Jersey-born Cakes Da Killa debuted his first album Hedonism in October 2016, and he's been killing it ever since. After coming out in third grade, he's been dropping smart verses in tracks like "New Phone, Who Dis?" and "Goodie Goodies." You want attitude? You want Cakes.
Check out: “New Phone (Who Dis),” “Goodie Goodies,” “Serve It Up”
Dai Burger might have begun her career working with rapper Lil’ Mama as a backup dancer, but she quickly burst onto the scene with her own bars. Her debut album Soft Serve is chock-full of food puns and raunchy goodness, best heard on highlights like "Shake n Bake" and "Slurpee."
Check out: "Where My Girls," "Shake n Bake," "Dolla Slice"
Dominican American Jay Boogie is out to celebrate his body, literally. The seductive “Body” from his debut album Allure is as stylish as Jay’s gorgeous eye makeup. A frequent collaborator with artists like Cakes Da Killa and Shamz Le Roc, he pumps out banger after banger while spreading the message that he’s comfortable with himself, so why shouldn’t you be?
Check out: “Body,” “It Ain’t About You,” “Precious”
Chicago-based rapper KC Ortiz’s mixtape Church Tapes is a tribute to simpler times, like sitting on the back porch with her grandmother listening to recorded church sermons. Ortiz is certainly preaching on tracks like “Know It,” addressing the haters and crowning herself queen with an “iced-out tiara.”
Check out: “Lordt,” “Know It,” “Future”
Boisterous, beautiful and bossed up, Big Freedia is all about getting you to shake it like a salt shaker, from bops like “Jump On It” to “Dive.” The Queen of Bounce set a Guinness World Record for leading hundreds of dancers in a twerkfest, and keeps making sizzling bangers one after another. You won’t be able to stay in your seat listening to the Queen Diva.
Check out: “Dive,” “Jump On It,” “Booty-Whop”
Mykki Blanco has toured with stars like Bjork, has fans like Flea and Grimes, and came through to declare “queer rap” a genre unto itself. As a queer, HIV-positive performer he spits hot fire about his diagnosis, life as a gay rapper, and anything that comes to mind. In this, he’s inspirational.
Check out: “Wavvy,” “Loner,” “Wish You Would”
After breaking out with the boozy, trippy "Tuesday,' iLoveMakonnen paired up with Drake for an even doper remix and his career lit up from there. From getting the club goin' up on a Tuesday to partying solo, iLoveMakonnen is a gay singer/rapper worth turning up super loud.
Check out: “Tuesday,” “Love,” “Sellin’”
Le1f made a mark on rap by producing tracks for Das Racist and originally studied ballet and modern dance before breaking into rap. Not only can he rap, but he can get it on the dance floor as well. He’s also the head of hip-hop label Camp & Street, part of Greedhead Music. Just try and get his raucous “Wut” out of your head.
Check out: “Wut,” “Buzz,” “Boom”
There’s no doubt you’ve heard of Young M.A by now, since this Brooklyn rapper’s smash “OOOUUU” hit the Hot 100 top 20 last year. As a lesbian she’s been out for some time, even running a YouTube channel about relationships and lesbians under the name “Kat Kasanova.” She may only have a few songs out for now, but they’re all fire.
Check out: “Ooouu,” “Hot Sauce,” “Eat”
Zebra Katz is referred to by his “creator” and alter ego Ojay Morgan as the “dark rapper” and the “dark lord of the fashion world,” having opened for Azealia Banks and even Scissor Sisters. Most recently he appeared on Gorillaz’ latest album Humanz, but you’ll love him tearing up the rap game with “Ima Read.”
Check out: “Ima Read,” “Hello Hi,” “Pulla Stunt”
TT The Artist
The colorful TT the Artist isn't shy about sharing her feelings with the world, just as she isn't shy about using striking artwork when it comes to her music. With outspoken thoughts on politics and "real bitch problems," she's quick to call out people when they go back on their BS.
Check out: “Beefin’,” “Thug It Out,” “F Trump”
This "opulent" singer and rapper deals in unique style, working with artists like Charli XCX and Azealia Banks, even supporting Lizzo during her recent tour. Her "club-rap" style is easy to dance to, but distinctive in its own way. Long story short? She makes bangers.
Check out: “Godzillionaire,” “Nasty,” “Opulence”
Chance the Rapper’s kid brother is in the game too! Taylor Bennett cut his teeth on rappers like Nas and Twista, appreciating Kanye West's "fun-loving" side of music and incorporating all of those influences in his music. The bisexual rapper came out just this past January via Twitter ahead of his 21st birthday, two years after dropping his first album Broad Shoulders.
Check out: “Broad Shoulders,” Favorite Colors,” “Roof Gone”
Sydney "Syd" Bennett is a former member of hip hop collective Odd Future, performing now as lead vocalist for The Internet. She can alternate from smooth crooning to spitting hot bars as a solo artist, and she'll quickly become a favorite if you remember her from the track "Girl," performing with The Internet and Kaytranada.
Check out: “All About Me,” “Body,” “Girl”