For anyone unfamiliar with the world of rap and hip-hop, it may seem like all the iconic rap stars look the same. They all sport the latest Yeezys and streetwear fashion and sometimes even have similar accessories, from grills in their teeth to a sparkly set of rings on each hand.
But one thing some rappers do to stand out physically is put their hair in a signature protective style. While others rock their long, naturally curly locks or shave off their hair for a smooth buzz cut, some rappers proudly wear traditional dreadlocks.
Not only is wearing dreads a great way to protect hair. It’s also a way to honor black culture, where rap finds its roots as well. Here are 20 rappers who love wearing their locks in dreads.
Rappers with dreads:
First up, we have Lil Wayne—one of the biggest rappers in the world today. He started rapping at the age of 12 and has built a big career in the 27 years since. He’s known for his wide array of rap styles, from the risqué Lollipop in 2008 to the more mellow and romantic How to Love in 2011.
If there’s any rapper who loves a set of dreads and would stop at nothing to flaunt them, it’s Lil Wayne. We’ve seen him with short, black dreads in his early years in rap to his long, bleached blonde locks today.
We’ve seen Snoop Dogg in many different forms, from his chill Drop It Like It’s Hot days to him showing off his fun and quirky side collaborating with K-pop group BTS. He’s even changed his stage names multiple times, at one point being known as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Snoop Lion.
But if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s his passion for keeping his hair in neat protective styles, like different kinds of dreads and braids. His thick dreads are a reflection of his mellow soul. And even if we sometimes see him switching it up with cornrows and pigtails, we’re willing to bet he’ll get back to his beloved dreads soon enough.
Lil Uzi Vert
When you think dreadlocks, you probably imagine long, thick ropes of hair cascading down someone’s shoulders and back. But a modern take on it is short, thin, and blonde. That’s exactly the type of dreads Philadelphia native Lil Uzi sports regularly.
Lil Uzi is a rising star, having been active just in recent years. He’s already bagged so many nominations for his fast rapping skills, and we can’t wait to see what other dreadlock hairstyles he has in store for the years to come.
A$AP Rocky is yet another huge rapper who sports dreads. Aside from his skill in rap, hip-hop, and trap music, he’s also gained a lot of popularity, being the partner (and baby daddy!) of pop icon and entrepreneur Rihanna.
His dreads are quite relaxed and laidback, not tight like other rappers might like theirs styled. His usually look thick at the top with loose roots, then taper down to thinner locks at the bottom. Sometimes, he’s also seen accessorizing his dreads and braids with some beads.
Rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z may have sported his hair shorter these last couple of years, but his most iconic look will always be when he had long, thick dreads that stuck out of his head with an authentic charm.
As husband to R&B queen and diva Beyonce, it’s a must for Jay-Z to keep up his appearances. So it’s no surprise that he looks amazing in every photo he has with his dreads!
Waka Flocka Flame
You might have heard a lot of things about Waka Flocka Flame over the last decade. He’s had successful projects with the likes of Drake and Wale, but he’s also made a few odd headlines, like running for president in 2016. But one thing that makes him stand out even more, is his beautiful dreads.
Waka Flocka Flame’s dreads are those classic locks you think of when you picture any rapper with this protective style. They’re thick, long, and gorgeously black and shiny. No gimmicks here, just straight-up simple, traditional dreadlocks that will be the envy of any man trying to grow out their hair.
Another rapper with that classic dreadlock style is rap veteran Wale, who is known for his rap style similar to the beat of percussion.
Over the years, he’s stayed loyal to his dreadlocks, sometimes playing around with them by putting them up in ponytails and buns. He has even styled his dreads in the Bantu knot style that makes it look like he has multiple small space buns littered throughout his head!
With his hits like the cult-faves Black and Yellow and We Dem Boyz, Wiz Khalifa has cemented his name in the rap industry. And throughout his years as an active artist, we’ve seen his fashion style, tattoos, and hair evolve as well, the latter always going back to one thing—dreads.
Wiz Khalifa is another person who loves to play around with different styles of dreads. We’ve seen him sport thick, long twists and short micro locs, like in this photo. Sometimes, the tips of some of his dreads are bleached for that creative vibe.
Considered a legend in the rap world, J. Cole has always rocked dreads, be it short and messy or long and thick. From the early days of rapping in the 90s, launching Dreamville Records in 2007, and releasing the iconic Cole World: The Sideline Story album in the 2010s, J. Cole has worn his thick dreads with pride.
He still hasn’t taken down his beloved dreads even now as he plays pro basketball for the Canadian league. Of course, instead of headbanging his dreads like he used to, he now wears them tied back. We call that commitment!
Atlanta superstar Future has been around in the industry for almost two decades, but his popularity never wanes. From his early hits like Magic to the trendy Mask Off that has become quite the TikTok trend, Future has been well-loved. Another thing that keeps him popular? His dreadlocks.
In this photo, it’s obvious how passionate Future is when it comes to styling his dreads. Not only are the ends bleached blonde, but he ties them in an eccentric way—with multiple knots instead of using one ponytail.
Who says dreads are exclusively for black rappers? Lil Pump says otherwise! This young 22-year-old rapper may not be of African descent, but he wears his dreads proudly.
Lil Pump is a huge name in the SoundCloud rap community. However, he’s also famous for his bold looks. He has small tattoos scattered across his face. And when it comes to his dreads, he gets as creative as possible. He’s sometimes seen with colored dreads, from green to pink shades!
Chief Keef rose to fame as a teenage rapper in the streets of Chicago in the 2010s. Although his tracks aren’t as mainstream as other rappers on this list, he’s still amazing at his craft.
His signature look is shoulder-length dreads with a few strands stylishly falling in front of his face. Although he mostly wears his dreads down, he’s been seen a few times with them tied up in buns.
2 Chainz is a rap veteran who has spent many successful decades in the industry. He’s worked with top artists such as Kanye West, Drake, and Lil Wayne.
A lot has changed since he debuted in 1997. He’s now an entrepreneur and a dad of three. But one thing that hasn’t changed is how versatile he is with styling his dreads. He’s been seen tying them in pigtails, ponytails, half-updos—however, you imagine dreads can be worn, and 2 Chainz has done it!
Singers and rappers love to use auto-tune creatively. But none of them do it like T-Pain, the main man who made it a trend in the 2000s with hits like I’m ‘n Luv (Wit a Stripper) and Buy U a Drank.
In this photo, we see T-Pain with thick, long dreads with yellow, bleached tips. This is just one of the hairstyles he has put his protective style in. He’s also experimented with all kinds of dreads, from micro locs to thick twists.
27-year-old Atlanta rapper and Grammy winner Lil Baby is—like his name suggests—still quite young, so it’s no surprise that his style of dreads isn’t as adventurous as the other rappers before him. He keeps his dreads short with a clean cut, sometimes with a little extra shag for more oomph. If he’s feeling a little more experimental, he’ll put them up in pigtails.
Although Playboi Carti has been rapping since 2011, it wasn’t until 2017 that he rose to mainstream fame for his debut mixtape. Since then, people haven’t been able to keep their eyes off him.
People also love to see how he’s going to elevate his dreads next. He usually wears them a natural black color, but he’s been seen with blonde and even red dreads now and then.
Although younger rappers love to experiment with their dreadlocks’ color, shape, and style, rap legend Lil Jon prefers a more traditional approach—wearing them long and natural. Although you’ll sometimes catch him wearing a beanie over his dreads, the Turn Down for What rapper will always be wearing them down for people to admire.
Even if you’re not familiar with rapper Young Thug, you’ll for sure know his work, from his hit track Havana with Camila Cabello to the Grammy-nominated Goodbyes with Post Malone.
Aside from his cool tracks, Young Thug also has memorable hair. He sports dreads—sometimes super short and black-brown, sometimes long and blonde.
Quavo may be the frontman of the rap trio Migos, but he has paved his way to work on popular summer songs and collabs on his own like I’m the One with DJ Khaled and Congratulations by Post Malone.
Like his songs, he keeps his hair trendy by styling his dreads in different ways. He’ll sometimes show off his thick, symmetrical dreads by wearing them down. Other times, he’ll tie them back for a cleaner look, like when he’s walking the red carpet.
Last but not least, we have Lil Durk, the lead member of Only the Family. As you can see in this photo, he styles his dreads in a unique way than the rest. Instead of thick, straight dreads, he puts his in thin, micro locs that retain their curly shape. Oh, and did we mention he wears them blonde?