The Pacific Northwest hip-hop scene is at an all-time high. We’ve finally seen new artists outside of Macklemore break into commercial success with Aminé and Lil Mosey. Producers from our region are getting Grammy nominations left and right like Seattle’s Eric G and Portland’s Nonstop Da Hitman.
Millions of ears and eyeballs are beginning to shift towards the Pacific Northwest.
Away from the Billboard charts and Grammy nominations, we still have a plethora of talent from all corners of the region teetering on the cusp of catching a national wave. We’ve got producers flying to Atlanta to work on the Dreamville sessions, artists traveling back and forth to LA writing hits for your favorite pop acts, and more local talent reaching outside of the city than ever before. We wanted to highlight a few of our picks set to really make noise outside of the region this year.
Artists Set To Have A Major 2019MKF
MKF has been one of the hottest groups out of Tacoma for a few years now. I’ve yet to see any major media in our region cover these guys and they still have no problem amassing millions of plays. The group of artists is led by frontman Lewie, who I think is poised to get a deal this year, but the group as a whole has no problem gaining traction.
The raw West Coast sound they have has led to organic collaborations with numerous popping artists on this coast and their music is simply good. They’ve had a year of hardships with one of their front men being killed at a show early in 2018 yet they’ve come together stronger and made new waves. Our article on the Tacoma Police Department blocking their tour damn near went viral but their music is the real story here.
At this point, if you’re following PNW hip-hop and haven’t heard of Travis Thompson, please get your shit together. Travis has toured the country, clocked millions of views, freestyled on Sway In The Morning, and sold out a movie theatre playing videos to every song on his album. This kid isn’t set to blow, he’s already on his way.
I also see a lot of negative feedback of people being tired of seeing his name on every list. I’m tired of other rappers not making as many moves. This dude is all DIY hustle so stop your excuses and get to work!
I first learned of Ghoulavelii when I caught the Toe Jam Showbox event flyer. Needless to say, I was late to the party. At Toe Jam, I learned that the entire sold-out audience was hip before I was hip. This kid was hyped as fuck. Screaming lyrics into the mic and demanding his music being played at distorted levels didn’t stop the entire crowd to jump in waves with the Seattle artist.
His style is a mix of hip-hop and the region’s grunge past. While his music may be more appealing to a niche audience, it’s a big niche and we’re excited to see where 2019 takes him.
Parisalexa is fire. The Northwest has yet to see an artist with this much star power potential. Production, check. Writing, check. Vocal range, check. Performing skills, check. The superstar look to match? Checkmate.
Paris has made some moves behind the scenes in the industry, received countless media praise, sold out local shows, and grabbed up an impressive number of streams. This girl is the real deal and her music is seriously fire. If you haven’t heard her stuff yet, take a quick listen to learn why her albums Bloom and Flexa topped so many best of 2018 lists.
Keshawn was one of the first “new wave” rappers from the PNW that caught my ear outside of Ill Chris. While I’ve been late to hop on the evolution of hip-hop’s sound, Keshawn has been right on time. The young artist has twice the talent of most as he produces and raps.
Within the last year of releases, his resume already includes opening up for major artists in multiple markets and taking numerous label meetings. With Taj King helping call the plays as a manager, it won’t be long in 2019 before you see this name more.
isaacjacuzzi is as unique of a talent as he has a stage name. The Seattle artist has melodies in the bag. His “Arenas” video is nearing 100k places and flows effortlessly over Royce David’s production.
Jango is the hottest artist on the east side of the mountains in Washington state. In 2018, he saw performances at Upstream Music Festival, sold out home town events, and saw stage time all over Seattle. His smash single “Legacy” featuring Seattle’s Kung Foo Grip was so much an anthem that Carolina Panthers Cam Newtown reposted a video that used the song in it.
The Portland emcee is an exciting talent. She first caught our attention when she went viral spitting bars into her cell phone and has since done nothing but elevate her platform since. With a rumored deal in the works, her latest offerings are clocking mad digital streams and challenging the status quo of white girl rappers. You’ve never seen a blonde girl spit like this. She has bars.
RedHead is a special talent. The Tacoma by way of Virginia artist has amassed a respectable following while releasing loose singles and videos. The artist weaves in and out of singing and melodic rapping with ease. Holding a commercial ready sound, I don’t think it’ll be long till one of his joints really picks up steam. His latest video “10 Toes” has been on repeat at the office and the catchy “They Never” hasn’t gotten old yet.
STOP SLEEPING ON MISTADC! The Seattle singer is a blend of chill R&B and classic hip-hop vibes with an incredibly unique voice that’s as good live as it lays on wax. His latest EP Sorry We Lost You is fire, and you should most certainly slap that. This kid is going places.
Upset at our Pacific Northwest Hip-hop list? As with all lists, these picks are subjective. Not everyone will be included yet we take into account current play counts, marketability, and current traction/trajectory.
Please @ me personally if you’re offended your brother’s cousin’s dog’s former owner spits better but only has one record out on Reverb Nation.