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New York’s rising hip-hop artists to watch

New York is no stranger to producing hip-hop greats.

Bronx rapper Cardi B will be performing in

Bronx rapper Cardi B will be performing in the metropolitan area in October with a pair of shows each at Prudential Center and Barclays Center. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter

From the earliest days of hip-hop, New York has produced some of the greatest artists to ever spit into a microphone. Nas. Jay Z. Notorious B.I.G. Wu-Tang. Names that are as synonymous with the five boroughs as the Yankees or the Statue of Liberty.

But the city has always been known as much for its up-and-comers as its icons. Here are six of the boldest young voices in the industry to keep an eye — and ear — on in 2018.


Cardi B

The current reigning queen of hip-hop, Cardi B’s 2017 was the type of year MCs dream of. Her lead Atlantic Records single “Bodak Yellow” launched the bombastic Bronx native to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and beyond, and it’s been magazine covers and award shows ever since. So what’s next for “Bartier Cardi”? While accepting her best new artist title at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 11, Cardi finally confirmed her debut album drops this coming April. She’ll be performing around here on Oct 1-2 at the Prudential Center in Newark and Oct. 4-5 at Barclays Center.


A Boogie wit da Hoodie

Real name Artist Julius Dubose, A Boogie made a splash with his 2017 single, “Drowning,” off his debut, “The Bigger Artist.” Even after “Artist” hit the No. 4 spot on the Billboard 200, the 22-year-old out of Highbridge hasn’t slowed down. He heads overseas for a slew of summer 2018 dates around Europe, and has all but confirmed a collaboration is coming with Queens icon 50 Cent.


Post Malone

Post Malone is on top of the world. With the Syracuse rhymesmith’s “Psycho,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, launching at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 100, Post becomes just the eighth artist and second rapper to debut multiple songs at No. 1 or No. 2. (The first, “Rockstar”, hit the top slot.) Of course, this calls for a tour. Post is set to hit 28 cities alongside 21 Savage in 2018, kicking off with California’s Coachella Music Festival and hitting NYC on June 1 for Governors Ball.


Young M.A.

With 2016’s rallying “OOOUUU,” out and proud Young M.A. established herself as one of the freshest, boldest new voices in the game. Since then, the 25-year-old Brooklynite has appeared everywhere from Funkmaster Flex’s Hot 97 show to the MTV VMAs to “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” never failing to dazzle with a trademark freestyle. But the story is just beginning. Or, we should say, Herstory. In between singles and interviews, M.A. is hard at work on “Herstory in the Making,” her debut album, set for an early 2018 release.


Princess Nokia

You better get used to the sound of Destiny Frasqueri’s voice — that’s Princess Nokia, to most — because it’s going to be everywhere. Nokia’s career on the mic is booming, for sure. Her debut studio album “1992 Deluxe” hit No. 25 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart, and the sharp-witted MC will hit the stage everywhere from Austin’s South by Southwest to Boise, Idaho’s Treefort Music Fest this year. But she’s also an activist as much as an artist, a spiritualist as much as a lyricist; Nokia co-created the Smart Girl Club — a pro-feminism and wellness platform based on podcasts, poetry readings, and workshops — with artist Milah Libin. If that’s not enough, the Harlem native now has a show on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio, appropriately titled, “The Voices in My Head with Princess Nokia.” Her majesty will be playing Elsewhere in Brooklyn on March 30 and again on May 5-6.


Jay Critch

So far, Jay Critch has performed mostly as a talented backup for Rick The Kid, who signed Critch to his Rich Forever Music label in 2016. But the fresh-faced 21-year-old with the laid back flow out of Brooklyn is primed for a breakout in 2018. “Rich Forever 4,” the latest in a series of collab mixtapes with his label mates, is on its way. His “Fashion” just passed 16 million Spotify streams. But most importantly, Critch’s debut solo mixtape is on the docket for 2018, the artist’s biggest step yet to earning that New York respect on his own.

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