2016 was an interesting and exciting year for Rap and R&B. There were a ton of releases from veterans in the game and newcomers alike; there have been so many projects put out I can’t even keep track. With all the major label releases this year, some of the artists on the come up get overlooked. And, that’s where we come in. At the beginning and end of each month, we will highlight 10 artists that we think have been making waves and give you a snapshot of their recent highlights. And along with their highlights, you can also take a listen to their most popular tracks on the playlist below. You might agree with our choices, you might not but at the end of the day, respect the come up!!
Amine, coming out of Portland, Oregon is putting his city on the map. In March, he dropped his single “Caroline” which is already a hit and continues to grow in popularity. In 6 months the video for “Caroline” has garnered over 65 million views. He recently performed the song on the “Tonight Show” and just wrapped up a 4 city tour.
Atlanta’s 24Hrs formerly known as Royce Rizzy has been making waves since dropping his debut EP “Open” in April. Since then he unleashed “12: AM” which is his collaborative EP with Murda Beatz, “Sunset Blvd” EP and most recently his collaborative extended project with his brother MadeinTyo “24Hrs In Tokyo.” He has worked with Yo Gotti, Ty Dolla $ign, Wiz Khalifa, and Gucci Mane. This year is sure to be a big one for 24Hrs.
The collective Divine Council consists of Virginia-based rappers $ilk Money, Cyrax, Lord Linco, and Chicago-based producer ICYTWAT. They signed to Epic Records in April, and released their debut EP “Council World” in August. They have received co-signs from Andre 3000 who liked their music so much that he decided to remix their song “Decemba” and even directed the video. 2017 is bound to be a big year for the guys.
18 year-old 070 Shake hails from North Bergen, New Jersey with plans on taking over the game with 070 crew by her side. Since releasing her single “Make It There” back in March her popularity has continued to grow with her latest wave “Trust Nobody” – her biggest single to date. She recently signed to YesJulz 1 AM Ent and is also the latest G.O.O.D. Music signee.
Atlanta singer 6lack has had an interesting career so far, to say the least. For 3 years he was signed to an independent label that confined him, creatively; feeling mentally and physically imprisoned. But now, out of that situation, he has been taking the industry by storm. Recently, he dropped his debut album “Free 6lack” which includes his single “PRBLMS” – his biggest record to date. As if it wasn’t already a hit, once Kylie Jenner put her co-sign and played it on her SnapChat, it took the record to the next level. 6lack is bound to blow this year; last year was just the beginning.
Levi Carter, a South Bronx-bred rapper who now lives in Virginia has had a fast come up. In February 2016, he dropped his impressive debut project “ANTISOCIAL”, which grabbed the ear of JAY Z. That August, he inked his first major label deal with Roc Nation and released his EP “Presence Of The Lord.” He is also managed by none other than Law, manager of the reclusive New Orleans rhymer Jay Electronica, as well. The stars seem aligned for the kid and I’m interested to see what he brings to the table in 2017.
Ugly God, coming out of Houston has a very unorthodox style. Rapping and producing for a little over 11 months, he’s already gaining notoriety with his single “Water.” The song has over 49 million plays on Soundcloud and the video has 19 million-plus views on Youtube. He recently signed a deal with Asylum Records and is gearing up to release his debut project “Booty Tape” sometime this year.
Singer/songwriter, Aaron Knight from Sunny Side, Queens released his debut EP “When It’s Knight Out” in November, showcasing his unique mix of trap and R&B. The lead single from the project, “O.G.” was premiered by The Fader and has received praise from numerous media outlets such as The Source, 2 Dope Boyz, Hot New Hip-Hop, Ashley Outrageous and more.
Brooklyn-born Atlanta rapper Nessly has been making music for a few years but has recently started to gain his rightful buzz. His style is dripping in auto-tune – creating his own lane. He released his “Still Finessin” mixtape early last year with a number of the songs receiving play on OVO Sound Radio. In December, he dropped his “Solo Boy Band” EP which fans say is his best release to date.
Rapper/singer Kodie Shane is the first lady of Lil Yachty‘s Sailing Team crew and is set to be the next to blow too. Last year, she released 3 projects “2060,” “Little Rocket,” and her latest EP “Zero Gravity” in December – a collection of her best tracks. I think she is the most talented in Lil Yachty’s crew right now; and to prove that, she recently signed a deal with Epic Records. You will definitely be hearing more of Kodie Shane this year.
Keep your ears open and look out for these cats in 2017. Make sure you check back at the end of the month for volume 2 of “Respect The Come Up.” Peep the playlist below and let us know who you’re feeling and who you think should we consider for the next edition. Peace.