Saba Chicago, IL
Tahj Malik Chandler (aka Saba) is a 22 year-old rapper from a neighborhood in the West Side of Chicago. Saba has established himself as an artist at a young age, and has also managed to collaborate with some of the most high-profile rappers in the game. In 2013 Saba was featured on Chance the Rapper’s mixtape Acid Rap, and more frequently on Chance’s single “Angels”. This year Saba released an album coined “Bucket List Project”, which currently has millions of plays on Spotify. While the content, views and features are impressive, Saba has the potential for his biggest break yet in 2017. https://soundcloud.com/sabapivot
Topaz Jones Monclair, NJ
Topaz Jones is a 23 year-old rap artist with a funky twist and an unconventional flow…it’s genius. This New Jersey rapper has flexed his groovy flow on his 2016 album “Arcade”. Currently his hit “Tropicana” has over a million plays on Soundcloud, and nearly 100k plays on his song “Winona” featuring Pell. Given all of the recent changes in the rap world, for better or worse, it is reassuring when people like Topaz Jones introduce a powerful new style. If I was playing Powerball (also the name of one of Topaz’s songs) I would be betting on the Topaz Jones numbers for 2017. As per his Soundcloud, he will be performing at Webster Hall in January. Starting off the New Year with a bang, this might be a great opportunity for any fans to see an impressive artist prior to him reaching his “blow-up” moment.
Benji Queens, NY
A rapper from a neighborhood in the Southside of Jamaica, Queens, Benji has established himself as a rap artist with a new school appeal and R&B hooks. He caught his first buzz on his single “Memories”, in which he has nearly 100k total plays. Further, Benji has collaborated with DJ Self’s newly signed artist Lougotcash on multiple songs, and has hinted via social media that his first formal album will be dropping in the beginning of 2017. As New Year’s quickly approaches, it will be interesting to see what this artist will be dropping for us. BEWARE- His music, as well as his impressive videos on YouTube, has the ability to compel you to text that ex-girlfriend you haven’t spoken to in years. https://soundcloud.com/tcbenji
Jon Waltz Memphis, TN
How Jon Waltz has not reached his big moment yet is beyond me. With little amount of knowledge on his actual background or age, we do know that he is a rapper out of Memphis, Tennessee. Given the talent that this guy has displayed via his Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube accounts, it is astonishing that we do not have more of a personal bio. With over 50 thousand monthly listeners on Spotify, and millions of plays across all platforms, Jon Waltz provides what seems to be the whole package. A mixture of innovative beats, chill flows, complex lyrics and an amazing singing voice that all construct what one can only infer to be a 2017 skyrocket. Judging from his latest release “Riot”, which is incredible, Jon Waltz is only capable of producing high-quality music and is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Alex Wiley Chicago, IL
This 23 year-old Chicago rapper has caught a buzz over the last couple of years, but is nowhere near his peak. Like Saba, underrated Alex Wiley has collaborated with arguably the most successful rapper of 2016, Chance the Rapper. Repping SAVEMONEY militia, the young rapper seems extremely determined, and from the looks of it he will continue taking the independent rapper route. With millions of views on Soundcloud and Spotify, Alex Wiley is a mixture of hard bars, unmatchable flow and most recently some trippy stoner instrumentals. Wiley is set to release his album “Village Party III: Stoner Symphony” in January of 2017, and after listening to the several pre-released songs it should be some FIRE. We are super excited to see what this upcoming year will have in store for this talented rapper, and hope that he will be touring along with his soon to be released music. Stay tuned, Alex Wiley will be bumping in your speakers shortly.
Job Jetson does not have a ton of released music, but what he has done is put out some innovative, deep, complex material. This artist combines a wide array of genres, and makes each song its own creation. With thousands of likes on Soundcloud, Job is definitely not someone to sleep on in 2017. Not only has he begun to establish himself a solid following, but his music just keeps getting better and better. One of his most popular hits, “Brain on Drugs” provides the listener with quite the experience that isn’t easy to describe in words. If there is some more material like this forecasted for 2017 it could be the best year yet for Job Jetson. We’ll just have to wait and see.
As we move closer to New Year’s and step into 2017, keep your eyes and ears open for all of these artists. If there is anyone you think we missed on this list we would love to hear about it in the comments!