 14, 2021.
When the rest of the nation thinks of Florida rappers they may first point to the scene down south in counties like Miami-Dade and Broward. However, Tampa Bay's time to shine is long overdue. As this very special rap scene's emcees, producers and DJs continue to cultivate it, Tampa Bay talent has become increasingly diverse and distinguished.
The artists on this list all had different paths to the mic, and some of them even work in other artistic verticals (acting, tattooing for example), but as different as they are, one element brings them together: love for a metro they're helping put on the map in a big way.
Tampa Bay is a smorgasbord of incredibly gifted emcees and lyricists, and narrowing this list down was by no means an easy task. After hours of listening sessions, many video call discussions, and careful consideration, these are our picks for 22 Tampa rappers to know in 2022.—AP