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United States of hip-hop

Hip-hop fans can argue about the technical merits of Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind," but the song's mega-platinum status in 2009 certainly affirmed the emcee's status as, in the mainstream's mind, rap music's Ambassador to New York City.

At a time in which street corners have been replaced by Twitter and young rappers can be influenced by predecessors from anywhere in the country, what does it mean for a rap artist to represent a city? amNY has taken a look at the map, and come up with a (completely arbitrary and subjective) list of the best rappers to ask that question: The "emcee mayors" of cities across America. In some cases, they're the best on the mic in their respective hometowns, while the others are simply the most enthusiastic about flying their community's flag. Either way, they're the links to a time in hip-hop when representing your block was as important as a chart position.

Los Angeles: Ice Cube

So L.A., he recorded a video about the
Photo Credit: Getty

So L.A., he recorded a video about the Eames House for a city-wide art exhibit in 2011.

Examples: “I Rep That West,” “Today Was a Good Day”

With Apologies To: Dr. Dre

Chicago: Common

The Windy City's emcee's tracks with Kanye West
Photo Credit: Getty

The Windy City's emcee's tracks with Kanye West are asChicago as deep dish pizza.

Examples: “Chi-City,” “Southside,” his verse on Blackstar's “Respiration”

With Apologies To: Kanye West

Oakland: E-40

The king of the Bay Area “hyphy”
Photo Credit: Getty

The king of the Bay Area “hyphy” scene, and the creator of 1,000 slang terms.

Examples: “Yay Area,” “Rappers' Ball”

With Apologies To: Too Short

Washington, D.C.: Wale

A rare emcee from a city more
Photo Credit: Getty

A rare emcee from a city more Chuck Brown than Chuck D.

Examples: “Chillin,” “DC or Nothing”

With Apologies To: DJ Kool

Philadelphia: The Roots

Named their second major-label album after their
Photo Credit: Getty

Named their second major-label album after their hometown (“Illadelph Halflife”).

Examples: "Essaywhuman?!!!??!" (recorded at Philadelphia's Trocadero), “Get Busy”

With Apologies To: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

St. Louis: Nelly

Founder of the St. Lunatics and emcee
Photo Credit: Getty

Founder of the St. Lunatics and emcee with the most St. Louis Cardinals gear in his closet.

Examples: “St. Louie,” “Country Grammar”

With Apologies To: Chingy

Cleveland: Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

“E. 1999 Eternal” was named after a
Photo Credit: Getty

“E. 1999 Eternal” was named after a street corner in the crew's hometown.

Examples: “East 1999,” “Cleveland is the City”

With Apologies To: Machine Gun Kelly

Detroit: Eminem

So synonymous with Motown, he landed a
Photo Credit: Getty

So synonymous with Motown, he landed a voiceover in a Chrysler commercial.

Examples: “8 Mile,” “Welcome to Detroit City”

With Apologies To: Danny Brown

Houston: Bun B

Any emcee who records a song for
Photo Credit: Getty

Any emcee who records a song for the local football team gets extra (if cheesy) points.

Examples: “Here We Go (Texans Anthem),” “Draped Up (H-Town Remix)”

With Apologies To: Scarface

Atlanta: Big Boi

The best argument for co-Mayors, but seniority
Photo Credit: Getty

The best argument for co-Mayors, but seniority tips the scales toward the OutKast.

Examples: “ATLiens,” “In the A”

With Apologies To: Ludacris

Miami: Pitbull

“Mr. 305” even helped build a high
Photo Credit: Getty

“Mr. 305” even helped build a high school in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

Examples - “Miami [expletive],” “305 Anthem”

With Apologies To: Rick Ross

New York: Jay Z

Fight over individual boroughs all you want,
Photo Credit: Getty

Fight over individual boroughs all you want, but no one reps The Bronx to Staten Island quite as well.

Examples - “Empire State of Mind,” “Brooklyn's Finest”

With Apologies To: (too many to mention)

Long Beach: Snoop Dogg

L.A.'s little brother got a big boost
Photo Credit: Getty

L.A.'s little brother got a big boost from Snoop's LBC love.

Examples: “Nuthin' But a G Thang,” “From Long Beach 2 Brick City”

With Apologies To: Warren G

Newark: Redman

May singlehandedly have kept the “Brick City”
Photo Credit: Getty

May singlehandedly have kept the “Brick City” nickname alive in the 1990s.

Examples: “Diz Iz Brick City,” “Green Island”

With Apologies To: Queen Latifah

Pittsburgh: Wiz Khalifa

“Black and Yellow” are the colors of
Photo Credit: Getty

“Black and Yellow” are the colors of every Steel City-based major league sports franchise.

Examples: “Black and Yellow,” “Pittsburgh Sound”

With Apologies To: Mac Miller

Seattle: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

The video for “Thrift Shop” is partially
Photo Credit: Getty

The video for “Thrift Shop” is partially shot in the basement of a Seattle dive bar, Unicorn.

Examples: “Victory Lap,” “My, Oh My”

With Apologies To: Sir Mix-a-Lot

Kansas City: Tech N9ne

He's number 20 on the Forbes list
Photo Credit: Getty

He's number 20 on the Forbes list of hip-hop earners and his Chiefs made the NFL playoffs. Good year.

Examples: “Kansas City King,” “KC Tea”

With Apologies To: Mac Lethal

Memphis: Three 6 Mafia

It's easy to represent a city when
Photo Credit: Getty

It's easy to represent a city when almost every rapper in said city belongs to your clique.

Examples: “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.,” “South Memphis Representin'”

With Apologies To: 8Ball & MJG

New Orleans: Master P

The No Limit tank might be as
Photo Credit: Getty

The No Limit tank might be as recognizable Big East symbol as Bourbon Street.

Examples: “Who Them Boyz,” “I'm Bout It Bout It”

With Apologies To: Lil Wayne

Long Island: De La Soul

Very few city-obsessed rappers would actually claim

Very few city-obsessed rappers would actually claim the suburbs like the Native Tongues trio.

Examples: “Long Island Degrees,” “Wonce Again Long Island”

With Apologies To: Rakim

The Bronx: KRS-One

The Teacher practically invented regional beef with
Photo Credit: Getty

The Teacher practically invented regional beef with “The Bridge Is Over.”

Examples: “South Bronx,” “Bronx Tale”

With Apologies To: Mellie Mel

Queens: Nas

“To my people throughout Queens, God bless
Photo Credit: Getty

“To my people throughout Queens, God bless your life.”

Examples: “Queens Get the Money,” “A Queens Story”

With Apologies To: Mobb Deep

Brooklyn: Notorious B.I.G.

Talib Kweli said it best: “Brooklyn, New

Talib Kweli said it best: “Brooklyn, New York City, where they paint murals of Biggie...”

Examples: “Brooklyn We Go Hard,” “Juicy”

With Apologies To: Talib Kweli

Manhattan: Big L

The late emcee is still revered, especially

The late emcee is still revered, especially in the island's northern blocks.

Examples: “Harlem Nights,” “Hell Up In Harlem”

With Apologies To: The Diplomats/Dipset

Staten Island – Wu-Tang Clan

Can we go ahead and just rename
Photo Credit: Getty

Can we go ahead and just rename it Shaolin Island?

Examples: “Can It Be All So Simple,” “Shaolin Worldwide”

With Apologies To: JoJo Pellegrino

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