We kicked off our “Respect The Come Up” series at the top of the year where the staff and I highlight artists that we feel are making some noise in the game. Today we’re back with vol.2. Taking you from Baton Rouge, Louisiana all the way to Buffalo New York. You may or may not have heard of some of these artists but that’s what we’re here for and remember, respect the come up!!
NBA YoungBoy – Is 17-years-old and hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and has produced stars such as Kevin Gates and Lil Boosie. Don’t let his age fool you though the kid is making music well beyond his years. His lyrics are gritty, dark and violent but have a melodic delivery to them. His hooks are infectious and you’ll find yourself reciting them without even trying. 2016 was a breakout year for Youngboy, dropping 3 mixtapes which included “Before I Go”, “38 Baby” and “Mind Of A Menace 3”; with “38 Baby” being the highlight. Almost all of his videos on Youtube, which were all released in the last 8 months have 1 million views or more. His success has been entirely organic with no label or publicist behind him; with co-signs from Kevin Gates, Lil Boosie, and 21 Savage, all who he has worked with. Youngboy could be the next star out of Baton Rouge if he can stay out of jail. He is currently incarcerated awaiting trial for two counts of first-degree attempted murder. Hopefully, he gets his chance to shine because the kid has raw talent and the world should hear his story.
Nav – The rapper/producer is the next big thing to come out of Canada. He caught his break early last year when his self-produced single “Take Me Simple” was featured on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio. Since then he has collaborated with Travi$ Scott on his song “beibs in the trap,” and has been heavily affiliated with The Weeknd. Not to mention, rumors going around that he will soon be inking a deal with XO if he hasn’t already. He has recently announced that he will be collaborating with Metro Boomin, expected to drop an album later this year. On top of that, he has yet to release a full project. So far, Nav has only released 8 singles on Soundcloud, which combined accumulates over 93 million plays. As Jay once said, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. You will definitely be hearing more from Nav this year; the next to blow coming out of Canada.
H.E.R. – She dropped her debut EP “H.E.R., Vol.1” out of nowhere back in September through RCA records. The 7 track project found it’s way to the No.1 spot on the iTunes R&B chart. She also received co-signs from Alicia Keys, Bryson Tiller, Wyclef Jean, Pusha T, and Justine Skye who all praised the project. As of now, her identity is still a secret because she wants people to focus on her music, but many speculate that H.E.R. is songstress Gabi Wilson. The EP is about her coming of age and the journey she went through to become the women she is now, which many young ladies can relate to. She is currently working on the follow-up “H.E.R., Vol.2” which will be released later this year.
Cousin Stizz – The Boston native broke out on the scene in 2015 with his debut mixtape “Suffolk County” and the hypnotic lead single “Shoutout”, which was met with rave reviews. He followed it up with last years release of “MONDA” that was dedicated to a close friend of his who died from cancer. The project found Stizz being more personal while still keeping that hypnotic sound he’s known for. “MONDA” was just as good if not better then “Suffolk County”; if he keeps this trend up he’s bound to make some more noise this year.
Bia – AKA Perico Princess is a rapper/singer, a songwriter who is originally from Boston, MA; appearing on the first two seasons of Oxygen’s the Sisterhood of Hip-Hop in 2014. Bia was discovered by FamLay who is also her manager and signed a deal to Pharrell’s i Am Other label. Her music is a blend of reggaeton with a rap, trap sound in particular. She dropped her first EP #CHOLASEASON in 2014 which included production from Pharrell, but recently started making noise with her single “Gucci Coming Home”, an ode to GUWOP himself. She is currently working on her upcoming project “Trap Vogue” which is dropping later this year.
Jay IDK – Stands for Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge is a Maryland based rapper claiming to bridge the gap between Gucci Mane and A Tribe Called Quest because of his musical influences and life experiences. In 2015 he released his “SubTrap” project which made a big splash. In September he dropped his album “Empty Bank”, which finds Jay rapping about real life financial struggles. He also dives into a topic that’s rarely touched on but happens a lot in the show business, which is when an artist starts to make some real money, they are pressured to appear richer than they actually are. The album was the first project to ever be premiered by Forbes which is a major feat for an artist that is unsigned and has zero backing. Jay IDK is sure to make some noise in 2017. You can catch him on Isaiah Rashard’s “Lil Sunny Tour” along with Lance Skiiwalker that kicked off last week.
THEY. – The L.A based R&B duo consisting of producer Dante and singer/producer Drew have been making some noise in the industry lately. In 2015 they dropped their debut EP “Nu Religion” receiving critical acclaim. The 3 track project introduced the group’s unique blend of hip-hop, rock, R&B, and pop. They have collaborated with Skrillex and caught the attention of Timbaland, who is now mentoring the duo. The EP also earned them a spot as the opening act for Bryson Tiller’s “Trapsoul” tour. THEY. are currently working on their follow-up project “Nu Religion: Hyena” which is dropping later this year. With their unique sound and ability to make songs that have crossover appeal you will definitely be hearing more of THEY.
G Perico – Hails from South Central LA and is bringing gangster rap back with a new school twist. In 2015 he had some success with his single “G Shit” off of his ” The InnerPrize II” mixtape, but last year he really made an impact with the release of his “Shit Don’t Stop” project. The tape was one of the best releases of last year. It boasted production from Scott Storch, Mike Free, Larry Jay, and more; and has a heavy G-funk inspired sound. G Perico will remind you of an early DJ Quik, Too Short & Easy-E. The West Coast is in another golden age and G Perico is next up.
Russ – The Atlanta rapper has been in the game for a few years, 10 to be exact and is a part of the Diemon rap group along with fellow rapper Bugus. Even though his recent single “What They Want” is becoming a hit, he is not an overnight success like many may think. Russ has released 11 albums since 2011 but recently started gaining some notoriety. In 2015 he stopped releasing albums and started dropping singles on Soundcloud garnering over 40 million plays. 2017 is going to be a big year for Russ, every single he’s released seems bigger then the next. He’s only one hit away from becoming a household name. You can catch him on his Real Fans Tour kicking off this February 3rd.
WESTSIDE GUNN & Conway – If you haven’t heard of these two you will soon. The two brothers coming out of Buffalo are bringing back that raw, gritty, boom bap sound that New York is known for. Last year Westside Gunn released his debut album “FLYGOD” along with 5 other projects, with my personal favorite being “Hitler Wears Hermes 4.” This year they are already planning on releasing 4 projects which include Conway’s debut album “G.O.A.T.”, two collaborative albums with legendary producers Alchemist and Just Blaze; and a project with DJ Green Lantern. 2017 is going to be huge for Westside Gunn & Conway so get on the bandwagon now because these two are taking off.
2017 is going to be a big year for the 10 artists mentioned above so keep a lookout for their upcoming singles and projects. Check back next month for vol.3 and peep the playlist below.
Let us know what you think about our choices and who you think deserves to be on the next edition. Don’t be shy we want to know your thoughts.