by Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)
(AllHipHop Features) New York City birthed the entire culture. Los Angeles popularized Gangsta Rap and G-Funk. Atlanta became the capital of Trap music. Toronto helped usher in an R&B hybrid sound. Chicago served as the early stomping grounds for many of rap music’s current fresh faces.
But there is another locale mounting a growing movement that’s capable of being a new Hip Hop epicenter in the near future. The DMV is no longer a region just known for politics, protests, and professional football. Music has come to be a valuable export as well.
Performers such as Wale, Oddisee, Logic, King Los, Shy “Jefe” Glizzy, Fat Trel, and Goldlink laid the foundation. Now more acts have picked up the baton for DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Over the last year, I connected with a dozen acts for AllHipHop.com’s #DMVOnTheMove interview series. Those up-and-coming artisans offered his or her own unique musical outlook, and they all take pride in playing a part in making the DMV an international Hip Hop hotspot.
Catch the wave of these 12 emerging acts elevating the Hip Hop scene surrounding the nation’s capital.
Ace Cosgrove Embraces Representing The Youth’s Vigilant, Hostile Voice
The Hostile Youth member caught the ear of Showtime watchers when his song “Making Moves” was featured on an episode of House Of Lies. Securing placement on a premium cable channel is a major move, but Ace’s core fan base is just as pleased with his tendency to open up in his tunes about Freddie Gray, friends, and faith.
“Religion plays a big role. I’m not a super-religious person, meaning I don’t go to church every Sunday, but to me, I feel like I made it this far because of my guardian angels and hard work,” responds Cosgrove when asked about the role of religion in his creative process. “I think sometimes when we as humans reach a low point we tend to lose our faith, so I talk a lot about that in my music.”
Bobby Hagens Relies On Faith With Works To Keep His Musical Drive Alive
After using the beat to Jay Z’s “Run This Town” as an early musical canvas, an aspiring spitter named Bobby Hagens discovered his ambition to approach music professionally. A collaboration with BJ The Chicago Kid introduced the Hip Hop blog community to Bobby, and he is now preparing to drop his Colors project.
“I was raised on Lauryn Hill and Andre 3000. Those people changed my life, so when I do music, that’s what I’m trying to do,” Hagens states. “I’m not a Trap guy, so I’m not going to rap about the trap. All my music is personal and real, and I pride myself on that.”
Chaz French Uses Vulnerability In His Music To Foster Positivity In His Listeners
Chaz French put his evolving state of mind on display by following Happy Belated with These Things Take Time. The former was a somber collection from the onetime church drummer, while the latter presented a brighter view. However, the value of fatherhood overlaps both projects.
“Who wants to be in a dark mood all the time? I’m trying to get people out of dark places and let people know it’s cool to be happy, it’s cool to smile, it’s cool to be uplifting, it’s cool to be positive,” declares French. “Positivity is not something that people like to glorify, so I want to be one of those people that brings a positive message and has a positive influence on the youth and my listeners.”