Detroit’s Flip Side With Payroll Giovanni

Partnering with KOOL, Rolling Stone explores the Motor City through the eyes of the Detroit-based rapper

Most people think they know Detroit, from its Motor City moniker to its musical roots in Motown. But what do actual Detroiters do when they’re out in The 313?

Telling this story is Detroit native, rapper Payroll Giovanni, whose music, taste, and style are all firmly rooted in the city’s spirit. After becoming a local icon through the 2010s, Payroll Giovanni broke out big in 2020 when he signed to the label CTE World, taking the next leap forward representing Detroit in the hip-hop scene.

Describing what makes Detroit hip-hop stand apart, the rapper says, “I would say that the Detroit sound is gritty. It’s like basement, raw sounding.”

When asked what local spots true Detroiters hit for the nightlife, Payroll Giovanni points toward his favorite haunt, Sloppy Crab, a restaurant that boasts not just great food but the after hours scene to beat. “If you want to experience Detroit culture, get a drink, kick back, get some food, hear the music…see your favorite rappers, all of that – this the place to come to, for sure.”


For fashion, Payroll Giovanni has his favorite shops on the top of his mind, noting that his pick for the place to see is Revive. The upscale boutique thoughtfully curates designer, sports and streetwear clothing for its clientele. “My personal style? Laid back but loud at the same time. Expensive.” He continues, “What I like about Revive, they can get me together last minute, if I got a show or something.”

For more about Payroll Giovanni and the culture of Detroit, visit KOOL online (age restrictions apply).