We here at DC really try to champion the underdog; the ones breaking their backs to climb the ladder of the music industry. From underground champion to wave-starting hitmaker, it’s a fun journey to watch, and something we’ve come to cherish. It’s incredible seeing someone achieve their dreams right before your eyes, and you can’t help but feel good for ’em.
Today we celebrate 10 artists that we believe are primed for a major year in 2016 and much more success beyond that. You may be familiar with some, but there’s more than likely something that’ll be new to your ears. Check out our picks below and let us know if you agree!
Amir Obè has come a long way sonically in a few years, and he definitely reached super saiyan 4 this past year when he triumphantly reemerged and started turnin’ up on everyone. From precise singles to a very solid project, OVO co-signs and more, Amir had quite a year, though it was clearly just the tip of the iceberg. He’s already kicked off 2016 with a monster hit in “Before The Vomit,” and we’re positive it’s just a warmup for what’s coming. There’s a storm brewing, and Obè is the catalyst.
Jon Waltz is a tremendous artist from Tennessee who’s been quiet for awhile now, but has some big tracks on the way. His last release, “Anna,” was a smash, and even caught the attention of Jaden Smith, who was actually supposed to premiere a record of Jon’s before it’s release was delayed. Even so, it was obviously a great look for him, and only adds to the loads of momentum he has coming into 2016. I really can’t wait for him to drop some new music, and if you listen to “Anna” you’ll see why.
It’s no secret that Smino is a favorite of ours here at DC, and it’s his genre-bending style that makes his music so infectious. He and his partner-in-crime Monte Booker have crafted some crucial hits thus far, and don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. His refreshing flavor of futuristic R&B is just plain awesome, and we’re really excited to see what the future holds for him.
These guys are starting something big.
The DMV is a hotbed of talent, with tons of eclectic sounds coming out of the area—from trap artists to singers, go-go and more thoughtful, conscious artists. Ciscero falls into the latter category, as he holds a tremendously soulful flavor of hip-hop that has resulted in some great singles in recent months. With his track “Kids Wear Crowns” reaching over 100k plays and his track “Na Na Na” with Sugg Savage and GoldLink grabbing major accolades, he’s primed for a big year in 2016—especially as we near the release of his debut project titled Kids Wear Crowns. Look out for Ciscero as he looks to be one of the next out of the DMV.
The Roy Woods-affiliated Tripsixx dropped an insanely dope EP a month or so ago, and it immediately put him firmly on our radar as one of the premier artists coming out of Canada. He has a ferocious energy behind the mic and slick lyricism that’ll have you doing the stankface head-bob repeatedly. Tripsixx’s gritty, in-your-face style of music is plain undeniable, and we really look forward to what he comes out with next.
Florida is one of the best regions for underground hip-hop these days, and one of their lowkey gems is DC favorite GABRL. His extremely polished style and hard-hitting delivery just grabs ya by the shirt collar and gives you a good ol’ shake, having you pumped and ready to take on any final boss in your way. While he was scarce on releases in 2015, he did treat fans with a magnificently-crafted project entitled Here’s A Mixtape, packed with heavy lyricism and flows for days. We’re majorly excited for what he’s got cookin’, and you can be sure to find it all right here on DC.
Speaking of Florida hip-hop, you can’t mention it without bringing up buzzing rhymesmith Wifisfuneral. He’s been unloading some serious heat lately, and was even appointed the newest member of Lucki Eck$‘ 197 Dash Boyz cabinet. His gritty raps and raw lyrics make for quite a mix, and always result in a trunk-rattling track just waiting to blow some speakers out. Be sure to look out for much more from Wifi soon, we’re sure he’s got some hot shit on the way.
Anik Khan is one of my favorite upcomers right now, largely because of his refreshing style and masterful mix of genres. The Bengali-born, Queens-bred artist has been consistent with the hits, and his latest track “Too Late Now” is just too damn smooth. He elegantly glides over the bouncy, funkatronic instrumental from Jarreau Vandal, and all adds up for a tremendous track that has me anxiously awaiting more.
Madeintyo experienced a viral rise throughout the second half of 2015, and his infectiously buoyant, monotoned style of rap is sure to have you moving—and that’s something that’s missing from a lot of music these days. Try blasting “Uber Everywhere” or “Bool’n” over some speakers and not gettin’ jiggy to the shit—unless you’re fuckin’ a snob, it’s damn near impossible. Tokyo consistently brings a fun and enjoyable energy with his music, and it’s clearly been working for him. He was even spotted in the studio with A$AP Rocky and Tyler, The Creator recently, so don’t be surprised if we see some sort of collab sometime down the road. Along with his equally-potent Private Club Records squad, it looks like it’s going to be a great year.
G4shi has long been dropping dope ass records, and kicked shit up a notch in 2015 when he leveled up with big records like “Rose Gold,” “Day Ones,” “Switch Up” and more. With big co-signs from the likes of DJ Snake, DJ Mustard and other well-respected industry vets, G4shi has picked up a lot of steam as we really start to get into the meat of 2016. The progression and consistency alone is what I think will take G4shi to the top, and I’m excited to see what he does from here—4’s are way up.