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A Rap Roadtrip Through 10 American Cities

From west to east without the dangerous rivalry. Travel along with Mac Miller during Season 2 of Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family, Wednesdays at 11:30/10:30c on MTV2.

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1. Los Angeles, CA

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Rap highlights: Enjoy the views in Long Beach, where Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, Warren G, and Nate Dogg all grew up, then perhaps carefully skirt Compton, since lots has changed since N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton (but Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q have rapped extensively in the past couple of years about how Crips and Bloods still hold sway). Perhaps better: Visit what is now called The Rock Forum in Anaheim, where N.W.A. first performed songs from Straight Outta Compton — the closest LAPD would let them to that city.

2. Minneapolis, MN

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Rap highlights: Fifth Element, 2411 Hennepin Ave, is a retail store run by (and in the same building as) Rhymesayers Entertainment (representing Aesop Rock, Atmosphere, MF Doom, Brother Ali, and more). Also stop by the First Avenue & 7th St. Entry, a performance space nearly instrumental in launching a number of music careers — perhaps the most notable of which is Prince's.

3. Detroit, MI

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Rap highlights: Eminem honed his skills by battle rapping at The Hip Hop Shop, which has recently reopened since his tour in the early nineties. Eminem's friend and fellow D12 member also spends late nights with J Dilla at Stanley's Café and 1515 Broadway.

4. Houston, TX

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Rap highlights: Start in the Museum District at Rice University, where Swishahouse has its back catalogue archived and Bun B sometimes teaches courses. Then move your way north to Downtown for Minute Maid Park, where Beyoncé will be playing soon with her husband (and because visiting her elementary and high schools might be... weird). Finish the visit off just a little farther north in the Fifth Ward part of Northside Houston, which raised Rap-A-Lot Records, as well as Willie D and Bushwick Bill of the the Geto Boys.

5. New Orleans, LA

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Rap highlights: It won't hurt to work your way in from Baton Rouge, the hometown of rappers Lil Boosie and Kevin Gates and the location of the current base of operations for Beats by the Pound — the production team that vaulted No Limit Records (in NOLA) to the top of the charts from '95 to '99. Then in NOLA, Hollygrove in uptown NOLA is the cradle that raised Juvenile, Birdman, and Lil Wayne. And finish off by heading into the French Quarter at Preservation Hall, which showcases just how crucial New Orleans has been in the development of American music since the invention of jazz.

6. Atlanta, GA

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Rap highlights: L.A. Reid and Babyface started LaFace Records at One Capital City Plaza in '89, which led to record deals for Usher, Toni Braxton, Outkast, and more. Between recording Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik with Organized Noize in The Dungeon and at Bosstown, Outkast developed an emotional attachment to the latter — leading to them purchasing it and renaming it Stankonia in '99. Chris Lova Lova interned and DJayed at Hot 97.5 until '98 — he later started releasing albums under the name Ludacris, and Hot 97.5 changed over to Hot 107.9.

7. Miami, FL

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Rap highlights: The "305" that rings out in songs by Pitbull, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, and more encapsulates all of Miami-Dade county — including the Florida Keys, which is a total waste of a Florida visit if you miss. Back on the mainland though, DJ Khaled rose to prominence by both DJaying live and on air for WEDR 99 Jamz since '98.

8. Virginia Beach, VA

Rap highlights: Timbaland, Clipse, and the Neptunes all met at Salem High School, but still no reason to creep out the local teens. Visit the place where Future Recording Studios stood from '90 to '08 — the Neptunes produced their first song, "Rump Shaker," and owner Teddy Riley produced "No Diggity" with Blackstreet there. Also be sure to visit the Neptune statue that is the namesake for the town's summer festival as well as — with a whole bunch of room for speculation — the Neptunes.

9. Philadelphia, PA

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Rap highlights: Questlove and Black Thought become friends at Philly's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, eventually forming The Roots with Scott Storch as the band's original keyboardist. Across the Schuylkill River in West Philadelphia, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff got their start around the same time.

10. New York, NY

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Rap highlights: DMX, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., and Busta Rhymes all went to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in downtown Brooklyn. But since it's still a public high school, try catching a show at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre where Jay-Z stabbed a guy in '99, or wave to celebrities outside Hot 97's studio (the first New York station to broadcast hip-hop when it gave Funkmaster Flex a show in '92) on Houston and Hudson. But if you're looking for something outside NYC, try a tour of Adelphi University on Long Island where Chuck D and Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) as well as Hank and Keith Shocklee (The Bomb Squad) first caught the ear of Rick Rubin with their radio show.

Pittsburgh, PA

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Rap highlights: This former steel town forged Rostrum Records, which brought rap heavyweights like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller to the public eye — the latter of which's Blue Slide Park was the first independent record to top the Billboard 200 in 2011 since Long Beach's own Tha Dogg Pound did it in 1996.

Wanna check out one of these dope cities? Head over to the Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family Facebook to find out how you could win in the Pittsburgh to Paris: #MostDopeAdventure sweepstakes.

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