DMV doesn’t stand for Department of Motor Vehicles. Famous for its Go-Go sound, the area known as D.C., Maryland, Virginia recently saw an influx of residents changing their musical aspirations from Go-Go to rap. While DMV Hip Hop is yet to overtake Go-Go on local radio airwaves, residents have slowly been embracing artists from the area and nurturing a fast-growing movement of MCing around the capital city.
In 2012, DMV artists made big noise using talent and determination to bust some cracks into the tightly protected music industry. MMG rhymer Wale broke out commercially after years of grinding leading a handful new artists have followed in his footsteps, placing themselves in position to bust the local scene wide open in 2013.
Fat Trel quickly became the talk of the town in 2012 after releasing his well-rounded “Nightmare on Est.” mixtape. He expanded his fanbase nationally by headlining “The Smokers Club Tour” with Juicy J and Joey Bada$$. Soon after, Trel moved to California to begin working on his new mixtape “S.M.D.G.” While out west, Master P linked with Trel and Atlanta upstart Alley Boy to form the group “LouieVMobb,” whose recently released “New World Order” mixtape was one of the pleasant surprises of 2013 thus far.
Grammy-nominee Wale’s Board of Administration label, which features Black Cobain and newly signed Lightshow, is also beginning to flourish. Cobain spent much of last year promoting his “Cheers” mixtape and opening up for Wale and Meek Mill on their respective tours. Though Lightshow’s travel schedule was limited after being shot in 2012, he was still able to keep his name afloat by releasing viral videos on YouTube and showing out in the Adidas Hip Hop cipher. The future looks bright for both artists this year with new mixtapes from both in the works and Cobain being mentioned as a candidate for this year’s XXL magazine freshman class.
Teen sensation Shy Glizzy garnered a small buzz by dissing Fat Trel. But he’s proven to deserve some of the attention he’s gotten after releasing the street certified “Fxck Rap” mixtape last year. He’s since gotten co-signs from industry veterans and is expected by many to do even bigger things this year.
In 2012, RatheMC was in a car accident, which kept her inactive for six months. Once she was back on her feet she got a call to be on the popular TV show X Factor and went on to be a top 30 finalist. Now under new management, Ra plans on reintroducing herself in her new mixtape “Creative Control.”
With so many artists making progress in their careers, 2013 can only get more promising for DMV artists as they establish themselves and take their movement global.