Welcome to our 2o12 list of the 11 HOTTEST music artists that rep the DC Metropolitan area.
We are not making a list of who we feel is the best, only who, in our opinion, had the best year. Hence, the emphasis on HOTTEST. Please note that there is no specific order this year.
The purpose of this list is to shine a light on the great talent coming out of the DMV and the amazing impact that they’ve made as “local” music artists over the the last year.
When we say local artist we just mean that they are from the area, not confined to it.
We decided to change it up this time and list music artists instead of just rappers so you will see a great diversity of singers and rappers, both signed and independent that have been making a name both within DC and beyond.
This list is based on who we felt had the made the most noise inside and outside the D.C. metropolitan area by way of buzzworthy shows, social media following, tours, videos, albums/mixtapes, singles, publicity, street buzz, industry co-signs and other music-related things that kept the artist’s name on the tip of everybody’s tongue in 2012.
Again, this is a list of artists who we feel had the hottest year so this is no slight to other artists who may have been named in the past or feel they should be on the list. The shift in format from just rappers to also include singers bumped many deserving rappers who had a more quiet year 2o12 than they did in 2011.
1. Fat Trel
Fat Trel is easily the most highly-touted rapper when most think of DC rappers outside of Wale.
In 2011, the Fat Fool’s “Respect With a Tech” video got over a million clicks on Youtube but in 2012 he didn’t lose any momentum (His “Russian Roulette” video with Chief Keef easily eclipsed that number with 4 million views since July, by the way).
From a highly-buzzed mixtape (“Nightmare on E Street” had 177,993 clicks on Live Mixtapes) to the big noise he’s been making with his own artists on his 1135 label (Slutty Boyz, Boosa Da Shoota and Young Moe) to headlining the Smokers Club Tour with Juicy J to his 65k Twitter followers to his associations with major artists such as aforementioned Chief Keef, Pusha T, ASAP Rocky and Master P, with whom he teamed up with to form the Louis V Mobb with Atlanta rapper Alley Boy, Fat Trel has been anything but still.
2. Shy Glizzy
The Streets Hottest Youngin has become just that by building the fiercest local rap buzz of any new rapper in 2012. He can count on tracks with the likes of Wale and Trinidad James, a Youtube channel with almost 7 million views, two favored mixtape releases, co-signs by Complex and other top music blogs, and even his own Glizzy Day…all this despite much buzzed about run-ins with Chief Keef and Fat Trel. Turn up.
3. Reesa Renee
2011 Apollo champ has has made even bigger waves in 2012 with her debut album Reelease, which at one point outpaced Usher’s album and reached top 20 on the iTunes R&B charts. The success of the soul siren’s album led to a headline date at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, a sponsorship deal with Sports Zone and features on the Washington Post , KYSDC.com, The Washington City Paper and Soul Train.
Logic has been doing alot on his own with relatively little media help. Somehow, his Internet buzz has climbed to almost deafening heights with his team’s Youtube channel gaining over 18 million views, almost 150,ooo fans on Facebook, 75,000 followers on Twitter, and rumors of him signing to Def Jam, which were later squashed by Logic himself. The Maryland-native’s 2012 was pushed by his most recent mixtape Young Sinatra: Undeniable that spawned a national headlining 25-city tour that sold out 20 dates.
As one of the franchise artists signed to one of music’s most visible rap crews it’s almost automatic for Wale to land on this list every year. Under Maybach Music, Wale rode the success of his 2011 album Ambition into 2012, as well as the success of his crew MMG’s sophomore release Self Made II, which debuted #1 on Billboard’s rap charts. His biggest hit of 2012 was “Lotus Flower Bomb” featuring Miguel, which garnered a Grammy Award nomination, a BET Award nomination and Soul Train Award nomination for “Song of The Year”. On Christmas Eve, Wale released his DJ Clark Kent-hosted mixtape Folarin and he still found time to help develop the talent on his Board Administration label, which features locally-based acts Black Cobain (XXL Freshman class candidate and tour opener for Meek Mill), Fatz Da Big Fella, Mz Sasha and the newly signed Lightshow, as well as bubbling up-and-comer Tierra Thomas.
6. Black Alley
One of the hardest working bands of 2012 was Black Alley. The Go-Go/ Soul-Garage collective made their name ring with a tireless slate of shows from the Fillmore Silver Spring to Park at Fourteenth to crank sessions with Wale at Bar 7 to weekly gigs on U St to New Year’s Eve parties at the Sheraton Hotel to a mini-college tour that included a Howard Homecoming performance. They also released a debut album in 2012 called “SOUL.SWAGGER.ROCK.SNEAKERS“.
7. David Correy
David Correy’s success as a finalist on Fox’s The X Factor and contestant on NBC’s The Voice has catapulted the Annapolis, MD cross-over singer into a higher part of the sky that other singers can only hope to reach. From multiple features on national media outlets such as XXL Magazine and The Huffington Post, a Twitter following that pushes 1.4 million and a million views on his Youtube channel David Correy has had quite a whirlwind of a year.
8. Marcus Canty
Marcus Canty is another X-Factor contestant from the DMV that made the most of his national TV exposure. He placed fourth on the show but Marcus’ talents eventually led his mentor L.A. Reid to sign the singer Epic Records at the top of 2012. His first single “Won’t Make a Fool Out of You” was featured on the soundtrack for Think Like a Man and charted on Billboard’s R&B chart. The video for the Bowie, MD singer’s follow up single “In & Out“, which featured Wale, scored 1.6 million views on his Vevo/ Youtube page. He also has a busy press year getting shine on Access Hollywood Live, VH1, the Soul Train Awards, Nickelodeon’s “Figure It Out”, BET’s 106 & Park and others. He also has over 100K followers on Twitter. Expect a very strong 2013 with the release of his debut EP This…Is Marcus Canty , scheduled to drop on January 22, 2013.
9. Lola Monroe
Transitioning from a certified video vixen into a credible rap artist isn’t easy. Somehow, Lola Monroe did it. Lola grinded her way into the national spotlight in 2011 with a BET award nomination but she took it further in 2012 with she signed with Wiz Khalifa to become the first lady of Taylor Gang.
Before she and her longtime boyfriend (Bad Boy-signed Baltimore rapper Los) recently announced they are expecting their first child, “Queen ‘Roe” accumulated over 2.6 million page views on her Youtube page, almost 200k Twitter followers, tours and tracks with Wiz Khalifa, an appearance on Juicy J’s “Bandz A Make Her Dance” remix, and covers for Source Magazine, and BE Magazine.
10. Ace Primo
If we had to peg a local act that has the best chance to headline a future Scream Tour and become a 106 and Park darling it would have to be Ace Primo. In fact, he was already crisscrossing the country as an opener on that epic tour with Diggy Simmons and Mindless Behavior in 2012. The 17-year-old, discovered by super producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins ( think Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce), is signed to Jerkins’ Dark Child Records. Already featured in XXL Magazine and MTV, Ace Primo boasts 100K followers on Twitter and 2.3 million views on Youtube. The video for his latest single “Raise Your Weapon” garnered almost 325k views in just three months.
Oddisee is DC’s most known unknown. To DC’s mainstream radio listeners, Oddisee is probably relatively not a name that rings but to hip-hop purists both locally and worldwide the DC rapper/ producer is something of a burgeoning underground legend. That’s only because he lives in New York now and he tours extensively in Europe, where he reps DC thoroughly as a solo act and a member of Diamond District with Uptown XO and Y.u. Oddisee’s critically-acclaimed solo debut “People Hear What They See” was billed as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of 2012 by our sister site Theurbandaily.com, was voted as the best local album by the Washington City Paper, and hailed by iTunes UK as the Best Hip-Hop Album of 2012. If you don’t know, now you know.