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Update – We invited these artists and more to perform at The Hamilton on April 6th. For more information head to the ticket page here


Damn! 2012 went by faster than something something Lance Armstrong’s fake dead girlfriend Mitt Romney.

All in all, I’d say the DMV had a great year—especially when it comes to music. But who should you watch out for in 2013? All these people next to numbers listed below. Did I miss some people? Yea. I watched a full season of Breaking Bad last night, cut me some slack. But! I’m sure you will be sure to remind me in the comments section.

Behold! In no particular order…

1) GEMS – GEMS, formerly known as Birdlips, is everything that is right in the world. Granted, my unabashed man-crush on Cliff is only marginally responsible for their appearance on this list, but everything they’ve put out in 2012 has been incredible.

2) OG DUTCHMASTER – OG Dutchmaster and the 7th Floor Villains have had a great year. With a deep bench of talented emcees, these dudes will only go up from here in 2013.

3) NACEY – Nacy is (not so) secretly one of the best producers in the DMV. Along with regular DJ sets at UHall, Nacey has been preforming/producing for Misun and putting out some pretty epic mixes of his own. I’m adding three tracks produced by Nacey, because goddammit man, 2013 is your goddamn oyster. Shuck it…or something.

4) UNO HYPE – From his bunker in Maryland, this dude has been quietly mounting the resistance to take over the DMV. With multiple collaborations from DZA, Uno Hype took no prisoners in 2012—I expect 2013 to be no different!


5) REESA RENEE – 9/10 scientists agree that Reesa Renee is the new voice of the DMV. If you don’t get either of these songs stuck in your head, then you deserve a blowdart to the neck.

6) SHARK WEEK – Well, fuck. Shark Week is really goddamn good. I hope they get so popular in 2013 that the Discovery Channel sues them.

7) LOCKE KAUSHAL Locke was on MTV’s Rap Fix Live this year and even got picked on by Sway. Does it get better than that? Probably. But, still, that’s pretty awesome. Oh, he also made a ton of great music last year, too.


8) BRETT Who the hell is Brett?! They are formerly known as The Dance Party and feature manic frenzy of electric guitar, fast-powered drums, boppy synthesizer and coasting vocals that venture easily into falsetto territory every third note or so.

9) KID NAMED BREEZY –  KNB put out out a song with Pusha-goddamn-T in 2012…yea, that guy from Clipse and the last season of How to Make it in America (RIP!). What does that even leave for 2013!? Yeezy collab?! Jay?! Tony Yayo?! The only thing we can do now is wait…


10) US ROYALTY Ah yes, the US Royalty—the favorite sons of Washington, DC. These guys spent most of 2012 recording what I can only imagine is the highly anticipated followup to their last album, Mirrors. It. Will. Be. Epic. Now if they would only release some of those tracks they did with Phil Ade a few years ago. One day…

11) INCWELL – Haven’t heard of Incwell? Fix that. And keep an eye for his new album in the next few months.

12) DROP ELECTRIC Ben’s fucking Chili Bowl I love this band. While hardly newbies, 2013 could be a big year for this talented group of musical humans.

13) SHEILA D YEAH – Sheila occupies a uniquely uninhabited spaced in the DMV. What’s that you say? Oh, just being all around fucking awesome. You can definitely count on Sheila to be one of the many female artists doing good things in the DMV in 2013.

14) FAT TREL – I think we can all agree that Fat Trel won 2012. Trel was hanging out with Chief Keef before it was cool (#FreeSosa!) and when Keef blew up, Trel finally started getting the attention he deserves. To top off an all around great year of making music, Trel also recently signed on to Master P.’s new group ‘Louis V. Mob”  that includes himself and Alley Boy. Bravo, sir.

Trel also had his first video to hit a million views this year:

15) BEYOND MODERN – Beyond Modern is unique, entertaining, and talented. If you ever get a chance to see them live, put down that X-Box controller and get out of the goddamn house. 2012 was a good year for Beyond Modern, but I have a feeling these dudes are just getting started. Side Note: Watch this video. Annnnnnnnd you’re pregnant.

16) LIGHTSHOW This newly minted member of Wale’s Board Administration might have crept up on you, but he’s a talented dude who you’ll definitely be hearing more of.

17) PHIL DA PHUTURE PDP is going to make 2013 his proverbial bitch. I have little to no evidence to support that statement, but it’s more of a gut feeling.

18) SHY GLIZZY – Whether you like Shy Glizzy or not, 2012 was a great year for him. Beef with Chief Keef? Check. Wale collab? Check. Pusha T retweet? Check. If I had all those things, I wouldn’t even call 2012 a wrap, I’d call my whole LIFE a wrap…minus the Keef beef. #scared

19) BIG/BRIGHT – If you were too busy watching Honey Boo Boo Child in 2012, then you probably missed the release of BIG/BRIGHT’S awesomely cool EP. You don’t even need to got to Kazaa, it’s right here.

20) ODDISEE – Sure, he lives in New York now, but Oddisee is so goddamn good that DC is claiming this dude as our own. Download ‘People Hear What They See.’ Just do it. No, don’t pirate that shit, actually buy. It’s really, really good. Even British people thought so. And they. Hate. Everything.

21) RA THE MC – Fresh of a season of “The X Factor,” Ra The MC is refocused and better than ever. Hands down, she is one of the most talented emcees—male or female—in the DMV right now, so I’m excited to see what 2013 has in store for her.

22) PHIL ADE First of all, Phil toured with Rockie Fresh last year. Not just a small tour, but an epic national tour  that started pretty much days after Rockie got signed to MMG. He’s always been incredibly talented, but I think that’s exactly the type of nation exposure he needed. So what will Phil do in 2013? Hopefully whatever he goddamn feels like. But, hopefully he also feels like making a great music.

23) BLACK COBAIN Here is another member of Board Administration that I think will have a big year. Not that last year wasn’t good for him, but I seems like BOA is really refocusing and dedicating more time to cultivating the talent that they have.

24) TRACK – Track and everyone in the Good Kin/Swoop Team crew is going to do big things this year. I can feel it in my bones! Sike, that’s osteoporosis. Either way,  I hope these dudes step up and make epic things happen in the new year because they are way to talented not to.

25) REDLINE GRAFFITI – This song makes me want to hug a baby seal and heal the world. Shhhh just listen.

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