Photo by Jay Scroggins / SubPop Records

7 Seattle Hip-Hop Artists you should be listening to right now

January 25, 2017

Part of being surrounded by music and music news all day means you get to see a bit of everything. The Seattle hip-hop scene has been blowing up for a few years now, but with a few groups (Thraxxhouse, 69/50, Black Umbrella, and more) and venues carrying the torch for Seattle rappers and producers, it would appear the future is pretty bright for the genre in Seattle.

We are all about New Music Discovery so with that, here are seven local hip-hop and rap artists you should be listening to, and a few more for good measure.

Brothers From Another
You have probably heard this Seattle rap trio quite a bit on Sunday nights on our local show Locals Only. BFA is Cole DeLeon, Isaiah Sneed, and Nick Beeba and they met as kids in Seattle’s south end and are on the up right now. “Love The Band” dropped last year and you can expect big things in 2017.

DoNormaal
No matter who you talk to or read, everyone is unanimous that DoNormaal is all hustle right now. DoNormaal is Christianne Karefa-Johnson who burst on the scene with her 2015 release Jump or Die, and she was at the center of it all in 2016, playing nearly 100 shows and co-founding an artist collective with Raven Matthews called 69/50. You can catch her at Timbrrr! Outdoor Music Festival this weekend.

Porter Ray
SubPop's Central District signing Porter Ray was scouted by Shabazz Palace's Ishmael Butler, whose influence you can hear in the latest remix of Ray's Sacred Geometry [Constellation Remix>. Ray was recently announced as part of the Sasquatch! 2017 lineup after his 2015 EP Nightfall, his first via SubPop, caught the attention of many who weren't already on board after his three prior self-released albums. From his official SubPop bio: "he sounds like East Seattle feels."

Dave B.
If you saw Dave B’s set at Capitol Hill Block Party last year when he was a late addition, you know this guy is straight up fun. Dave B, a Renton native and Lindbergh grad, won EMP’s (RIP) Sound Off in 2013, dropped albums in 2015 and 2016 and is on a trajectory that could put him in Seattle’s upper echelon at only 24 years old.

SOL
Sol Moravia-Rosenberg is a Shoreline native who has been in the game for awhile, despite being only 28. His 2012 independent album Yours Truly went #1 in the U.S. and most recently dropped his 2016 album The Headspace Traveler.

Shabazz Palaces
Possibly the most experimental sounds on the list, hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces (SubPop) crosses over into the Alternative hip-hop realm most easily. They have been around since 2009, been featured on a Flying Lotus track and have three studio albums under their belt, plus a live album at Jack White’s Third Man Records in 2016.

Sango
Sango, the DJ, producer, singer, rapper and beat-maker, was born in Bremerton, made the move to Michigan and then back and is featured on quite a few albums. His latest, Hours Spent Loving You (2016), in collaboration with Xavier Omär is a must-listen.

Other artists to check out:

Mackned
A co-founder of the Seattle artistic collective, Thraxxhouse, that now traverses far outside the city limits, Mackned is at the center of it all and dropped his latest album American Boy in 2016.

Raz Simone
Raz Simone says it how it is, or at least how he sees it, taking no prisoners in his rhymes and is a part of the group Black Umbrella, another collective which includes frequent collaborators Fatal Lucciano and Sam Lachow.

Sam Lachow
Speaking of Sam Lachow, the Seattle rapper who splits his time on the other coast in NYC and kickstarted his second LP Huckleberry, Lachow is nonstop right now. He played the main stage at Sasquatch! in 2016 and sold out the Neptune while he worked his way up to #2 on the hip-hop charts with his latest EP Friends, Funk & Liquor.

Also...

Billy the Fridge

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