Most Popular Articles

  • Doe B

    Age: 22
    Hometown: Montgomery, AL
    Active Since: 2012
    Label: Grand Hustle/CBM/Interscope
    Twitter Handle: @CBMDOEB 

    Essential Listening: Baby Jesus
    Pros: Has proven his ability to make a true banger.
    Cons: Will he connect with an audience beyond his singles?

    The most notable eye patch in hip-hop history undoubtedly belongs to Slick Rick, but Montgomery, Alabama upstart Doe B is aiming for second place. Doe B's eye patch is the result of a gunshot to the eye, which the rapper credits with making him get serious about his craft. Doe says he's been rapping since age eight, but it wasn't until August of last year that his career began to take off with the release of the trunk rattling, threat-laced regional smash "Let Me Find Out." The song, and Doe's career, got an even bigger boost when T.I. and Juicy J added some serious star power to the remix. On July 4th, Doe B dropped his mixtape Baby Jesus, further cementing his status as one of the south's hottest up and comers. —Max Goldberg

    Read more
  • Bodega Bamz

    Age: 28
    Hometown: Harlem, NY
    Active Since: 2012
    Label: N/A
    Twitter Handle: @BodegaBAMZ 

    Essential Listening: Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z.
    Pros: A$AP Mob affiliation and a great ear for beats.
    Cons: Lack of a serviceable single is cooling his buzz.

    There's a strong decades-long tradition of Harlem rap, but you never hear anything about MCs from Washington Heights, the neighborhood to the north of the Diplomats' stomping grounds. A$AP Mob affiliate Bodega Bamz and his Tanboys clique are looking to change that. The Puerto Rican and Dominican rapper is a pioneer of what he calls "Latin trap," which usually sees Bamz skating over lumbering, glacial 808s with a sedate but never sloppy flow, as he does on "Summer in El-Barrio" and "Say Amen" off his 2012 mixtape Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z. Bamz' star is on the rise, and the increasing popularity of his friends might get him places in the months to come. —Craig Jenkins

    Read more
  • 3D Na'Tee

    Age: 25
    Hometown: New Orleans, LA
    Active Since: 2005
    Label: N/A
    Twitter Handle: @3DNATEE 

    Essential Listening: The Coronation
    Pros: Downright impressive mic skills and a deep Rolodex of collaborators.
    Cons: She's been a hit away from a breakthrough for a couple years now.

    Louisiana's 3D Na'Tee caught a major career windfall when the video for her 2011 song "Switch", a winding story song where she spit nimbly over classic Timbaland productions, switching flows whenever the beat changed, came to the attention of the man (Timbaland) himself. A deal between the two was discussed but never finalized, but Na'Tee took it in stride and hunkered down, continuing to hone her craft, direct videos, and run her clothing label Business Minded Bosses. Rap's major labels are now handing out deals to women for the first time in what feels like forever in the wake of Nicki Minaj's breakthrough, and Na'Tee's monster flow is bound to lead to a breakthrough. —Craig Jenkins

    Read more
  • A$AP Nast

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Harlem, NY
    Active Since: 2011
    Label: A$AP Worldwide
    Twitter Handle: @ASVPNVST 

    Essential Listening: Lords Never Worry 
    Pros: He's in the A$AP Mob so he'll get attention regardless.
    Cons: He has to establish himself outside of Rocky's shadow and Ferg's growing appeal.

    A$AP Rocky is a star and with the release of Trap Lord looming, A$AP Ferg has got next. Where does that leave A$AP Nast? Is a decent place, actually. If Ferg can become a legit star, the A$AP brand will only grow stronger which paves the way for Nast to get on. He had his shot on A$AP Mob's Lords Never Worry tape, but only appeared on four songs. That said, "Black Mane" was one of the few highlights on a largely underwhelming release.

    Nast can still distinguish himself because he's nowhere nearly as jiggy as Rocky and isn't as influenced by the "trap" as Ferg—he's just a straight up brash shit talker and there's always room in rap for one of those. As evidenced by his most recent outing, "Trillmatic" (peep below), if he errs on the side of being rooted in mid '90s East Coast rap, he can offer the A$AP sound stripped of its Southern influence. —Insanul Ahmed

    Read more
  • Dillon Cooper

    Age: 20
    Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
    Active Since: 2013
    Label: N/A
    Twitter Handle: @TheDillonCooper 

    Essential Listening: Cozmik
    Pros: Talented, charismatic, and makes a type of '90s throwback hip-hop that is regaining popularity.
    Cons: Is there room for another Joey Bada$$? 

    When an MC offers their take on a classic record, the result is often underwhelming. That's why Dillon Cooper's excellent "Ms. Jackson" cover is a testament to how special the young Brooklyn MC really is. The song is just one of the standouts on his new mixtape, Cozmik. His flow, beat choice, and content place him clearly in the new neo-90s rap style that his fellow Brooklynite Joey Bada$$ rode to success last year. The rapper has an innate charisma, as seen in his "State of Elevation" video. While the Joey Bada$$ link has been made by many, and has the dangerous possibility of pigeonholing the rapper, it also speaks to how strong of an impression the young MC has already made. Considering how competitive this lane is right now, it says a lot that he's managed to stand out so suddenly. —Max Goldberg

    Read more