It’s been a topic of discussion in the office for the last few weeks, amongst the team and I.  The music scene overall, hip hop and R&B has music enthusiasts going nuts with the wave of fire talent brewing under our noses.  From rappers to singers, singers who rap, rappers who know how to sing; it’s a great time to be exploring outside those already mainstream comfort-zones.  While we stay exchanging notes and adding to our lists to share, we cut it down to ten.

The Rapfest Presents: Who’s Next to Blow ’17 – Top Ten Artists

In no particular order…

 24Hrs is poppin’ right now and is so next to blow, got to – Mave threw in the bucket.  The Atlanta R&B singer just released EP “12:AM” in September, and dropped both joint EP with real-life brother Madeintyo “24Hrs in Tokyo” and his solo one “Sunset Blvd” in December.  Getting mad love from OVO Sound Radio and a few other artists right now, and rightfully so. Certainly another who’s next to blow this 2017. 






6lack is giving vibes like I don’t even know. Another one from the Mave,“They are well on they way,” speaking of 24Hrs and 6lack.

The Atlanta rapper/singer who pronounces his name Black released his latest project “FREE Black” in December 16;  a good kinda crazy that only fiends know about – a little something you should try.  After being locked in a bad deal for 5 years, 6lack is finally exonerated, wasting no time in releasing heat.  Named as one of Rolling Stones Ten New Artists to Watch Out For in November; now signed to LoveRenaissance/Interscope Records, I don’t know who would try to hinder him before because he is definitely worthy of a spot to be next to blow. 


Anik Khan out of Queens, New York is repping his Queens sh** with endorsements from the likes of Hot 97’s Ebro to Sir Elton John, and thousands of plays.  The Bengali-born, AVX/The Foreign Affair signed rapper marries his Indian culture with that of Hip Hop, one of the best sounding couples I’ve come across in a while. Flavor.  A voice that carrries, Anik Khan leaves a healthy impression in diverse tones.  Pick any track, I’ll buy it.  Coming from an immigrant family, Anik Khan embraced his culture at home growing up, but when out on the block with his friends in his Astoria neighborhood, hip hop was slowly brewing a force that would become Anik Khan.  You can’t tell me that he’s not about to blow this ’17.

“Also, DVSN, with OVO/Warner Bro…they came out with this amazing project called “Sept 5th” in 2016; I can’t wait to see what they do next,” – Rach added to the list.

Pronounced Division, the R&B act put you in the mind of D’Angelo, even Prince at some instances; their knack for slow jams is missing, not like a Weeknd.  It’s another vibe, and we need it back.  These guys are about to blow in 2017.  True music lovers will be happy to discover these guys.






Mir Fontane, out of Camden, New Jersey is “doing whatever he wants” right now.  The rapper, blessed with a distinct gift for storytelling is not your “regula-degula”, like he says; no he’s not, not when it comes to journaling the streets of which was life; and turning nothing into something.  We cosign.  He’s hot, and another who’s next to blow this 2017. 


Phil Adé, the Washington DC native has been cooking up a lot of stuff with fellow DMV rapper Wale most of 2016 leading up to now; and others like Raekwon, singer Mya, Mac Miller, Miguel, Raheem DeVaughn, Sarah Green and more.  With plans to release a number of other collaborative efforts with Wale this year – a cool political-type feel, “Smile” just dropped on Soundcloud days ago, actually; and the plays are racking up.


“There’s this singer named ‘H.E.R.‘.  She is fire,” – Miixtapechiick.

Singer/rapper signed to RCA Records; we were calling her the female Bryson Tiller at the table, but personally, I like H.E.R. a little better – “No offense, Bryson.”  Her soulful scales and melodics, had me ready to write a book; her storytelling hits home, an all-day listen, and gladly.  Refreshing.  She doesn’t seem to have too much social media, we noticed;  like the black Sia, all mysterious.  What we do know is, every song on her entire “HER Volume 1″ tracklist is fire.  She is definitely about to blow in ’17.  Who say different?

And the people agree.


“If Young M.A. can have another hit record and stays consistent after “OOOUUU”, she’s gonna blow,” – Aaron Busby.

If you ask me, Young M.A. has already blown up with “OOOUUU” still hitting airwaves and clubs around the country, there wasn’t a clear concentus at the table.  Although still without a label, the Brooklyn, New York native has over 1 million followers on Instagram; everybody loves her. But it’s true, we’re really expecting Young M.A. to deliver us another hot track immediately to further solidify her official next to blow nomination.



Dave East, one of Def Jam’s newest recruit picked up steam after signing under Queens legend Nas’ label Mass Appeal in 2015.  The Harlem MC has been all over the place interviewing, following the release of his latest project “Kairi Chanel“, and being a new signee to Dej Jam after inking his deal in September. Deemed the redeemer of NYC rap, Dave East shy’s away from the honor to brag, but bodies the challenge to make it.  With the way he is going already, we already know that he’s next to blow in ’17.


 “But honestly, I think it’s a wild card year.  Anybody can get it,” noted again by Busby.



Rich Chigga is poised to have a big year too with hopes of new material dropping after going viral in March 2016 with single “Dat Stick” – David Whitely.

The Indonesian rapper followed up with a Ghostface Killah remix of the song some months later, and got mad love in the video with guest appearances by the likes of  .  After teaching himself how to speak English via listening to rappers like 2Chainz, Childish Gambino, Mackelmore, et al. on YouTube, Rich Chigga originally came on the scene as a social media personality/comedian in 2011.



2017 is up for grabs by any of the artists on our list, as well as some not on our list.  Last year’s prospects have taken off, leaving the runway clear and ready for the next set.  With only a week in, we shall see who’s next to blow in 2017.


Images: Instagram