's Top 50 Underground/Indie/Emerging Artists Of 2013

Existing, situated, operating, or taking place beneath the surface of the ground, hidden or secret; not open, published or produced by political or social radicals or nonconformists:avant-garde; experimental.

In other words, unique, different, something special that is not like everything else. The Underground.

We are back with our picks for the Top 50 Underground/Independent/Emerging artists of the year 2013 and we must say it was even harder to produce this year’s list than it was last year. So many artists gave us a run for our money when it came to trying to narrow the names down to only 50! As this past year we saw a return to lyricism in a huge way which is a win for Hip Hop across the board but made it harder for us to chose as a result! So trust us…this list was very hard to do! We wish this was tee-ball where everyone could get a trophy and we could take all our favorite rappers out for ice cream afterwards but unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way…no matter how much we may want it to.

We really want to remind everyone that this list in no way discounts or invalidates the hard work that artists have been putting in for the past year. We know there are far more than 5o so we urge fans and supporters to talk to us in the comments section and let us know who you liked off our list and who you would love to see featured in 2014 that we might have missed!

With that said check out the picks for 2013 and remember they are in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!! We did NOT put any sort of ranking to this thing…they are all equal in our eyes! This is one of the few lists that did not go off of budgets, popularity contests, numbers of likes/followers or flat out bribes! So enjoy!

YC The Cynic

We’ve been telling you guys for a few years now about YC…now finally the “others” have caught on to him too! Once again an epic year was had by young Mr. Cynic and his growth from album to album has been phenomenal. In 2013 YC came in to his own with his “GNK” project and he lyrically kicked doors in! 2013 found even Hot 97 playing him in their rotation. We knew it was just a matter of time! So in 2014 just remember…you probably saw him here first!

Childish Gambino

Okay so we know there will be heartburn for some about this pick but that almost makes us like it more! Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino can spit…and he’s clever….and the kid has punchlines and quotables for days. So why wouldn’t we like him? Isn’t that what it’s all about? With that said the project he released in the late fall made us smile…and this underdog proved to us it ain’t a gimmick with him! He says it like he means it and it’s good!

Roc Marciano

Surprisingly one of the most slept on artists of the year! Seemed like almost everywhere we went we heard rumblings of how much fans were enjoying the new projects put out by Roc Marciano this fall but the fan fare was no where near what we thought it would be from the media considering what solid work he put forth. All we know for sure is we dug it and we know a whole lot of others did as well. This is another example of how important it is to make your voice heard when you enjoy something as a fan. It’s more important to troll sites to speak about what you do like rather than what you don’t! Everyone should have been on this one this year…we’re just saying!

Final Outlaw

Unapologetic and in your face Final Outlaw released a lyrical beast of a project in 2013 and didn’t ask for any fan fare at all. He metaphorically spit his face off and its dopeness was appreciated… so it found its way through the underground and beyond. If that ain’t Hip Hop then we aren’t sure what is! In the tradition of EPMD he skipped the ‘“Crossover” games and just did good work.

Black Milk

One of the most underrated projects of 2013 belonged to Black Milk. The rhymer was not afraid to get open with his latest project “ No Poison No Paradise” and we for one were grateful! Talk about a year full of impact! Black Milk killed it from the music to the stage and everywhere in between.

Big Pooh

Big Pooh was back in 2013 in a big way. We’ve known of his diligence and hard work for years and he never lets us down lyrically. But it’s his solo work apart from Little Brother that lands him on our list. His Fat Boy Fresh series was just that…fresh! And we can’t wait to see what Big Pooh has in store for 2014!

Senica Da Misfit

Senica Da Misfit finally made his presence felt on the performance tip this year and rocked stages everywhere from popular Hip Hop festivals to accredited Hip Hop conferences. But  the show he put forward with a Grammy award winning band on the “Wake Up Show Unplugged” with King Tech, Sway and DJ Revolution was by far his dopest of the year! And that is saying a whole lot! We are anxious to see what he puts forth in the new year.

Soul Khan

What can we say…this guy is nothing if not consistent. Project after project dropped this year with Soul Khan as either the lead or as the feature and he murderlized verse after verse. Just when you think he couldn’t possibly be any more clever you get a new song from Soul Khan proving you wrong and this year was zero exception.

One Dae

Another battle rap kid makes our list for 2013. One Dae is reppin for Planet Brooklyn and showing us that you don’t have to be in the heat of battle to make an impact. He’s clever and witty just  as any good battle emcee should be but it’s more than that. His voice is seasoned and confident and as a result we’re appreciative of the rhymes he put forth this past year.

Psalm One

This chica once again used her powers for good not just within her music but also within her community. When you support a Psalm One project you are literally supporting the kids as she is another one of those artists that walks the walk by giving back to the kids of the Hip Hop world. She spit her heart out in 2013 but allowed herself to retain a little bit of energy…only so that she could go back and teach the next generation of spitters, producers and directors how to do the same. This Rhymesayer is one of a kind in her voice, flow, delivery and love for the culture! And we are all better off for it!

Rasheed Chappell

In 2013 this New Jersey spitter brought intelligence to the table and the people ate well as a result. His creative way of delivering a thought provoking rhyme coupled well with his energetic stage show and Rasheed reminded the listeners why they ever started paying attention to him in the first place. He was consistent and steady…each song was good whether he was the headliner or just featured on a track. He gave the people what they wanted from…dope music without gimmicks…who in the world could ask for more.

Loaded Lux

We only need one word for this guy…BELOVED! Making the crossover from battle emcee to solo artist is never easy and very few have done it successfully. This year Loaded Lux made strides toward doing just that and upon releasing a song that stayed a virtual mantra for us over the summer months we decided that maybe he was right…maybe we are gonna get this work! We’re excited to see where things go for him in 2014!

Tanya Morgan

Von Pea and Donwill make up the Duo Tanya Morgan and they blew us away with their “Rubber Souls” album in 2013. It was eclectic lyricism at it’s very finest and we’re starting to believe these two have figured out the formula. Their efforts this year were definitely celebration worthy and we’re glad we weren’t the only ones who noticed!

Rebel Diaz

This duo is definitely putting the Rebel in Diaz and the two are proving through their actions as well as their verses that they stand for something. In fact in 2013 they triple dog dared their listeners to fall for anything. Their music is demonstrative of this and as with the proud traditions of Public Enemy and KRS before them…they’re teaching all those within ear shot of the troubles that plague the Hip Hop culture and society at large. They rocked stages and and dropped music all year long and we for one were thankful for their voices and their services in 2013.


Sacramento spitter KENO put out an eardrum friendly project in the way of an album called “The 1derful” and it was nothing short of the laid back wonderfulness that we have come to expect from the Cali rapper. Down with the TUS crew KENO found his very own voice this year and it was certainly praise worthy…so we’re praising it!

RoQy TyRaiD

We’ve been talking about RoQy TyRaid for a few years now and for very good reason! In fact we take credit for breaking him on a national level! This kid showed off in front of King Tech, Sway and DJ Revolution at the “Wake Up Show Unplugged” and trust us when we say he left everyone gasping for air by the time he was done spitting. RoQy unloaded a murderous barrage of nouns and verbs on the mic so severely that even Talib Kweli would have to say, “Wow fam take a breath between all those words!” if he ever heard it! RoQy TyRaiD truly killed it this year!

Joey Bada$$ 

Joey Bada$$ impressed us this year in ways that are almost indescribable. He was one of the first to reach back for the elder statesmen of Hip Hop and ask for guidance and that was just about everything to us! To now witness a new phenomenon of young artists teaming up with older mentors and running the Hip Hop tables with their collaborations is so much more than we ever even hoped to ask for! In 2013 Mr. Bada$$ set the tone for his fellow artists and ever since it’s been happening all over the Hip Hop community. The results for Joey were hot tracks and a bright future! We’re anxious to see what he does in 2014!


Boston rapper Natural is a spitter that took things to a totally different level in 2013. He put out a cohesive project that took on the topic of the Boston bombings in a very endearing way. But don’t get us wrong…he rapped about light hearted topics too and entertained listeners all the while. We’re glad that we stumbled upon this artist over the course of the year as there was clearly a whole lot worth finding out about. Our eyes will stay open for his movements in 2014.

Silent Knight

This New Jersey son had a great year in 2013 as he rocked both stages and the booth with force! Silent Knight went from a featured favorite to a stand out seemingly over night and we are not the only ones who noticed his growth this year! We’ve been talking about this guy and his lyrical adeptness for a few years now and we’re anxious to see where he is able to take things in the new year!

Mitch Littlez

Mitch Littlez (the “Dominican Duke” as we call him) is an emcee straight out of Harlem. The guy is as lyrical as he is clever and twice as dope with the flow. Mitch easily grabs the attention of the room with the abundance of energy that surrounds his performances. Like a panther approaching his prey, he’s cagey and calculated with the punchlines and you know by the look in his eyes when he’s about to attack the verse! We are convinced that 2014 is going to showcase his talents even further and we can’t wait!


This artist gets heavy praise everywhere he goes and being compared to the likes of 3 Stacks does not exactly suck! The rapper put out an album that set the tone for 2014 with his “Shades.Of.Moo” project which dropped in the late fall and Outkast fans are seemingly gravitating toward it…nice right? We are pretty eager to see where he takes it in the new year!

Rocky Rivera

A favorite from the Bay area, Rocky Rivera once again owned the year through both solo projects and collaborations. But this shocks no one as it’s something that most have come to expect of her. She’s lyrical, verbal, intelligent and she can a punish a beat as well as any of the guys surrounding her! In fact, hearing her brutalize a song is what is now the norm…and it’s just how we like it!

The Audible Doctor

As one of the most sought after up and coming lyricist/producers in New York City at the moment, this kid is shaking the underground scene by the shoulders and awaking the masses to his abilities in a major way. The Audible Doctor is versatile and his rhyme schemes and flows are the cross-roads where verbal adeptness and cleverness meet.  But what impressed us the most with him this year was how far he was willing to go when he wanted to be a part of King Tech and Sway’s Unplugged project. He was suffering from an awful case of the flu and could hardly speak at all…but the guy sucked it up, got on a plane, traveled across the country and spit his verse anyway!

JohnNY UniteUs

It was a great year for JohnNY UniteUs indeed! In 2o13 the Brooklyn spitter dropped a new project and got back out to crowds in a big way. When you throw in a JohnNY U song you’re going to enjoy yourself. His delivery is smooth no matter how jaggad the verse and it’s head bob worthy music that keeps one hitting repeat and looking for more. We can’t wait to see where he goes in ’14!


Canada’s son SonReal brought it yet again this year with more of the head bobbing, smile inducing goodness that we wish more artists would find their way toward. His lighthearted way of tackling a beat is impressive as he is slowly becoming one of the hottest storytellers out here. Sure there are plenty who do it but he does it well! Over the last few years we’ve watched this guy grow and we’re positive that he’s solidifying his position in this game. To be honest we’re not sure why more American artists aren’t looking at him for features and why American media have yet to catch on…all we know is that we’ve been paying attention for some time now!


Midwestern rhymer Blax had one heck of third quarter this year with a new LP entitled “Everyday” which featured a song for everyday of the week. Clever, witty and head nod worthy are but a few words we heard used to describe the project and we agreed wholeheartedly. We’ve been watching this artist for a few years now and we’re consistently impressed with what he puts out. 2013 was just another example of another solid project from Blax.

Jasiri X

He’s not only lyrical he’s a beast when it comes to savagely attacking truth and throwing it in the face of power through verse! Jasiri has become a real life revolutionary in the Hip Hop game and in the Hip Hop culture at large.  His spit game is beyond ridiculous and his ability to hit up everyone’s collective truths in a verse while somehow personalizing the message for each individual listener simultaneously is a talent that has been seen rarely since the days of Chuck D and KRS.


Charming and cocky as ever, Chaudon was back to explain to all who listened why he is one of the dopest to pick up a mic and few disagreed with him. In 2013 he continued to master the art of combining smart assery with hard hitting, gritty lyrics so that just as the listener began to smile at something he said… that smile was immediately wiped away by a somber thought in the next line of the verse. To put it simply Chaundon did a hell of a job illustrating pictures through words in 2013.

Charmingly Ghetto

Charmingly Ghetto is much more than a wild name! In 2013 he lyrically choked out beats and used his own unique knack for spitting complete thoughts across a track to reel in new fans everywhere. The Boston spitter took to the booth and used a mic as his weapon of choice. The result was a project full of metaphorically murdered nouns and verbs..yeah…he did that! And it was not to be undone! We’re looking forward to seeing what he delivers in 2014!

The Narcicyst

Never one to be still, The Narcicyst was still dropping the dopest of gems in 2013. Whether referencing political actions or hazelnut spreads, Narci delivered his brand of Hip Hop his way. The Canadian spitter gave us what we have become accustomed to with him…dope flows and rhymes set to dope beats. In essence he gave his listeners a complete verse every time he stepped to the mic. How is it that this man hasn’t become a bigger name in the US? It truly boggles the mind!

Bodega Brovas

We’ve dubbed them the “Beastie Boys Of The New Millennium” and not for nothin! The Bodega Brovas are complete energy on stage and on wax and they show in every performance why they deserve to be some of the next to blow. Their act is pure polish and they are some of the last showman in the genera. The Brovas are clever, lyrical and able to fill the void that has been missing with Hip Hop groups for quite a while now.



This guy did something this year that made us proud…he signed to RCA Inspirational! Dee-1 is a shining example of what can happen if you stay true to yourself as an artist and refuse to give up your creativity for a few short lived dollars! People told him he had to change…and that he was either doing too much or not enough throughout his journey but he held to his beliefs and continued to impress the fans as well as the media with dope projects done his own way…and by the end of this year he had an announcement to make to his followers that would literally change the game! Dee-1 reminds us all that there is still good left to do in this world and through his rhymes and his actions he is showing us all how we can go forward and do it!


Recks jumped out of the box once again in 2013 and this time he spoke on his country and the way he felt it ought to be versus the way it is. While there are plenty of artists that get political with it, Reks showed up in a big way with his song flags and got people to discuss things that were very far out of certain comfort zones. If we remember correctly…before the bling..the brods and the benzes became the norm in every rap song…speaking on one’s surroundings, beliefs and ideas for solutions used to be what Hip Hop was about or at least in part. So agree or disagree with Reks but salute him for his willingness to stand up and speak out…because that is in fact..Hip Hop.


No shock for us that Torae once again knocked it out of the park with “For The Record” in 2013. He lived up to what one would expect from a Torae offering with several cuts that were catchy to the point that you couldn’t get them out of your head for awhile after hearing them…if that isn’t high praise then we really aren’t sure what is! As one of the most consistent emcee’s out here Torae made sure that whether he was on stage, on radio, hosting a live show or in the booth that his presence was going to be felt someway somehow and it was!

Gilligan Gatsby

In 2013 Gil Gatsby came through the door, grabbed the mic and had his way with both his flow and the music. His voice was more than deep…it was commanding and by the time he finished spitting he convinced us all that it was more than a dope tone of voice that got him there…simply put the boy spits gems! Double threat! His new project is going to set him up nicely for 2014…there’s no doubt in our minds!

Yamin Semali

Yamin Semali is a complex, verbal, cerebral spitter that does something on the mic that many have either forgotten how to do or have simply just disregarded as a responsibility of their platforms altogether…what is that thing you ask? Well simply put…the guy entertains through his music. Not in a buffoonish sort of way but yet in such a way that you want to hear what he is spittin about. He is what we used to call a complete entertainer….and we’re glad that we caught on to him as an emcee…no matter how late we might be to the party. 2013 saw dope collaborations on his project “Senior Dues” and our curiosity is piqued by him for 2014.


Coming to us from Japan by way of NYC Wildelux has proven that sometimes just getting out of your own area code is the answer to succeeding in this rap game. 2013 was a heck of a year for Will as he continued to rock stages and speakers worldwide. No stranger to the industry and it’s ills this spitter kept honesty as the star of his rhymes this year and for that we found respect.


Those who know Oddissee’s work don’t really even need to be told why we continue to dig this guy’s projects…they know! But for those who still haven’t gotten hip to him…we’re all wondering what you’re waiting on! Oddissee put out yet another complete body of work in 2013….clever, smart, witty, intricate and amazing are but a few words to describe “Tangible Dream.”  If you haven’t heard him before… now would be a great time to see what all the fuss is about. He’s inspired and it was clear in 2013!


The ATL stood up proudly with this artist and for good reason… he put out good product in 2013. Loch released “Afro American Horror Story” which was a very dope blend of gritty down South beats and an almost northern sounding rhyme scheme and delivery. Loch almost single handedly proved that everyone can in fact all play nicely together on the metaphorical playground that is this Hip Hop ish.

Action Bronson

This guy was everywhere in 2013! We saw him lyrically destroy stages to the point that headliners didn’t even want to follow his show! Action Bronson took listeners by storm and made his presence felt in the realest of real ways and when they tried to diss New York Hip Hop he was one of the very first artists that sprang to mind to contradict the argument…now that says a lot!

Luke Christopher

Luke Christopher is another artist that just recently signed to RCA and not for nothing because the young man has bars. But it’s more than that….there is something soulful to his music that leaves you feeling relaxed upon hearing it. It’s got that feel good Cali vibe as well as a throwback quality that makes you want to hit repeat a time or two once the tracks end. He may be young but he feels familiar to the listener and that is a good thing…a very good thing.

Chris Young

Chris Young’s mic skills took us by surprise in 2013. Don’t let his smile fool you into thinking there isn’t poison about to be spit from his lips! This kid is unassuming but when he grabs a microphone it’s curtains on the kindness as he is about to murder every lyric in the song. His abilities to spit his truths and to share his story are nothing short of genuine gifts and every verse is Christmas!


Los Angeles artist Blu was a beast on stages in 2013 as well as in booths. He featured and collabed all over the place and his smooth delivery and word play gave audiences permission to just sit back and enjoy the ride that any of his music took you on. It’s easy to like this artist and hard to find fault with the complete works that he puts out. He makes moves with very little fanfare and we appreciate him for that even more. He does it for the love and not just for the hand claps and gestures….how can you not love it!


Boston’s son was still steadfast on his mission of love toward his city in 2013. Lage continued to shed light on Boston’s Hip Hop scene and their rich history through his rhymes and the videos that he put out. This artist is yet another example of growth from last year and we are happy to say we saw him early on. He exudes something that is lacking in a lot of the music that we’ve been receiving lately and that’s passion. Alage could probably get over on his verbal ability alone…but he goes the extra mile to educate the listener about his surroundings which is a bonus. We hope Boston realizes what they have with this kid!

Brown Bag AllStars

Here we go again with this talented group of four that drop music seemingly every darn day! Okay that may be exaggerating a little bit (But honestly not by much) and the difference between other artists that drop as much music as they do and them is…pretty much all of their music has been extra dope and 2013 was no exception! We don’t know how they continue to come up with all the bars that they do…we’re just glad they are still motivated to grab mics and have their way with beats…consistently! We don’t know what 2014 holds for these guys but one thing we’re pretty sure of is this…we need to get bigger email inboxes to hold all the work we’re sure to get from them…and we ain’t mad about it!


R-mean‘s rhyme scheme is the very definition of the kind of laid back, super chill, California Hip Hop that we find ourselves in need of. In 2013 R-mean brought us that head bobbing, feel good type of vibe and delivery that people crave from LA artists and it was dope! However, our favorite part of his story is that even though he is from LA he grew up overseas! Again we love stories like that! His influences are vast and it’s completely apparent in his rhymes.


This year reminded us of why we liked Playdough in the first place…Simply put…he’s clever and silly and it’s just crazy stuff to listen to without feeling like you’re losing brain cells for doing so. He’s been creating his own lane for awhile now and that lane is getting bigger as time goes on. Playdough incorporates that dirty Dallas vibe with lyrical ability and it’s often the perfect marriage of humor, adeptness, timing and delivery that allows us to bob our heads and laugh with Playdough instead of at him. In 2013 we saw him take over unassuming crowds time and again from festivals to conferences as well as his own shows and it was an awesome sight to see.

Political Animals

This Hip Hop band out of CT gave crowds the business in 2013 and we were happy to have caught them more than a few times on stages throughout the year. Their sound is not pre-fab manufactured beats but live music and it’s a really cool, bob your head type of vibe that anyone in earshot can truly appreciate. Score one for the musicians this year as these kids reminded us what this music thing must remain to be about. It made us want to go support our local public school’s music programs in fact….because we need to continue to show love for real instruments as well as the computerized variety.

 David Dallas

The kid coming straight out of New Zealand brought Hip Hop in ways that shocked the Hip Hop realm in 2013! We keep trying to tell people that some of the biggest Hip Hop heads are far away from the United States! Welp in that same spirit, some of the dopest emcee’s are not from the US either! This spitter is a very good case of that principle! The funny thing is we didn’t tell you he was from a country outside of the US many wouldn’t have even known. David Dallas made huge moves in the last twelve months and our guess is this is just the beginning! We’ll definitely continue to watch him in the next year!

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109 Responses to “'s Top 50 Underground/Indie/Emerging Artists Of 2013”

    • Skyy Hook

      Soooo you listened to or checked out all 50? We can’t possibly know of every single artist out there…and we did ask for readers input…but we refuse to believe that you think all 50 of these artists are wack. I’m more than open to having a discussion about it as long as its constructive and helpful to artists. I asked for your thoughts because we genuinely care about the music and the culture. But trust me…writing up 50 artists is not easy…give it a shot! =) We’re sure someone wiill be unhappy with your list too! But thanks for your input. We appreciate you taking the time to check it out even if you didn’t agree.

  1. #MsElectra

    I see alot of my pplz up here congrats to them Dope article. Surprised to see my ude Dee-1 on here. I’ve been following him since his BET Premiere few years ago. Very humble dude (That video was tuff too). Action Bronson DEFINITELY ISN’T A WACK Artist. Say that shit to his face and he’ll probably smack u with a saucepan with his cooking rapping self. CHILDISH, PLEASE DOPE AF, Loaded Lux got props from Busta so obviously he’s doing something right. Joey Badazz BROOKLYN ALL DAY I’m also happy to be seeing my dude RED a.k.a MIC HANDS on this list WOOO WHOOO!!!!!!!!!! *NIGGA WE MADE IT***


  2. Joey Atilano

    you need to checkout 60 EAST (IEWeekly Best Hip Hop Artist of 2013) or FIRST DIRT (Campaigned for a year to get on the Paid Dues Festival). I agree with this list with the exception of Action Bronson, Joey Badass, Childish Gambino (just because I dont consider them UNDERGROUND anymore, being that they are known already, I feel you can give the spot to someone more still on the come up) and also the people on the list that were also on the list last year, I feel you can can give the slots to new artist every year… just my opinion …but good stuff other then that!

    • Skyy Hook

      See this is where things get tricky…not every artist from last year made it this well obviously because there is the same # of people. But some of them put out even better product than they did last year….so they are deserving. As for some of those others you mentioned…that’s why this list is not just underground anymore. Those guys had amazing projects and shows this year…but probably won’t be acknowledged because they aren’t in the higher levels of the next level….see what I mean.And it blew us away how many people were still not familiar with their work. But we totally see where you are coming from and truly appreciate you reading through it and commenting! Man you knew the list from last year even so BIG PROPS for that too! =)

  3. hazernomical

    Congradulations to Rebel Diaz, Silent Knight, and Mike Handz on the honorable mention. It as been my privilege and an honor to work alongside some of these brothers. And to admire thier work first hand. They’ve all been doing thier thing for awhile and im sure 2014 will be no different. How can hip-hop be dead when its so well indicated in its essence within these brothers. Every show every song every freestyle, showing how beautiful it can be to make this dream of ours a reality.

  4. Mar-q

    Shout to Mic Handz, this dude be grinding, he host a radio show, makes his own music, does shows, and still makes it to your birthday party……..FLATBUSH STAND UP

  5. UA360º

    Great writeup. Wish there was a video link on Mic Handz. He has been mad respected in BK for a minute, it’s good to see him getting some broader recognition. You guys KNOW good Hip-Hop. Congratulations, Mr. Fixit!

    Mic Handz – “Brooklyn based emcee Mic Handz had his fingers in so many different pies this year we never knew what project he was working on or to what aspect he was involved. He’s definitely a man of many hats and not for nothing we were shocked by all that we caught him out here doing! Whether he was producing a song, singing the hook, hosting a live show, freestyling for a crowd or performing live some of the hotness that he dropped with one of the few collectives he was a part of or his very own solo music…this kid was the very definition of the word hustle this year! He was literally grinding while everyone else slept. We’re almost scared to see what all he accomplishes in 2014!”

  6. Patrick Maurice

    Mic Handz … One of the realest people I’ve known. Since childhood he’s been bound for success. As long as I’ve known Handz and witness to his grind, one of his main goals (as he’s always expressed) is incorporating the skills of everyone that he knows collectively to give them the opportunity to come along for the ride towards success. A man true to his word. He’s been determined to build one of the strongest teams ever. All artist that he’s worked with on the many projects and collaboration never has anything bad to say about this dude, ever! While many sleep, this dude up creating, putting in work. Everyone and I mean everyone respects his hustle of the game in and out. Mic Handz is not only dedicated to his craft but also 100% dedicated to his Family, always insuring that everyone is good. A man that wears many hats and wears them well. Everything from T.H.E.M. Recording to the NOT97 Movement, Est.213 Clothing and the many other projects in the makings. Killing us with hit after hit with titles such as INTHESTREETAGAIN, MyLife & SHOCKTHEWORLD!
    Shyt! Don’t just take my word for it, I challenge you to checkout his resume. I’m proud to have him as a friend, just as well as being apart of his team.
    I’ll just leave you with this… All I must say is tread lightly in 2014 because this dude Mic Handz is making waves the size of Tsunamis. So don’t get caught up!
    In the underground/Indie realm… “Mic Handz is the Truth!” Best Believe!
    The Time Is Now!



    Congrats to Mic Handz to be on this crazy list, He work hard and build Dope music since a few years & dropped crazy singles… i wish him to success… Big shout outs to all the mc’s as Wildelux, Torae, roc marciano… But in my opinion, some different categories ‘ll be welcome because some of the artists in this list are already known since a few Years and maybe on a Next level ( it not mean than the music is better) but just that they got more major moves with the commercial scene, Radios, Tv…. After underground & commercial still good music when it’s real music controled by real people…Much respect & Congrats to everybody here but also to a lot of mc’s who could be on this list because they do great music since many years : Shabaam Sahdeeq, Nutso, Neek The Exotic, Wyldbunch, Beneficence, & Much more !!! BIG UP to all of yours , KEEP IT REAL !!!

  8. Peg Heron Heidel

    Kudos to all your choices, particularly Final Outlaw whom I have worked with and am a fan of. He is a genuine, gifted artist, his work coming directly from his heart. He opened up the world of hip hop to me with his sincere messages and style.

  9. GotDamnRight

    Great list,and i understand why you have people like lux and bronson on the list..there still indie. And ill pass on hearing anything from someone with a wack ass name like icemelt veezo..or whatever he calls himself..that dude posting is obviously just a trollin fan boy. Ridding for his wack ass crew who Sounds like everyone else out there.


    Gotta show luv for my bro Mic Handz!!! Besides his penchant for hot barz I got much respect for his serious grind mode and work ethics… honorable mention also goes to the big homey Torae & also Black Milk who gets heavy rotation on my mp3 playa. #Salute!!!

  11. Kevin Lighty

    I must say the Mic Handz nomination in long over due. Dude been putting in work for a minute. Everytime I look up he’s dropping and new video, hosting an event or spitting a hit verse on someone’s track. Give it up for that Brooklyn boy.

  12. J King

    By far my favorite artist is Mic Handz. He never disappoints. Can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this year!

  13. Hav La Nueva Voz


  14. Les Sias

    RoQy made the list and very well deserved. Dudes flow is by far a breath of fresh air. Big up to all the talent on this list.

  15. Doc Ahk

    S/o 2 everyone who made the list well deserved especially the brotha Mic Handz who grinded in 2013 like this was the end & he shows no signs of slowing down from rockin stages 2 hosting events & even his radio show not97,Salute fam!!

  16. Saadia White

    Please all who haven’t recognized…Recognize real talent, true heart and definitely a brotha who has been putting in work forever…Mic Handz was a force to be reckoned with in 2013 but “It aint over yet” in 2014 those who didn’t know will come face to face with a Lyrical Hurricane!!!!!

  17. Wendy Barnard

    Big S/O to my boy Mic Handz.. This nod is well deserved.. Salute my dude.. So very happy to see your greatness recognized!!!

  18. Siwatu Poet Kamau

    #Salute Mic Handz… stay busy! and I think you guys overlooked Staten Island, Chedda Bang in particular, check him out! His wave is crazy!

  19. Jayfree

    Out of all the rappers I have listen too …..,my fav has to be MITCH LITTEZ…..punch bars ready…,swift with his words…,and energy with live band seemed like someone whos been famous for years…..big up ….Mitch littez. …definitely the next rapper to get my attention. …

  20. Edwin Cruz

    MITCH LITTLEZ has been NICE since the PUBLIC ACCESS SHOW “MAD CIPHAS” I seen this kid go from spitting along guys such as Jae Millz and Vado to being on The “WORLD FAMOUS” WAKE UP SHOW with SWAY N KING TECH! His grind is crazy and his passion for the music is nothing short of great…I can’t wait to hear more from this kid. HARLEM has A NEW VOICE!

  21. Gezie Dash

    Out of all of em, I really respect and know that Mitch Littlez is an artist that can cover any track, out shine most niggaz on a record and can actually make songs. The Whole East Coast needs to pay attention to him. my other homie Algae is da fam too… congrats to both of yall.

  22. mattlocks

    Shouts to Roqy Tyraid and everyone on the list!…you know we have been playing your records on our show for well over 4 years now!.. time for the rest of the world to catch up on your music…keep working and the album is gonna be DOPE!

  23. mschristiejones

    It was truly refreshing to watch and listen to all these great artists on this list.
    Finally original, creative hip hop music!
    A special Salute to Mic Handz, the hardest working man, who is always grinding!

  24. Originalgoat

    Cheers to the animal Roqy Tyraid as well as the entire list! Show these ninjas what time it is bruvvie ! One love to AHH for investing in a winner . Now give us an album kid

  25. James thatcher

    The Homie Senica Da Misfit definitely put in his work and killed it this year I caught a few of his shows one of my favorite emcees bar for bar he is a killa lyricist Big ups to all the artist though. Respect from NYC.

  26. Ryan Parks

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see so many different corners of the hip hop brand represented on this list. Childish Gambino, Rasheed Chapelle, Bodega Brovas, Tanya Morgan, Playdough, Brown Bag, etc now toss in Doughboyz Cashout for some rachetness and we golden.

  27. S.I.T.H

    The big homie Mic Handz definitely deserves his spot on this list. He’s definitely been lookin out for cats beyond his own music and givin dudes a chance to shine. Much love MH!!! Peace to NOT97 too!

  28. ShabaamSahdeeq

    S/O to everybody who made the list, but special S/O to my brother Mic Handz for the work he put in last year..Salute!!

  29. NYC Bread Man 2

    I RESPECT EVERYONE who made this list…But as i was looking at the list theres one guy who really impressed me…This guy Mitch Littlez is a BEAST! Have you seen that unplugged video he did with Sway on the wake up show? Before you guys make your choices, please take a quick look at this dude…He is spazzin out!!

  30. HarmCity

    This list is pretty good. My favorites on here by far are Torae,, Joey Badass and of course Seneca representing my hometown bmore that boy is fire.

  31. NY Castro

    Tons of raw talent on this page. Freestylers….Song Writers….Rappers…. But, only a select few will move on from this. The ones that want it bad enough will take it to the next level! For those that want it bad enough, it’s only those that have the “lyrical capacity” that will make it. YC the Cynic and Yung Chris have raw talent. Loaded-Lux & Black Milk want it bad enough. But, Mitch Littlez is one of those rare gifts to Hip-Hop with the “lyrical capacity” to leave a everlasting impression on true listeners. This roster showed a light at the end of the tunnel for Hip-Hop that we haven’t seen in a long time. 2014 is looking real bright for Rap Music. #TheYoungJediEra

  32. jennylaloca

    My Lil cousin mitch littlez is crazy… ever since I could remember he was always on his music. He is a hot and up in coming Dominican artist… His rhythms are always on point. My man is on fire and 2014 is his time his year to shine like a diamond….

  33. jennylaloca

    ennylaloca on January 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    My Lil cousin mitch littlez is crazy… ever since I could remember he was always on his music. He is a hot and up in coming Dominican artist… His rhythms are always on point. My man is on fire and 2014 is his time his year to shine like a diamond….

  34. Baltimore S.O.N.

    Great list, I have heard of the majority of these artists and the ones that I haven’t heard of I will be checking out. I was especially pleased to see My Bruthas Senica Da Misfit and Mic Handz on this list. It is always great when you see someone you know mentioned in such well respected Hip Hop Forums such as this, not only because I know them, but because they TRULY deserve the recognition that this list affords them. Keep banging out that real Hip Hop Fellas and continue to SHINE!!! Also Torae is another one of my favorites. Peace & Luv from Baltimore.

  35. TriciaB

    This is an amazing list I must say I am almost finished watching every video on this page and these guys are all awesome. I absolutely loved the Bodega Brovas live energy and stage presence they were hot. We need more Hip Hop sites to showcase raw talent that doesn’t get the mainstream attention. My absolute favorite was Senica Da Misfit he had incredible rhymes that were catchy and not to mention he was fine as hell I looked him and up and saw a million things about him so it made sense for him to be on this list. I wish everyone on here much success and its nice knowing there are still hip hop artist out here living their dreams.

  36. Adam Martinez

    Ayo Shout Out To My Brotha Mic Handz And THEM RECORDINGS!!! Dey Truly Belong on The Top 50 Dopest Underground Artists!!! Definetly the hardest dudes comin out of Ny!!! Much love and respect and For all yall out der in da Hiphop World Keep supportin dey movement and music cause dats what keeps Hiphop Alive WOrd up!!!! (SupremeDaAlmighty)

  37. ladynamor

    Most of these “Underground Rappers” are really industry wannabees/rejects. Keep it 100. I seen a lot of them on MTV. Underground my ass.

    • kristin

      Artificial Underground. Anything Sway is wannabe mainstream or mainstream. Seems like AHH doesn’t know what Underground really is.

      • Skyy Hook

        There is a HUGE GAP between what is being heard mainstream and what is not…but what do I know….I only spent a year researching it…I’m sure you know the #’s much more than I do. Because EVERYONE watches videos now a days. As for Sway….do your homework please before you speak on things you clearly know nothing about. You can take swipes at ME since I wrote it…call me wack etc that’s fine…but you don’t have any reason to slam anyone in here other than me. We don’t come to your job and throw the papers from your desk on the floor….c’mon. We ought to be better than that. If you want us to listen to someone you like cool address that…I’m all for that conversation. But this list wasn’t just slapped together and I didn’t mean to draw attention to them only for them to get trashed…for nothing. You can trash me I wrote it…but that other stuff is corny and unproductive.

    • Skyy Hook

      Wow……So let me get this correct….YOUR ARTIST is on this list…but the list is NOT a LEGIT list…..Make up your mind…as a matter of fact you are seriously putting your artist into a space with me. Seems to me that if you have an ARTIST on this list you would also know how to be PROFESSIONAL…this what you are doing…throwing insults and trashing a year of my work is not that. If you have something you need to say feel free to come talk to ME about it…but this wack shade throwing is not a good look for YOUR artist or anyone else.

    • ladynamor

      Know you aint talking about me twinkie, my artist is on here. Not my friend but, MY artist. Back up honcho with that troll stroll sh!t. I know of some of these dudes and they are waiting to be the next Drake, period! The machine is always lurking. SMH

      • Skyy Hook

        YOUR Artist is whom? Because I feel even more a way that I showed respect to an artist who has people behaving like this on this list….

  38. Michael Katsoris

    Mitch Littlez stands out to me the most…. listen to the content in his rhymees
    did anyone catch the Beyonce line?

  39. mic handz

    Whats the good word ALLHIPHOP I have spent a ton of time on this list and i must honestly say that I am very very honored to be mentioned amongst the likes of these emcees if its about justifying ones actions and if ever asked why I love what i do and why i sound like im trying to “SPIT FOR MY LIFE” its because of everyone of these cats on this list that would take my head off at a moments notice if i dont keep my game up and remain on my pivot..So i thank everyone of them From CHILDISH to the CYNIC and of course my ANIMALPAK Brother SENICA DA MISFIT and my fellow city alum LOADED for making me the emcee that i am and giving me a bar to bench press SALUTE!!!! …I testify that everyone of these brothers are animals and in the now iconic words of my homie.. It’s 2014 fellas… LETS GO GET THIS WORK!!!!!


      • Skyy Hook

        Really….really dude? Leave that ish for the negative stories…and there are tons. If you want to comment on the LIST or the MUSIC I would LOVE to hear from you…but being an internet thug is super corny…and honestly it only makes you look a way. If you want to have a constructive convo please bring it by all means but acting like a troll is out of order and played out. I wrote 5, 025 words…if you want to address any of those I’m all ears…if you want to tell me about someone you like that you think we should be checking for then please do…but all you did was make your own brand look petty….not cool.

  40. ladynamor

    LMAO Half of the comments are from new accounts that the above mentioned rappers made themselves. SMH says the hackers. Scroll over their avi. 1 comment. Who is the real fake here?

    • Skyy Hook

      Some of these artists don’t really have an internet footprint like that yet…so it’s safe to say their fans don’t either. It makes me sad that we are rushing to assume that everyone has nothing better to do than make “fake profiles” to gain attention. That artist doesn’t have to do that…I assure you..I came about him after 3 of the most important co-signs anyone in this industry could ever hope to get recommended him to me. He’s a legit artist and is extremely talented. This should just PROVE to you that this list is FAIR and that it isn’t about a popularity contest,..or how much money you have or if you are cute enough to make teenage girls go ooooohhhhhh. If anything it should show you that the standards were very high and that we took the time and care to do this properly instead of just slapping up a bunch of names. When you say this you mock the entire year I spent to travel all over this nation to check out artists and to research music. You can say you don’t like it..which is cool not everyone will..but let’s not be superficial here. This is a list to celebrate artists that don’t get our attention the way they ought to because of how the game is run….nothing more.

  41. edwin

    That boy MITCH LITTLEZ is nothing to play with! As a NEW YORK ARTIST myself, I feel we do not give enough credit to our own local acts. We need to support artist like MITCH and give up props when props are due> GET YOURS YOUNG JEDI! PA TODO MI LATINOS, DOMINICANO Y BORIQUA!! SALUTE MITCH! NEW YORK SEE YOU!!

  42. eskayohkay

    My brody Michandz made the top 50. Let me tell you that this man deserves every award he gets. Not only is he honest and humble the grind, the flow, and the concept this man brings to the table out matches most mainstream artists! Salute to a real nigga for keeping hip hop alive. Much love from NY. -SKOK

  43. Guest

    This is a great list. Very balanced selection of dope talent. The way in which Mitch Littlez commands the mic with such lyrical prowess and flow is unmatched though. With hunger and substance, he is simply that dude to keep your eye on moving forward. #BroadwayBoyz #Harlem

  44. Edwin Cruz

    I heard the Wake Up Show this past Monday…I like that Torae “Cream” Joint, Joey Badass “95 Til Infinity” and of course MITCH LITTLEZ “Im A Broadway Boy” he SPAZZED OUT!

  45. streetprophet83

    Good lookin out on putting BODEGA BROVAS and PLAYDOUGH on this list. They’ve both been puttin it down for a minute and represent what hip hop’s about. Hope they both blow up this year!

  46. DRES tha BEATnik

    Seems that SKYY HOOK is holding her own in here!! 2014 should be the Year of the CALL OUT not the YEAR of the CO-SIGN!! Anyone feel a way about anything Speak Names don’t hide behind Anonymous Names & Fake Profiles & Avatars… SPEAK ON IT!! #DEFENDYOURWORD

  47. Cyrus The Virus


    • Skyy Hook

      Sorry for just now seeing this! It takes me the better part of six months to compile everything….and to sit down and physically write it all out to my final satisfaction takes about 3 months in total. Not easy at all…but I feel the culture demands it of me…so I’m willing to buckle down and do the work! =) Thanks for the shout..aprreciate ya!

  48. Sherry Leak

    Mitch Littlez has that real NYC flow!!!! That SWAY footage is classic…finally someone from Broadway is doing they thing…WE SEE YOU MITCH!!!

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