photo credit: Johnny Nunez / Getty Images
From: Flatbush, Brooklyn
Record Labels: Sniper Gang
Hit tracks: “Crime Rate,” “Sniper Gang Freestyle,” “Spin the Block” feat. Kodak Black
If you haven’t already hopped on the the 22Gz wave, then now’s the time. This Flashbush rapper brings together lyricism and drill rap, and the product is fire. The 21-year-old went viral in 2016 with the release of “Suburban.” Kodak Black saw potential in 22Gz early-on and signed him to his Sniper Gang label last year.
“Tutu,” as fans and friends affectionately call him, has been grinding hard in the studio recently. This past Friday, July 19, he dropped a new 12-track album, The Blixky Tape, which includes features from Kodak Black and Quin NFN. Tutu’s new “FNs & Blixkys” music video has already racked up over 100K views on Youtube.
22Gz is a ball of fire–he’s hardcore, real, and he’s not about to let anything get in his way. Without a doubt, Tutu’s trademark “ Blixky da Blixky da Blixky” and contagious golden grin will soon become recognized around the country, because this Flatbush rapper is only getting started.
Watch “Sniper Gang Freestyle” music video here:
2. T.J. Porter
Record Labels: Def Jam Recordings, Shalgam Records
Hit Tracks: “Harlem,” “Do You Care?”, “Harder than Ever” feat. Jay Gwuapo & KJ Balla
TJ Porter is a proud Harlem native with a new sound and a wavy vibe. As he’s voiced in a few different interviews, Porter is here to make music that appeals to people of all ages and demographics.
Porter’s debut album Voice of the Trenches, r eleased late last month. With it, the 19-year-old has proven that he not only has some amazing vocals, but also has bars. One of the tracks on his new album, “Harlem,” became an immediate hit. The track has old-school undertones while still having the style of modern rap. In the track, Porter pays homage to Harlem’s jazzy roots by incorporating sultry sax riffs into the beat. When asked about the album in an interview with Complex, Porter says, “Everything is authentic. Every song on here is a piece of me.”
TJ Porter is here to stay. His passion is rap, and it’s evident in not only the words he sings, but also in the spirited way he sings it.
Watch “Harlem” music video here:
From: Southside Jamaica, Queens
Record Labels : Republic Records, Gwinin Music
Hit Tracks : “Make 10,” “Thing For You,” “Too Turnt” feat. Trippie Redd
Queens’ own Lougotcash has vocals and s tyle. His single “Pipe Down,” released in 2016, turned out to be a smash hit and threw him into the spotlight. Since then, he’s signed a deal with Republic Records, released an album, and appeared as a feature on a number of tracks, one of which is “Save the Day,” featured in the newest Spiderman movie. Even 50 Cent digs 20-year-old Lou’s sound, and told him to keep grinding.
Watch “Thing For You” music video here:
4. Pop Smoke
From: Canarsie, Brooklyn
Record Labels: Meet the Woo
Hit Tracks: “Welcome to the Party,” “Meet the Woo,” “Flexin’”
19-year-old Pop Smoke first came on the scene this year with the release of “Meet the Woo.” Then he really blew up when hit single “Welcome to the Party” dropped. If you’ve heard “Welcome to the Party,” which you likely have, you’ll agree that Pop Smoke’s style and flow is very different from that of other up-and-coming NY rappers. His husky, gruff voice combined with the futuristic beat in “Welcome to the Party” is borderline bizarre, but we all agree that there is something very appealing about it.
“I’m not a rapper,” Pop Smoke tells Hot 97’s Drewski, “I’m a hustler.” Pop Smoke is about chasing the bag, and if it’s going to require creating bangers in the process, New York City will rock with it.
Watch “Welcome to the Party” music video here:
5. Lil Boost Mobil
From : Bushwick, Brooklyn
Record Labels : Not signed yet
Hit Tracks: “Pants,” “Enemies,” “$How”
Bushwick’s Lil Boost Mobil is relatively new to the rap scene–but Hot 97 has already picked up on this kid’s potential. Although not yet signed to a label, the Brooklyn rapper has already dropped two albums and has performed at a number of sizable shows in the tristate area.
Boost creates a kind of music that you can’t help but sing and dance along to. He compares his style to Lil Uzi and Travis Scott, with emphasis on both solid bars and catchy
hooks. Tracks on Boost’s latest album, Still Didn’t Make It 2, r eally demonstrates his dynamicity. Yes, he’s a rapper–but he’s a singer too. He’s also a performer by nature. When he won Hot 97’s Who’s Next contest at SOB’s, he had the whole house turning up with him. On and off stage, Boost is all about high-energy and good vibes; two very important things one must have to make it in the rap industry.
Watch “Pants” music video here:
6. Jay Gwuapo
From : Brooklyn
Record Labels : From Nothing Records, Polo Grounds Music
Hit Tracks: “Downbad,” “No Good For Me,” “From Nothing” feat Lil Tjay & Don Q
18-year-old Jay Gwuapo came on the scene in 2018 with his single “Downbad.” It blew up all over Brooklyn and New York City, and eventually gained over 6.4 million spins on Soundcloud. This year he took his rap career a step further and released a 10-track album, From Nothing Pt. 1.
“I feel like I gave a different sound at the right time,” Gwuapo told Sha Boogie in a Hot 97 interview. In the midst of NYC’s drill rap wave, Gwuapo’s style is fresh and his content is raw and honest, with lyrics about relationships and protecting his infant daughter. Since his breakout, Gwuapo has worked with Lil Tjay, KJ Balla, and TJ Porter.
Watch “No Good For Me” music video here:
7. Neek Bucks
From : Harlem
Record Labels : Here For a Reason
Hit Tracks: “Energy” feat Lil Durk, “When I Lost It” Freestyle, “Racks” feat Dave East
Harlem’s own Neek Bucks has some ridiculous talent, and the industry is already catching wind of it. With a style comparable to Meek Mill or Big L, Neek Bucks has already put out some tracks with big names like Lil Durk, Kevin Gates, and Dave East. Earlier this year, the 24-year-old told XXL, “I want to bring bars back; bring real New York [music] back, but in a young way. I wanna bring the culture back.” He means it too. Just listen to his “When I Lost It” Freestyle and you’ll know the vibes.
According to an XXL interview, Neek got serious about his music career after he was shot in the head in 2011. He thought he was just grazed, but after three years of horrible migraines, he made a trip to the hospital. There, he found out that shrapnel from the bullet had actually pierced into his skull. Talk about a good story.
Watch “Energy” music video here:
Let us know what your thoughts are on these hot new NYC rappers! Big potential to succeed or to flop?!