Every year there are artists that emerge and turn themselves into household names. Last year we saw artists like SZA, Cardi B, Playboi Carti, Khalid, 6lack, and others blow up right in front of our faces. I’ve compiled a list of 18 artists that are destined to blow up in 2018.
This list is in no particular so please hold your slander.
Sacramento’s Mozzy has been bubbling for a while now and on the cusp of taking his career to the next level. Last year he released his ‘1 Up Top Ahk’ album, in which he showed exactly what he’s made of. His lyrical abilities are nearly impeccable and his delivery is up there with some of the hottest spitters in the game. Mozzy also isn’t afraid to use his platform to address social issues and the fact that he speaks his mind makes him even tougher.
Being from Anaheim, Phora has always had a strong following in Southern California. Last year he really took off with his debut album ‘Yours Truly Forever’, and in doing so gained a national cult-like following. After releasing his debut album, Phora showed exactly how big his following is by selling $2.2M in merch sales in only 24-hours! I see him surpassing the success 2017 brought him and it will start on G-Eazy’s “The Beautiful & Damned Tour,” which he will be an undercard for.
Houston rapper Maxo Kream began to gain recognition with co-signs from A$AP Mob members a few years ago. That really gained him public attention, which he since has fully taken advantage of. He’s already worked with the likes of A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Playboi Carti, amongst others. Maxo has that gangsta rap persona and his street cred adds substance to all his bars. Last Friday he released his debut album, ‘Punken’, which is filled with certified bangers.
REXX LIFE RAJ
2017 was a big year for Rexx Life Raj, as he accomplished so much in so little time. I remember linking up with him at SXSW in March and by November he had hopped on songs with G-Eazy, Russ, P-Lo, and the legendary Goapele. Just about every song he dropped last year was absolutely fire and warranted a listen. With striking bars and a quick melodic flowing style, this guy is destined for greatness.
I caught up with G-Herbo a few weeks ago at Rolling Loud SoCal and we talked about his plans for 2018. He told me there are about three projects he’s ready to release and it will start with his collaborative ‘Swervo’ project with Southside. Herbo was a problem last year and he will only continue to climb to the top with his lyrical prowess.
Toronto’s 88Glam is looking to continue the success other artists from the 6ix like Drake, The Weeknd, Belly, Tory Lanez, Nav, and more have had. In 2017 they went on a viral tear with singles like “Bali” featuring Nav, “12,” and “Big Tymers.” They’ve already secured co-signs from the XO camp and Riccardo Tisci, so the stamp is there. If they keep their pedal on the gas, there’s no telling how far they’ll get.
New York rapper Gashi scratched the surface of success last year with his “No No No” and “Turn Me Down” singles. Having a deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in place will definitely help pair him with the right producers and collaborators. His flow is already next level and with the anticipation of his debut album coming in 2018, you will see him level up.
Miami’s Sylvan LaCue is long overdue on the blow-up front. He consistently makes music that is infectious, soothing and will undoubtedly touch your soul. His way of story-telling is reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ album and comes with a mystique that makes you want more. With a balance of smooth vocals and formidable cadence, he shows he’s ready for the next level. His recently-released ‘Apologies In Advance’ album is drawing a lot of attention and rightfully so.
GoldLink had one of the hottest songs of 2017 in “Crew.” My personal favorite part of the song was the catchy chorus, which was melodically delivered by Brent Faiyaz, who often goes overlooked on the track and in the industry. That chorus earned him a GRAMMY nomination and I’m sure he will use that as motivation to kill sh*t in 2018. The Baltimore, Maryland product has a style that is reminiscent of the 90’s golden era of R&B.
I’ve been following Bay Area rapper Caleborate for a cool minute now. In 2016 he showed his love for hip-hop with his ‘1993’ tape and last year he released his relatable album, ‘Real Person’. He really has a superlative talent and his powerful lyrics will certainly play a major role in breaking him into the mainstream. With a hunger for more and a relentless approach, I see him going far this year.
Traditional West Coast gangsta rap has really disappeared in this era of mumble rap. If that is the style of hip-hop you yearn for, you’re guaranteed to vibe with LA rapper, G Perico. G takes a story-telling approach with swift style of rapping. Watch him rise this year.
Houston rapper Rocky Banks is probably the most slept on artist in his region, if not the entire continent. His ability to blatantly express his emotions on a track is really intriguing and draws you in. Last year he dropped his ‘Trust In Banko’ album, which is definitely a must listen, that breezes from front-to-back. He’s already drawn comparisons to Big K.R.I.T. and an early version of Kendrick Lamar. Next month he will release his forthcoming ‘Big Little Brother’ album, and it will be a problem (TRUST ME I’VE HEARD IT). This guy is about to blow up. DON’T SLEEP.
Being the first artist signed to Mike Dean’s M.W.A. label, Dice Soho already has an upper hand. Upon talking to Mike Dean I quickly found that Dice’s hard work and dedication, coupled with his undeniable talent is a reason he will reach stardom. This year he will release his ‘You Could Have’ EP, which promises to include a plethora of bangers. His newest single “Giraffe” has been going off in clubs and should be followed with more heat.
Dreamville signee Cozz is a crazy lyricist, who oftentimes goes unnoticed unless he’s on a track with Cole or Bas. If you pay attention you will quickly learn that this guy can spit with the best of them and doesn’t need any features to create fire sounds. For Cozz the talent is there, we just need a full-length album to solidify it and it appears we will get it this year.
Since coming into the music scene, 03 Greedo has been surrounded by buzz. He is the kind of artist that can break out with an infectious banger at any given moment and that makes him a special talent. The Watts native has an uncanny, unorthodox style, which draws people in. The “living legend” should definitely be around for years to come and this year I expect him to reach the kind of stardom previous LA acts like YG, Ty Dolla $ign, and others have. Keep an eye on him.
Inglewood’s SiR was able to secure a deal with TDE in early 2017 but was quiet for most of the year. His recent “Something Foreign” single with ScHoolboy Q has been opening a lot of eyes, as more folks are getting hip to SiR. Being on the TDE roster should pair him with the entire talented powerhouse roster, and create some solid music. That along with the fact that SiR has an utterly unique talent should be enough to show that he is poised to rise in the industry. His debut album will arrive in February. Stay tuned.
Virginia has nurtured several spitters like Pusha T, Malice, and Nickelous F to name a few. Next up and ready to carry the torch is Michael Millions. As of late, he’s been bubbling with his recent ‘Hard To Be King’ project, which showcases his lyrical abilities and there is surely more where that came from.
If you’re looking for a different sounding R&B act that is experimental and stands out from the rest, Toronto’s Zolo is the talent you’re looking for. His ability to bless a track with a unique cadence should put him on a fast track to stardom.
Going from a film director to a rapper probably isn’t the easiest thing to do. Detroit’s Darnell Williams is making it look easy by using his film skills to direct his own videos like in the case of his gritty “Coney Island” visuals. The “Coney Island” single is only a sample size of Darnell’s potential. Watch him match that single and stay consistent throughout the year.