Listen closely. The artists we’re about to show you are not all brand spanking new. Some of them have been in the game for years. Others just started popping. But every single one brings something fresh to rap in 2015, and that’s why we think you should be paying attention to them this year.
From Atlanta to Chicago and all the way to London, rappers are innovating at breakneck speeds. Here at WatchLOUD, we’re dedicated to finding the best and brightest young artists (as our track record proves), so without any further ado, here are 9 Rappers You Need To Watch In 2015.
Considered by many to be the forefather of Chicago’s drill sound, King Louie (or King L) is best known for his 2012 hit “Val Venis,” which propelled Epic Records to forge a partnership with Louie’s own Lawless Inc. label. Epic told Louie they’d help him get his album, Dope & Shrimp, into other markets. It’s 2015, and we still haven’t heard that LP.
Louie’s strength as an artist is apparent in his longevity, though. All signs point to a new deal with Drake’s OVO Sounds, and Louie’s recent music hasn’t suffered from the label shuffle. 2014’s Tony tape was magnificent from top to bottom, spawning three videos that each grabbed over a million views on YouTube (“B.O.N.,” “To Live And Die In Chicago,” & “Til I Meet Selena”) in under six months. He’s already dropped two more excellent new tracks this year – “Right Now” (above) and “I’m In Love Wit Canada” – and he’s been spotted in the studio with Kanye. A deal with Drake and a potential placement on Ye’s next album is the perfect cocktail for the public’s reintroduction to Louie. 2015 looks like it’s gonna be his year.
Virginia is a hotbed of talent these days, but D.R.A.M. stands out because he’s hard to pin down. Part rapper, part singer, part producer, D.R.A.M. foregoes any singular style in favor of unfiltered, honest expression. He told us his direction is “undirectional” and his style “isn’t your typical idea of stylish.” His debut project, last year’s #1EpicSummer, spawned the infectious “Cha Cha,” which is still growing legs on local radio (plus it just went up for sale on iTunes, too).
Of all the artists on this list, it’s D.R.A.M. whose music gripped my consciousness from the very first listen. “Goldens,” with another talented V.A .rapper Mass, showcases the heights D.R.A.M. can vault his voice to, while “$” flips Junior Mafia’s “Get Money” into something I never expected. More and more people are starting to recognize D.R.A.M.’s talent (Ratking have sung his praises, Wiki recently recorded with D.R.A.M., and Rick Rubin invited D.R.A.M. to his crib after tweeting about his music, for Christ’s sake), so by all indications, dude is about to pop in ’15. He’s got an EP coming soon, and a special “Cha Cha” remix featuring some huge names too.