2016 was a great year for music on both a national level as well as a local level for the 757. From Young Crazy’s “Definition of Crazy 3” to True Lee Fresh’s “Sex Drive”, the 757 was blessed across the board with countless projects from homegrown artists. While 2016 was a phenomenal year in music for the 757, it is now 2017 and with a new year comes new music, new projects and new artists to be recognized.
This group of artists, who I affectionately called the “2017 757 Freshman Class” are 7 young emcees from different areas in the 757 who I feel are the new generation of hip-hop and who are re-defining hip hop with a unique style that each of them bring to the table. Selecting the artists to feature on this list was an especially difficult task, however after much careful consideration, I was able to narrow down the many artists I was presented with into the 7 artists being featured in this article. The 7 emcees who compose the 2017 Freshman Class are Norcova, Miah Travis, KB The Artist, A Block Shy, Breezepark, Conscious Kane, and lastly, Al Dom$.
Norcova – https://soundcloud.com/norcova
With his laid-back sound and lyrics that tell intricate stories, Norcova is bringing a new, unique face to hip-hop in the 757. Norcovas newest single “Backwoods and Backroads” describes the thoughts of an aspiring young artist growing up in the 757 who just so happens to also be a rebel in todays society. The track features flat vocals over a dreamy, mellow track and features a unique flow that is sure to appeal to hip-hop heads everywhere. Norcova has a very tranquil sound that is underrepresented in music, especially in the 757. What makes Norcova unique is his ability to contrast his easy going sound with stories that keep listeners hooked, giving us music that is both relatable and relaxing.
Miah Travis – https://soundcloud.com/miahtravis
Whenever the name Miah Travis is mentioned, one word comes to mind: lyricism. From his message about police violence in his single “Hands High” to his feel-good single “1999”, Miah Travis gives us intricate wordplay and a dynamic flow that is extremely rare. Miah Travis has given us 5 singles that will be featured on his upcoming EP entitled “Loose Ends” which is scheduled to be released later this year. On his latest single “Mona Lisa”, Miah Travis gives us his thoughts on religion, faith and the church over a smooth beat (produced by Tokyo Trends). With his complex flow and distinct wordplay, Miah Travis is creating crisp, fresh, thought provoking music that listeners are sure to appreciate.
KB The Artist – https://soundcloud.com/user-445157790
KB The Artist is the dopest (and only) female who made it into the 757 2017 Freshman Class but don’t sleep, with her blunt lyrics and hard hitting punchlines, KB proves to us that she can hold it down just as well as one of the guys. On her newest track “Posted” KB gives a warning to any person brave enough to threaten her, while in her song “The Switch Up” KB shares her feelings about people who want to befriend her simply because of her fame. KB gives listeners that raw, real, sound that 757 artist are known for while serving up memorable lyrics making it perfectly clear that she is a force to be reckoned with.
A Block Shy – https://soundcloud.com/shy-34
With his descriptive lyrics painting a realistic picture of the lifestyle that is very much a reality in the 7 cities, A Block Shy is the true definition of a 757 rapper. What makes A Block Shy so unique, however, is his ability to create music that vividly illustrates the thoughts and concerns of a young emcee trying to achieve his dreams while still being surrounded by the activity of the hood. In his song “Real Street Sh*t”, A Block Shy tells listeners of his desire to reach success while trying to overcome the trials and tribulations of the streets. With his ability to contrast his trap sound with lyrics that cause listeners to be able to clearly see the reality of life in the 757, A Block Shy is showing us a new side of trap music that listeners are sure to love.
Breezepark – https://soundcloud.com/breezeparkfm
Composed of members TySafari, Jay-R, CvmQuest and Rye, Breezepark is bringing a completely new sound to hip-hop in the 757. From their music to their personal style, nothing about this group of young artists is comparable to anything to ever come out of the 757. On their newest single, “Paradise” Breezepark talks about what it means to be a young, hungry artist who is on the rise to fame. With its catchy hook and flawless verse to verse transition all over a energetic, vibrant beat, “Paradise” shows listeners that Breezepark has all of the components that it takes to dominate the 757 music scene.
Conscious Kane – https://soundcloud.com/consciouskane
This 23 year old artist who is known as Conscious Kane is using his platform to create music that not only makes listeners enjoy themselves but also spreads positivity and uplifts everyone who is graced with a chance to hear it. On his track “Black Fist//Black Face” he displays his pride in being an African American as well as discusses the struggles of being black in America. With his controversial content, uplifting message and easy going sound, Conscious Kane is giving listeners music that makes them feel good while leading them to change their communities for the better, exactly what the 757 needs.
Al Dom$ – https://soundcloud.com/al_doms
The Norfolk rapper known as Al Dom$ is bringing a new face to trap music in the 757. On his single “Al Dillinger” the emcee gives us witty wordplay and power packed punchlines at a pace that keep listeners enticed from start to finish. In addition to being an awesome lyricist, Al Dom$ is also a member of ill Pack Mob, a group that is known in the 757 for producing powerhouse emcees. With his intense flow and unparalleled lyrical capabilities, Al Dom$ is well on his way to becoming one of the top artists to originate from the 757.
While the process of choosing these artists was a difficult one, it was a rewarding one nonetheless and I hope you all are as pleased with the results as I am. What do you all think of the group of artists I chose to be the 2017 757 Freshman Class?