There are so many talented new artists in North Texas that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Every year, new artists emerge from the deep underground, whether at open-mic events or free performances at their friends’ low-budget music festival.
In today’s music industry, talent is not enough. Artists are expected to think of themselves as business owners and find creative ways to market, promote and get their product out to the masses while remaining true to their artistry – or have the means to pay someone to do everything, and quickly, because time waits for no one.
Here are five hip-hop and R&B artists who have flown under the radar but are set to rise to the top.
Charles K. has a modern but old school hip-hop sound, and true hip-hop bosses know what we mean. The rapper’s core elements of clear, self-aware, and focused lyrics pair well with his instrument-heavy beats that contain only a pinch of modern trappings. His music sounds like an artist release from Top Dawg’s TDE label. Charles K.’s upcoming album is a 17-track collection titled I AM WHAT I AMon which he displays his versatility and holds his own with members of DFW’s operatic elite such as Rakim Al-Jabbaar, Jason Lyric and Cush Wit A C. honey dai
Honey Daii is an artist who trusts her skin and her musical space. She has a true, timeless R&B sound that stands out in a genre that has strayed from its roots. Her music shows a vulnerable yet powerful portrayal of who she is as a woman without pushing the gendered narrative that is so commonly used in the hip-hop and R&B space. In the video for her single “Smoke & Liquor”, an example of her confident vulnerability is shown. She begins the video by sitting on her kitchen counter in her loungewear and a silk scarf, inhaling deeply from a fancy metal chalice over some light drumbeats and an acoustic guitar. Look for her on the poster for an upcoming Vibes Texas event. Jahn paste
Jahn Dough delivers a rare listening experience by combining a dirty southern tone with a west coast tempo on most records. He freed The garden project earlier this year after two 2020 releases, Stroll and Obsidian. The garden project features familiar faces such as Lavoyce, Dizzy Wright, M3CCA and Helen Hailu. Dough is a specialist in putting together a high quality song that cannot be taken for granted. Graham Malice
Graham Malice won’t let a single genre define the sound of the music he creates. There are those heavy, high-energy rap records he’s been featured on, such as “214 to Your City,” and a few others that border on experimental hip-hop. He released a four-song EP with instrumentalist and artist Yellow Jones, which made for an engaging crossover. For some avid listeners of Graham Malice, the I run away from love EP might seem like it came out of left field, but it showed a versatility that most rappers wouldn’t dare try, even if they thought it sounded good. Similar to Drake’s Honestly it doesn’t matter, Graham Malice has shown he can do conventional rap tracks but also come out creatively. And he doesn’t care whether you like him or not. Asia Kyree
When you see Asia Kyreé, the first comparison that comes to mind is that of Lil Kim, because his cuts are always on point. Maybe it’s because she graduated in fashion in 2015 before moving to Dallas. But Asia Kyreé is all R&B. Consider his first project Bad boy like an introduction to the artist as an R&B villain, where she speaks out and lets you know she’ll do exactly what she wants. R&B has always been a passionate and emotional genre, and when R&B artists write their own music, emotions run wild. Asia Kyree’s Bad boy allows people to step into a world where she lives her truths.