As a city, we've been developing culturally and economically at a rapid pace over the last few years. Built around a scene of prominent weekly events like Beauty Bar's Big Bang Thursdays and Prophet Bar's Wednesday night open mic jam sessions, local rap artists get the chance to interact and network together often. The following are some faces you don't typically see out in these streets, but in 2013, you're going to get to know them well.
See also: - Five rap albums that changed the game in 2012
Jenny Robinson Robinson has been DFW's best-kept secret in rap this year. Anyone who's had the pleasure of watching her slither across the stage of a Denton dive bar or house party will tell you this girl is no joke. Her fanbase comes mostly from her strong Internet presence (Lil B is among her many loyal followers), but don't get it twisted, she is the real deal. In an age where anyone with a Twitter account and a hashtag can score a record deal, it's refreshing to see such an incredible talent on the mic. Robinson will be performing with Track Meet's AiR Deejay at WAAS Gallery's Christmas party on December 23.
JT Mohrle Garland rapper JT Mohrle is quickly gaining local notoriety for the singles he's released this year. His most recent, "Stay Seated," is a flip on the Scoop DeVille beat for Kendrick Lamar's "The Recipe." On December 21, the Brain Gang affiliate will drop his new project, 21. JT's effortless flow and clever wordplay are beyond his years, and pretty difficult to hate on. Where 2013 takes this young emcee will be very interesting to watch.
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Leon the Professional The winner of the Dallas Observer music award for Best Mixtape has really been working hard this year, and is starting to make quite a name for himself with his true-school style and B-boy roots. His 2012 project, (B)EAST, is a personal and introspective look at an artist over classic hip-hop instrumentation, with slick delivery. The mixtape has ended up on pretty much every local best-of list, in addition to the DOMA honor, so if you're still sleepin' on Leon, you're running out of excuses. Catch him at the We Are Dallas party this Saturday at Overground Skatepark.
Bobby Sessions The barely legal basketball fanatic is yet another Brain Gang-affiliated emcee who has been picking up major steam this year. On December 13 (his 21st birthday, the age that seems to be a recurring theme within Brain Gang right now), the wait will be over for his newest project, Passion. We've already put you on his single, "Stephen A. Smith," but he says it didn't make it on the EP. Sessions is also on the bill for WAAS Gallery's December 23 Christmas party, with backing from Track Meet's Ynfynyt Scroll.
Tunk Over the last couple of years, we've seen a lot of great work from Kevin Arradondo, like last summer's "Jumper Cables," AD.d+'s salute to UGK. His highly anticipated upcoming project, Direct Deposit, is due out Christmas Eve. With it, Tunk is set to take his rightful place as one of the city's best and brightest in the game.