Rappers – The A-Z 9

Rappers A-Z (Lil Scrappy – zHUNDRED)

First (2Chainz – Beanie Man) <> Second (Belly – Cassie) <> Third (Cee-Lo Green – Cypher Clique) <> Fourth (D.R.A.M – Doe B) <> Fifth Dom Kennedy – Flume <> Sixth (FlyLo – J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League) <> Seventh (Ja Rule – Joe Budden)  <>  Eighth (Joe Moses – Lil Reese) <> Ninth (Lil Scrappy – zHUNDRED)

Rapper Profile
Lil Scrappy Lil Scrappy from Atlanta has garnered a solid following over the last ten years through releasing several mixtapes. He was discovered by Lil Jon, and went on to release his debut album, Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live, at the end of 2006. Lil Jon and 50 Cent produced the album. Scrappy has also worked with Yung Joc, Three 6 Mafia, Young Buck, Young Dro, E-40, Ludacris, 2 Chainz, and Twista, amongst others.
Lil Snupe Lil Snupe was a young artist singed to Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers imprint. Unfortunately, he was gunned down in an act of utterly senseless gun violence at the age of 18 by a “friend” nearly twice his age. Throughout his all-too-brief career, the Louisiana native released only one mixtape, titled R.N.I.C., having collaborated with Trae Tha Truth, DJ Khaled, Twinn U, Jay Knoxx, Tay, Curren$y, Bigg Poppa and Meek Mill, of course. His legacy will live on in the music he was able to create before his untimely passing. May he rest in peace.
Lil Twist Only 21-years-old, Lil Twist is among the younger up and coming hip-hop artists. The Dallas native released his first single at age ten, and by 2007 Lil Wayne had signed Twist to Young Money. To date, Lil Twist has released five mixtapes and has been featured on one Young Money compilation album. He is set to appear on “Young Money: Rise of an Empire”, the forthcoming Young Money album.
Lil Uzi Vert Gaining notoriety and a nickname for his rapid-fire delivery, young overnight superstar-in-the-making Lil Uzi Vert is the artist on everybody’s tongue in the industry. Breaking out seemingly overnight with his smash mixtape Luv Is Rage, Uzi has been pouring gasoline on his own fire ever since. He shined the brightest on Carnage’s “WDYW,” holding his own and then some against the likes of A$AP Ferg and Rich The Kid. With the release of his mixtape followup, Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World, North Philly’s latest hope is taking his buzz to the next level. Having just signed to a lucrative deal with Atlantic Records, Lil Uzi Vert is set to take his unique style of pop-trap out of the underground into the realm of crossover success.
Lil Wayne Lil Wayne needs no introduction. Since entering the rap game at the tender age of nine, he’s become of the most successful emcees to ever do it, being the male artist with the most entries on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, period (having recently surpassed Elvis Presley).
Lil West Lil West is a 17-year old rapper growing up in Delaware. Although the state isn’t exactly known for hosting rap talent, Lil West is about to upend that (mis)conception. Earlier this year he released his Indigo EP with Florida-based producer Nodachi, and he’s currently got a few more EPs in the works.
Little Simz UK rapper Little Simz may be little but her raps are big time. She has performed alongside Estelle, Tinie Tempah, Ms Dynamite, and more. She has received acclaim from big names like Dizzee Rascal and Zane Lowe. Since 2010 she has released an impressive 9 mixtapes and an EP titled E.D.G.E.. Her debut album is likely what’ll put her over the edge though, A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons, it dropped in September 2015.
Lloyd Banks Lloyd Banks requires little introduction. From Jamaica, Queens, Banks has made a name for himself both through G-Unit and through his own solo career. He formed the group with childhood friends 50 Cent and Tony Yayo, and they’ve stayed together ever since, starting G-Unit Records and releasing the album Beg For Mercy in 2003, which went on to be double platinum.
Lola Monroe Born in Ethiopia but raised in D.C., Lola Monroe came onto the scene with the arrival of her first mix, “Boss Bitch’s World.” She later followed that up with “The Lola Monroe Chronicles” and a collaborative tape with the now-incarcerated Lil’ Boosie, called “The Untouchables,” showcasing her aggressive, dexterous flow over club-heavy beats. These mixtapes led her to a nomination in 2011 for BET’s Best Female Hip Hop Artist, and she became the first woman to join Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang label, which also houses Juicy J and Ty Dolla $ign. Although, she recently left the label after her single, “B.B. (Boss Bitch)” was released, featuring Chevy Woods and Juicy J. She claimed to have never officially signed with them, anyhow. In 2013, she gave birth to her first child, with rapper, Los.
LoVel LoVel is an R&B singer from Harlem.
Lupe Fiasco Lupe Fiasco is an internationally known rapper, producer and entrepreneur from Chicago, Illinois. Starting off recording songs in his dad’s basement when he was 19, Fiasco eventually joined a group called Da Pak. He soon met Jay-Z who helped him sign a game-changing deal with Atlantic Records. Fiasco blew up in 2006, with the release of his debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor, which netted him three Grammy nominations.
M.I.A. M.I.A. (Missing In Action) is a celebrated U.K. songstress/emcee/producer who finds herself involved in the American rap and R&B games from time to time. Since fleeing her native Sri Lanka during the Civil War, she’s gone on to become one of the U.K.’s biggest stars, having released two mixtapes, four studio albums and eight EPs while collaborating with Jay Z, Timbaland, Rye Rye, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Major Lazer, Gorilla Zoe, Ciara, Missy Elliot, The Weeknd and more throughout her career. She also counts fashion, design, photography, visual art, filmmaking, philanthropy and activism among her passions, and her music as been described as everything from Alternative Hip-Hop and New Rave to Alternative Dance and World. Most recently, she released her new album Mantangi, toured in support of and announced her departure from Roc Nation. Stay tuned for updates on her career.
Mac Miller No hip-hop artist in recent memory has as evolved as rapidly as Mac Miller. In a period of six years, he’s gone from a frat-rapper who catered to carefree teenagers and college kids to a spiritual and introspective (albeit drug-addled) musician creating music for no one but himself and those closest to him. He also happens to be one of the most successful independent artists to ever do it, his debut album Blue Slide Park having debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 without any major label support.
Machine Gun Kelly Say what you will about him, but Machine Gun Kelly, AKA MGK, is considered one of the fastest and most versatile of contemporary spitters.
Mack Maine A life-long friend of Lil Wayne, Mack Maine is the president of Young Money Entertainment in addition to being a prolific Hip-Hop artist as well. From 2004 to the present, the New Orleans rapper released a steady stream of mixtapes, sometimes in the form of collaborations with either Lil Wayne, Curren$y, or Birdman. Doc Canon presented one of them, “This Is Just A Mixtape,” and had Pleasure P, Rick Ross, Gorilla Zoe, and Soulja Slim all make appearances in addition to Wayne. While Mack has certainly done his fair share of the work behind-the-scenes at the Young Money enterprise, he has joined Lil Wayne on tour and has performed frequently. Despite some legal troubles involving a shifty incident on Weezy’s “Amerika’s Most Wanted,” tour, the southern rapper is awaiting his album debut, “Maine 4 President,” in 2014.
Mack Wilds Mack Wilds is on his way to a belt in two classes. With an acting resume that includes the fourth season of The Wire and Adele’s “Hello” music video, it’s incredible that Wilds comes correct in music the way that he does. Linking up with prolific (and choosy) producer Salaam Remi, Mack Wilds released his debut LP New York: A Love Story in 2014 to good reviews and a Grammy nomination. “Love in the 90z,” Mack’s first single off his follow-up, dropped in November 2015. With both Hollywood and New York City in his back pocket, we’re confident that Mack Wild will come back swinging.
Madeintyo You can’t get more millennial than Madeintyo.
Madonna Madonna needs to introduction – she’s one of the more controversial artists in the history of music, for better or worse, but we won’t open up that can of worms (or Pandora’s Box, depending on your perspective). Throughout her life, she’s been described as a singer/songwriter, author, actress, director, philanthropist and general entrepreneur. As far as her relationship with the rap game goes, she’s really only collaborated with Nicki Minaj, on the 2012 singles I Don’t Give A and Give Me All Your Luvin, which also featured M.I.A. Most recently (as far as our reportage goes, anyway), she reacted to M.I.A.’s Superbowl XLVI middle-finger flip, gave Minaj a kiss on her 30th birthday, and hung out with Chance The Rapper. Also, she may or may not be performing at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Stay tuned, if you wish.
Maejor Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Maejor Ali is well-known for his singing-songwriting as well as his own productions. After joining Ne-Yo’s production team in 2008, Ali released his first mixtape “Upside Down” two years later. His single “Lights Down Low” was used in the NBA playoffs for the Boston Celtics and he produced the national campaign ad for Pepsi both in 2010 and 2013. Ali has worked with artists ranging from Justin Bieber to Juicy J to Iggy Azalea.
Maino Upon being released from prison, Maino started his record label Hustle Hard Entertainment in 2003. He dominated the mixtape scene and set out to bring “new life” to New York rap. The Brooklyn native released his debut album, If Tomorrow Comes in 2009, which featured the popular single, “Hi Hater”. His single, “All the Above” featuring T-Pain landed on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at number 54. He’s collaborated with fellow rappers T.I.,Cool & Dre and B.G. His latest release is titled The Day After Tomorrow.
Majid Jordan Majid Jordan is an emerging Toronto duo consisting of members Jordan Ullman and Majid Al Maskati. Now signed to Drake’s OVO Sound imprint, they and were featured on his hit single “Hold On We’re Going Home”, from his critically acclaimed 2013 album Nothing Was The Same. Most recently, they re-released their excellent Afterhours EP in August 2013, which went largely unnoticed until Drake entered the picture. Stay tuned for updates on their career – they’ve only been active since late 2011.
Mann Dijon Shariff Thames, AKA MANN, is a promising young emcee from West Los Angeles, California. You may recall his singles “Buzzin” with 50 Cent and “The Mack” with Snoop Dogg and Iyaz. He founded, owns and operates the independent imprint Peace Life Quality Recordings, which is currently home to Tone Oliver and BEeFF.
Mannie Fresh If you’re not familair with Mannie Fresh, it’s due time you did your homework. The New Orleans native (also one half of the Big Tymers duo alongside Birdman) is single-handedly responsible for the early Cash Money Records sound, having produced such hit singles as Lil Wayne’s “Tha Block is Hot”, Juvenile’s “Back that Azz Up” and B.G.’s “Bling Bling” while serving as their official in-house producer (1993-2005). Throughout his prolific career, he’s released two studio albums and collaborated with the likes of T.I., Rick Ross, Bun B, Pimp C, Slim Thug, Dem Franchize Boyz, Chingy, Trina, Webbie, Mack 10 and many more, no to mention the majority of Cash Money’s old guard. Most recently (as far as our reportage goes) he was spotted in the studio with Wiz Khalifa, and is currently working on a collaborative project with Yasinin Bey (Mos Def) titled OMFGODBKNOLA. Stay tuned. (Oh yeah, he also owns and operates his own imprint, Chubby Boy Records.)
Maroon 5 Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band that originated in Los Angeles, California. The group was formed in 1994 as Kara’s Flowers while its members were still in high school. The original members of the band were Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick; they signed to Reprise Records and released an album, The Fourth World, in 1997. After a tepid response to the album, the band parted ways with the record label and the members attended college. In 2001, the band regrouped, with James Valentine added to the lineup, and pursued a new direction under the name Maroon 5.
Masspike Miles Maybach Music affiliate Masspike Miles is a singer who grew up in Boston. His first major music move came when he became the head of the R&B trio Perfect Gentleman in 1993. After appearing in DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” music video, Masspike Miles was signed to MMG and was intended to sing hooks on hip-hop tracks. He has released eight mixtapes; the first of which dropped in 2009 and was titled “The Pursuit of Happiness”. Over the course of his career, Masspike Miles has collaborated with several notable artists and producers including Statik Selektah, Rick Ross, The Jacka, Triple C’s, Young Buck, Termanology, Gunplay, Cassidy, Torch, Havoc, and others. He released his “Skyy Miles 3” mixtape in December 2013, and though the MMG signee has yet to announce details for an upcoming project or possible debut album, expect something from him in 2014 as he has consistently released music throughout his career.
Master P Rap mogul Master P is a jack-of-all-trades: rapper, actor, entrepreneur, investor, author, filmmaker, record producer, and philanthropist. With an estimated net worth of nearly $350 million, he ranked as the third wealthiest person in hip-hop in 2013, according to Forbes. His most successful album MP Da Last Don was released in 1998 and went 4x platinum with over four million copies sold. He has released 14 total albums and is set to release two more in 2015, as well, he’s claiming a biopic about his life is in the works.
Mathaius Young Mathaius Young, although born in Ohio, has since transplanted to Indianapolis where he creates music both as a rapper and producer, while also balancing school work. Mathaius is currently prepping a mixtape, Pilot, for release on February 14th.
Maybach Music Group If you aren’t at least peripherally aware of the Maybach Music Group, there’s a good chance you barely, if ever, listen to rap. The imprint, founded, owned and operated by Rick Ross, is home to Meek Mill, Omarion, Rockie Fresh, Wale, French Montana, DJ Khaled, Fat Trel, Tracy T, Gunplay, DJ Scream, Teedra Moses, Stalley, Magazeen, Masspike Miles, and Triple C’s. There’s also unmistakable, seductively-uttered female ad-lib that introduces the majority of their tracks. To date, three compilations and nine solo albums have been released by MMG, three of them having been certified Gold at this point. Most recently, they released their Self Made Vol. 3 compilation, and Young Sav was named as Vice President of the company. Stay tuned for the further adventures of the MMG clique.
Melanie Fiona Melanie Fiona is one of the most popular female R&B artists in recent years. The Toronto-born Grammy-winning singer is known for her passionate, soulful voice. She is managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Since beginning her music career in 2002, she has released two studio albums. Her first, “The Bridge”, in 2009, certified gold, while her second, “The MF Life”, released in 2012, topped the US R&B charts. Tracks from both albums were nominated for Grammys.
Memphis Bleek Although Brooklyn emcee Memphis Bleek is essentially a veteran in the game, he has yet to achieve to achieve real recognition, mainstream or otherwise, despite respectable album sales and direct support from Jay Z. Since his first official appearance on Hov’s “Coming of Age” (from Reasonable Doubt), Bleek has released four studio albums and twelve mixtapes, having collaborated with the likes of Ja Rule, DMX, Too Short, Beanie Sigel, Ja Rule, Missy Elliott, Beenie Man and more throughout his nineteen-year career. The last we heard of him was a January 2014 remix of Future’s 2013 “Sh!t” single. He currently owns and operates his own imprint, Get Low Records. Stay tuned for updates on his career, folks.
Method Man Method Man, AKA, Johnny Blaze, AKA, Methtical, AKA MZA, AKA Shakwon, AKA The Panty Raider, AKAa Tical, AKA Ticallion Stallion, AKA Hot Nixon, AKA John-John McLann, AKA John-John Blaizini, AKA Johnny Dangerous, AKA The Ghost Rider, AKA Long John Silver, AKA Iron Lung, AKA Hot Nikkels, AKA Big John Stud needs little introduction. By far the most visible member of the Wu-Tang Cream, not to mention one half of the indelible Redman and Method Man duo, he’s released four solo studio albums as well as three collaborative projects outside of the Wu canon, having worked with the likes of Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Spice 1, Shaq, Foxy Brown, LL Cool J, Canibus, DMX, Limp Bizkit and many more throughout his prolific 22-year career. Most recently, he announced a new mixtape titled The Meth Lab, and is currently working on that. Stay tuned for the further adventures of Methtical.
Metta World Peace Although his rap career is fairly low-key, Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) is one of the most recognizable professional basketball players in the league, having been so for years, not only for his size and skill (and that infamous elbow), but for his lifestyle outside the game as well, which he airs out via social media on the regular in predominantly comedic fashion. As far as music goes, the last we heard of him was the August 2013 cut “Peace”, which was produced by Lucky. Otherwise, he rode the subway to his first game with the Knicks in October 2013, and engaged in a particularly bizarre Twitter “rant” in January 2014. Stay tuned for the further adventures of Metta World Peace, y’all.
Mick Jenkins Mick Jenkins is an emerging Chicagoan poet, both mortal and God fearing.
Migos Migos is a rap group made up of a trio of artists from Atlanta: Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset. The group is best known for their hit single “Versace” that was so popular that Drake hopped on the track for the official remix. Migos has released six mixtapes since forming in 2011. The group has collaborated with notable artists including R. Kelly, Gucci Mane, Riff Raff, A$AP Ferg, Wiz Khalifa, Travis Scott, Busta Rhymes, Soulja Boy, Juicy J, and French Montana among others. Though only active for a few years, the young, rising group has gained much attention from its’ big-time collaborations and positive reviews from critics. In December 2013, Chief Keef took to twitter to call out Migos for what he called “sneak dissin’”. The trio brushed off the Chicago rappers’ tweet, and one month later announced the release date for their upcoming compilation project ‘Solid Foundation’. The tape will be hosted by DJ Drama and will drop February 2nd.
Miguel After nearly a decade in career limbo, Miguel finally broke through in 2012, quickly becoming a go-to collaborator in the worlds of R&B and Hip-Hop, due in part to the commercial and critical success of his album Kaleidoscope Dream. Throughout his career, the San Pedro, Los Angeles native has collaborated with the likes of Janelle Monae, Big Sean, Talib Kweli, DJ Drama, Rick Ross, Pusha T, Curren$y, Nas, Swizz Beatz, Paul Oakenfield, Asher Roth, Johnson & Johnson, Blu, Esthero and more. Most recently, he accompanied Drake, Future and Jhene Aiko on the “Would You Like A” tour and was arrested and hit with a DUI charge in L.A. Also, he’ll be performing at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards alongside Macklemore, Robin Thicke, T.I. and more. (He describes his music as fly, funkadelic, intergalactic-hip-hop-meets-sexy-orgasmic crazy, dope shit, by the way.)
Mike Dean With three decades in the game and more production to his name than is appropriate to share, Texas driller Mike Dean is hip-hop’s man behind the curtain.
Mike Posner Mike Posner is one the first Hip-Hop/Pop artists to utilize Youtube to its fullest. Posner started out producing for his homie Big Sean while attending Duke University during his college years. While putting out his college “vlog” episodes, Posner found fame through hit single “Cooler Than Me”, which was a college smash and reached #6 on Billboard top 200 back in 2010. Since then, Posner has earned his respect and worked with many of mainstream’s biggest names like Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Justin Beiber, Lil Wayne, Juicy J, 2 Chainz, T.I. among many others. Expect a new project from Posner to drop sometime in 2014.
Mike Will Made It Michael Len Williams II, professionally known as Mike Will Made It (often stylized as Mike WiLL Made-It) or simply Mike Will, is an American music producer from Atlanta, Georgia. He is perhaps best known for producing trap beats for several Southern hip hop artists as well as for producing several hit singles, such as “Mercy” by GOOD Music, “No Lie” by 2 Chainz, “Bandz a Make Her Dance” by Juicy J, “Pour It Up” by Rihanna, “Love Me” by Lil Wayne, “Body Party” by Ciara and “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus, among others. He has released four mixtapes and plans to release his debut album Est. in 1989 Pt. 3 (The Album) in 2014, under Interscope Records and his label EarDrummers.
Milli Millz Milli, known for his clever word play, energetic delivery and creative flow patterns, has managed to develop a solid fan base with his relentless grind. His first installment “The Detour” accumulated over 50k downloads and his follow up project “S.O.A.L” reached 20k downloads worldwide and counting. While building his buzz for his album release “Highway To Millz,” set to be released this spring 2014, he has been featured in premier sites such as HNHH, Vibe, Nah Right and more.
Mistah F.A.B. Mistah F.A.B., colloquially known as The Prince Of The Bay, is an veteran emcee and freestyle champion from North Oakland, California, perhaps best known for his hit singles “N.E.W. Oakland” and “Super Sic Wit It” as well as his appearance on MTV2’s My Block: The Bay Area. Since stepping foot in the game in ’98, he’s released a staggering twenty-four mixtapes, nine compilations and seven studio albums, having collaborated with the likes of Keak Da Sneak, Thai VG, Spice 1, Yukmouth, BQ, E-40, The Pack, Paul Wall, Too Short, J Meast, Language Art, Turk Talk, Dem Hoodstarz and many more. The last we heard of him was the inspirational October 2013 track “Facin’ The World”. Stay tuned for updates on his career, folks.
MJG Although he is best known as being one half of the hip-hop duo 8Ball & MJG, the latter of the two, MJG, has had an underrated solo career as well. He joined forces with fellow Memphis native 8Ball in 1991, and the pair has since released ten studio albums and various other projects. Two of their albums reached #1 on the US R&B and their first album after signing to Bad Boy, “Living “Legends”, certified gold. His debut 1997 album “No More Glory” reached #20 on the overall US music charts.
Mobb Deep Mobb Deep are arguably one of the the best rap duos to ever do it, having helped shape the grimy New York City sound and subject matter that resonates in the streets to this day. Throughout their prolific career, they’ve collaborated with the likes of The Alchemist (who helped define their sound in the early days), Cormega, The Infamous Mobb, The Notorious B.I.G., Capone-N-Noreaga, Nas, Big Noyd, The Wu-Tang Clan, Kanye West, Raekwon, G-Unit and countless others, having released seven studio albums, four compilations, an EP and more than a dozen mixtapes since dropping Juvenile Hell in 1993. They recently reunited after a lengthy hiatus, and are currently working on their eighth studio album, titled The Infamous Mobb Deep, which is expected to drop in March 2014. Stay tuned for updates on their career.
Monica Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Monica has been one of the most successful female hip-hop/R&B artists since beginning her career in 1993. The Atlanta-native released her debut album “Miss Thang” in 1995 and it ultimately sold 1.5 million copies, certifying triple platinum in the US. Her second album “The Boy is Mine” did the same and was nominated for Record of the Year at the 1999 Grammy Awards. She has collaborated with many notable artists and producers including Usher, Brandy, OutKast, Jermaine Dupri, DMX, Tyrese, Busta Rhymes, Dem Franchize Boyz, Twista, Swizz Beats, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, Wale, Rick Ross, Keyshia Cole, and several others. She dropped her “New Life” in 2012, and though she has not announced plans for an upcoming project, she was spotted in the studio with Miguel and Future, so keep posted for new music from Monica.
Monty A ladies man of the trap, RGF-affiliate Monty is gifted with the assist, but ready to be top scorer. Featured on nine out of 20 tracks on BFF Fetty Wap’s self-titled LP, the rapper born Angel Cosme Jr. has crafted some of the finest melodies in recent years. A native of the Garden State, Monty is putting on for his home state as one of the two remaining members of Remy Boyz. Since the release of Fetty Wap in September 2015, Monty released Monty Zoo, a 17-track mixtape featuring Fetty on ten. Monty is working to take the shine he’s received from his superstar bestie to blast out of the heavy shadow. Ain’t no going back.
Mr. Carmack Born and raised in San Francisco, Hawaii-based producer Mr. Carmack is on his own island of creativity. Living in paradise off tour money and Bandcamp donations, the artist born Aaron Carmack is a pure soul, and his genre-exploring trap music has built a cult following off the strength of its convictions. He first gained mass attention spans in 2013 when two of his Bandcamp projects (Bang, Vol.3 and Life/Death EP) hit #1 on the website’s coveted chart. Since then, Mr. Carmack has signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label, and has grown at-home to the summer festival circuit.
Mucho DeNiro x
muGz muGz is more than your typical 25-year-old rapper. His ability as a storyteller to share his personal experiences, creating an emotional connection with his words and the listener, is what has powered his sudden and swift rise in the rap game. As a wordsmith and songwriter, muGz places a premium on words. ‘One life, One chance,’ etched in his forearm in black ink, is his most personal. In the here- today-gone-tomorrow era of rappers, muGz will long continue to bring that mentality to his music.
Mula Ru x
Murs Former member of the rap group Living Legends alongside The Grouch, Sunspot Jonz, Luckyiam, Scarub, Eligh, Aesop, Bicasso, and Arata, Murs has been in the game for a minute. The Strange Music signed-rapper also worked on an album series with Rhymesayers rapper Slug, teaming up as hip-hop group Felt. Each album Felt released was named after a different female actress. Murs is also a proud supporter of gay rights in his music. His most recent album, Have A Nice Life, did well in the US, topping at the number 6 spot on the US Rap chart.
Mya Mya is arguably one of the most beloved female R&B vocalists to bless the mic, perhaps best known (in the rap game, at least) for her contribution to Pras (of The Fugees) and Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s 1998 single “Ghetto Superstar”. Since the release of her Platinum-certified eponymous debut album (also in ’98), the Washington, D.C. native has gone on to release another five as well as a compilation, having collaborated with the likes of Blackstreet, Mase, Sisqo and many more. Most recently, she was spotted partying with Kevin Durant James Harden, Wale and Travi$ Scott in L.A. – musically, the last we heard of her was the August 2011 single “Earthquake”, which featured Trina on the assist. Stay tuned for updates on her career. (Oh yeah, she also counts acting, dancing, producing and designing among her many talents.)
N.E.R.D. How studios are you? N.E.R.D. is an acronym for No One Ever Really Dies, as well as the name of this Virginia Beach hip-hop, R&B, funk and rock fusion trio, which consists of members Pharrell, Shay Haley and Chad Hugo, whose singles “She Wants To Move”, “Rock Star” and “Everyone Nose” you’ll most likely recognize. Throughout their intermittent career, they’ve released four studio albums, having collaborated and/or toured with Nelly Furtado, Lee Harvey, Vita, Daft Punk, Mark Hoppus, Santigold, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Rihanna, Lupe Fiasco and more. The last we heard of them was the October 2010 cut “Ride That Thang”, which featured Fam-Lay on the assist. Stay tuned for updates on their career as a unit.
N.O.R.E. N.O.R.E. got his start after meeting fellow Queens raised rapper Capone in prison. The two collaborated under the name Capone-N-Noreaga and debuted the album The War Report under Penalty Records in 1996. He soon pursued a solo career and changed his name to N.O.R.E.. He also changed his style, focusing on his Puerto Rican roots, by recording songs in Spanish with a reggaeton flair. The single “Oye Mi Canto” reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. N.O.R.E. has worked with many artists including Swizz Beatz, Jadakiss, Three 6 Mafia, Kanye West, Pharrell, Bun B, Tru Life, David Banner, Kurupt, and Lil Wayne.
Nacho Picasso Nacho Picasso is an emerging emcee born in San Francisco, California and raised in Seattle, Washington. He’s closely affiliated with production duo Blue Sky Black Death (Kingston and Young God), who are based in Seattle as well. Since getting his start with his god brother Jarv Dee as the Bad Ass Yellow Boys, he’s released nine original projects, the majority of which were produced by BSBD and his cousin Raised By Wolves: Blunt Raps, For The Glory (which was praised by Pitchfork), Lord Of The Fly, Radio Edits (a compilation), Exalted, BLACK NARCISSUS, High & Mighty, Vampsterdam (with Avatar Darko) and, most recently, Trances With Wolves: The Prixtape, all of which come highly recommended. Since stepping foot in rap game, the heavily-tatted Moor Gang front man has collaborated with Jarell Perry, Th3rdz, Chief, Mac Shine, Deniro Farrar, Steezie Nasa, Eric G., Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Sax G, Sam Lachow, Ayelogics, Eric G, Thaddeus David and more. Stay tuned for the further adventures of the Black Narcissus.
NameBrand Young dude from Long Beach, Ca who started rapping at the age of 12 and found out early that his passion for music succeeded the influences in the streets from his peers. He stayed humble and focused on mastering the art and inspiring the people with his witty lyrics and hard work.
Nas Nas’ first big break came while performing at “Live at the Barbecue” in 1991, which spurred his signing with Columbia Records in 1992. His debut album “Illmatic” dropped in 1994, and featured Q-Tip, Pete Rock, AZ, and DJ Premier, among others. Nas’ wide ranging vocabulary and fluidity in which he rapped, led Columbia Records to push him towards more commercial projects, hoping he could garner the same attention of Biggie. He eventually produced his second album “It Was Written” in 1996, under the guidance of his new manager Steve Stoute. The album was the debut of “The Firm” which included AZ, Cormega, and Foxy Brown, and included the hits “Street Dreams” and “If I Ruled The World.” Both songs were promoted by Hype Williams, thus, launching Nas into the mainstream of hip-hop. From 1997-2000, Nas continued to pump out more albums, though he was dubbed as an inconsistent rapper commercially. That’s when the feud between he and Jay-Z began, and the rest is history. “Stillmatic” was born, which featured the hits “Got Yourself A Gun” and “One Mic,” and it ultimately reached #5 on the U.S Billboard 200 chart. Esco later released “God’s Son” which was Time Magazine’s best hip-hop album of 2002 and featured the classic, “Made You Look.”
Nessly Born in Brooklyn and raised in Atlanta, where he currently resides, Nessly has been rapping and producing since an early age. He really started buzzing this year, as a couple of his videos, notably “Crying in Codeine,” hit it big on the blogosphere. He’s since earned the attention of the folks up at OVO, as his track “Giddy Up!” was dropped by Oliver El-Khatib on a recent episode of the label’s Beats 1 radio show. His most recent guest spot comes alongside Toronto artist SAFE on the track “Don’t Worry,” produced by Zaytoven and Richie Souf.
Nick Cannon Nick Cannon is married to Mariah Carey, but you already knew that. He is somewhat of a Renaissance man; actor, stand-up comedian, television host, and musician. He got his break while working on Nickelodeon’s “All That,” which led to him becoming a staff writer at the age of 17. Before long, he was directing, producing, and starring in his own show, “The Nick Cannon Show.” Of course, this ultimately led to his “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” on MTV. He also had appearances in movies such as; “Men in Black II,” “Roll Bounce,” and he starred in “Drumline.”He was no slouch in the music industry either, having released an album in 2003. He has collaborated on projects with P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, and Kanye West. He currently runs the multimedia company, “N’Credible Entertainment,” and is the CEO of “Celebrity High” as well as chairman of the TeenNick network.
Nick Jonas From his humble beginnings as the posterboy of brotherly purity, pop nugget Nick Jonas has become king of the career comeback. We don’t know how he did it, but the self-proclaimed virgin from the Disney channel has managed to shovel himself a feasible music career, and for that we applaud. Between a collabs with Big Sean & Ty Dolla $ign, and a long-term booty call with Kate Hudson, Nick Jonas might actually be that dude. In June 2016, the former/current Jonas Brother released his third solo album Last Year Was Complicated, featuring the Tove Lo-assisted lead single “Close.” According to Nicholas, the album was named by none other than Roc Boy Shawn Carter, who felt the original title “Unhinged” failed to capture the bigger picture of the record.
Nino Bless In Nino Bless’ short career he has worked with Akon (“Changed Man”), his childhood idol Kool G Rap, Joe Budden (on his album “Halfway House”), Styles P, Jarren Benton, Slug Of Atmosphere, Jarren Benton, Rhymefest, Skyzoo, Jean Grae, Nickelus F, Grafh, Crooked I & more. One of the most innovative rhyming wizards of the new generation, with a sound that is maturing each time he drops a song. Nino received high praises for his mixtape “R.O.A.M 2” which dropped in 2013.   He’s also received praises by fellow rapper Pharoahe Monch, amongst others. Recently Nino released “Rhyme Of The Year,” and while Crooked I was on DJ Skee he commented that it “was one of the best rhymes he’s heard from anyone, and if someone with the machine behind them released it it would have shut down Hip Hop for the week.”
Nipsey Hussle For those unfamiliar, Nipsey Hussle is an emerging emcee from Los Angeles, California known for his distinctive West Coast style and grassroots approach. He’s been described as the next Snoop Dogg as well as “the next big L.A. MC”. Between 2005 and 2009, Hussle released a series of mixtapes that sparked a great deal of attention in the rap game, to the point that he was able to secure features fromncluded guest appearances from Snoop and Drake on his 2009 mixtape Bullets Ain’t Got No Name Vol. 3.
No I.D. Known by those who know what’s up as the “Godfather of Chicago Hip-Hop,” No I.D. has made an indelible mark on the world of rap, and he continues to do so. At one time an aspiring MC, the artist born Ernest Dion Wilson only released one record as a vocalist. His impact in the culture stems from his production, making nearly every beat for Common Sense’s landmark LP Resurrection, and mentoring a young Kanye West, introducing the aspiring artist to Common and his eventual big brother Jay-Z. No I.D. has worked with nearly every artist worth working with, including the likes of Drake, Rihanna, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and Killer Mike. Some of No I.D.’s notable beats include “DOA” by Jay-Z, and “Heartless” by Kanye West.
No Malice Known for being the brother of Pusha T and a member of Clipse, No Malice is one of the more intriguing artists in the hip-hop industry. He grew up in Virginia Beach and in 2001 he and his brother formed the group Jarvis. Upon meeting Pharrell, the brothers agreed to have The Neptunes handle their production for their Clipse debut album “Exclusive Audio Footage” in 2007. They first gained mainstream attention with their second album – what Clipse is best known for – “Lord Willin’” in 2002. The album, produced by The Neptunes, featured hit singles including “Grindin’” and “Ma, I Don’t Love Her”. In total, Clipse has released four studio albums and several mixtapes. As a solo artist, No Malice has released just one project, a 2013 studio album called “Hear Ye Him”.
O Lyfe O Lyfe is an emering R&B/Soul vocalist, songwriter and performer born and raised in Decatur, Georgia but currently BASED in Atlanta, unsurprisingly. Affiliated with The Aphilliates trendsetter DJ Sense, he broke into the music scene with the success of his 2012 hit “A$$ Shots”, an unconventional take on Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 hit “Baby Got Back”. The last we heard of the new In Love With Music signee was “She Bad”, his first single of 2014, which features fellow Georgia artist K Camp on the assist. Stay tuned for updates on his career, y’all. He’s currently working on a new EP, and has only just begun to pop.
O.T. Genasis O.T. Genasis is a rapper signed to Busta Rhymes’ imprint The Conglomerate. He first achieved mainstream success with his viral hit “CoCo.”
OB O’Brien The Turtle of real life, OB O’Brien is on his way to becoming one of hip-hop’s all time greatest sidekicks. The coolest thing to ever come out of Hamilton, Ontario, the rapper/comedian born Matthew O’Brien brought a whole new type of swag to OVO when he was introduced to the world in Drake’s “HYFR” video, easily stealing the show from the likes of DJ Khaled and the always respeckful Birdman. Quickly becoming the star of the OVO entourage, OB O’Brien ascended to the stature of a social media king, hyping up his own rap career in the process. We’d bet cash that there isn’t anybody that could have provided Aubrey with better adlibs than OB on “6 God.” Since his global introduction, O’Brien has released just four songs of his own (two of which feature Drake), however, we have hope that the ginger king of Internet comedy will strike back with more juicy content to wring out with our ears and eyes in the months to come.
Obie Trice “Obie Trice, real name, no gimmicks.” Truer words have never been spoken. Obie Trice is one of Detroit’s grittiest and most successful emcees, having risen to prominence in 2000 after signing with Eminem’s Shady Records. Throughout his career, the Detroit native has released three studio albums and three mixtapes, having collaborated with the likes of Stat Quo, 50 Cent, Eminem, D12, Dr. Dre, Cashis, Akon and more. Most recently, he released a new single in November 2013 titled “Loot” (produced by Denaun Porter of D12), which’ll be included on his fourth studio album Hang Over, due out in early 2014. Also, he’s been in talks with Michigan state senator Virgil Smith, Jr. about various entertainment endeavours in Detroit, including but not limited to a community recording studio/soundstage and potential tax breaks for incoming production companies. Stay tuned for updates.
Odd Future Odd Future is a hip-hop collective led by Tyler, the Creator consisting of rappers Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Mike G, singer, songwriter and rapper Frank Ocean, producers Left Brain, Syd Tha Kyd, Matt Martians, Hal Williams and non-musical members, Jasper Dolphin, Taco Bennett, L-Boy and Lucas Vercetti. The group is known for their colorful personalities and punk-rock-like concerts. They had a sketch comedy show on Adult Swim called “Loiter Squad” for 3 seasons. In May 2015, the group’s leader Tyler announced on twitter that Odd Future was no longer a group.
ODDISEE For those unfamiliar, ODDISEE is a Sudanese American emcee / producer from Washington, D.C. who’s recently been operating out of Brooklyn, New York City (he currently releases music via independent Seoul, Arizona imprint Mello Music Group). Most recently, he released a visual for “Caprice Down”, a choice cut drawn from his late 2013 instrumental album The Beauty In All. Juice, E.C. and ManMan of the Long Beach skateboarding collective Hammer City guest starred in the video, which was directed by Jeremy Ian Thomas (AKA former hip-hop recording artist Surreal). Stay tuned for updates on his career, and hit up oddiseemusic.com for further information.
Offset Offset is 1/3 of the Atlanta rap group Migos (consisting of Quavo, Takeoff and Offset). The group is literally family, as Offset is Quavo’s cousin and Quavo is Takeoff’s uncle. Migos made some serious waves with their album Culture, elevating themselves to superstardom in the process.
Omarion Omarion is an all-around entertainer.  Although primarily an R&B singer, he is also renowned for his songwriting, dancing and acting abilities.  He launched his career in the early 2000s as the lead singer of the boy band B2K.  The band was assembled by music manager Christ Stokes and the group was acclaimed primarily for their energetic dance and hip hop styled delivery.  He has collaborated with acclaimed industry names such as Big Boi, Rick Ross, The Neptunes, Rodney Jerkins, Timbaland, Keri Hilson, Lil Wayne, Jay Rock, T-Pain, Tank, Bow Wow, Wale, Nas, Stalley, Pusha T and many more. As an actor, Omarion is best known for his leading role as David in the dance film “You Got Served” in 2004.  According to the Maybach artist, Omarion is currently working on his fourth studio album “Love & Other Drugs” which is slated for release in 2014.  While signed to MMG, his management company is none other than Jay Z’s Roc Nation label.
One Chance For those unfamiliar, Once Chance were a rhythm and blues quartet out of Chicago, Illinois consisting of members Courtney Vantrease, Rob Brent and brothers Jon and Michael Gordon. They’re perhaps best known for their hit single “Look At Her” (2006), which charted and spawned remixes by Bobby V., Trey Songz and more. Throughout their nine-year career, the group released two studio albums and two mixtapes, having collaborated with the likes of T-Pain, Brandon T. Jackson, Travie McCoy, Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, Fabo, Yung Joc and more. The last we heard of One Chance was the June 2011 single “Super Dewper”, which featured T-Pain and Smoke of Field Mob. The last we saw of them was their August 2011 visual for their “Sexin On You” single. Although they disbanded that same year, stay tuned for updates on their movements as solo artists, y’all.
OutKast OutKast is undoubtedly one of the most iconic music groups of our generation. Their timeless sound has resulted in countless classics such as “Ms. Jackson,” “Hey Ya!,” “ATLiens,” “B.O.B.,” “So Fresh, So Clean,” “The Way You Move,” “Roses,” and more. Members Andre 300 and Big Boi met when they were 16 years old at the Lenox Square shopping mall in Atlanta. The duo took a hiatus from 2006 to 2014 to focus on their solo careers. In 2014 they began touring again, appearing at music festivals around the US and the world. It’s uncertain if they’ll ever team up again for another album.
OverDoz OverDoz is one of the most original groups out there, consisting of two emcees, Sleezy and Tube, a comedian, Cream, and a vocalist, Kent. They all grew up together in Inglewood, California and never really thought they would pursue a career in music seriously. Their organic chemistry shines through on their projects. They are currently working on a project titled Live For, Die For with help from E-40, Too $hort, Sa-Ra, Nipsey Hustle, Jay Rock, Dom Kennedy, Kendrick Lamar, and more.
Ox For those unaware, Ox is an emcee out of Queensbridge, New York City, a prominent member of the L-Gang and a former affiliate of DJ Self. He makes street records radio friendly without sounding watered down or generic.
P Reign P Reign (No Period after the “P”) is an emerging emcee from the Kingston-Galloway neighborhood of Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada closely associated with Drake, their relationship being both brotherly and work related. He’s perhaps best known (in the mainstream) for his guest appearances on Alyssa Reid’s “Alone Again” and Hedley’s “Invincible”.
Papoose Papoose is the definition of a gentleman of the old school, repping Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn ’til the death of him. He rose to recognition after the success of his “Alphabetical Slaughter” single / lyrical exercise, which has yet to be matched. Although he’s released a staggering 26 underground mixtapes since stepping foot in the rap game, his debut album The Nacimera Dream was stuck in developmental hell for nearly eight years until it dropped in 2013. Throughout his career, he’s collaborated with Kool G Rap, AZ, Snoop Dogg, St. Laz, Mavado, Remy Ma, Jeannie Ortega, Shaq, Bun B, DJ Kayslay, Maino, Red Cafe, Ray J, Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliot, Lloyd Banks, DMX, Tony Touch, Uncle Murda, French Montana, Chinx Drugz, Jon Connor, Loaded Lux, Kendrick Lamar, Styles P, Sheek Louch, Rick Ross, Cam’ron, Vado, Ray J, Yo Gotti, OJ Da Juiceman, Jay Rock, Twista, Pete Rock, Slim Thug, Hell Rell and more. Most recently, he dissed both Kendrick Lamar and Trinidad James on record, and is starring alongside Omar Epps in a new short film from Saigon titled SP. Stay tuned.
PartyNextDoor PartyNextDoor is an emerging Ontarian R&B vocalist recently signed to Drake OVO sound imprint, his work containing trace elements of Electronic Dance Music. You may recognize his voice from Drake’s “Own It” and “Come Thru”, two choice cuts from his 2013 album Nothing Was The Same. Most recently, he released his debut, self-titled EP in October 2013, which included the standout, Drake-assisted single “Over Here”, and accompanied Drake, Future and MIguel on the North American leg of his Would You Like A tour (this was PND’s first time touring). Stay tuned for updates on his career, folks. He’s in the right camp.
Paul Wall Paul Wall is one of the more recognizable rappers to emerge from the south in recent memory. The former Color Changing Click member is known not only for his music career but his jewelry endeavours as well, becoming the rap game’s #1 grill since starting a custom diamond jewelry business with Johnny Dang (TV Johnny). Throughout his career, the Houston native has released four studio albums and three mixtapes, having collaborated with the likes of Bun B, Chamillionaire (although they’re now estranged), Slim Thug, Z-Ro, Michael Watts, Ill Bill, Tech N9ne, Travis Barker, Jermaine Dupri, Lil’ Keke, Kid Ink, Young Dolph and many more. Most recently, he released his latest studio album #CheckSeason (2013) and contributed to Lecrae’s “Church Clothes 2” mixtape (also 2013). Stay tuned for the further adventures of Paul Wall. He’s ballin’ in the mix to this day.
Peewee Longway Peewee Longway is an Atlanta rapper signed with Gucci Mane’s 1017 Records. He is a member of the rap group “Felix Brothers” alongside Gucci Mane and Young Dolph. The trio released their self-titled album in July of 2014. He has collaborated with A$AP Rocky, Young Thug, Rich Homie, Quan, OJ da Juiceman, Rich The Kid, Migos, and Lil Boosie.
Phife Dawg Phife Dawg is one of the members of the applauded rap group A Tribe Called Quest. Apart from his work as a pioneer in the hip-hop genre with A Tribe Called Quest, Phife has gone on to do some solo work. He released his debut solo effort in 2000, titled “Ventilation: Da LP.” He’ll be following it up soon enough with a second solo album, “MUTTYmorPHosis.” He’s previously stated a desire to work with Method Man, Big Boi, De La Soul, Faith Evans and Redman for this second LP, as well as ATCQ group mates, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
Phil Ade For those unfamiliar, Phil Ade is a Maryland / Washington, D.C. representative perhaps best known for his single “Toast 2 Life”. Throughout his career, he’s released multiple projects and collaborated and / or toured with the likes of Raekwon, Logic, Wale, Tabi Bonney, Mark Henry, Dope Sunny, Raheem DeVaughn, Mac Miller, Lupe Fiasco, Miguel, Tinie Tempah, Sarah Green and more. The last we heard of Ade was a February 2013 remix of Drake’s “The Language” (from his 2013 album Nothing Was The Same), as well as a rendition of Que’s hit single “OG Bobby Johnson”. Stay tuned for updates on Phil Ade’s career, folks, and hit up philademusic.com for more details.
Plain Pat Sensei to the legends, producer/A&R extraordinaire Plain Pat has overseen some of the most influential hip hop projects of the last 15 years. Most notably, the American record executive acted as A&R for The College Dropout, Kanye West’s untouchable debut LP. Almost as impressive as that, Plain Pat produced nearly every song (along with Emile) on Kid Cudi’s 2008 debut project A Kid Named Cudi, a mixtape that arguably transformed hip hop into what it is today. More recently, with four production credits on Kanye’s latest record The Life of Pablo, Plain Pat has been focused on Kid Cudi’s comeback LP and working with up-and-coming Winnipeg-artist Allan Kingdom. Plain Pat What Up!?
Play Picasso Formerly known as PlayBack, Play Picasso is one of the producers scoring the soundtrack of the New Wave. As Tory Lanez’s right hand man, Play Picasso has helped the 6ix’s next superstar craft a unique lane for himself, with production credits on nearly every one of Tory’s mixtape cuts. Although most of Picasso’s work is with Lanez, his production on Tory’s projects switches up more than most beatmakers do in a lifetime. Although his career is in its early stages, Play Picasso has production credits on projects ranging from Meek Mill’s Dreams Worth More Than Money to songs by One Umbrella-affiliate Rocky Diamonds. He was never ever gang gang gang gang… 1UM.
Playboi Carti Using rap as a gateway to stay out of trouble, Playboi Carti hasn’t even released a mixtape yet and is already making huge waves for himself. Managed by Ian Connor, the self proclaimed “King of the Youth,” Cash Carti has become somewhat of an Internet icon off the strength of a few Soundcloud singles, most notably “Fetti” and “Broke Boi.” Most recently, Playboi Carti was a featured as a model in OVO’s Summer 2016 editorial. With power plays like that and the spiritual guidance of A$AP Rocky, Carti’s stock will only continue to rise by the time his debut drops.
Pleasure P Originally a vocalist of the popular R&B/Hip-Hop group, Pretty Ricky, Pleasure P began pursuing a solo career in 2007, releasing his first single, Did You Wrong, in 2008 to moderate chart success. The song appeared on his debut album, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper, which featured production from Static Major and Tank on a few tracks. Noted for his smooth vocals, Pleasure P has collaborated with several artists, including Flo Rida, Tearria Mari, and Tyga. Having inked a new deal with E1 Music, Pleasure P is working on his follow up album, which will be called, “The King of Romance.” The first single from the upcoming record has been released and is called, “Kiss Me.”
Plies Born in Fort Myers, Florida Plies was initially signed to Slip-n-Slide Records during the beginning of his music career. In 2007, he released his debut album, The Real Testament, which featured the successful singles “Shawty” and “Hypnotized”. The single “Shawty”, which featured T-Pain won a 2007 Ozone Award for “Best Rap/R&B Collaboration”. He followed that release with two albums in 2008, Definition of Real and Da REAList. In 2010, he released Good Affiliated. Plies has collaborated with artists such as Ne-Yo, Trick Daddy, DJ Khaled and Rick Ross.
Popcaan Filling the void left by the incarceration of Vybz Cartel is no easy feat, but luckily dancehall superstar Popcaan has been seamlessly up to the task. Recruited at the age of 16 to be Kartel’s protégée, Popcaan rose to prominence worldwide with the release of his Vybz-assisted single, “Clarks.” Continent by continent, Popcaan’s music began spreading, eventually making it onto Kanye’s 2013 LP Yeezus in the form of a sample. That same year, the Jamaican singer’s affiliation with OVO became known, linking up with the crew in Toronto for Popcaan’s “Unruly Rave” music video. In 2014, Popcaan released his debut studio album Where We Come From, and his star propelled deep into the night sky. Building his brand up higher and higher, Popcaan was featured on Jamie XX’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” with Young Thug in 2015, and the leaked version of Drake’s dancehall homage “Controlla” in March 2016.
Post Malone In just one year, Post Malone has gone from being an unknown community college dropout to the Caucasian Allen Iverson of the hip-hop world. Initially buzzing from his addictive hit “White Iverson,” the Dallas-raised rapper/singer proved that he was no one-hit-wonder, securing over a million listens to each of the subsequent songs he has released. Since signing to Republic Records in August 2015, Post Malone has released “Go Flex,” a country-trap genre-blender, and begun performing on Justin Bieber’s Purpose World Tour, moves that are guaranteed to secure the rapper a wider market than anyone else in the rap game. Post Malone’s critically acclaimed August 26th mixtape is sure to tide over fans’ appetites until he releases his proper debut album in the months to come.
Pro Era Progressive Era, better known as Pro Era, is a Brooklyn hip-hop collective consisting of poster child Joey Bada$$ and his fellow artists Kwon, CJ Fly, Rokamouth, Kirk Knight, Dirty Sanchez, Chuck Strangers, Nyck Caution, Dyemong Lewis, Dessy Hinds, A La $ole, T’Nah Apex, Swank Master Raw and Jab (member Capital STEEZ passed away in December of 2012, may he rest in peace). Although these are the most visible members of the group, there are said to be approximately fifty people involved in total. Since the collective’s inception in 2009, they’ve collaborated with The Underachievers, Statik Selektah (Joey’s offical tour DJ), Flatbush Zombies and more. Most recently, Joey shared a new track from the group (“Sol Luna”) and announced a new mixtape titled Secc$ Tap.e Pt. 2, which is slated to drop on February 14th, 2014 (it’s a titular sequel to their debut mixtape The Seccs Tap). They’ve also been touring consistently. Stay tuned.
Prodigy Prodigy (who we hope all of you know is one half of veteran hip-hop duo Mobb Deep) is currently one of the most respected New York lyricists out, and continues to put in work after more than 20 years in the game. Throughout his extensive career, the NYC native has collaborated with The Notorious B.I.G., The Alchemist, Big Noyd, Nas, The Infamous Mobb, G-Unit, Action Bronson, Raekwon, Statik Selektah, Mac Miller, French Montana, Domo Genesis, Freddie Gibbs, Childish Gambino, Waka Flocka Flame, Jim Jones, Noreaga, Styles P, Curren$y, Nas, Nina Sky, AZ, The Game and more. Most recently, he published a jail memoir titled “H.N.I.C.”, released a new collaborative album with The Alchemist titled “Albert Einstein”, launched the Infamous Books publishing imprint and announced a new solo project titled “The Most Infamous” as well as a bonus EP and deluxe edition of “Albert Einstein”. Stay tuned.
Proof A crucial player in Detroit’s hip hop history, Proof rose to prominence as a founding member of D12 and Eminem’s hypeman during the height of his rise. The rapper born DeShaun Holton was a ferocious battle rapper, and was featured in 1999 in The Source`s coveted Unsigned Hype column. Instrumental as a confidante, colleague and close friend to Eminem, Proof was next up from Mathers’s squad to become a superstar himself when he was gunned down and killed in April 2006. Before being tragically taken, Proof left the world with three D12 albums, and two solo LPs, including the critically acclaimed Searching For Jerry Garcia.
Pryde D-Pryde is an emerging emcee, singer and songwriter from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, currently BASED in New York City. Since stepping foot in the rap game in 2008 at the age of sixteen, he’s released eight mixtapes and an EP, having collaborated with the likes of Joe Budden, Bun B, Wax, August Rigo, Drew Howard, Maribelle Anes, Boogz Boogetz, Chris Miles and more throughout his young career. Most recently, D-Pryde released an EP in July 2013 titled Canal And Richvale, as well as a visual for his single “Faded” in August of that year. Stay tuned for updates on his career, folks. (For more details, visit dprydemusic.com.)
Pusha T Clipse, the hip-hop duo Pusha T formed with his brother, No Malice, got their start with the help of Pharell Williams. The duo released their first album in 1997, though Pusha T was featured in more singles as time went on.
Q-Tip Q-Tip requires little introduction. The driving force behind legendary hip-hop trio A Tribe Called Quest is widely considered to be one of the best hip-hop artists to ever do it, having also been recognized as one of the most successful Muslim musicians on Earth by the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding in New York City. Throughout his prolific 25-year career, the veteran emcee/producer/DJ has worked with the likes of The Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, Heavy D, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, CL Smooth, Pete Rock, Black Sheep, Busta Rhymes, Organized Konfusion, the Beatsie Boys, Nas, Mobb Deep, The Roots, The Fugees, Common, Janet Jackson, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Black Moon, Missy Elliot, Pharrell, Slum Village, Jay Z, Erykah Badu, Elvis Costello, Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, The Chemical Brothers, T.I., Cee Lo Green, RZA, J Dilla, Lil Wayne, Quincy Jones, Prince, Lupe Fiasco and countless others – many of these collaborations came about as a result of his association with the “neo soul and alternative hip hop-informed” collective known as the Soulquarians. Most recently, he signed with Kanye West’s GOOD Music imprint, released a collaborative compilation mixtape with Busta Rhymes titled The Abstract & The Dragon and has started work on a new hip-hop drama series with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. Stay tuned.
Que After releasing singles “Young N*ggas,” with Migos, and “OG Bobby Johnson” in 2013, Que was a viral hit, gaining the attention of DJ Drama who signed him to Atlantic Records. His first release was alongside Juicy J titled “Clip So Long.”
R-Mean Mean (Armin Hariri) was born in LA, but raised in Amsterdam. Known for his explosive freestyles on shows like Sway In The Morning, MTV Rapfix, and the legendary Wake Up Show as well as his collaborations with artists like The Game, Joe Budden, Too Short, Kxng Crooked and King Los this American-Armenian emcee is taking no prisoners while leaving his mark in the hip hop game.
R. Kelly R. Kelly needs no introduction – hate him or love him, he’s considered one of the greatest R&B artists to ever do it, not to mention his work in the fields of Soul, Neo Soul, Gospel and Hip-Hop. On top of his singer/songwriter chops, Kellz also plays guitar, piano and keyboard, and is best known for his string of #1 singles “Bump n’ Grind”, “I Believe I Can Fly”, “Gotham City”, “Ignition”, “If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time” and “The World’s Greatest”, as well as his ongoing “Trapped in the Closet” series. Since his early beginnings with the Public Announcement collective, he’s released twelve studio albums, 5 compilations and a live album, and has collaborated with the likes of The Isley Brothers, Keith Murray, Celine Dion, Nas, Big Tigger, The Game, Jay Z and many more. Most recently, he released his latest album, titled Black Panties. Although he’s pushing 50, the three-time GRAMMY award winner continues to grind, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rae Sremmurd Brother duo Rae Sremmurd is one of the hottest artists out right now. They got their start by throwing parties in their hometown, showcasing their cool, young energy. They eventually gained enough buzz to be introduced to Mike WiLL Made It, and a mighty relationship budded. Their debut album SremmLife birthed 4 hit singles, two of which are certified Platinum (“No Flex Zone,” “No Type”). The album topped at the number 1 spots on the US R&B and Rap charts and number 5 on the overall US Charts. They duo has come out with a ton of steam, working with major artists such as Nicki Minaj, Young Thug, Baauer, AlunaGeorge, Ty$, Future, Juicy J, and more. They’re currently prepping a sophomore album, SremmLife 2.
Raekwon Corey Woods (born January 12, 1970), known by his stage name Raekwon, is an American East Coast rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Raekwon may not have achieved the solo stardom of his fellow Wu-Tang Clan members Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard or RZA but along with Genius/GZA and frequent partner Ghostface Killah, he’s done some of the most critically acclaimed work outside the confines of the group. His 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… is widely considered to be one of the best Wu-Tang solo albums, and one of the finest and most influential hip hop albums of the 1990s. Over the years, Raekwon has become known for staying true to his New York street fan base and making little effort to appeal to those outside of the city.
Raheem DeVaughn Singer/songwriter Raheem Devaughn has had a mildly successful career, although he’s never quite broken out into mainstream fame. In 2005, his debut album, The Love Experience, topped at the number 46 spot on the US Billboard 200 album chart. His next 4 albums only performed better; his second album, Love Behind the Melody topped at the number 5 spot on the US Billboard 200, The Love & War MasterPeace topped at the number 9 spot, and his next two albums at the 22 and 31 spots, respectively. At 2008 Grammy Awards, he was nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, for his single “Woman.”
Rakim Rakim is one of rap’s most revered and influential forefathers. There’s a reason he’s known as THE GOD EMCEE, having pioneered the quickly fading art of classic hip-hop lyricism. Whether they’re aware of it or not, most of your favorite spitters owe him a debt of gratitude, Eminem included. Since beginning his career as part of the duo Eric B. & Rakim in 1985, he’s gone on to collaborate with Marly Marl, Large Professor, Kool G. Rap, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, Maino, Kanye West, Nas, Lloyd Banks, Talib Kweli, Alicia Keys, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, G-Dep, WC, Canibus, Gang Starr, Mobb Depp, Big Noyd, Shaq, Barrington Levy and more. Most recently, rumors of potential collaborations with Pharrell surfaced, and he paid tribute to Nelson Mandella with the commemorative track “Madiba” shortly after his death in December 2013. Oh yeah, he’s been ranked the #1 Lyricist Of All Time by The Source. Know the ledge.
Ramriddlz Life in the Sauga City hasn’t been the same since Ramreezy’s “Sweeterman” caught a case of the Drake-mix (AKA the re-6ix) spiraling the young R&B hotpot into a thirsty media’s spotlight. The biggest thing out of Mississauga (a commuter city to the west of Toronto) since PARTYNEXTDOOR, Ramriddlz probably started making music as a joke, an attribute we prefer to the overly serious snooze-inducing spitters of Ontario past. The self-proclaimed fuccboi born Ramy Abdel-Rahman claims “Sweeterman” may have been the first song he ever recorded, and luckily for fans, it wasn’t his last. Ramriddlz released his debut project P2P (Pussy Too Pink) in Summer 2015, and dropped his follow-up EP Venis in March 2016.
Ransom x
Rapsody Lyrically untouchable, North Carolina’s Rapsody ain’t nothing ta fuck wit. With five mixtapes, two EPs, and one studio album to her name, the rapper born Marlanna Evans wasn’t looking for any big-name co-signs, but with talent like hers, it came anyway. Rapsody got a huge look in March 2015 when she was featured as (arguably) the only guest verse on Kendrick Lamar’s masterpiece LP To Pimp a Butterfly. The verse she gave to K-Dot on “Complexion” is a perfect introduction to the world, showcasing Rapsody’s wordplay, intricate rhyming, and deep sense of social responsibility. Signed independently to 9th Wonder, Evans hasn’t released a project since her verse on TPAB beckoned the world’s attention. Bet on this: when Rapsody drops what she’s cooking, it won’t disappoint.
Ras Kass Ras Kass is a member for rap super groups HRSMN, with Canibus, Killah Priest, and Kurupt, and Golden State Warriors with Xzibit and Saafir. He has consistently put out mixtapes, collaboration albums, and solo projects since the mid 90’s. In a game where rappers come and go, Ras Kass has managed to stay, with his prowess on the mic unquestioned.
Ray J R&B artist and Mississippi native Ray J is among the most well known artists in the music industry today. Ray J has certainly had a successful music career and since his first studio-album in 1997, he has collaborated with artists such as Brandy, Lil’ Kim, Pharrell, Yung Berg, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, R. Kelly, Ludacris, Unk, DJ Drama, Styles P, Twista, and Gucci Mane. He has released hit singles including “One Wish” in 2005 and “Sexy Can I” in 2008. However, his recent notoriety has stemmed less from his music and more from his personal life, specifically concerning his oft-discussed relationship with ex-girlfriend Kim Kardashian. The Ray J–Kardashian fiasco began with the release of a sex tape, escalated with the couples’ breakup and Kim’s subsequent relationship with Kanye West, and culminated in Ray J releasing the first single to his fifth album, “I Hit It First”, which blatantly referred to Kim Kardashian. Whether the single was a publicity stunt or not, Ray J garnered attention, and at an opportune time leading up to the release of his fifth studio-album ‘Raydiation 2’. The release date has yet to be announced, but expect it to drop in 2014.
Red Cafe Red Cafe was born and raised in Flatbush, a Caribbean neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Afro-Guyanese rapper is a former member of the disbanded group Da Franchise, which was previously signed by Violator Records. He was featured in the 2007 movie, “Notorious” as Primo the freestyle battle rapper. He has collaborated with artists such as Fabolous, Nina Sky, Fat Joe, Jadakiss and Rick Ross. He released his American Psycho mixtape in 2012.
Redman Redman needs little introduction – not only is he half of the indelible rap duo Method Man & Redman, he’s also a veteran in the game and one of hip-hop’s foremost marijuana advocates. Since making his debut appearance on EPMD’s “Hardcore” in 1990 and releasing his debut album Whut? Thee Album in 1992, the Gold-certified New Jersey native has gone on to released an additional six studio albums, five mixtapes and three collaborative albums, having collaborated with the likes of Frankie Cutlass, K-Solo and many more throughout his 25-year career. Most recently, he wrapped up the “Burning Kush” tour with Method Man (2013) and released a 20-track compilation of remixes which included tracks from Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Jadakiss, Stevie Wonder and many more. Also, he’s currently working on Muddy Waters 2: The Preload EP, a teaser project to be followed by the release of the highly-anticipated Muddy Waters 2 (which he’s apparently been working on intermittently for the past four years). Stay tuned for the further adventures of Funk Doctor Spock!
Reks Reks had built himself a big enough reputation in the Boston rap scene by the time he entered college to get signed to Brick Records. He has since released numerous albums since 2001, having worked closely with Statik Selektah, who has produced on every single album he has released. He has also worked with DJ Premier, Styles P, Alchemist, Hi-Tek, Skyzoo, Action Bronson, and more.
Remy Ma Mentored as an MC by the great Big Pun, Bronx OG Remy Ma has been sculpted for dopeness since she came in the game. An indispensible member of Fat Joe’s Terror Squad, the rapper born Reminisce Smith is probably best known for her show stopping verses on M.O.P.’s “Ante Up (Remix)” in 2000 and “Lean Back,” TS’s timeless number one hit from 2004. Capitalizing on her rising stock, Remy Ma released her debut album There’s Something About Remy: Based On A True Story in 2006. Unfortunately, Remy’s promising rap career was derailed in 2007 after Remy was arrested and convicted on weapons and assault charges. Remy wasn’t released from prison until 2014. As has been shown time and time again, Remy cannot be stopped, releasing her 2016 summer hit “All The Way Up,” the first single off her upcoming joint project with Fat Joe. The unexpected street favorite, which features French Montana and Infrared, has been remixed by Jay-Z exclusively for Tidal.
RETRO After moving to Atlanta from Detroit with his family at age 12, RETRO found a whole new host of melodies to fall in love with, from the work of Jermaine Dupri to the then-recently released OutKast LP, SpeakerBoxx/The Love Below. He found inspiration in a whole new sound. “I love Atlanta hip-hop to a certain extent,” he says, pausing. “I’d be lying if I said Atlanta didn’t help me become who I am.” The ability to flip between a Midwestern flair and the flashiness of Atlanta’s rap scene makes RETRO’s lane unparalleled, but beyond the music he has countless other goals that he and his Rocket Team, a crew of 15-plus, plan on executing. His forthcoming mixtape, The Six, is due later this summer.
Rich Boy Rich Boy is by far the most notable emcee to come out of Mobile, Alabama, perhaps best known for his hit single “Throw Some D’s”, which was included on his self-titled debut album, released in 2007. Throughout his seven-year career, he’s released two studio albums and seven mixtapes, having collaborated with Keri Hilson, Polow Da Don, Bobby V, Drake, Dr. Dre, Maino, Mista Raja, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri and more. The last we heard of him was his 2013 single “Pimp On”, which features the late Doe B, Playboi Lo and Smash. Rich Boy released his second studio album Break The Pot via eOne Music in April 2013. Stay tuned for updates on his career, folks.
Rich Gang Early in 2013, Cash Money Records put out an album titled Rich Gang, which had been preceded by a mixtape Rich Gang: All Stars. Rich Gang basically consisted of Birdman, Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan, although other members of Cash Money often played a part in their music. Rich Gang followed up the album with another mixtape, Tha Tour Pt 1 , following which they seemingly disbanded because RHQ wanted to focus on his solo career.
Rich The Kid Rich the Kid is a rapper who grew up in Georgia with his mother, and in Queens with his father. He released his first mixtape in 2013, Been About The Benjamins, and later that year released two more mixtapes in collaboration with Migos called Streets On Lock volumes 1 and 2; a third volume was released in 2014. Rich The Kid has worked with many other artists including Young Thug, Rockie Fresh, Kirko Bangz, Yo Gotti, Riff Raff, Bobby Shmurda, Soulja Boy, Curren$y, Zaytoven, and Fetty Wap. He’s a part of the Quality Control roster.
Richysamo x
Rick Ross Rick Ross (not to be confused with convicted drug trafficker “Freeway” Rick Ross) is currently one of the biggest artists in the rap game. Although he faced criticism and sponsorship loss for a misinterpreted molly reference on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O” last year, he’s showed no signs of slowing down.
Rick Rubin Rick Rubin is so influential that if you haven’t heard of him, you’d best be served keeping that information to yourself. This guy has done so much for hip-hop (and popular music in general) that this biography is going to just skip right ahead to the highlight reel:
Ricky Hil The tatted up, rebellious son of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, Ricky Hil or Rich Hil, has made a niche spot for himself in the game, doing druggy raps before it became en-vogue. He has released over 18 mixtapes and has worked with artists such as The Weeknd, Fat Trel, and Leona Lewis. He recently dated British singer Rita Ora, although the relationship has since come to an end.
Rico Love Rico Love was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his mother and Harlem, New York with his father. When he decided to pursue a career in music at the end of high school, he also decided he wouldn’t do it sitting on the block. He enrolled at Florida A&M University and would travel to Atlanta on the weekends to network in the city’s popular music scene. He has since written and produced massive hits like Usher’s “There Goes My Baby,” “Just A Dream” by Nelly, and “Sweet Dreams” by Beyoncé. He has also worked with Kelly Rowland, Diddy, Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Fergie, and T.I..
RJ Six mixtapes deep, RJ is finally getting the attention he’s deserved. Strongly affiliated with Cali gods YG and DJ Mustard, RJ has managed to standout on a team of guys with too much talent. Born and raised in South Central, this street legend in the making started rapping at the age of nine after his mom put him on to the sounds of Warren G and Nate Dogg. Steadily grinding ever since, RJ’s O.M.M.I.O. series dropped its third installment in May 2016, and it’s steadily gaining fans worldwide. Over the years, RJ has collaborated with the likes of Game, Nipsey Hussle, Jeezy, and Ty Dolla $ign. West coast domination is in full swing, and RJ might just be the next guy up.
Ro Ransom x
Robin Thicke Robin Thicke may not be a rapper, but he’s certainly been embedded in the rap game in recent years, collaborating with the likes of 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Will Smith, The Game, Audio Push, Tyga, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, Kid Cudi, T.I., Pharrell and more. His hit single “Blurred Lines” with the latter two was inescapable in the latter half of 2013, and further contributed to his blurring of the line between Pop, R&B and Rap music. (Some of his more notable accomplishments include his contributions to Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III album as well as Usher’s Confessions.) Throughout his career, the Los Angeles singer/songwriter/actor has also worked with Estelle, Faith Evans, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Leighton Meester, Jessie J, Chanel West Coast, Quincy Jones T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, Barry White, Tyrese, R. Kelly, Tyrese, The-Dream, Ashanti, Jazmine Sullivan and more. Most recently, he “reluctantly” sued Marvin Gaye’s estate over a “Blurred Lines” copyright infringement claim, and announced an upcoming tour with Jessie J, as well a performance at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards nomination concert. Stay tuned.
Roc Marciano Roc Marciano has managed to have a prolific yet low-key career. Having started off his career as a member of Flipmode Squad, alongside Busta Rhymes, he has worked with a plethora of rap artists and producers. He appeared on the 2005 Wu-Tang Clan compilation album Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture, Pete Rock’s 2008 album, NY’s Finest, and collaborated with Gangrene on an EP, Greneberg. He more recently released a free mixtape in 2013 with appearances from Action Bronson, The Alchemist, and more.
Rock City Rock City is a brother duo from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands with an impressive production discography. They have produced beats for major artists like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson, R. Kelly, Akon, Mario, Usher, Sean Kingston, and Wiz Khalifa. They also make their own music and have released 15 free mixtapes since 2008.
Rockie Fresh Chicago native Rockie Fresh, born Donald Pullen, came out with his first mixtape “Rockie’s Modern Life” in 2009 when he met his managers under APG Music Group. This would lead to his second mixtape, “The Otherside” in 2010 was featured on the TV show “Nikita” and got Rockie a spot in Metromix’s“25 Hottest Artists Under 25.” Rockie continued to gain buzz with help from online publications and blogs, proving the success of these projects. He started performing across the USA including the Bamboozle Festival, where he met Josh Madden. Josh Madden believed in Rockie Fresh as an artist and introduced him to his brothers Joel & Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. They featured the young artist on “The Madden Brothers : Before The Fame” mixtape. Rockie Fresh still wasn’t mainstream at this point, but he continued his push with the 2012 release “Driving 88,” which would prove to be his most publicized yet. This in turn lead him to sign with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group. In January of 2013, he released his first mixtape as part of MMG, “Electric Highway,” with features such as Rick Ross, Nipsey Hussle, Curren$y and Lunice. The following April, he released “The Birthday Tape.” In September of 2013, critics raved about how he was the highlight of the MMG compilation, “Self Made Vol.3.”  In December 2013 he drops a collaboration mixtape with fellow rapper Casey Veggies titled “Fresh Veggies.” The clever name and amazing features on this mixtape had the internet buzzing once again. We can’t wait to see what he has cooking up for 2014.
Rocko When Rocko, a hardworking Atlanta-based Rapper, decided to call his first album Self-Made, which would be released on Def Jam, there was a ring of truth to it. Indeed, after the album came out to a somewhat underwhelming response, he left DefJam and founded his own label, A1 Recording which would see releases from other Atlanta-based rappers such as Future and Young Scooter. A favorite of the dirty south genre of Rap, Rocko has maintained a steady output of mixtapes (occasionally re-releasing them as albums) featuring producers such as Mouse on Tha Track and Childish Major and collaborations with other rappers, such as Lloyd and Future. His latest mixtape, Gift of Gab 2, notably featured Rick Ross, whose verse on the track, U.O.E.N.O, was met with explosive controversey.
Romeo Romeo Miller is an actor, rapper, entrepreneur, basketball player, model, and lgendary rapper Master P’s son. He is the youngest person to hit #1 on the Billboard 200, a record previously held by Michael Jackson. His self-titled debut album, Lil Romeo, is his most successful album to date. It peaked at the number 6 spot on the US Billboard chart and sold over 500,000 units.
Ron Browz Record producer and rapper Ron Browz is best known for producing the infamous Jay Z diss record by Nas, “Ether.” Due to the immense popularity of the song he adopted the nickname Ether Boy, which is now the name of his own independent label. He has also worked with Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Busta Rhymes, Capone-N-Noreaga, Fat Joe, Papoose, Big L, and G-Unit.
Roscoe Dash This mohawked rapper received his big break in 2010 when he re-recored the song “All the Way Turnt Up” featuring Soulja Boy. Dash has also worked with Wale, Waka Flocka Flame, and Big Sean. He was also featured as part of the XXL 2012 “Top 10 Freshmen list”. Dash is now working on his second album and a soundtrack called “The Untold Story of Roscoe Dash.”
Roy Wood$ Roy Wood$ is a buzzing artist hailing from the hotbed of r’n’b and rap talent that is Toronto. Roy does double duty as both a singer and a rapper. He’s currently prepping his debut project, Exis.
Run The Jewels One of the most recent duos to form in the hip-hop game is Run the Jewels, consisting of Atlanta native rapper Killer Mike and underground star, Brooklyn-born rapper/producer El-P. The two joined together in 2013 after collaborating on tracks for their respective solo projects. They signed to Fool’s Gold and released their debut album “Run the Jewels” in 2013. The album was highly praised by many notable hip-hop critics including Pitchfork Media and Consequence of Sound.
Russ A triple threat of the finest order, all we wanna know about Russ is if he can dance too. A singer, producer, and rapper, the Soundcloud God in the making drops singles like Donald Drumpf at Magic City. Although ATL is his origin, Russ was born in New Jersey, and spent his childhood living in various places all over the States. This constant motion and rich body of influences has clearly made a monster out of Russ Vitale. He’s an independent artist with enough hustle to make the rap game afraid for dear life. Selling out shows worldwide on his own, Russ has already gotten co-signs from the likes of Kylie Jenner and Waka Flocka Flame. Manifest destiny.
Ryan Leslie DC native Ryan Leslie is one of the more intriguing hip-hop/R&B artists in the industry today. The same guy who graduated from Harvard at age 19 is a Grammy-nominated R&B artist. Over the course of his music career, Leslie has released four studio albums – the first of which was “Ryan Leslie” in 2009 and the most recent was “Black Mozart” in 2013. His 2011 album “Transition” was nominated for Best Contemporary R&B album at the Grammys. He has also been producing for major artists since 2003.
Ryan Lewis The second half of DIY hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Ryan Lewis, like most great producers, is underrated, underappreciated, and hella fuckin’ good at his job. Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, one of the whitest cities in America, Ryan Lewis released two solo hip-hop projects in 2008, before linking up with Macklemore to form their eponymous duo. After creating much buzz with a couple EPs and some captivating music videos, the duo released their highly acclaimed debut LP The Heist in 2012. The album went platinum, an incredible feat for an independently released record. The fame was high for the duo during that time (higher for Macklemore though), and the fall from grace after the duo beat Kendrick Lamar for Rap Album of the Year at the Grammy’s was harsh. Lucklily, the duo came back swinging in February 2016 with their follow up LP This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, a record featuring the likes of Ed Sheeran, Chance The Rapper, and Idris Elba. Whatever the future holds for this duo, we are sure that a man as talented as Ryan Lewis will be able to stand on his own two feet no matter the circumstances.
RZA Robert F. Diggs changed hip hop forever when he assembled the Wu-Tang Clan. Their influence over the past twenty years is undeniable and resounding. Under his direction, they birthed and popularized an original new slang, style and sound influenced both by project life and various Eastern philosophies, physical and mental. They started a movement and swarmed the industry. As a solo artist, RZA has put out four studio albums, as well as a debut EP under the moniker Prince Rakeem. He’s released three albums and an EP with horrorcore pioneers the Gravediggaz. He’s helmed every major Wu-Tang record and contributed to dozens of official member and affiliate solo projects, not to mention producing for and collaborating with many artists outside of the family as well. Other than his musical catalogue, he’s authored two non-fiction books, The Wu-Tang Manual and the Tao of Wu, and has been depicted in official Wu-Tang comic books and a martial arts game for the original Playstation. He co-founded the Wu Wear clothing line that’s seen phases of great success. He’s contributed to film and television scores, and has been known to appear on the big screen every now and then as well. And the list goes on. RZA undoubtedly changed the rap game for the better, forever. He helped shape it, and continues to do so to this day. So stay tuned – although fans are [warily] hopeful for a collective Wu project in the near future, we’re not worried about Bobby’s individual output. He just doesn’t stop.
Sabi Sabi is an Inglewood, CA born artist. She’s proud of her Black and Salvi (El Salvadoran) roots. She’s been in love with music, art, movies for as long as she can remember, however music happened to be the thing that started moving first. Sabi says she’s looked up to Oprah, Janet and Michael, Aaliyah, Missy, Spike Lee, Prince, Gwen Stefani and more, all of which have influenced her in some way or another. She believes that music can change the world and move nations of people. It should be used for good and truth. Thus far, Sabi has released one mixtape which premiered on HotNewHipHop, “0-60: Love Sounds,” which featured Tyga and Ryan McDermott.
Salaam Remi It doesn’t matter if you know. The most talented, legendary artists in the world know just how insanely gifted Salaam Remi is at production. Religiously selective, Salaam Remi doesn’t just work with anyone. Since breaking out in 1996 with production on The Fugees’ seminal “Fu-Gee-La,” Mr. Remi has had the pick of the litter, producing a prolific catalogue of classic music in a slew of genres. Some of Salaam Remi’s most beloved work includes his collaborations with Nas (including “I Can,” “Bridging The Gap,” and “Thief’s Theme”) and the late Amy Winehouse (including “Tears Dry On Their Own,” “Stronger Than Me,” and “Fuck Me Pumps”). In addition, Salaam Remi has helped birth singles for the likes of Miguel (“How Many Drinks?”), Alicia Keys (“Girl On Fire”), and B.o.B (“Play The Guitar”). Rising singer/actor Mack Wilds is the first artist signed to Salaam Remi’s Sony imprint, Louder Than Life, and if history is any lesson, we predict Mack Wilds is next up. Believe in Salaam’s stamp.
Saukrates Saukrates is an undisputed veteran in the Canadian hip-hop music scene, active since the independent release of his debut album Still Caught Up in 1994. Throughout his 20-year career, the emcee / singer / songwriter / musician / producer has worked with the likes of Drake, Redman, Nelly Furtado, MethodMan, Kardinal Offishall, Andreena Mill, Masta Ace, Xzibit and more, and continues to put much work in. Most recently, he collaborated with fellow Canadian spitter Choclair on the track “Heroes”, which was included on C4ENT’s early 2014 album Let’s Be Friends. Stay tuned for updates on his career. Oh yeah, he’s also a member of Redman’s Gilla House collective.
Scarface Scarface is an inarguable pioneer of southern hip-hop music – some even consider him a living legend in the game. He’s perhaps best know for his singles “No Tears”, “Still” and “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta”, the latter having been included in Mike Judge’s classic 1999 film Office Space. Throughout his prolific 25-year career, the Houston native has released eleven studio albums and two collaborations, collaborating with the likes of Z-Ro, The Geto Boys, Pimp C, Bun B, Ice Cube, Trick Daddy, Devin The Dude and many more. Most recently, he appeared on Stalley’s 2013 single “Swangin'” as well as DJ Khaled’s “Never Surrender”, alluded to collaborations with Jay Z and called out music executives for not caring about the craft or culture of hip-hop. Stay tuned for updates on his career.
ScHoolboy Q ScHoolboy Q is at the forefront of Californian gangster rap revivalism, and is one of the more beloved artists to emerge from that scene in quite some time, despite perpetual album delays. As most of you know, he’s a quarter of TDE supergroup Black Hippy, alongside Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock, and his independent projects “Setbacks” and “Habits & Contradictions” are considered underground classics.
Scoop DeVille When your father is a rap pioneer, you’re likely to pick up some game early on. That’s at least the case for Westcoast producer Scoop DeVille, whose father Kid Frost is a pioneering legend of Chicano Hip Hop. Scoop DeVille reportedly began rapping by the age of two, writing music by nine years old, and sold his first beat at the age of 15 (“Mamacita” by Baby Bash). Since then, the producer born Elijah Molina has put in work consistently, giving fresh coast superstars some of their greatest tracks. Notable examples include Snoop Dogg’s “I Wanna Rock,” and the two singles Scoop produced on Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, “The Recipe” and “Poetic Justice.”
SD As a Black Disciple on Chicago’s South Side, SD picked up more subject matter for his music as a young kid than most rappers do in a lifetime. Scooped up early on by Glory Boyz Entertainment, the rapper born Sadiki Thirston had Chi City superstars like Chief Keef and Lil Reese on his debut mixtape Life Of A Savage in 2012. From his first mixtape, it was clear that SD’s lyricism was going to make him a standout on the label. Eventually SD parted ways with the Glo Boyz, but he kept his Savage series going, having released three more installments with a fifth part on the way.
Sean Garrett Sean Garrett is a successful singer / songwriter / producer born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s produced a staggering eighteen #1 singles since stepping foot in the game in 2001, having been awarded three GRAMMYs and an Oscar. His most notable credits include Chris Brown’s “Run It”, Usher’s “Yeah”, Ciara’s “Goodies” and Teairra Mari’s “Make Her Feel Good”. He also collaborates closely with Swizz Beatz, together having produced Beyonce’s “Check On It”, “Diva”, “Get Me Bodied”, “Ring the Alarm” and “Upgrade U”, for example. His other collaborators include Polow Da Don, J. Cole, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Mario, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and many more. The last we heard of him was “Anytime”, an August 2013 single featuring Migos on the assist with production from Zaytoven. Stay tuned for updates on his career, y’all.
Sean Price Sean Price, also known as Ruck gained popularity as one-half of rap due Heltah Skeltah. He had released 3 solo studio albums before his unfortunate passing on August 8, 2015. As Helta Skeltah, he released 3 albums. Their first two, Nocturnal and Magnum Force, reached top ten status on the R&B/Hip-Hop Billboard charts. He was also a member of hip-hop groups Boot Camp Clik and Random Axe with producer Black Milk and Guilty Simpson. R.I.P.
Selena Gomez x
Shad Da God As a member of the Bankroll Mafia and cousin to Atlanta messiah TIP, Shad Da God proves that the properties of deity run in the family. Originally a member of locally buzzing group Rich Kidz, Shad was always confident that his work ethic would eventually get him ahead of the pack as a solo artist. Before proving himself as a rapper, the ATL artist worked as a studio engineer, developing his own musical ear in the process. Through his TI connection and his affiliation with Young Thug, Shad Da God has gotten quite a few good looks, although he isn’t resting on the laurels of his business partners. With his latest release Free the Goat, the young spitter takes his flows, melodies, and concepts to the next level.
Shawty Lo Atlanta-native Shawty Lo is a rapper who, in addition to sustaining a successful solo career, founded the Southern hip-hop group DL4, best known for their 2005 single “Laffy Taffy”. Since beginning his solo career in 2007, Shawty Lo has released one studio-album titled “Units in the City” in 2008. The album reached number two on the US Rap charts. He has also dropped more than ten mixtapes, the most recent of which, “I’m da Man 4”, was released in 2013 and was hosted by DJ Scream. Over the course of his career, Shawty Lo has collaborated with the likes of E-40, Soulja Boy, Juvenile, Gucci Mane, Rich Homie Quan, Birdman, Jim Jones, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Plies, Snoop Dogg, Trae tha Truth, Yung Joc, Waka Flocka Flame, Tony Yayo, Dorrough, Mims, Killer Mike, Dj Khaled and several other notable artists and producers. In 2011, the Southern rapper announced that his label D4L Records had signed to G-Unit Records. In January 2013, he was arrested for failing to pay child support. In terms of upcoming music, Shawty Lo has been working on his second studio-album “Still Got Units”, and though a release date has yet to be announced, expect the project to drop in 2014.
Sheek Louch Sheek Louch was just another kid growing up in Brooklyn when at the age of 12 his friend Jadakiss encouraged him to start rhyming. The two would later team up with Styles P to form the rap group The LOX. The trio was discovered by Mary J. Blige and consequently landed a deal with Bad Boy Records. Sheek and crew later left Bad Boy and joined the Ruff Ryders group with DMX. A natural entrepreneur, Sheek Louch started his own label with fellow LOX members called D-Block. Sheek has had a prolific career, working with Ghostface Killah and other members of the Wu Tang Clan. He has also released 5 solo studio albums, with a 6th coming out in 2015.
Shlohmo We tend to hear more about rappers than the producers who make their tracks, but the number of brilliant producers is not lacking. Shlogmo is an up-and-coming electronic musician from Los Angeles. He began his music career in 2009 and has since released his debut studio album (“Bad Vibes”, 2011), several EP’s and other projects, and has produced for several notable artists.
Shome For those unfamiliar, Shome is an emerging New Orleans emcee and songwriter currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Despite growing up in a violent environment, Shome forgoes raps about crime, violence and drugs for positive, uplifting lyricism, with the goal of inspiring people in difficult situations to make a change.
Shy Glizzy Shy Glizzy is an upcoming rapper from the DMV area, who gained notable buzz after his single “Awwsome” went viral. He started his crew, Glizzy Gang, everyone in the crew has ‘Glizzy’ at the end of their name, not so unsimilar to A$AP Mob’s penchant to put ‘A$AP’ before their names.
Sir Michael Rocks Sir Michael Rocks started off as a part of the rap duo The Cool Kids, which released their debut album, When Fish Ride Bicycles in 2011. That same year, Mikey started releasing solo mixtapes; by 2013 he had released 6. He was also featured on other artist’s tracks including Dom Kennedy, Ski Beatz, Sean O’Connell, Curren$y, Rapsody, Dizzy Wright, and Freddie Gibbs. His studio album, Banco, released in the summer of 2014 featured artists, Too $hort, Mac Miller, Twista, and Iamsu. In September 2015, he followed it up with the release of his Populair EP, further pushing the boundaries of his style and sound.
Skeme From rocking to the Rhythm and Blues at the behest of his grandparents, to the streets of Inglewood, to the halls of the Los Angeles Recording School, to the debut of his new album, “Inglewood,” the young rapper, Skeme, has a lot to look forward to in his burgeoning career as a hip-hop artist. For example, he has had the chance to work and perform with Wale, Iggy Azalea, Dom Kennedy, Nipsey Hustle, and Problem at the ripe age of twenty-one. He has released several mixes, “Skeme of Things,” “Skeme of Things 2,” “All-Rapped Up,” and his latest, “Pistols and Palm Trees.” With an intense, fast-paced delivery and style, 2013 saw the release the album, “Inglewood,” on the indie label, “MADE Headlines,” of which he is one of the only two artists represented.
Slaughterhouse Slaughterhouse is a “supergroup” of lyrical emcees consisting of Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9, and Crooked I. They were formed in late 2008 after Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Royce da 5’9″, and Joe Budden appeared on the song “Slaughterhouse” from Joe Budden’s album “Halfway House”. They then decided to join forces and release their debut album, “Slaughterhouse”, back in 2009. With talks of a major label to come into the picture, Slaughterhouse elected to sign with Eminem and Shady Records in 2011 and released their second effort “Slaughterhouse” EP. They’ve since worked with Eminem, Skylar Grey, Yelawolf, LOX, Swizz Beatz, Cee-Lo Green, Busta Rhymes, and many more. In May 2013 Slaughterhouse announced that they had put their solo projects on hold, and had started recording their third studio album “Glass House”, which is expecting an early 2014 release date.
Slim (of 112) R&B recording artist Slim is mostly known as the lead vocals in boy band 112. But in 2005, he decided to carve his own path in the music industry and go solo. In 2008 he released single “So Fly” featuring Yung Joc, which helped boost his solo career with the song reaching number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2008, he released his debut album “Love’s Crazy” and collaborated with artists like Fabolous and Big Boy. Slim has recently released more work on a mixtape called “Cruisin’ Da City Vol. 1 Presented by DJ Lyte and DJ Lucky Calhoun,” which was received well by listeners. He’s currently working on a new studio album, with other projects in the works.
Slim Dunkin Former Brick Squad Monopoly emcee Slim Dunkin, born Mario Hamilton, left us all too soon in December 2011, having been shot in the chest by fellow rapper Vinson “Young Vito” Hardimon, allegedly in the midst of a dispute over candy. Although a Fulton County jury finally found Hardimon guilty of gun possession and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in February 2013, they acquitted him of murder and felony murder charges (he’s still serving a 25-year sentence, though). Dunkin’s father, Mark Hamilton, was understandably displeased with the verdict, and filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Fulton County State Court in December 2013, which named Gucci Mane, BC Corp. and Warner Brothers Music International as defendants, among others. Dunkin was apparently preparing to shoot a music video with Gucci when he was killed. May the young lord rest in peace until he’s reunited with the BSM squad in the afterlife, at which point they will no doubt turn up.
Slim Thug Houston Texas’ very own Slim Thug appeared on the scene in the late 90’s with Swishahouse. In 2001, he realized he could make more money on his own and had a friendly split with Swishahouse which opened the doors to Boss Hogg Outlawz. He then bought two record stores in texas and made his money working real estate. He worked on Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin” with Paul Wall in 2004 and after many delays in 2005, Slim Thug released his debut album with Star Trak Entertainment & Interscope Records “Already Platinum”. Later that year, he appeared on Beyonce’s #1 hit single “Check On it”. Slim thug then leaves Star Trak & Insterscope in 2008 after releasing 3 albums with Boss Hogg Outlawz. In 2009 he released “Boss Of All Bosses” which debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200. “The Thug Show” featuring Z-Ro & B.o.B. was released in 2010 followed by his 2013 EP “Welcome To Texas”.
Smoke DZA Raised in Harlem by two Guyanese immigrants, Smoke DZA was introduced to hip-hop at a young age. He dropped out of high school to pursue a rap career and in 2002 was discovered by Cinematic Music Group. Since then, Smoke has worked with talents such as Big K.R.I.T., Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Currensy, Domo Genesis, and Schoolboy Q.
Snoop Dogg Snoop Dogg (and/or Snoop Lion) needs no introduction. He’s a veteran in the game and the very definition of a real OG, synonymous not only with West Coast hip-hop, but the genre as a whole. Not to mention he’s one of the foremost marijuana advocates in the world. Since stepping foot in the rap game, he’s dropped 12 studio albums, 17 compilations, 20 mixtapes, a soundtrack and an EP, and has taken on multiple film, television and video game roles.
Solo Lucci Solo Lucci is a Texas native, born and raised. The rapper, who names Tupac, UGK, Swisha House and Master P as his influences, grew up in a single-parent household. His humble beginnings helped form his musical career, and he soon moved to Atlanta, Georgia in order to pursue music full time. He found mild success with his first single “Whip It,” and will continue to grow his buzz with his upcoming mixtape Life After Death, due out in Spring 2015.
Sonny Digital At only 24, Sonny Digital has already established himself as a prominent producer. His most notable productions have been ILoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday,” Future’s “Same Damn Time,” and 2 Chainz’s “Birthday Song.” He has also worked with Rae Sremmurd, Gorilla Zoe, YC, Gucci Mane, Ace Hood, Juicy J, Rich The Kid, Drake, Kanye West, Rick Ross, Waka Flocka Flame, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, Trae Tha Truth, Wale, Mac Miller, and more.
Soulja Boy For those unaware, Soulja Boy is a successful rapper, producer, actor and businessman. He was born in Chicago, but later moved to Mississippi to pursue a hip-hop career.
Sounwave Loyalty and hardwork permeate the soul of Top Dawg Entertainment, and if it weren’t for the overly dedicated output of in-house producer Sounwave (founding member of Digi+Phonics), the 21st Century’s greatest rap crew wouldn’t be where they are today.Born Mark Spears in Los Angeles, California, the Compton beatmaker began honing his craft at the age of ten. A staple of TDE, Sounwave has played a major role on all of Kendrick Lamar’s albums, producing standout tracks such as “Hol’ Up,” “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and “Alright.” Although he has not gotten the same fame and attention as TDE`s rappers, Sounwave`s music has undoubtedly transformed hip hop behind the boards.
Spade-O Spade-O is a veteran North Philly emcee of the Dutch & Spade and Major Figgas crews, whose influences include such artists as 2Pac, Rakim and Jay Z. Unfortunately, he spent twelve years of his life in prison, only having been released in early 2014. Throughout his career, he’s collaborated with Chief Keef, Quilly Millz, All Star, Big Ooh, Aylee P, Freeway, Gillie Da Kid, Dutch, Ab-Liva, Lihtz Kamraz and more. The last we heard of him (or rather the first) was a new collaborative track with Meek Mill titled “All For Love”, which was included on his February 2014 mixtape Unchained, hosted by DJ Drama and Cosmic Kev. Stay tuned for updates on Spade-O’s career. He just got a second chance in this game, and is looking to bring back the feeling and emotion.
Stalley Straigh out of Ohio, Stalley got his start in the game in 2008 when he released his mixtape MadStalley: The Autobiography. More recently, his mixtape Savage Journey To The American Dream was received well. He has collaborated with artists including Paul Wall, Scarface, Rick Ross, Ski Beatz, Curren$y, Meek Mill, Wale, and Gunplay.
Stat Quo It is quite an achievement to have both Dr. Dre and Eminem want to sign you, and Stat Quo did just that. The Atlanta-native signed to both Aftermath and Shady Records. He was supposed to release his debut album “Statlanta” in 2003, but it was continuously pushed back and ultimately was released through neither Aftermath nor Shady Records. Stat has released three albums and several mixtapes, and he has collaborated with many big-name artists and producers including Raheem DeVaughn, Devin the Dude, Talib Kweli, Boi 1-da, Marsha Ambrosius, Chamillionaire, DJ Felli Fel, Alchemist, Young Buck, Eminem, Bun B, Bishop Lamont, Wiz Khalifa, Game, and many others. In 2012 Stat founded Rolex Records (name was later changed to The Firm) with fellow rapper Game. He has yet to announce plans for an upcoming project, but his last album came in 2010, so we are certainly due for some new Stat Quo.
Sterling Simms Sterling Simms is a Philadelphia singer / songwriter who operates in the field of R&B, having been influenced by such artists as Usher, Boyz II Men, New Edition, Mario, Aaliyah, Brian McKnight and Sade. Throughout his nine-year career, he’s released two studio albums and two mixtapes, having collaborated with the likes of Meek Mill, Jadakiss, The-Dream, Sean Price, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, L.A. Reid, Kenny Gamble, Teddy Bishop, Allison Iraheta, Knightwritaz and more. The last we hear of Simms was his June 2013 single “I Know Love”, which featured Pusha T on the assist. He’s currently working on a new studio album titled “11 Missed Calls”. Stay tuned for updates on his career, folks.
STORi The Universe may not be able to contain her for long, but as Universal Motown’s latest signee, Stori’s talents as a singer/songwriter lend themselves to the powerhouse label. (“Stori has the ability to relate to the masses with her music.”) said Rex Rideout VP of Motown. The young New Jersey natives ability to paint a vivid picture with her edgy lyrics and rhythmic melodies instantly grab the attention of any first time listener. Stori studied the great artists who came before her like, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder and Johnny Cash giving a kaleidoscope style to her music. Her recent commitments to the label gives the term “full circle” a whole new meaning, after having studied the Motown sound as a child. “It is so surreal,” says the still in shock Stori. The New Jersey native plans to let her life experiences be the driving force behind her music. Stori reflects, “Throughout the years I’ve bounced from situation to situation…. and every time a door closed, immediately, another one opened.” It was one of those doors that put Stori in front of Jae Hill the CEO of Nextday Entertainment. It was then that she started developing her current sound including rap verses to her melodies; with that new electric sound she penned “Just Another Day,” an ode to New Jersey and Queen Latifah. With a catalog of hits she plans on unleashing something game changing in the years to come. Working on her album is paramount in Stori’s life at the moment, while honing her stage presence Stori plans to leave no stone unturned on this journey. She has perfected her writing abilities penning complete songs like “Just Another Day.” Stori wants people to not only relate to her music but go through an experience as well. Stori has worked with Taj Jackson of Nextday Entertainment as well as going through what she called vocal boot camp with renowned vocal coach Craig Derry (Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, etc.). Stori has goals and milestones in the forefront of her thinking,including live performances, and exciting visuals in her near future Stori’s well laid plan is being actualized. Since putting ink to paper it has become more and more evident that her years of “the grind” was just the tip of the iceberg. Label life for this talented young artist in just a few short weeks has proven to be surmountable in comparison. “The work has just begun” says Stori “and I looks forward to every second of it.”
Strong Arm Steady Among the most popular underground hip-hop groups is California-based Strong Arm Steady, consisting of Mitchy Slick, Phil Da Agongy, and Krondon. The group formed in 2003 and to date SAS has released six albums and many other projects – specifically mixtapes. The group was instrumental in making mixtapes a primary means of distribution, as today mixtapes are a key part of the hip-hop game.
Swizz Beatz From the Bronx, Kasseem Dean, now known as Swizz Beatz, has become omnipresent as a Hip-Hop and R&B producer. He’s worked with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Drake, Cassidy, and just about every mainstream recording artist on pop and urban radio, including Justin Bieber, Will.i.am, Miley Cyrus, and Usher. Of course, this is the same man who Kanye West claimed to be “the best rap producer of all time,” so it would be futile to name drop all of the mega-stars he’s collaborated with. He started producing track since he was 15, selling his first track to DMX. After climbing the proverbial ladder of the industry, Swizz Beats ventured forth in rapping on his own, releasing a solo(ish) record in ’07, called One Man Band Man. He has since provided beats for half of pop radio today and awaits his second album, “Haut Living.” Swizz has also pushed his own fashion designs, partnering with KidRobot and releasing a sneakerline for Reebok.
SZA Being the only woman on the artist roster of the most dominant label in hip-hop would be an intimidating experience for basically anyone. That is unless you’re as insanely talented as SZA, Top Dawg Entertainment’s PBR&B super villain. The Maplewood, NJ-songstress signed with Black Hippy’s label in July 2013, less than a year after she self-released her first project, See.SZA.Run. A few months after the signing, SZA released another free EP called S to rave reviews, followed by Z in 2014, her first project sold on iTunes. More recently, SZA was featured on “Consideration,” the excellent first track on Rihanna’s blockbuster album Anti. Fans of SZA still anxiously await her proper debut, the aptly titled A.
T-Minus The world needs more beats by T-Minus.
T-Pain If you’re familiar with Auto-Tune, you’re most likely familiar with T-Pain. Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, he made a name for himself in 2005 after releasing such hit singles as “I’m Sprung” and “I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper)”, the latter featuring Mike Jones.
T-Wayne With one of the catchiest opening couplets in rap history, T-Wayne AKA Rickey Wayne went from total obscurity to becoming a Vine legend with his viral sensation “Nasty Freestyle.” The song, released in 2015, managed to break the Internet despite having borrowed a beat from an already existing song, a phenomenon similar to that of Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga” ascendance. “Nasty Freestyle” earned T-Wayne a top ten spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and a record deal with 300 Entertainment, Lyor Cohen’s superstar trap team. Rickey Wayne certainly has the drive and skill to make himself pop off; now let’s see if the universe bends in his favor, and permits the Texas-rapper to finally hop out the muf*ckin Porsche.
Takeoff Takeoff is 1/3 of the Atlanta rap group Migos (consisting of Quavo, Takeoff and Offset). The group found fame with their hit single “Versace” in 2013, which got even bigger after Drake remixed it. Since then, the trio have released a few records as individual artists.
Talib Kweli Talib Kweli comes from a family of scholars and graduated from NYU with a degree in Experimental Theater. He is drawn to Afrocentric rap and is known for his social and political activism. He has had a long and consistant career since 1995. He has collaborated with Black Star, Curren$y, DeStorm Power, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Madlib, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell, Reflection Eternal, Res, The Roots, Kendrick Lamar, and Cassper Nyovest, among others.
Tamar Braxton Tamar Braxton is an R&B, Soul and Pop songstress from Severn, Maryland – she also happens to be Toni Braxton’s youngest sister, and is an actress, dancer and television personality as well. Throughout her career, she’s released three studio albums and an EP, and has collaborated with Jermaine Dupri, Amil, Master P, Silk, Sole, T. D. Jakes, Silk, Scott Galbraith, Sam Salter, Nicci Gilbert and more. The last we heard from her was her May 2013 single “The One”, which was produced by K.E. On The Track Tamar, Yung Berg and LaShawn Daniels and sampled The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy”. It was included on her latest album Love And War, which dropped in late July of that year. She currently hosts the new talk show “The Real” alongside Tamera Mowry, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon and Jeannie Mai.
Tank The R&B singer and popular industry songwriter, Tank, decided to forgo an offer to play college football, instead opting to focus on music – a decision which paid its dividends. His time spent lending backup vocals for Ginuwine led to the release of his first album, Force of Nature, from which an R&B top ten single was released, “Maybe I Deserve.” After a follow-up album was released (One Man), six years passed before the release of his next album, Sex, Love & Pain. However this was not time spent idle as Tank likened to songwriting, being credited on songs for the likes of Aaliyah, Charlie Wilson, and Jamie Foxx. He since released a two more records, memorably featuring Chris Brown and T.I. on a couple of songs. In 2007, Tank joined fellow R&B artists, Tyrese and Ginuwine, to form the supergroup TGT, releasing their debut album for Atlantic, called “Three Kings.” Although they’re no longer signed to Atlantic, the group remains active. As does Tank himself, just recently singing the national anthem before a Floyd “Money” Mayweather fight in Las Vegas.
Taylor Swift Pop superstar Taylor Swift might not want to admit it, but part of her fame could probably be attributed to an infamous VMAs incident involving the one and only Yeezy West. Sure, T-Swift was already a multi-platinum selling country star at the time of said award show, but that’s nothing compared to the cultural icon she’s become since.
TDE Top Dawg Entertainment is an independent record label based in Southern California founded by Anthony Tiffith in 2004. It is home to Black Hippy, individually consisting of Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul. More recently, Isaiah Rashad and SZA have signed deals with TDE and have released each released one album on the label thus far. The in-house production team, Digi+Phonics, consisting of Dave Free, Willie B, Tae Beast, and Sounwave, does most of the production for TDE releases.
Teairra Mari Teairra Mari was the kind of R&B singer who was plucked up by Jay-Z and signed away to Def Jam at age 16, releasing a fairly successful single, “Make Her Feel Good;” the remix of which featured Kanye West. Unfortunately, she was also the kind of R&B singer who would get a call on her prom night, informing her that she would be dropped from the label due to poor sales, despite not much in the way of promotion. Not to be deterred, Teairra released her first mixtape in 2009, which featured appearance by Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Soulja Boy. With the momentum gained from her mixtapes, she is now recording her next album which will be produced by Rico Love, releasing the lead single, “U Did That.” While the album has seen delays, Mari released her fifth mixtape, called “Unfinished Business.”
Teeflii Like the many greats who have done it before him, TeeFlii is a singer, rapper, and producer from a hotbed of hip-hop/R&B stars: Los Angeles. He began his music career in 2007, but first received serious attention in 2012 when he released his first mixtape “AnNieRuO’TAY 1”. He has since released three more mixtapes and has done a lot of work with DJ Mustard, who produced his most notable track “This D”.
Teyana Taylor With what started as an appearance on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16”, Teyana Taylor’s career has certainly taken off since then. Her commercial debut single “Google Me” was released in 2008, as the lead single from her mixtape “From A Planet Called Harlem.” Her second mixtape, “The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor” was released in early 2012 and was received well. Since then, Taylor has dabbled in acting, making appearances in movies like “Stomp The Yard” 1 and 2. Taylor also worked with Kanye West, providing vocals on his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” In 2012, Taylor joined forces with West’s label GOOD Music and The Island Def Jam Group. She has also collaborated with John Legend, R.Kelly, Wale and others. Taylor is currently working on her debut album.
Tha Dogg Pound One of the more prominent duos in hip-hop history is Tha Dogg Pound, made up of rappers Kurupt and Daz Dillinger. The two rappers formed the group after Dr. Dre suggested they do so while they were recording Dre’s album “The Chronic”. They released their debut album “Dogg Food” in 1995 under Death Row Records and the album eventually certified 2x platinum. Since forming as a duo, Tha Dogg Pound has released eight studio albums as well as various other collaboration albums and an EP.
The Beat Bully Don’t feel tormented if you can’t get your hands on an instrumental by The Beat Bully; not a lot of rappers can. With his kicks taking names and his snares giving swirlies, the producer born Anthony Tucker is a force to be reckoned with. A native of Chester, PA, The Beat Bully began producing under the name Tone Beats at the age of 13 in the footsteps of his older brother, fellow wizard Jahlil Beats. Tucker’s first big look came when he produced Meek Mill’s “House Party,” a major achievement for the young producer that was quickly followed up by an even bigger milestone, production on Rick Ross and Drake’s monster “Stay Schemin.” That was The Beat Bully’s breaking point, with the world of rap suddenly desperate for Tone’s tones. In Tucker’s prolific catalog, standouts include the legendary intro track from Meek Mill’s Dreams & Nightmares, as well as “Hype” from Drake’s record-breaking LP Views.
The Cool Kids Among the most notable duos in the recent years of hip-hop music are The Cool Kids. Chicago native Sir Michael Rocks and Detroit native Chuck Inglish – the latter of whom makes the groups beats and raps, too – met in 2005 and have since released one album called “When Fish Ride Bicycles” in 2011, as well as several other EPs and mixtapes. They are best known for their 2008 EP “The Bake Sale” that featured hit tracks including “Mikey Rocks”, “Gold and a Pager”, and “Black Mags”.
The Internet The Internet have come a long way from being that band from Odd Future. The neo-soul hip-hop groove collective formed by Syd tha Kid and Matt Martians have only grown stronger with each release, building big mainstream hype with their third studio album Ego Death, including a Grammy nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Featured artists on that album include Kaytranada, Vic Mensa & Janelle Monae. Before finding their niche with Ego Death, The Internet gained steam from cooking up remixes for artists such as Lana Del Rey, Charli XCX and alt-J. Another big move for the band was playing London with Mac Miller in 2013 to promote his Watching Movies LP. Expect bigger, deeper thangs.
The Notorious B.I.G. Y’all already know what it is. Despite his untimely passing in 1997, The Notorious B.I.G., god rest his soul, remains one of the most iconic figures in hip-hop to this day, and is widely considered to be the greatest to ever to it. Throughout his 5-year career, he Brooklyn representative collaborated with Diddy (of course), Faith Evans (whom he married in 1994 and is the mother of his son C.J.), Junior M.A.F.I.A., Lil’ Kim, 112, The Commission, 2Pac, Method Man, Jay Z, The LOX, R. Kelly, Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri, M.O.P., Organized Konfusion, Grand Puba, R.A. The Rugged Man, Coolio, Buckshot, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Heavy D, Sadat X, Mary J. Blige and more. He was killed by a still-unknown gunman in a drive-by shooting in L.A. on March 9th, 1997, and in 2000, his posthumous double album Life After Death was certified Diamond, an extreme rarity in the rap game. At the end of the day, we’ll always love Big Poppa. May he rest in peace.
The Ranger$ For those unaware, the The Ranger$ are a rap trio / dance crew out of Los Angeles, California currently consisting of members Julian Alexander Goins, Dashawn Blanks (aka DayDay / DayLang) and Jacorey Wayne Williams (AKA Corey). They’re perhaps best known for their involvement in the explosive “jerkin'” dance craze of 2009, having been one of the most popular crews to emerge during that time, winning numerous awards. Throughout their career, they’ve released multiple mixtapes and collaborated with the New Boyz, Baby Dollz Jhawk and many more. The last we heard of The Ranger$ was their Picture Perfect mixtape, hosted by DJ Carisma and DJ Goonie, which y’all can cop in our mixtape section. Stay tuned for updates on their career, folks.
The Roots Around since the late 80’s The Roots are legendary. Formed in Philly by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in 1987, the group has since released 10 studio albums, two collab albums, two EPs and have worked with countless artists of all genres. The Roots have won three Grammys, one of which was for Best R&B album for “Wake Up” in 2011. There is plenty of buzz around their upcoming album tentatively called “& Then You Shoot Your Cousin…” that has no release date as of yet. And as of February 2014, The Roots will be the official house band for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Thundercat Probably the most popular bass player making music today, Los Angeles musician Thundercat is the go-to guy for a left field classic. Playing in several bands of different genres before finding his niche, the artist born Stephen Bruner has been playing the bass since the age of fifteen.
Timbaland When discussing the great hip-hop producers of all time, Timbaland cannot go without mention. The ultra-talented artist known best for his hip-hop and R&B production has made countless hits, including Justin Timberlake’s 2006 album “FutureSex/LoveSounds”. The album sold more than 10 million copies and featured hugely popular songs in “SexyBack”, “My Love”, and “What Goes Around… Comes Around”. Since beginning his career in 1990, the Norfolk, Virginia-native has collaborated with almost every artist imaginable. The long list of artists for which Timbaland has produced for includes the late Aaliyah, whom he had a close relationship with, Missy Elliot, Boyz II Men, Janet Jackson, Usher, Jay-Z, Method Man, Nas, The LOX, Eminem, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, Nelly Furtado, Fabolous, Bubba Sparxxx, Destiny’s Child, Lil’ Kim, Game, Fat Joe, Ray J, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Rihanna, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Twista, T.I., Drake, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, and many, many more big-name artists. In 2013 alone, he produced for Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta… Holy Grail” album and Beyoncé’s “Beyoncé”, and numerous others. He has released three of his own studio-albums which feature other artists but also his own vocals. His 2007 album “Shock Value” certified platinum in the US and several other countries. In 2013, Timbaland signed to Roc Nation. In terms of his own music, he recently announced that he is working on a project with unreleased music from the late Michael Jackson. He is also working on his fourth studio-album titled “Textbook Timbo”, and in November 2013 he announced the first single called “Know Bout Me” featuring Drake, Jay-Z, and James Fauntleroy. An official release date has yet to be announced, but expect at least one project from Timbaland in 2014, and quite possibly more than one.
Tinashe Tinashe first found mild success as an actress, before transitioning over to r’n’b star. Before finding fame as a solo artist, Tinashe was a part of the Vitamin C-founded girl group The Stunners, which disbanded in 2011. Since then, Tinashe has pursued a solo career, with a string of mixtapes, culminating in her well-received debut album Aquarius. She recently dropped a post-album mixtape, Amethyst, while on tour for her “Aquarius World Tour.”
Tinie Tempah From South London, Tinie Tempah engraved his marker on the U.K. Hip-Hop market with his energetic lyricism and club-friendly production, becoming one of the largest rappers to appear from overseas. He recorded his first single, “Wifey,” when still a teenager and saw it become somewhat of an underground hit. Building off that momentum, Tinie established his very own label, Disturbing London, from which his first mixtapes were released, with the help of Chipmunk and DVA. And then came the big label, Parlophone, and his debut record, “The Disc-Overy,” which saw massive success. He’s since worked with Calvin Harris, J. Cole, and Big Sean, all the while successfully launching an arena tour, spanning the U.K. His next album, “Demonstration,” was released in 2013, featuring 2-Chainz, Ellie Goulding, and Dizee Rascal, among others, with production helmed by the likes of Diplo, Labrynth, and iSHi. For his third outing, the album will be called, “Labrinth,” and will be released sometime in 2014.
Tink An up-and-coming singer/rapper from Chicago. Tink first started singing in church and in a choir at a young age, before eventually trying her hand at rapping too. Her dad, who is a sound engineer, is also responsible for getting her into music. She debuted on the scene in 2012 with Winter’s Diary, a project she later followed up with Winter’s Diary 2.
TM88 Although born in Florida, TM88 is a god of Atlanta. Leader of the beloved/feared 808 Mafia alongside Southside, the producer born Bryan Lamar Simmons creates rap soundtracks on a daily basis. His beats have brought the best out of the South`s best rappers (Future, Gucci Mane, and Migos to name a few). Some of TM88`s hottest beats include Young Thug`s “Danny Glover,” and Drake`s “Company (feat. Travi$ Scott).”
Tony Yayo Perhaps best known as a member of the “gangster” rap group, G-Unit, of 50 Cent lore, Tony Yayo also sports a colorful solo career, having worked with artists like Eminem, Obie Trice, and Lloyd Banks, and producers such as DJ Khalil and J.R. Rotem. While his career has been plagued by a certain amount of legal trouble and his last solo album, “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon,” was released back in 2005, Yayo continues to be an active member within the Hip-Hop Community. Indeed, he has already begun work on another solo album and he has appeared with G-Unit on all of their endeavors. A single for his upcoming album has already been released and it is called, “Haters,” featuring Shawty Lo, Roscoe Dash, and – quite fittingly – 50 Cent. Still going strong on 50 Cent’s label, G-Unit Records, despite the entire imprint being dropped by Interscope, Tony will have a distribution deal with EMI, along with the rest of the label.
Torch After growing up in the Bronx, Torch moved to Miami where he met Rick Ross, Gunplay, and Young Breed. The four went on to form the rap group Triple C’s, aka Carol City Cartel. The rapper has also worked with Young Buck, Young Breed, Lil’ Flip, N.O.R.E., Saigon, Jim Jones, Busta Rhymes, and Trey Songz. He has been featured on the Maybach Music compilation albums, Self Made Vol. 1 and 3, as well as an album released with Triple C’s in 2009 titled Custom Cars & Cycles.
Tory Lanez For those unfamiliar, Tory Lanez, AKA Argentina Fargo, is an emerging emcee/vocalist born in Toronto, Ontario and raised throughout the United States Of America (though predominantly Georgia, California and Texas).
Towkio A general in an army full of generals, SaveMoney upstart Towkio is holding the torch for Chicago’s new wave high and steady. The rapper formerly known as Tokyo Shawn released his first proper project .Wav Theory in April 2015, an impressive effort featuring production from electro-hop heroes such as Lido and Kaytranada. Guest verses from pals like Vic Mensa and Chancellor Bennett got listeners to tune in, but the sticky flows of Towkio made the hordes stick around for the whole show. In Fall 2015, Towkio hit the road with Chance, Metro Boomin, and D.R.A.M for the Family Matters Tour. Keeping his name on everyone’s lips, Towkio has steadily released healthy singles on Soundcloud since .Wav Theory, and notably featured on Coloring Book’s “Juke Jam” with Justin Bieber.
Trademark Da Skydiver Trademark da Skydiver is a rapper who is known for being a member of his friend and fellow NO native Curren$y’s Jet Life collective. Trademark, AKA The Super Villain, appeared on Curren$y’s debut album “Pilot Talk” in 2010 and the rapper’s career has gone steadily gone up ever since. He has released several mixtapes, including his “Issue” series.
Trae Tha Truth Trae Tha Truth (or just Trae) is one of the more authentic artists currently operating in Texas, if not the South in general. A member of the Screwed Up Click and Guerilla Maab collectives, his gritty, chilling street narratives are like no other in the game, and you know there’s truth to them. Since stepping foot in the rap game in 1998, the Grand Hustle Records signee has collaborated with Z-Ro, Dougie D, Chamillionaire, Future, Gucci Mane, Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Bun B, Kirko Bangz, Wiz Khalifa, Lupe Fiasco, Big Boi, Wale, Rick Ross, Plies, Jodeci, Rich Boy, Lloyd, Lil Wayne, Fat Pat, Yung Joc, Big Hawk and many more, not to mention everyone in his Grand Hustle squadron. Most recently, the Houston native dropped a new mixtape titled “I Am King”, and he continues to put out episodes of his long-running cartoon series “Trae”, which is executive-produced by cartoonist Jay Sugarman and Omar Epps and overseen by Marlon Wayans. He’s also working on his seventh studio album Banned, which is slated to drop this year. Stay tuned.
Travi$ Scott Travi$ Scott is one of the more elusive and eccentric emcee/producers currently operating in the rap game. After getting his start in the high school duos The Graduates and The Classmates, he moved to Los Angeles and caught the attention of Epic Records, T.I. and eventually Kanye West, and is now signed to Epic, Grand Hustle and the Very GOOD Beats wing of Ye’s GOOD Music imprint. Throughout his young career, the Houston native has already collaborated with the likes of Meek Mill, the Migos, Audio Push, King Chip, John Legend, Ty Dolla $ign, Fredo Santana, Tinashe, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Birdman, Diddy, Trinidad James, B.o.B., 2 Chainz, Young Dro, Trae Tha Truth, Chuck Inglish, Hit-Boy, Pusha T and more, having released his debut mixtape Owl Pharaoh in May of 2013. Most recently, he appeared in LRG’s Fall 2013 Lookbook, described the 2013 BET Awards cyphers as “ass”, and appeared on the cover of The Fader. Stay tuned for the further adventures of the Owl Pharaoh.
Travis Davon Travis Davon, otherwise known as Bossman, is an emerging emcee born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland but currently operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada. After a few brief stints under Jermaine Dupri, Interscope and MySpace, he now owns and operates the independent imprint Get N Money Click (GMC). Y’all may be familiar with his singles “Off Da Record” and “Oh!”, which both popped off in Baltimore and beyond at the time of their release, as well as his “Break Me Off” remix, which featured Jim Jones, Gucci Mane and Raheem DeVaughn. The last we heard of Davon was the January 2014 cut “IDGAF”, which featured fellow Bodymore emcee King Los on the assist. He’s currently working on his latest mixtape, titled W.T.F.B. (Who The Fuck Is BOSSMAN), which is slated to drop in March 2014. Stay tuned for updates on his career – he’s a DMV soldier, through and through.
Trevor The Trashman Trevor The Trashman is an emerging emcee, producer and trap DJ from Chicago, Illinois with a sincere if not slightly absurdist approach to the rap and trap games, respectively. In his own words, his style ranges from “the obscene and weird” to “sweet and smooth love ballads”, and “frequently borders the line between appropriate and inappropriate, without apology”.
Trey Songz The young and successful R&B crooner originally aspired to be a rapper when he was in high school.  Thankfully Trey Songz dropped rhyming when his friends heard his smooth tenor voice and encouraged him to pursue a singing career.
Trick Daddy Trick Daddy’s first big break was when he appeared on the track “Scarred” by former 2 Live Crew member Luther “Luke” Campbell. After getting signed to new label Slip-n-Slide Records, Trick Daddy released his debut album “Based on a True Story” in 1997. His second album “www.thug.com” came out in 1998, which was when his hit song “Nann Nigga” featuring Trina made it to number 3 on the Billboard Hot Rap singles chart. Since then he’s worked with the likes of Twista, the Ying Yang Twins, and Young Jeezy.
Troy Ave Troy Ave is an emerging emcee from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York City who has an acute affinity for powder. Since stepping foot in the game in 2009, he’s released a studio album and nine mixtapes, having collaborated with the likes of Pusha T, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, Mac Miller, 2 Chainz, Styles P, Harry Fraud, Sledgren, Scram Jones, Phace, Nick Bishop, Action Bronson, Fabolous, Maffew Ragazino, Lucky Thompson, Smoke DZA, AR-Ab, Chase N Cashe, Sevin, Avon Blocksdale,  Young Lito, Raekwon, Prodigy, Noreaga and more. Most recently, he performed at Summer Jam XX, released his debut studio album New York City: The Album and marvelled at Chance The Rapper’s sudden success. Stay tuned for the further adventures of Harry Powder.
Tsu Surf Tsu Surf cut his teeth in the battle rap world, but has recently been making waves with his well-received mixtapes.
Tuki Carter One of the most talented artists in the hip-hop industry is Taylor Gang member Tuki Carter. He is an artist in multiple senses, as he is a growing rapper, but also a brilliant, successful tattoo artist. Though born in Cali, he has relocated to Atlanta where he has spent recent years. In 2012, he dropped his “Atlantafornication” mixtape.
Turk Among the many hip-hop artists to hail from New Orleans is rapper Turk. Although he is well known for being a member of the Hot Boys alongside Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and B.G., Turk has had a successful solo career. Since beginning his music career in 1996, he has released five studio albums as well as other projects.His 2001 debut album “Young & Thuggin’” reached #2 on the US R&B charts and #9 on the overall charts.
Twista Along with the many other big Chicago hip-hop names is the fastest rapper in the world: Twista. Known for his speedy, Chopper-style raps, Twista is literally the fastest rapper in the world according to Guinness World Records. He began his career in 1992 and has since released eight studio-albums and one EP.  His four albums released from 2004-2009 all reached the top 10 of the US Billboard chart, and ‘Kamikaze’ reached the top spot, as did its’ hit single “Slow Jamz”. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with artists such as Jamie Foxx, Kanye West, R. Kelly, Faith Evans, Trey Songz, Pitbull, Mariah Carey, Pharell, Akon, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Memphis Bleek, Damon Dash, Trick Daddy, Beanie Sigel, Pimp C, DJ Drama, Mike Jones, The Alchemist, DJ Khaled, Tech N9ne, Bobby V, Lil Scrappy, Jay-Z, Lil’ Kim, Too Short, Usher, Mobb Deep, Cam’ron, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Bun B, Chamillionaire, Future, Killer Mike, Joe Budden, and Lady Gaga, among others. His extensive list of collaborations echoes what Twista can do with a verse. He released the EP ‘Back to the Basics’ at the end of 2013. Expect his ninth studio-album ‘The Dark Horse’ to drop in 2014.
Ty Dolla $ign Ty Dolla $ign was best known for YG’s “Toot It and Boot It,” which he wrote and produced for Def Jam, however, more recently he’s become a hip-hop star in his own right. Being the son of a musician, Ty Dolla $ign learned many instruments growing up including bass guitar, drums, keyboards and even the MPC. Ty signed with Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang in the summer of 2013, and went on to release the successful “Beach House 2” mixtape. He’ll be following that up with his “Beach House EP” on January 21st 2014. The singer’s recent work with DJ Mustard is what really put the spotlight on him, specifically the track “Paranoid,” which first appeared on Mustard’s mixtape “Ketchup,” but is now an official single.
Tyga Tyga is one of YMCMB’s most successful young signees, catapulted into the mainstream by the success of his 2012, DJ Mustard-produced hit “Rack City”, which reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified Platinum twice over.
Tyrese Aside from being an actor, author, and television producer, Los Angeles-native Tyrese is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. The hip-hop/R&B artist began his music career in 1994. He has since released five studio albums. His first, “Tyrese”, certified Platinum and sold 1.3 million copies, and his next two albums both certified Gold. In 2007, Tyrese, along with fellow R&B artists Ginuwine and Tank formed the group TGT. The trio signed with Atlantic Records in 2012, and the following year they released their debut album “Three Kings”. The album topped the US R&B charts. Over the course of his career, Tyrese has collaborated with several big-name artists including Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Case, Chingy, Monica, Busta Rhymes, R. Kelly, David Guetta, Keith Murray, and numerous others. He was recently announced as a 2014 Grammy-nominee along with his fellow member of TGT for their “Three Kings” album. It is his fourth Grammy nomination. He also announced the title of what will be his final solo album: “Black Rose”. He has yet to announce an official release date, but expect the project to drop in 2014.
UGK “UGK” stands for “Underground Kingz”, and that’s exactly what this duo were. Unfortunately, member Pimp C passed away suddenly in 2007, but remaining member and pioneering southern emcee Bun B continues to keep the legacy alive. Their biggest mainstream moment would have to be their critically acclaimed appearance on Jay Z’s 2000 single “Big Pimpin'”, an undisputed classic, although they truly excelled in the underground, as their name suggests. Throughout their 20-year run, they collaborated with the likes of DJ Screw, Outkast, Paul Wall, Three 6 Mafia, 8Ball & MJG, Slim Thug and many more. The last we heard from them was a 2011 collaboration between Bun B and Big K.R.I.T. titled “Grippin’ On The Wood”, which featured archival vocals from Pimp C. May he rest in peace.
Ugly God Does Ugly God got your bitch? Too early to tell. All we can say at the moment is that this maniacal Houston rapper is paving the way for visually stifling people everywhere. Flipping the script one too many times, Ugly God doesn’t make songs for ringtones; he makes ringtones his songs. “I Beat My Meat,” the rapper’s first release, heavily samples the all too familiar melody projecting from people’s pockets. Since the initial buzz, Ugly God has kept the 0’s and 1’s flicking with Soundcloud classics such as “Booty From A Distance,” “Bitch, I Got Yo Bitch,” and Ugly God’s modern political anthem “Bernie Sanders.” While the hoes were sleeping, Ugly God signed to iLoveMakonnen’s upstart label Red Dragon in March 2016. Swag swag.
Uncle Murda Known for his outspoken, fearless rapping style, Brooklyn-native Uncle Murda is following in the footsteps of the many rap-legends to come from New York. He began his music career in 1999, but got his big break when Jay-Z signed him to Roc-A-Fella Records in 2007. However, he left the Roc the following year. He has had a successful career, though, having released an album as well as seven mixtapes. Uncle Murda, also known as U.M., has collaborated with many notable artists, producers, and DJs including French Montana, DJ Kay Slay, Fabolous, Statik Selektah, Memphis Bleek, Tony Yayo, Papoose, Maino, Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Capone-N-Noreaga, Waka Flocka Flame, Young Buck, Styles P, Wyclef Jean, Funkmaster Flex, and several other big names. On Funkmaster Flex’s 2013 tape “Who You Mad At? Me Or Yourself?”, U.M. spit some controversial bars about the state of the rap game and the beefs that exist on the track “Do Sumthin”. In terms of upcoming music from Uncle Murda, he recently announced that he would be dropping a mixtape with his GMG crew on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2014.
Usher Under his mononym Usher, the mega successful R&B and pop icon skyrocketed to fame at the tender age of 14 and hasn’t stopped since.  Serving as a prototype for the modern male R&B artist, the singer, songwriter, dancer, actor and businessman has collaborated with the likes of Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, Beyonce, Diddy, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Lil Jon, R. Kelly and many more.  With number 1 songs spanning back to the 90s, Usher is considered one of the most successful male recording artists of all time.  He revealed in May 2013 that he is working on his 8th studio album although no release date has been announced.  Speaking on the upcoming project, Usher said that listeners can expect “space and sky, that’s what it’ll be. You look up, and it’s everything you can imagine.” As a recent judge on the popular singing contest and program “The Voice”, Usher is scheduled to return for the sixth season of the show in 2014.
Vic Mensa At an impressive 22 years of age, Vic Mensa has taken the world by storm with his lyrical ability and fresh take on rapping. His first single “Down On My Luck” was an international success. He’s worked with Kanye West, recently performing alongside Yeezy at one of Chance the Rapper’s open mic events for high schoolers at the University of Chicago. Vic has also worked extensively with Chance the Rapper as well as J. Cole, Wale, Danny Brown, Ab-Soul, Thundercat, Boi-1da, DJ Dahi, Kaytranada, Asher Roth, and more.
Waka Flocka Waka Flocka is currently one of the biggest presences in the rap game, both literally and figuratively, and is a true trap champion, facilitating the art of turning up with his music and movement. He rose to recognition after the success of his 2009 singles “No Hands”, “O Let’s Do It” and “Hard In Da Paint”, which led to his signing with Gucci Mane’s 1017 Brick Squad Records and Warner Bros. Records. He now runs his own label, Brick Squad Monopoly, which is home to Wooh Da Kid, 808 Mafia, Dirt Gang, YG Hootie, Joe Moses, Haitian Fresh and more.
Warren G Warren G requires little introduction. The Long Beach, California emcee/producer is one of the West Coast’s most beloved veterans, perhaps best known for his 1994 hit singles “This D.J.” and “Do You See” and “Regulate” (which featured the late Nate Dogg, may he rest in peace). Throughout his prolific career, the LBC representative has released six studio albums and collaborated with the likes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Dru Down, Richie Rich, Shock G, Spice 1, Nate Dogg, Akon, Obie Trice, Young Jeezy, Ne-Yo, Mark Morrison, Trina, Shade Sheist, Peter Andre, Sissel, The Rapsody, The Game, Ray J, B-Real, Side Effect, Xzibit, Ron Isley, Adina Howard, and many more. Most recently, he performed at 2013 West Coast Fest tour alongside E-40, DJ Quik, Mack 10, Tha Dogg Pound, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Warren G, Suga Free and Baby Bash and more. Stay tuned for the further adventures of Warren G. (Oh yeah, homie’s sold more than ten million records internationally.)
Wiki As a solo artist and as the front man of his band RATKING, Wiki AKA Patrick Morales is steadily becoming one of New York City’s underground kings. Somewhere between Slim Shady and Animal Collective lies Wiki’s unique alt-punk-rap style, a combination of dense lyricism and infectious energy usually over off-kilter difficult instrumentals. Along with fellow band mates Hak and Sporting Life, Wiki released RATKING’s debut album So It Goes in 2014 on XL Recordings to great acclaim, garnering the honor of best album of the year according to Noisey UK. Wiki has gone on to collaborate with underground favorites like Earl Sweatshirt, Skepta, and most notably, Run the Jewels on their highly-esteemed second LP. With the release of his solo mixtape Lil Me in December 2015, Wiki has showed he’s a force to be reckoned with, squaded up and/or standing alone.
Willie The Kid Grand Rapids, Michigan isn’t exactly a hotbed for rappers, but Willie the Kid has been another artist to prove that you don’t have to come from a major city to make it in the hip-hop industry. The man best known for being a disciple of DJ Drama began his music career in 2006 and has since released one studio album, “Absolute Greatness”, in 2008, and many other projects including a collaborative EP with Alchemist.
Wizkid Putting your city on the map ain’t easy when your whole continent been slept on, but Wizkid the Nigerian Prinz uses that to fuel his already massive fire. Beginning his career under the alias Lil Prinz at the age of 11, Wizkid didn’t find true shine in Africa until he released his debut studio album Superstar in 2011, featuring his breakout single “Holla At Your Boy.” His second album Ayo was released in 2014, and featured American artists like Akon, Tyga and Wale. Wizkid got his first massive look in the United States when Drake and Skepta remixed “Ojuelegba” and released it on OVO Sound Radio in July 2015. Building on that OVO affiliation, Wizkid was featured alongside Kyla on Drake’s biggest hit to date, “One Dance.” Making waves across the planet, Wizkid is the first artist from his native country to have over one million Twitter followers, and has been seen hitting the studio with superstar producers like Diplo and Swizz Beats. The Nigerian takeover is only beginning.
WondaGurl WondaGurl is an enigma.
Wooh Da Kid Wooh Da Kid is Waka Flocka Flame’s younger brother. Throughout his young career, he’s appeared on multiple mixtapes, released several of his own and collaborated with his brothers, DJ Holiday, Drumma Boy, Southside, Zaytoven, Lex Luger, French Montana, Haitian Fresh, Cartier Kitten, Kebo Gotti, Cartel, Muff Mommy and more. The last solo offering we heard from him was the January 2013 track “Cut Throat”. Stay tuned.
Wu-Tang Clan The Wu-Tang Clan formed in 1993 and consisted of members; RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killah, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The group is associated with Staten Island, reffered to as “Shaolin,” though some members have ties to Brooklyn. They are considered to be the greatest rap group of all-time by most, thanks to their diversity, classic albums, and unique approach. The Wu-Tang Clan was created to become a revolutionary force by creating a debut album, and then spurring out into as many side projects as possible for it’s nine members. Their first single “Protect Ya Neck,” led to the signing with Loud, which allowed for each member to record their own separate solo albums outside of the group. “Enter the Wu-Tang” was their first album with Loud and included; “C.R.E.A.M,” and “Can It Be All So Simple.” Method Man was the first member to branch out into a solo career, but Raekwon, O.D.B, Ghostface Killah, GZA, RZA and U-God all experienced success outside of the group. Despite a litany of legal issues and solo success, the group went on to produce “Wu-Tang Forever,” “The W,” and their own “Wu Wear” clothing line.
Wyclef Jean Wyclef Jean is a Haitian-American rapper, songwriter, singer, musician, and recording producer. He gained fame as a part of the Fugees, and has won three Grammy Awards throughout his career. Clef burst onto the scene in 1993 with the Fugees debut album, “Blunted On Reality.” The group also consisted of Lauryn Hill and Wycelf’s cousin, Prakazrel Pra Michel, whom would all go on to release “The Score” in 1996. The album won 2 Grammy Awards for Best R&B performance by a group with vocal for “Killing Me Softly” and best rap album. 1997 saw Wyclef’s first solo album “The Carnival,” which went platinum. Wyclef also helped produce hits for Whitney Houston and Carlos Santana,  which led to his Fugee Camp production company.
XV At fifteen years old, Donavan Johnson began to seriously pursue a musical career after the death of his close friend, hence his moniker, “XV.” He released a staggering 18 mixtapes, only gaining attention after his twelfth release, “Everybody’s Nobody,” recieved two awards from DJ Booth. In his musical career he has worked with B.o.B., Patrick Stump, Kendrick Llamar, and Schoolboy Q, whilst having production handled by the likes of Just Blaze and Omen on occasion. In 2010, XV announced that he had signed to Warner Bros. Records, and released an EP through them called simply, “Awesome EP.” His album, “The Kid with the Green Backpack,” has a tentative release date set at 2015.
Ya Boy Rich Rocka, the man who formerly went by Ya Boy, is a rapper from San Francisco who began his music career in 2002. He dropped his first album, “Rookie of the Year” in 2005, and has since released several mixtapes and one EP, but has yet to release another studio album. Throughout the course of his career, he has been signed to both Game and Akon’s labels.
Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is among the best emcees to ever do it, never once compromising his artistic integrity for mainstream recognition (although he’s achieved it nonetheless). Since his beginnings with the Urban Thermo Dynamics collective in the early nineties, he’s gone on to release four studio albums, three compilations and a collaborative album (that being Black Star’s self-titled debut with Talib Kweli), having collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Da Bush Babees, N’Dea Davenport, The High & Mighty, Skillz, DJ Honda, Ronny Jordan, DJ Shadow, Floetry, Immortal Technique, The Gorrilaz, Bobby Womack, Reflection Eternal, Jay Electronica, J. Cole, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Fat Joe, Miguel, Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes and many more throughout his storied 23-year career. Most recently, he teamed up with director Asif Kapadia and Human Rights organization Reprieve and underwent the standard force-feeding procedure for Guantanamo Bay detainees to raise awareness of the 100 inmates who’d been holding a hunger strike there during the summer of 2013. Also, he performed in Africa on January 17th, 2014 in remembrance of the great Muhammed Ali, also releasing three new singles as part of the “The Time Is Always Now” initiative spearheaded by the A COUNTRY CALLED EARTH collective. Stay tuned for updates on this hip-hop hero’s career.
YG Hootie For those unfamiliar, YG Hottie is an emerging emcee from Compton, California currently operating under Waka Flocka Flame’s Brick Squad Monopoly imprint. Throughout his career, he’s released multiple projects and collaborated with the likes of Southside, Gucci Mane, Frenchie, Cratel, MGM, Slim Dunkin, Lex Luger, Prince, Purps, Ruga Beats, Mike Will Made It, Wooh Da Kid, Bo Deal and many more. The last we heard of Hootie was a November 2013 collaboration with childhood friend Kendrick Lamar titled “Two Presidents”, which found the pair depicting themselves as the rap game Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. He also dropped a new project in early February 2014 titled Destroy & Rebuild. Stay tuned for updates on his career, y’all – there’s more to come, we’re sure, considering the newfound attention he’s received since collaborating with K.Dot.
Yo Gotti Yo Gotti (formerly Mario Mims and Lil Yo) is one of the most noteworthy artists to emerge from Memphis, Tennessee in recent memory.
Young Buck Young Buck is a veteran in the street rap game. Signing with Birdman’s Cash Money Recods back in 1995, Young Buck was loyal for 9 years until 2004 where he and Juvenile skipped out and went to UTP Records and the group UTP Playas. At UTP, is where Young Buck met 50 Cent, who was quick to sign Young Buck to his rapidly growing imprint G-Unit. Making a name in music, Buck also had many run-ins with the law and other rappers. He was accused of stabbing a man at the 2004 VIBE awards, and also had his fair share of rap beefs with artists like Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, and Game. However, throughout his six solo album career, Buck has collaborated with many of the game’s hardest rappers including former G-Unit members 50 Cent, The Game, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo, among others like Ludacris, Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat, David Banner, T.I., Stat Quo, and the list goes on. It’s been a rough go for Buck since he was kicked out of 50’s G-Unit crew in 2008, he has run into financial troubles and he recently escaped an attempted drive-by shooting in his hometown. However, so far in 2014, Buck is making a strong comeback and has released a slew of freestyles and remixes over some of today’s hottest’s tracks. Be on the lookout for a new project from Young Buck in 2014.
Young Ca$h Young Cash, otherwise known as Joey Galaxy, is an emcee born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida who currently operates out of Miami and under T-Pain’s Nappy Boy Entertainment imprint. Throughout his career, he’s collaborated with the likes of Shawn J, Mike Jones, B.o.B., Iceburg, Brisco, Piccalo, JT Money, Ball, Field Mob, 2 Chainz, Destinee, Yo Gotti, Gudda Gudda, Bun B and many more. The last we heard of him was the July 2013 mixtape Win Or Die, which featured guest appearances from Akon, T-Pain, 2 Chainz, Ace Hood, Manny G, Twin, Chayo Nash, Mirror Mirror and more. Stay tuned for updates on his career, y’all – he’s fresh out the pen and hungry.
Young Chris For those unfamiliar, Young Chris (not to be confused with Decatur, Georgia spitter Yung Chris), is an emcee / songwriter who composed half of Philly rap duo Young Gunz alongside Neef Buck. Other than his Young Gunz work, the GRAMMY-nominee has released twelve full-length projects and collaborated with the likes of Rico Love, Freeway, Busy Signal, Emjay, Billy Blue, JW, Lil Wayne, J. Cole, Bobby Valentino, Latif, Memphis Bleek, Dame Dash, Tu Phace, Don Cannon, DJ Drama, Rell, Raheem DeVaughn, BJ, Curren$y, Twista, Tom Hardy, Pha, Wale, Rhymefest, Remy Hendrix, Peedi Crakk, Black Thought, Pooda Brown, Revenue Rich, Kool G Rap, Ma$e, Jr. Reid, M.O.P. and more since stepping foot in the rap game in ’95. Most recently, he’s been releasing a slew of freestyles, the latest having been a reworking of Kid Cudi and Hit-Boy’s “Old School Caddy” instrumental, released in early February 2014. He’s currently working on a new studio album titled Alive. Stay tuned for updates on his movements as a solo artist, ya’ll.
Young Dolph Born on the South Side of Chicago and raised in notoriously known Castalia Heights neighborhood in South Memphis, Young Dolph emerged in the urban music scene and amassed a large dedicated fan base.
Young Dro Blessed with a permanent and playful sense of fun, Young Dro has made a career of popping, occasionally hilariously crude and effectively clever, southern-styled tracks. He rose to prominence with the release of his first album, Best Thang Smoking which featured the massively popular single, Shoulder Lean, featuring fellow southern rapper, T.I. It would be seven years before Young Dro released another album, although it would be wrong to accuse him of being inactive, considering that he released a staggering twelve solo mixtapes during this period which proved popular with Underground listeners, most notably his release of Day 2 which recieved critical acclaim. In 2013 he released his second album, High Times, to positive reviews. This time around he continued to collaborate with T.I. and also featured appearances from Doe B. and Mac Boney, under tracks produced by the likes of Smash Factory and Lil C.
Young Sam For those unfamiliar, Young Sam is an emerging emcee from South Central Los Angeles (AKA “Trapfornia”), perhaps best known for his contributions to California’s “jerkin'” dance craze (he describes his sound as dance-encouraging feel-good music). Since his beginnings with the HoodLyfe and Marvel Inc. collectives, as well as the release of his debut mixtape I’m My Own Enemy, he’s gone on to release a slew of projects, having collaborated with the likes of IAMSU, 2ElevenDJ, Crashd, Soulja Boy and many more. The last we heard of Young Sam was the February 2014 remix of YG and DJ Mustard’s “Who Do You Love” single. Stay tuned for updates on his career, and hit up sammight69her.com for more details.
Young Scooter Young Scooter is an emerging Atlantan emcee affiliated with Future’s Freebandz movement and Gucci Mane’s 1017 Brick Squad, who also owns and operates his own label Black Migo Gang.
Young Thug Among the up-and-coming rappers out of of ATL is Brick Squad affiliate and recent Cash Money signee Young Thug. He began his music career in 2010 and began opening eyes in 2011 and 2012 when he released his three part “I Came From Nothing” mixtape series. His 2013 tape “1017 Thug” received great reviews from major music critics including Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Though just 21-years-old, he has collaborated with several notable rapper and producers including Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, Flame, Metro Boomin, Young Scooter, Wale, A-Trak, Casino, Nicki Minaj, Rich Homie Quan, and others. His 2013 debut single “Stoner” was remixed by the likes of Wale, Jim Jones, Iamsu!, and Jadakiss. Young Thug signed to Cash Money in 2013 and is also featured on Brick Squad’s upcoming album “Big Money Talk”. He is known for making music fast and said he is making mixtapes with Chief Keef and Rich Homie Quan, so expect more than one project from Young Thug in 2014.
Your Old Droog As mysterious as he is lyrically dexterous, Your Old Droog may be one of the strangest breakout stories in recent hip-hop history. In 2014, a Ukrainian-American rapper living in Coney Island posts his debut EP on Soundcloud without a photo of himself attached, and the entire Internet combusts with conspiracy theories that it’s Nas in disguise making a comeback. Flattering? Maybe. But once the young Brooklyn spitter revealed his true identity to the world at his first sold out show at Webster Hall in Manhattan, it may have put the Nas-rumors to rest, but it only kept the people more curious about how this guy was as insanely talented as he is. Since his initial debut, Your Old Droog has released two more EPs, titled Kinison and The Nicest, and has kept his nostalgic 90s fans itching for more music and more info about this mysterious MC.
Yung Joc Yung Joc is an emcee born and raised in College Park, Georgia. He got his start with Russell “Block” Spencer of Block Enterprises, and initially founded, owned and operated his own imprint, Mastermind, which has since been renamed Swagg Team Entertainment. Since landing a deal with Bad Boy South after the success of his debut single “It’s Goin’ Down” in 2006 (which has since been annulled), the GRAMMY award nominee has released two studio albums, an independent album and a mixtape, having collaborated with the likes of David Banner, Chris Brown, T-Pain, Griff, Big Gee, Marques Houston, Ms. B, Boyz N Da Hood, Cheri Dennis, Black Owned C-Bone, Chino Dolla, Gorilla Zoe, Young Dro, Bun B, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, Mike Carlito, Southern Girl, Jazze Pha, Trick Daddy, Block, Durt Boy, Play Boy Dolla and more. The last we heard of him was the August 2012 cut “Mollie”, which featured T-Pain on the assist. Stay tuned for updates on his movements, y’all.
Z-Ro Self-proclaimed pioneer of the singing-rapping thang, Houston`s Z-Ro is respected in the H-Town like DJ Screw. In the vein of Nate Dogg and Bone Thugs, Z-Ro’s melodic flow has wowed audiences in and out of the South consistently for nearly two decades. Among Z-Ro’s close affiliates are legendary cats such as Scarface, Willie D, and the late Pimp C. Since releasing his debut LP Look What You Did To Me in 1998, the Texas rapper has released 18 studio albums, seven collaborative projects with other rappers, and more than 15 mixtapes. Between the years 2008 and 2012, Z-Ro, ever the perfectionist, released five acclaimed albums named after drugs (Crack, Cocaine, Heroine, Meth, and Angel Dust). His latest album Drankin’ and Drivin’ was released in July 2016.
Zayn From the working-class life of Bradford, England to the tippity top of the music business, Zayn Malik has made all the right choices. Four LPs into X-Factor X-periment One Direction, Zayn decided to call it quits and go solo to the reprimand of many a tweenage female. With the help of producer Malay (one of the masterminds behind Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange), Zayn created his debut album Mind Of Mine, escaping the shadow of his boy band past and catapulting himself to respectability. The album’s lead single “Pillowtalk” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with the help of a lustful clip featuring Zayn’s lady-friend Gigi Hadid. NOLA’s finest Lil Wayne eventually hopped on the single’s remix, as he would. Expect much competition when Harry Styles comes out the dugout swinging.
Zaytoven Xavier Dotson, known by his moniker, Zaytoven, is a producer signed to Gucci Mane’s label, 1017 Brick Squad Records. He has worked prolifically with Gucci Mane, contributing to at least one song on all of his albums. He has also worked with Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, Gorilla Zoe, Young Jeezy, OJ Da Juiceman, Future, Usher, Waka Flocka Flame, Metro Boomin, and Chief Keef, and produced Migos’ break-out hit single “Versace.”
zHUNDRED zHUNDRED is an emerging songwriter and vocalist who divides his time between Atlanta, Georgia and California. Although he hardly limits himself musically, having dabbled in Pop, Inspirational and Alternative music, his primary focusses are R&B, Hip-Hop and Soul. Since releasing his debut mixtape Sex And Roses, he’s collaborated with the likes of K.E. On The Track, Slimm Duddy, K. Dawson, SD, Lil Chuckee, Will A Fool, Tyreal Lewis, Major7, The Boom Man and more throughout his relatively young career. The last we heard of zHUNDRED was the September 2013 mixtape Crowded Places, which was hosted by DJ S.R. Stay tuned for updates on his career, y’all – he’s just getting started.