Hometown: Harlem, NY
Active Since: 2012
Twitter Handle: @BodegaBAMZ
Essential Listening: Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z.
Pros: A$AP Mob affiliation and a great ear for beats.
Cons: Lack of a serviceable single is cooling his buzz.
There's a strong decades-long tradition of Harlem rap, but you never hear anything about MCs from Washington Heights, the neighborhood to the north of the Diplomats' stomping grounds. A$AP Mob affiliate Bodega Bamz and his Tanboys clique are looking to change that. The Puerto Rican and Dominican rapper is a pioneer of what he calls "Latin trap," which usually sees Bamz skating over lumbering, glacial 808s with a sedate but never sloppy flow, as he does on "Summer in El-Barrio" and "Say Amen" off his 2012 mixtape Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z. Bamz' star is on the rise, and the increasing popularity of his friends might get him places in the months to come. —Craig Jenkins