Today’s top hip-hop artists have built media empires reaching around the world reaching millions of fans. With massive Instagram followings, fashion labels, music videos, and sold out stadium shows, it’s safe to say they are among the most influential people alive. All that hustle takes a lot of energy, which is best built by hard time in the gym. With so many people hanging on their every word, we think they should take the time to promote fitness.
Over the past few years the HFR Institute has created dozens of lists ranking fit celebrities and musicians, including rock and country stars. But today it’s all about the flow, and this marks our second list ranking the fittest rappers and hip-hop artists in the game. We used Samir Becic’s knowledge as a health and fitness expert for over two decades and his experience as 4 times Number 1 Fitness Trainer in the World to narrow the field down from 100, to 50 and then to these final 10. We used a combination of internet research and interviews to create the list.
Samir Becic says of these fit performers: “Hip-hop artists have a tremendous impact on American youth in general- and the 10 fittest on this list are trailblazing the way with their lyrics and healthy lifestyle. They are leading the way by showing society that fitness is an important aspect of both life and career. So I’m personally asking each of you on this list: let’s make America the fittest nation in the world, since we are already leaders in so many other aspects.”
Here are the Top 10 Fittest Hip-hop artists:
Kehlani Ashley Parrish, or Kehlani for short, is an American hip hop artist and singer who took this industry by storm back in 2014. Her angelic voice and soft melodies make it hard to believe this artist goes just as hard as she does at the gym. This soulful artist stays in top-notch shape by regularly hitting the gym regularly and spending her free time dancing her heart out. Kehlani has been a lover of dance well before she discovered her passion of music. She spent many of her summers as a youth in dance summer camps and studying ballet before transitioning into singing.
Kehlani is also a consciously healthy eater who isn’t afraid to tell her fans to drink more water. This tattooed songwriter and hip hop artist once turned to Twitter to promote the importance of drinking water to her fans, and was shocked by how many people took her advice to stay hydrated.
“BAD SKIN = WATER, KIDNEY PROBLEMS = WATER, HEADACHES = WATER, DIGESTION = WATER, VAGINAL HEALTH = WATER… CMON”
SCHOOLBOY Q- 30
If you’ve ever scrolled through popular radio stations, you’ll know this California-born rapper has officially made it past the come up. This popular hip hop artist made his peak in the rap industry after going platinum 2014, and again after making the Billboard 100 list this year, making him one of the most impressionable rappers of the decade. While on his rise to stardom, this rapper struggled with self-image and health issues related to poor lifestyle habits. But a health scare changed all of that earlier this year.
“I WAS WAKING UP TO HEARTBURN. I HAD TOO MANY PROBLEMS: I FOUND OUT THAT I HAD A TUMOR IN MY LIVER. IT’S BENIGN, BUT IT GAVE ME A SCARE, AND I NEEDED TO GET MY S*** TOGETHER. AT THE MOMENT, I WORKOUT SIX DAYS A WEEK. I LOST 30 POUNDS FROM MARCH 28TH UP TIL NOW.”
His current exercise regime includes a little of everything. His workout routine rotates throughout the week, allowing him to work on everything from his hamstrings to his back muscles. While on tour, this rapper gets plenty of exercise on stage, but still manages to fit in exercise whenever he can.
Schoolboy Q is currently on high protein, low carb diet. Carbohydrates make up only 15% of his calories. This diet is a great way to promote fat loss and lean muscle growth. Some of the biggest staples in his diet include eggs, steak and broccoli.
Ashanti is an RnB singer, songwriter and dancer who refuses to put her talent to rest. Since 2002 up until now, this hip hop princess is releasing music that takes over radio stations with graceful talent. Ashanti owes her fit and curvy body to various activities she finds passion in, such as dancing and running. Her workout regimen includes weekly cardio, dancing, boxing, and running.
“I WAS A RUNNER WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I EVEN COMPETED FOR THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS. UP TO NOW I STILL RUN PRETTY FAST. ESPECIALLY WHEN I’M BEING CHASED.”
Ashanti’s diet is focused on moderation and portion control. She’s admitted that she gains weight rather easily, which makes understanding portion control and serving sizes vital to staying in shape. Ashanti regularly practices detoxing. She’s done the master cleanse, which is a liquid diet that focuses on removing bodily toxins and bloat. Although liquid diets are popular, it’s important to note that fitness experts have long disputed the effectiveness of liquid diets. Unless you’re under professional supervision, the safest way to stay healthy is by maintaining a clean, well balanced diet.
Drake is very public about his love of fitness. This avid instagrammer regularly posts photos of himself pushing weight and staying fit. This globally famous rapper has recently caught mass attention with his newly ripped body. If you’re wondering how Drake achieved these hard-rock abs, you can give the credit to his weight room. Drake has been hard at work with his trainer, Jonny Roxx, everyday for the past three years. Some of Drake’s favorite workout moves include barbell curls, deadlifts, and rope exercises.
As far as his diet is concerned, Drake enjoys staying fueled with eggs, corn, and brown rice.
“I’M OBSESSED WITH PERFECTION. I WANT TO WORK.”
Sza is an up and coming hip hop singer, songwriter, and dancer most notable for introducing an eccentric sound and look to this popular genre. She’s the first ever female artist signed by popular rap label, TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment). TDE is home of popular rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, putting SZA under pressure to stand out and excel musically. Fortunately for her, her talent speaks for itself.
Sza keeps up with her busy lifestyle by staying healthy and in shape. Just recently, this singer-songwriter has shed a lot of excess weight. Sza made small changes in her lifestyle in the past couple of months that led to drastic and positive results. By simply changing her diet and including various activities into her daily routine, such as hiking, walking and dancing, she was able to transform her body and overall health. In an interview with Fader, Sza stated that her favorite thing to eat is salad.
“I LOVE SALAD. I FILL UP THE KIND OF BOWL YOU MIX CAKE IN, THAT’S HOW BIG MY SALAD IS, PILED SO HIGH. ANYTHING I CAN PUT IN THE BOWL WILL GO IN THE BOWL.”
GUCCI MANE- 36
Gucci Mane’s drastic weight loss and newly drug-free lifestyle may be the only silver linings of his lengthy imprisonment. This Atlanta-born rapper lost a whopping 50 pounds behind bars, and he did so by saying no to carbs and working out regularly. Although prison institutions don’t come equipped with a 24-hour fitness, they still supply weights and exercise time to prisoners. Gucci Mane shredded his abs by regularly performing sit-ups and weightlifting.
He also credits a carb-free diet to his successful weight-loss. Gucci Mane also steers clear of alcohol and drugs.
Gucci admitted that he loves telling people:
“HEY LISTEN, I DON’T DO DRUGS. I’M SORRY BABY, BUT I DON’T WANT ANYTHING TO DRINK. I’LL TAKE A WATER.”
This award winning singer, songwriter and producer has a trophy body to compliment her Grammy trophy. Ciara hits the gym 5 days a week. Her workouts consist of intense cardio, plyometrics, boxing, and weightlifting with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson. Ciara has admitted to enjoy boxing with Gunnar due to the variety of muscles that are being targeted.
“WHAT’S AMAZING IS THAT YOU’RE GETTING THREE-IN-ONE TRAINING; IT’S HITTING YOUR MUSCLES, IT’S A CARDIOVASCULAR WORKOUT, AND IT’S A MENTAL EXERCISE. YOU HAVE TO BE SUPER FOCUSED WHEN YOU’RE BOXING. AFTER I’VE DONE A FEW ROUNDS, I FEEL AS IF I CAN CONQUER THE WORLD.”
Ciara’s diet consists of five small meals throughout the day. She enjoys fueling her intense workouts with protein smoothies, egg-white omelets, and whole wheat pasta.
Jay-Z’s workout regimen includes total-body cardio, interval training, and ab-work. Jay-Z’s trainer, Marco Borges focuses on the concept of ‘power moves.’ Power moves target 4 major joints at a time, allowing you to exercise smarter and efficiently.
Jay-Z eats a nutritious and primarily plant based diet. Both Jay-Z and Beyonce went Vegan for 22 days back in 2015, and have raved since then about the benefits of eating a primarily plant based diet.
“THIS ALL BEGAN A FEW MONTHS BACK WHEN A GOOD FRIEND AND VEGAN CHALLENGED ME TO EMBRACE A PLANT-BASED BREAKFAST EVERYDAY. IT WAS SURPRISINGLY EASIER ON ME THAN I THOUGHT…”
IGGY AZALEA- 26
This 5 ft 10 in curvy bombshell makes it a point to exercise each and every day, which is visibly evident when taking a look at her rock-hard abs. Along with working out, Iggy is also a fan of sports. Since childhood, Iggy has been passionate about tennis.
“I AM VERY COMPETITIVE, WHICH IS WHY I HAVE HAD SUCCESS IN MUSIC; AND IF I PLAY A SPORT, I WANT TO KICK SOMEONE’S BUTT. THAT’S WHY I LOVE TO PLAY TENNIS–WHICH IS MY FAVORITE SPORT–AND IT INCLUDES A LOT OF RUNNING.”
Iggy’s diet consists of nutrient-dense foods, such as plant-based smoothies made up of bananas, almonds, kale, and goji berries.
Despite being in his mid-fifties, Fitty Smallz is a passionate dancer and rapper who easily holds his own in terms of fitness with the rest of the artists on this list. By being the world’s first “fitness rapper” he aims to make fitness fun again in an effort to make America healthier. He’s a big proponent of not only health, but being comforable in your own skin.
“Now the standards are for super thin models, that beauty is being thin, yet society is unhealthier than ever. “Muffin Top” comes right at that and exposes this. You have to be comfortable in your own skin.”
Believes that only talking about obesity and morbid obesity isn’t changing anything- that he’s trying to be the action and the motivation to make a dent in the lack or general health and fitness in America. You can read his HFR exclusive interview and see his #PushUpsEverywhere.