Christian mythology holds that the judge Samson drew strength from his flowing locks. Has this idea of growing one’s hair to increase virility played itself out in Hip Hop? Terrence “Pusha T” Thornton, famous for maintaining his cornrows and braids, declares in the 2012 smash remix to “Don’t Like” that the “power’s in [his] hair…” While the mysticism does not hold water, there is some truth to the idea of artists growing out their hair to boost visibility, sales and streams, and make concert show appearances more memorable. The women will adore the dreadlocks as sexy. The men will want to grow their own set of dreads so that the former may be just as attracted to them as they are to the recording artists. The maintenance regimens associated with hairstyles like dreadlocks make them at once challenging and a breeze. Just a single wash a week and plenty of moisturizer will keep those dreads in excellent condition. For rappers like Lupe Fiasco who sported a close-shaved head when he entered the Rap world, to dreadlocks, to now a close cropped small Afro with the sides cut close, the trend seems to fluctuate among individuals. In an era where ballplayers and Hip Hop artists had shaved their cornrows and opted for conventional haircuts such as Allen Iverson (who reverted back to cornrows), Carmelo Anthony, Ludacris, Fam-Lay, and a host of others in anticipation for the President Barack Obama Administration, the artists of this list have taken the dreadhead look to another level. So, get your palm rolling tutorials and tightening gel for, Why Are You Ranking: Best Hip Hop Artists Who’ve Discovered Dreadlocks And Maintained Success and Credibility from the Starter Lock Stage to the Adult Stage.
4. Migos (Takeoff, Quavo, Offset)
As a phenomenal Rap collective, these three have given the dread-head look a boost. During their ascent to Hip Hop dominance, they kept their long hair intact and even showed off various patterns to accompany their brash raps and clothing styles. Always ones for stealing the show, their hairstyles remain an integral part of their neo-coke lifestyles. Their “Bad and Boujee” number one hit launched them and their dreads into the cultural stratosphere.
Rank: Starter Lock Stage
The Lights Match the Dreads
3. Symere “Lil’ Uzi Vert” Woods
As a featured artist on the above Migos’ “Boujee” single, Uzi steals the show. In his own right, the Philly rapper rose from SoundCloud fame to mainstream success with singles like "XO Tour Llif3.” As one of the most colorful artists, his dreads would have to match his personality. They change with nearly every performance. Salute to the man with the ever evolving set of dreads.
Rank: Baby Lock Stage
The Dreaded Cole
2. J. Cole (Jermaine Lamarr Cole)
A North Carolina resident, the rapper who has provided five critically acclaimed and commercially successful playlists, displays his dreads with aplomb. When he first came into the game, he rocked the traditional look. As time moved forward, he moved onward to the short but thick dread style. J. Cole’s transformation from a protege on Roc Nation to a Dreamville standout may have something to do with his acceptance of alternative hairstyles.
Rank: Teenage Lock Stage
A Lil' Locks
1. Dwayne “Lil’ Wayne” Michael Carter Jr.
Ever since he entered the Hip Hop universe, Lil’ Wayne has had some hair on his head. From cornrows as a teenager to full, knotty blond locks as a thirty something, Lil’ Wayne’s star has dimmed on only a few occasions. As one of only a few artists to sell a million albums in a week, Lil’ Wayne pushed himself to stand out and deliver even better material after The Carter III (2008) dropped. With over two dozen mixtapes, a boatload of singles, and acclaimed albums, Mr. Carter has represented what a successful dread-head looks like.
Rank: Adult Lock Stage