2017 was a fruitful year for North Texas rappers, and as always there were several newcomers who broke onto the scene with fantastic releases or live shows. T.Y.E., FlexinFab and Diego Money are just a few who grabbed our attention and held it last year. Now we're anticipating a whole new round of surprise acts for 2018. Here are rappers we're watching closely.
CardiacTheGhost returned home to Dallas after a stint in Chicago and brought home with him his debut album 1%, which floats between hip-hop, jazz, R&B and punk rock. He has a great ear for production and malleable vocals, but it's his charisma that sets him apart. On stage he has an intangible star quality that draws audiences in.
Lil Cobaine's dreary brand of melodic half-rapped, half-sung tunes are right in line with the uber-popular work of Lil Peep and Lil Xan. He even has the cheek tattoo. Lil Cobaine's found a solid following on Soundcloud, which streamed his three tracks over 400,000 times. “Lie To Me” features 24hrs, another up-and-coming rapper, proving he's making the right connections. The Dallas native recently shared on Twitter that’s he’s working on an EP.
At the end of 2016, Adrian Stresow packed up his dorm at Dallas Baptist University and went all in on his music career. As 2017 wrapped, the artist racked up 243,000 fans on Spotify from over 61 countries, who streamed his projects for over 73,000 hours and pushed his project the Kid In His Room to No. 15 on Apple Music’s hip-hop/rap charts. Oh, and he’s still a teenager.
Alex Harris' classic, low-key rap delivery — as demonstrated on his latest single "Suede" — appeals to pop enthusiasts and die-hard hip-hop fans alike. If you didn't keep up with Harris last year, when he released his Foolish EP and played shows around town, you've unfortunately missed the boat. Harris recently relocated to Atlanta, where he’s working on a new EP with various producers and artists, including Keith Sweat.
JVN first caught our attention last spring with “Heavy.” The track was a hard-hitting warning shot for mumble rappers, delivered with a confident, blistering flow. The 20-year-old followed "Heavy" up with two tracks that showed off his versatility. “West Side Story” establishes him as one of Dallas' best lyricists. JVN isn’t wasting any time in 2018. He has a five-song EP set for release later this month and an opening slot for Harlem’s Dave East at Trees on Jan. 24.
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