1. Angel Haze
Come-Up: The 22 year old Michigan native released her EP Reservation just last year. Upon release, Haze perked up ears with her single “Werkin Girls” and more recently with her goose bump inducing version of Macklemore’s “Same Love.”
Key-Tracks: “New Slaves,” “Echelon (It’s My Way),” “Smile n Hearts,” and “Realest”
Why She’s Killing It: She spits super clean and she’s got absolutely no filter. Haze is lyrical brilliance personified.
Check out Angel Haze’s “Dirty Gold” series, leading up to her debut album here.
Come-Up: Originally from Queens, Awkwafina broke out as an east coast rapper upon returning home from university in Beijing. She’s well-known on the NYC scene for her raw talent and personality.
Key Tracks: “NYC Bitche$,” “My Vag,” “Yellow Ranger,” and “Peggy Bundy”
Why She’s Killing It: She produces some of her own songs and her beats, as well as her lyrics, are SICK.
Listen to more of Awkwafina here.
Come-Up: Rapsody began her musical career in her hometown of Snow Hill, North Carolina. She has released five powerful mixtapes in the last three years. The most recent of which, titled She Got Game dropped just a couple of months ago in August.
Key Tracks: “Believe Me,” “Kind of Love,” “A Song About Nothing,” and “Dark Nights”
Why She’s Killing It: Her rhymes are melodic and contagious. Plus, she’s got soul, SO much soul. Also, fun fact: Rapsody’s style is often compared to that of Ms. Lauryn Hill.
Download Rapsody’s She Got Game mixtape here.
Come-Up: This extremely talented emcee from Minneapolis, Minnesota has been part of the larger rap collective Doomtree since 2005. She’s released three solo albums in the past three years, the most of recent of which is titled Parts of Speech.
Key Tracks: “Scuffle,” “Dixon’s Girl,” “Alibi,” and “Fighting Fish”
Why She’s Killing It: She’s a genius wordsmith; Dessa’s rhymes feel like straight up poetry.
Get Dessa’s newest album Parts Of Speech here.
5. FM Supreme
Come-Up: A well-known emcee in her native Chicago, FM Supreme has won various poetry slams in her hometown and has shared the stage with the likes of Lupe Fiasco, MC Lyte, and Common. She released her last project titled The FM Supreme Project EP Mixtape in 2010.
Key Tracks: “No Turning Back,” “The Prayer,” “The Ignorance,” and “Sudden Movements”
Why She’s Killing It: She tackles a lot of social themes that she has encountered growing up in Chicago; her rhymes are inspirational and recharging to say the least.
Check out FM Supreme’s The FM Supreme Project EP Mixtape here.
Come-Up: This Stanford graduate hails from San Francisco by way of Wilmette, Illinois. Her first mixtape, Suburban Rap Queen, dropped in 2004, and her first self-titled EP in 2010. You may know her from bay area rapper Zion I’s 2009 track “Coastin’.”
Key Tracks: “No Duh,” “Sunburn,” “Fvcking Crazy,” and “The Cops”
Why She’s Killing It: Her lyrics are sharp, witty, playful and to the point. She spills her mind on her tracks.
Listen to K.Flay’s West Ghost mixtape here.
7. Jean Grae
Come-Up: Jean Grae, formerly known as What? What?, is a South African born rapper who moved to New York City before her very first birthday. She’s been in the game since the early 2000s, and her newest project Gotham Down came out just earlier this month.
Key Tracks: “Kill Screen,” “Love Song,” “Hater’s Anthem,” and “Leviathan”
Why She’s Killing It: Grae is versatile; she delivers both soft and hard hitting tracks with the greatest of lyrical ease.
Download Jean Grae’s Gotham Down Cycle 1: Love In Infinity mixtape here.
8. Ruby Ibarra
Come-Up: Born in the Philippines and raised in the Bay Area of California, Ruby Ibarra has forcefully emerged on the professional scene in the past few years. The young rapper self-describes her sound as a “90s hip hop vibe with elements of raw poetry.”
Key Tracks: “Game Up,” “Fallin’ Down,” “Nonconceptual,” and “The Cypher”
Why She’s Killing It: She raps in two languages: English and Tagalog.
Get Ruby Ibarra’s Lost In Translation mixtape here.
9. Dominique Young Unique
Come-Up: The former model turned rapper released her first EP Hot Girl in 2009, followed by three mixtapes in 2010 and 2011. She is currently signed to Sony Records.
Key Tracks: “Earthquake,” “Show My Ass,” “Rambo,” “Stupid Pretty”
Why She’s Killing It: She usually raps over electronic beats which makes her music perfect for both rapping along and dancing.
Listen to Dominique Unique Young’s Stupid Pretty mixtape here.