The DMV, consisting of the District of Columbia – Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, has been the home to many talented artists, including Wale, Jay IDK, Shy Glizzy, and many more. Over the past few years, the underground music scene has blown up in the area, with acts like Yung Manny, Xanman, Rico Nasty, and Q Da Fool all achieving levels of mainstream success. In addition to these artists, there are a number of smaller acts that are on the verge of breaking into stardom. In this article, we’ll share our five favorite DMV artists that we expect to see shine in 2021.
WIFIGAWD is one of the most impressive rappers coming out of the DMV, and dubs himself “your favorite rapper’s rapper” with good reason. WIFIGAWD delivers everything from catchy hooks to lyrical verses over bass heavy production from artists like OOGIEMANE and the Working on Dying camp, as well as classic hip hop beats from Tony Seltzer. WIFIGAWD’s shows are like none other in the DMV, raw, authentic, and full of energy. There’s a reason he’s cosigned by artists like Earl Sweatshirt.
Lil Xelly became a household name in the DMV after releasing mixtape on mixtape over the past few years, including a 100 song project, the Lucky Charms series, and a handful of crazy visuals directed by local videographer Mosphxt. Lil Xelly has collaborated with artists such as WIFIGAWD, Warhol.ss, THE KHAN, Spell Jordan, and more. As one of the most prolific artists in the area, Xelly always has something ready for his fans.
Austin Skinner is producing some of the highest quality melodic rap in the area right now. What sets him apart from other DMV acts is the level of emotion in his music, breaking down relationships, substance abuse, depression, and more while keeping his songs catchy and exciting. A frequent collaborator of artists like BIGBABYGUCCI and Belis, Austin Skinner popped onto our radar with his impressive 2019 album Wish You Well.
Spell Jordan is a DC based artist who’s been releasing album after album since late 2016. Effectively meshing together pop, rap, and alternative influences, Spell Jordan’s versatility has set him apart from other local acts. His 2nd official album, Trap Art House, got the attention of many in the area, helping him join Robb Banks and Kid Trunks, and Rich Homie Quan on tour. Spell Jordan has worked with underground and mainstream artists alike, from Lil Xan to Squidnice to Matt Ox to 93FEETOFSMOKE.
THE KHAN embodies the feeling of the moshpit. Meeting halfway between alternative and rap, THE KHAN’s music is loud, aggressive, and dark, getting you out of your seat and banging your head. THE KHAN has worked with artists including WIFIGAWD, Lil Xelly, Bootychaaain, Lil Tracy, Jaxxon Silva, and more.
We’re excited to see where the next year and beyond takes these talented artists. As a Washington, D.C. based record label, we’ve always got our eye on the local scene. Think you’ve got what it takes to be part of our roster? Submit your music to the DCR team here. Want to check out some of our other recommendations? Listen to our favorite pop rap songs and favorite emo rap songs of the year!