Composed of D.C., Maryland and Virginia, the hub known as the DMV is a petri dish for love and hate. D.C. is known for its wings and mumbo sauce, Maryland for crab cakes and football, and Virginia for lovers—and vicious speeding tickets. Aside from that, the area has quietly produced great music.
Hate it or love it, the DMV’s musical trademark is Go-Go. The percussive, “pots and pans” sound was popularized by the legendary Chuck Brown, who’s passing last month at the age of 75 rocked the entire area. Brown’s legacy will live on, as will the contributions of Go-Go acts like the Backyard Band, UCB, and Rare Essence, all of whom have influenced the area’s biggest hip-hop success story to date, Wale.
Going all the way back to DJ Kool and Nonchalant, the DMV has produced its share of hip-hop acts through the years. Along with Wale, Tabi Bonney has attained success over the past five years, shining the spotlight on the area. The DMV is ripe with talented and diverse hip-hop artists looking to rise above the “crabs in a barrel” mentality that plagues the area, and with all eyes on them, the time is now.
Complex has scoured Chicago, Philly, L.A. and New York for emerging talent, and now it’s the DMV’s turn. Come get a dose of hip-hop with some sardines and pork and beans as we bring you 10 New DMV Rappers to Watch Out For. Chuck Brown would be proud.
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Written by Julian Kimble (@JRK316).