Artist: Young Moe
Hometown: Alexandria, Va.
Why: Raw lyricism with an authentic understanding of a cold world is felt once Young Moe starts rhyming. His latest mixtape, Humble Hustle 2 which features guest appearances from Fat Trel, Freeway and Chief Keef received major praise throughout hip-hop fans and critics.
If this Va. emcee can stay focused on music and out of run-ins with the law, anticipate a major impact this upcoming year.
Why: We don’t know much personal information about GoldLink, as his identity remains mystique. But, we do know the kid got skills and is nice with the ink pen. GoldLink hit the scene in ‘13 with 6 stellar tracks that had the streets and blogs talking and earned him a performance at ATL’s A3C festival last fall. Expect to hear more about GoldLink in 2014 as he preps his first highly anticipated project.
Artist: Bullet Brak
Hometown: Annapolis, Md
Why: Bullet Brak has literary bullied his way into the rap game with a relentless work ethic that has led to and affiliation with Shadyville DJs, collaborations with Chevy Woods of Taylor Gang, Papoose, Triple Seis from Terror Squad, and many more. Be on the lookout for his mixtape, The 9th Inning that dropped the day after Christmas and his first official debut album, Briefcase Music is expected for release in 2014.
Artist: Shy Glizzy
Why: 2013 was a huge year for Shy Glizzy; the release of Law 2 catapulted his rap career to the next level. Wale has already co-signed Shy and Yo Gotti personally selected him to join the nationwide I Am tour. Glizzy’s distinctive rapping/singing style has caught the attention of the DMV and has him in position to be the next rapper to emerge from the area. Glizzy has the streets and High Schools of D.C. on lock.
Expect major moves from Shy Glizzy in 2014 with his forthcoming Young Jefe mixtape, which features production from DJ Mustard, Zaytoven, and Cardo.
Why: With Fat Trel recently inking a deal with MMG, anticipate Trel to push the SluttyBoyz movement worldwide. SB recently dropped the first single and music video, “Yall Not Ready” off the highly anticipated mixtape presented by Wale entitled, “Da New Kool” — entirely produced by Bassheadz and hosted by DJ Scream.
These guys could make a big impact if Fat Trel blows up in 2014.
Artist: Black Cobain
Hometown: Alexandria, Va.
Why: Hand picked by Wale and signed to The Board Administration, Black Cobain has been consistent by dropping solid projects for the last three years. In 2013, Cobain inked sponsorship deals with LRG and Adidas. His latest release, Perfect Contradiction has received nice reviews from fans and critics alike.
Look for Cobain to promote Perfect Contradiction in 2014 by releasing new music videos shortly after the New Year. His experience touring world wide with Wale and excellent management could be major factors in Cobain’s mainstream success.
Artist: Phil Ade
Hometown: Silver Spring, Md.
Why: Phil Ade continues to spit substance on thought-provoking tracks while showcasing strong lyricism. His latest release, R.O.S.E. (Result Of Society’s Evil) includes features from Bun B, Shawn Chrystopher, Like (from Pac Div), and more. This last year, Ade made an appearance on BET’s “106 and Park” and looks to continue making progress in the New Year. His alliance with local power player Dre the Mayor and a signature voice could take this young wordsmith far in 2014.
Why: Lightshow has gained the liking and co-signing of both Wale and Shy Glizzy by combining a winning personality, smart content and a trendy flow that speaks to the streets. The release of his mixtape, “Get Well Soon,” a few months into 2013 also elevated Lightshow’s status in the DMV.
The brilliant online marketing campaign set up for Lightshow’s recent mixtape, Life Sentence 2, shows that Lightshow has a huge upside for success. If he continues to hustle hard throughout 2014, Lightshow could easily get put on.
Artist: Fatz Da Big Fella
Why: Fatz Da Big Fella is another DMV artist signed with The Board Administration. In 2013 Da Big Fella released a go-go inspired twerk anthem, “Shake It Out,” featuring MMG artist Wale that was arguably the biggest local hip-hop record of the year. This record is heating up nationwide — DJs have started to put “Shake it Out” in rotation, and if fans respond, the track could become a smash-hit.
Fatz is the perfect combination of voice, stature and personality to win big in 2014.
Why: 2013 has been a busy year for RAtheMC. Her non-stop work ethic has gained to respect and attention of the DMV. This past year, RA has performed for WPGC’s “For Sisters Only” event with Ressa Renee (another DMV Spotlight artist), was part of the DMV’s “Cypher with Sway in the Morning on Shade 45” and dropped plenty of new music and freestyles.
They say hard work and disciple will help you reach success so look out for RAtheMC in the upcoming year.
Artist: Uptown XO
Why: XO is a true reflection of his D.C. environment. Currently signed to boutique label Mellow Music Group. In 2013, Uptown XO dropped, Colour de Grey, his sound could be described as hardbody, introspective, underground grit, utilizing street smart lyrical content while keeping an ear to the political agenda that controls our society.
He was also a standout on the “Sway in the Morning DMV Cypher on Shade 45.” Be on the lookout for new music from Uptown in 2014.
Artist: Nike Nando
Hometown: Bowie, Md.
Why: In 2013, Nike Nando dropped a standout project entitled, “SprdLv,” featuring Tabi Bonney, Scolla, Drique London, The Kid Daytona and more. If he can remain consistent while continuing to perfect his craft, 2014 could be a breakout year for Nando. It seemed as if his brand continued to grow each and every month this year, definitely a lot of talk about this guy.
Hometown: New Carrolton, Md.
Why: This Maryland representative hustled hard in 2013. A leader in the local scene, Lyriciss hit home with the song and video, “Maryland,” featuring Pro’Verb.
An emcee’s emcee in every way, living up to his namesake, Lyriciss was featured on 2Dopeboyz.com, HipHopSince1978.com and most of the major Hip-Hop outlets in 2013. With a continued grind and further development to his image, Lyriciss could have the underground going nuts in 2014.
Artist: Kingpen Slim
Hometown: D.C. via the West Indies
Why: Already having posted videos with The LOX’s Styles P and X-Factor’s Marcus Canty, Kingpen Slim shows us a rare level of range in his style that we haven’t seen yet locally. His thorough-bread street poetry, complemented with a smooth image makes Slim a threat to break into the national scene in 2014.
Consistency is the key. Slim had great original music and quality freestyles the entire year with the release of his mixtape, Triple Beam Dreams. Be on the lookout for new music and videos this year from one of the DMV’s most interesting characters.
Hometown: D.C. & Prince George’s County
Why: Go-Go is and will always be the DMV’s signature sound. With last year’s passing of Chuck Brown, and this year the death of TCB’s leader & innovator of the bounce beat sound, Polo, it came as a heavy blow to the local scene. Look for an inspired TCB to continue making a huge impact in the DMV’s heritage movement.
Who do you think will shine in 2014? Vote for your Top 3: