Sunday, June 8, 2014

3 DMV Artists You Need To Check Out

While hip-hop is a global genre not limited to one specific area, it seems that the indie hip-hop sub-genre is best represented by artists from the DMV. No not the Department of Motor Vehicles, rather the D.C, Maryland, and Virginia area. While some may recognize legends such as Oddisee, Wale, or even Substantial, the artists featured on this list may not be as notorious as those, however, they do make great, positive, and thoughtful hip-hop that deserves to not only be acknowledged, but also heard and appreciated. That being said, below is a small list of three artists that hail from the DMV area, that you have to check out! If you like the list, or even dislike the list, please comment your thoughts below!

Uptown XO has done nothing except elevate his game with each release. Currently residing in D.C, Uptown is 1/3 of the Mello Music Group trio, Diamond District along with Oddisee and yU. While XO has been putting out solid releases for some time, it was his debut full-length project Colour de Grey which released in early 2013 that caught many listeners ears. XO has a unique style and offers a great balance of lyricism and confidence in his tracks. XO is the perfect blend of a multitude of characteristics that give him that distinct DMV sound and slang. 

One of hip-hop's good guys, Javier Starks has eliminated all negativity in not only his life, but also in his music. You won't hear any curse word on a Javier Starks record, but you will hear fast rhyming and clever messages behind his positive lyrics. His sound can't really be limited to a specific genre, as he incorporates, pop, jazz, rock, and soul into his music. His latest release, Radio Ready was an underrated project that can be described as a day in Javier's life portrayed through modern day radio. Word has it that Jav will be working with Robert Glasper on his next record, and Glasper's jazz-infused sound will go hand-in-hand with Javier's deep and thoughtful rhymes. Javier Starks is without question an emcee that needs to be on everyone's radar.

Recently signing with Kevin Nottingham's HiPNOTT Records, the hip-hop duo of Mighty Joe & Isaiah "Insanate" Mensah are proof that hard work pays off. The Other Guys have a sample heavy sound that has been consistently getting better and better as the time passes. The Other Guys are the epitome of indie hip-hop, unfortunately their sound has yet to reach the masses. The debut album on HiPNOTT Records is titled Seeds of Ambition, and the duo had this to say on the album, "People already spend enough time listening to music with nothing to say so we figured it was time to make music that did." If there was ever a group to check out, it's these guys. They are bringing back classic hip-hop, as well as keeping up with the times which is clear with the head nodding beats, and thoughtful lyricism present in their music. 

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