13. Washington, D.C.
Local legends: DJ Kool, Oddisee, etc.
Hot right now: Wale
Up-and-coming talent: Fat Trel, Shy Glizzy, Black Cobain, Lightshow
Check out live shows at: U Street Music Hall, Howard Theatre, 9:30 Club
Best rap parties/festivals: Trillectro, Broccoli City, Howard Homecoming, Rock the Bells DC, Hip Hop Theater Festival
Tune into: 93.9 WKYS
The nation's capital has never been considered much of a destination for rap music fans, but it has spawned one important development that gives its radio stations and live scene a distinctive sound—the percussive post-funk genre of go-go, pioneered by Chuck Brown. A close cousin to hip-hop and a big part of the sound of D.C.'s only radio rap successes, Wale and DJ Kool, the genre has given D.C. a distinct sonic footprint that other cities lack. Right now, D.C. is currently home to some of hip-hop's most hyped emerging talent, including Fat Trel and Shy Glizzy. It's also home to a solid live scene, with venues like the historic 9:30 Club and a recently remodeled Howard Theatre, as well as festivals like the hip-hop-meets-electronic-fun of Trillectro and Broccoli City, the country's premiere Earth Day hip-hop festival. And of course, Howard Homecoming is an iconic event for the genre, with guests that have included everyone from Biggie to Drake.