Haitian hip hop or rap kreyòl, is music originating from Haiti and sung by artists of Haitian origin. Often, hardcore beats are used while the artist raps in Haitian Creole. Rap kreyòl has been part of Haitian culture since the early 1980s with groups such as Original Rap Staff, King Posee, Rap Kreyòl S.A., Masters of Haiti, Fighters, Blackdo, Fam-Squad, Supa Deno, Prince Berlin and Muzion attaining prominence, but lately has become very popular with Haitian youth. Another notable group from the 1990s is Black Leaders. The impact of Black Leaders and its members is lasting. Though known primarily for his role in Black Leaders, Don Roy is still an active contributor to Haitian music across many genres. Since the peak of his notoriety, Don Roy has chosen to create in other genres. While still working in a production capacity in genres such as Rap Kreyòl and Reggae, Don Roy has chosen to create and work with prominent artists of the modern roots/Rasin movement.
Many Haitian rap artists have had rough childhoods and difficult living conditions producing rappers who address socio-economic topics in their lyrics. Though similar to mainstream American hip hop in that materialistic imagery is portrayed or lyricized, the negative aspects of less fortunate Haitian society, such as topics concerning slum life, gang warfare, the drug trade, and poverty, are much more common.
The most well-known exports of Haitian hip hop are two members of the legendary Grammy Award-winning hip hop group, the Fugees, Wyclef Jean and his cousin Pras Michel. Most recently, Christopher Freedom Laroche released his inspirational debut album Liberation 1804, Kerns (Mr OK) Olirice released his first EP (Men Mwen) while acts like Barikad Crew, Rockfam, Brimad, Chale Republic, Pick Up Click, BriganDie, Team Lobey, Dezod Beats and G Bobby Bon Flo have gained popularity among the Haitian population. However, the godfather of hip hop in Haiti is the late Master Dji, who not only released the first Haitian rap song in the early 1980s, formed the group Rap Kreyòl S.A., but was also the first Haitian DJ and also influential in encouraging other young Haitians such as Supa Deno, DJ Fanfan and DJ Live to become rappers, DJs, and breakdancers.