Regions of the country to watch for new hip-hop and R&B talent

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As hip-hop continues to become one of the most popular genres of music and inspire new subgenres, more and more cities across the United States have become hubs for rising hip hop stars. rap and R&B. Many new or underrated rappers come from different regions, drawing attention to these cities as petri dishes for new talent.

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and countless others have already established themselves as breeding grounds for musical talent, but others are now displaying immense abilities in rap and R&B. A few stand out from the rest, having the potential to explode as the next big business in music.

Orlando Florida
Florida has always been a major rap hub, but most of the big names grew up in the southern region of the state. North Florida is seeing a recent surge in talent, with Orlando generating a lot of mainstream buzz.

Following collaborations with Future, 42 Dugg and other stars, Hotboii has become a name to watch in melodic rap. Currently signed to Interscope Records, Hotboii became one of the first rappers to catch mainstream attention in Orlando, with his 2020 single “Don’t Need Time” amassing 80 million views on YouTube and spawning a remix with Atlanta rapper Lil Baby.

Hotboii’s 2020 album “Kut Da Fan On” has drawn even more interest from the new face of Florida’s melodic rap scene. His single “Nobody Special” featuring Future was a huge hit after his debut project, reaching over 30 million plays on Spotify and catching the attention of other southern rappers.

After releasing his 2019 album “Heart Full of Rage”, Tyla Yaweh has become another name to watch in the growing North Florida market. Yaweh’s single “Tommy Lee,” featuring megastar Post Malone, took the rapper to new heights, amassing over 180 million Spotify streams and peaking at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 Rap/R&B Charts.

Yaweh’s most recent work has featured Gunna, Wiz Khalifa and Trippie Redd, and he continues to make a name for himself in a highly competitive melodic rap market.

Upstate and Central New York (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, etc.)

Upstate and central New York rap has flown under the radar for years, with three creative geniuses from Buffalo creating the most noise in the more underground game.

Westside Gunn, his cousin Benny the Butcher and his brother Conway – known as the leaders of the indie label Griselda – held the fort for Buffalo rap. Gunn’s grating vocals mixed with the deep, raspy tones of Conway and Benny set them apart from many other independent artists.

Westside Gunn is a name that has been in the game for nearly two decades. His very first mixtape came out in 2005, but he didn’t see any real success until he released his major debut album, “Flygod,” in 2016. Conway and Benny backed Westside Gunn, all collaborating on different projects and develop Griselda.

Recently, Benny the Butcher has enjoyed more streams and overall success, with songs like “Johnny P’s Caddy” featuring J. Cole and “One Way Flight” featuring Freddie Gibbs raising his resume.

Newburgh, New York rapper and Grammy-winning songwriter Pardison Fontaine, found immediate success after his single “Backin’ It Up” featuring Cardi B peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. , Fontaine helped co-write Kanye West’s 2018 album “ye” and other hits such as Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” and “Savage,” by current girlfriend Megan Thee Stallion.

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The Syracuse artist Scorey exploded in 2020 following the release of his single “Moods.: Success caught the eye of Chicago’s Polo G, who asked the Syracuse phenom to join his label Only Dreamers Achieve. Ever since signing, Scorey’s 2021 EP “Catch Me If You Can” saw three songs reach over 10 million plays on Spotify, and he also made a guest appearance on Polo G’s latest project.

Mobile, Alabama
Over the past two years, Mobile, Alabama has become a hotbed for some of rap and R&B’s biggest up-and-coming artists.

In the R&B spotlight, Bleu became a major rising star, it all started with his remix of “You’re Mines Still” with hip-hop icon Drake, peaking at 18 on the Hot 100 and earning doubles. RIAA platinum certifications.

Bleu’s powerful and emotional voice has made him a mainstay in the R&B community, as his most recent project “Moon Boy” has attracted the likes of John Legend, Chris Brown and international talent Davido.

Known for having impeccable wordplay and hidden references throughout his catalog tracks, NoCap remains one of the most interesting members to come out of this class of Mobile, Alabama rap.

His 2020 album “Steel Human” had fans diving throughout the project in search of secret messages, with pop culture allusions scattered throughout many of the songs. On “By Tonight”, he names two NFL players, Eric Reid and Robert Griffin III, in the same line, stating “I’m like Eric, I don’t talk too much, it’s hard for you to read me, so these glocks have no security, i looked a ton like RG3.

This clever pun led to NoCap being signed to NBA Youngboy’s label, Never Broke Again, distributed by Universal Music and Atlantic Records, which helped the smith develop his talent and experience.

As a member of Lil Baby’s 4 Pockets Full (4PF), Rylo Rodriguez is another mobile performer shining a light on Alabama’s growing music scene.

Rodriguez has always had an ear for sounds and sample loops, which is one of the main reasons he exploded in the first place, turning guitar and R&B samples into instrumentals. After coming into the industry with NoCap, Rodriguez signed with 4PF in 2020, where he immediately started making hits with Lil Baby in “Forget That” and “Walk”, which came off his debut studio album “GIHF “

Louisville, Kentucky
Other than popular rapper/songwriter Static Major and breakout Bryson Tiller, Louisville hadn’t been seen as a place for up-and-coming artists, but that slowly changed.

Now one of the most popular names in mainstream hip-hop, Jack Harlow’s early work didn’t seem to garner national attention outside of his market until his 2018 album “Loose” and “Confetti of 2019, which saw Harlow team up with other Louisville musicians. like Tiller and IS Gee. But the radio hit “What’s Poppin” blew up the rapper, becoming one of the biggest songs of 2020 and pioneering a remix with Tory Lanez, DaBaby and Lil Wayne.

Showcasing the skills EST Gee brewed before the spotlight, his 2020 album “I Still Don’t Feel Nun,” introduced a raucous and menacing new style to snare the music.

The rapper was shot four times in 2019 and had to deal with the losses of his mother and brother the following year, and he uses those experiences to discuss life and death experiences in his music.

His October 2022 project “I Never Felt Nun” debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart, sparking the start of an even brighter future for the Louisville superstar.

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