These Are The Colleges Every Rapper Should Play For Best ROI

It’s back-to-school season for college students around the country, and that means big bucks for rap stars.

Universities typically shell out tens of thousands of dollars, to book the top hip-hop artists to perform at back to school kickoff events, homecoming parties, sporting events and other campus activities.

But not all of these markets are created equal. If you are a budding rapper, how do you know which region will produce the most return on investment (ROI).
The good folks over at conducted a nice study, that shows the Top 5 college towns an artist should perform in, along with the top venues.
This information can be handy for buzzing new artists who are looking to break into new markets but are still working with a tight budget.

Olympia, Washington

While it may not be recognized as a hip-hop spot, Olympia Washington has a very welcoming independent music scene, thanks to the students at Evergreen State College.
“The student population at Evergreen State College deserves plenty credit for helping support all styles of underground sounds throughout the decades, and even educating some of its key players,” according to

Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia is just about an hour away from Atlanta (barring traffic), making it a must-stop city for any artists on tour.

“The downtown area around the University of Georgia campus is a perpetual hotbed for alternative and underground sounds.” –

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, Carolina ranked high on list of off the grid cities any new artist must check out. Thanks to the success of North Carolina rappers like J. Cole, Little Brother, and producer 9th Wonder.
“Minutes from the University of North Carolina at Asheville are the Odditorium and the Mothlight, both Haywood Road spots for underground sounds of all styles,” according to

Ithaca, New York

When one thinks of hip-hop success, the first thing that comes to mind is conquering New York City. But any new artist should keep Ithaca in mind, thanks to Ithaca College. Ithaca supports the students on-campus through hip-hop culture through organizations like IC Beatbox and Pulse, the college’s hip-hop dance team. The learning institution hosts regular concerts with rappers ranging like Talib Kweli, while rappers Young Thug and Chance the Rapper have popped up for shows in the city.

Madison, Wisconsin

Rounding out the list was Madison Wisconsin with the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The campus has a long tradition of supporting hip-hop culture, going as far back as the year 2002 with their Hip Hop Generation organization and conference. Since then, dozens of hip-hop acts have performed in Madison, while the students are active against racism, especially in local bars, when owners attempted to ban the genre.