1. Lion Babe
Lion Babe burst on the scene when their soulful jam “Treat Me Like Fire” went viral on the ‘net (thanks to the video), but Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman made it a priority not to miss their moment. A year later, the soulful duo signed a deal with Interscope & released their first self-titled EP. And if Jillian looks familiar, she’s actress Vanessa Williams’ daughter.
2. Majid Jordan
Production/artist duo Majid Jordan have had quite the year, but 2015 has their name on it. Thanks to their boss Drake, Majid Jordan appeared on the Canadian rapper’s “Nothing Was The Same” single “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” After releasing their OVO Sound debut EP “A Place Like This,” Majid & Jordan have been quietly readying their next big project.
Chicago artist Tink isn’t just a singer, she can rap too. And she has legendary producer Timbaland backing her every move. After recording her “Winter’s Diary” mixtape series in her family’s basement, Tink landed in the lap of Timbo. Her notable moments have been her version of Rick Ross’ “Movin Bass” & conscious track “Around The Clock” feat. Charlamagne Tha God.
4. Vic Mensa
Vic Mensa isn’t an overnight success. The Chicago rapper has tirelessly been pursuing a career in music for the past four years & he’s only 21. In 2014, Vic joined J. Cole & Wale on tour to promote his breakout single “Down On My Luck.” He cites artists like Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Jay Z, Missy Elliott, & 2Pac for his musical style. Vic has mainstream success on his horizon.
5. Kacy Hill
Kacy Hill is the newest member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music label. The 20-year-old Phoenix native toured with Yeezy on his “Yeezus” tour as a back-up dancer. She’s also modeled for American Apparel, but never imagined a career in music. Somehow, Kanye got wind that she’s an excellent songwriter, so it’s G.O.O.D from here on out.
6. Rae Sremmurd
Mississippi duo Rae Sremmurd have had a phenomenal year, and with the arrival of their debut EP “SremmLife” dropping on January 6, they’re only going to get more popular. After their viral hit “No Flex Zone” took off this summer, the duo dropped an equally dynamic follow-up, “No Type.” They’re young, rambunctious, and full of non-stop hits.
Dreezy is undoubtedly the most exciting female rapper coming into the rap game. The Chicago rapper is fiery, dynamic, and multi-talented. Taking inspiration from her drama background, Dreezy also shows off her vocal ability when she’s not ravaging her male counterparts over 808-heavy beats. Dreezy is currently in talks with Interscope Records.
If you’re a fan of Andre 3000 and the Dungeon Family, Raury is right up your alley. The Atlanta teen is the epitome of a new generation of kids influenced by the hip-hop collective. After hitting the scene with his debut project “Indigo Child,” Raury is now embarking on his first solo tour.
9. OG Maco
Atlanta has been the epicenter of hot new hip-hop over the past few years, and OG Maco is no exception. The ATL native came on the scene when his song “U Guessed It” feat. Key! went viral. He would go on to release similar high-energy tracks, but don’t get it twisted – OG Maco is crunk & conscious. He recently released his “BREATHE” EP, which touched on topics like Ferguson and racism.
10. Vince Staples
Vince Staples is one of a few rising artists coming out of Cali. After releasing his “Hell Can Wait” EP and appearing on Chicago legend Common’s “Kingdom (Remix)” feat. Jay Electronica, Vince has proven he can hang with the vets. He’s outspoken, conscious of social issues, and lightning on a stage. If he keeps up the momentum, he’ll join the list of rappers doing it big for California.
11. Francesco Yates
Canadian singer/songwriter Francesco Yates may be young, but he has an old soul. Pulling inspiration from Prince & Pharrell, Francesco warms the heart of fans with his sweet melodies & guitar in-hand. After receiving an official cosign from Justin Timberlake, Francesco may be the next blue-eyed soul singer to take the world by storm.
Haitian-born producer/DJ Kaytranada has been flourishing in the Canadian DJing circuit with his infectious remixes and electric original songs. Somehow he manages to effortlessly blend various genres in what sounds like a new age culture clash. He recently scored a residency gig with BBC’s Radio One, so it’s only a matter of time before Kaytranada becomes a household name.
13. Rome Fortune
After garnering attention in Atlanta’s hot music scene with his “Beautiful Pimps” mixtape, Rome Fortune has steadily created waves in the hot bed of ATL, especially with his latest offering, the “Small VVorld” album. He’s sort of eclectic, but offers up the warmth of southern hospitality in his rhymes.
14. Shy Glizzy
D.C. rapper Shy Glizzy may not have the support of his hometown peers, but he’s being backed by two of the music industry’s most influential execs – Lyor Cohen & Kevin Liles. After his “Young Jefe” track “Awwsome” became a summer anthem, Shy Glizzy’s movement began picking up steam. Most recently, Shy dropped his “Law 3” mixtape. He’s currently readying his debut effort.
15. Lil Herb
Lil Herb is one of Chicago’s notable drill rappers. Unlike his counterparts, Lil Herb’s charisma and ability to rhyme has caught the attention of hip-hop heavyweights like Nicki Minaj & Common. Lil Herb appeared on Nicki Minaj’s “Chi-Raq” in early 2014. Impressed by his skills, the queen Barbz invited him to perform with her during Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert this summer.