Sidney Royel Selby III, stage name known as Desiigner, is an American rapper from Brooklyn, New York. He began practicing vocals at his school choir and church. It was at the age of 14 that Desiigner began his music career, following similar footsteps of his grandfather, Sidney Selby, who’s a blues musician known as Guitar Crusher.
He embarked on his career at first under the name Designer Royel until his sister convinced him to drop the Royel and double the I’s in Designer. In 2015 was when he released his debut track, “Zombie Walk”, then the commercial debut single, “Panda” was released on YouTube and SoundCloud. Desiigner later signed a recording contract with Kanye West’s GOOD Music imprint under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings. He later appeared on 2 tracks on Kanye’s seventh album, “The Life of Pablo”.
Later in June 2016 Desiigner was recognized as a XXL freshman along with 9 other artists, and also that same month made his Us television debut performing “Panda” at the 2016 BET Awards. Desiigner’s first full-length mixtape, “New English” debut on Tidal on the 26th.
Denzel Rae Don Curry, stage name known as Denzel Curry, is an American rapper from Carol City, Florida. Denzel started by writing poetry in Elementary before he began rapping in 6th grade. He started challenging others to rap battle at a local Boys & Girls Club.
In September of 2011, Curry released his first mixtape titled “King Remembered Underground Tape 1991-1995”. The project was later posted on SpaceGhostPurrp’s page, which prompted the birth of Curry’s career. He later became a member of SpaceGhostPurrp’s hip hop group, Raider Klan. In 2012 Curry released his second mixtape titled “King of the Mischievous South Vol. 1 Underground Tape 1996”, which caught attention from rapper Earl Sweatshirt and other members of the former Odd Future group. His third tape, which says his style was inspired Tupac Shakur, “Strictly for My R.V.I.D.X.R.S.” was released after the death of Trayvon Martin, who apparently went to his same high school.
Curry embarked on his solo career after the disbandment of Raider Klan in 2013. in September that same year, he released his debut full-length album “Nostalgic 64” with guest appearances from JK the Reaper, Robb Bank$, Yung Simme, and Mike G among others. Curry later released his second full-length album “Imperial” in March of 2016. Later that same year in June, he was featured on a cover as one of the XXL’s 2016 Freshman Class.
Jared Pellerin, stage name known as Pell, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer coming from New Orleans, Louisiana. After moving to Jackson, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina, Pell found his beat machine to be a way to make friends and connect with people in his new environment.
He began his music career after gaining confidence from his beat machine which led to him rapping and performing alongside his friends St. Joseph Catholic School. Continuing his pursuit through high school into college at Mississippi State University where he connected with Jacob Reed, his current manager.
After deciding to leave school and pursue music full-time, Pell released his first project “Floating While Dreaming” in 2014 which premiered Complex magazine gaining praise as one of the top independent releases of the year. Floating While Dreaming has since gained over 11 million streams as of February 2016. His track, Eleven:11, was remixed by G-Eazy then released under the title Got It Like That (Eleven:11 Remix) which gained over 7 million plays on Spotify. In 2015 Pell released his first LP “LIMBO” in partnership with Dave Sitek’s label, Federal Prism.
Russell Llantino, stage name known as Pryde, is a Canadian rapper coming from Brampton, Ontario, and is based out of Toronto, Ontario. He cites that being of Asian descent game him ridicule for his interest in his rap careeer, and has frequently stressed the hardships of being an Asian rapper in the music industry.
Pryde started releasing rap track at the age of 14 under the name D-Pryde online when he decided to pursue as a professional hobby. At the age of 16 Pryde signed to underground record label Mars Music Group in July 2010, where he released his first mixtape “MARS” through the label in 2011. It was during the same year where Pryde embarked on his first tour around Canada, where he performed along rapper J. Cole. In late 2013, he signed to BMG record label where he released his EP “Canal and Richvale” under BMG in 2013.
In October of 2014, Pryde announced his mixtape “Plan A” via his music video “Bitches and Gold”, but was later released in March of 2015. Plan A released independently via Datpiff with overall downloads of 10,000; the tape recollects the many personal struggles Pryde has endured in the industry throughout his career thus far. It wasn’t until May of 2015 after his mothers death where he announced the changing of his name to just “Pryde”. He now has LP coming out called “Russell”, to be released sometime after the commercial success of his latest mixtape “I Don’t Belong Here” and latest EP, “Loverboy”.
Ricardo Valdez Valentine, stage name known as 6lack, is an American rapper and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, 6lack later moved to Atlanta at the age of 5 where he’s been since.
6lack began as a battle rapper in high school, but soon after transitioned into singing following influences like Sade, T-Pain, The Dream, and Usher. In the year 2011, he left Valdosta State University due to signing with an unnamed independent label where he stayed for 3 years learning about the industry and putting out music on his SoundCloud.
Due to differences and other things, 6lack ended up leaving said label then later signing with LoveRenaissance and Interscope Records where he’s been ever since. In June 2016, he released single “PRBLMS” on SoundCloud which received heavy buzz along social media platforms and recognition from fellow artists like Raury and The Weeknd. 6lack later released his debut studio album “Free 6lack” which peaked at number peaked at number 68 on the Billboard 200 chart. Rolling Stone named him one of the 10 new artists to watch for.
Chris Smith Jr., stage name known as Smino, is an American rapper coming from St. Louis, Missouri. Smino comes from a musical family with his father playing the piano, his mother sings, and his grandfather was a bass player for Blues Hall of Fame musician Muddy Waters.
He began his rap career in a duo called “Young Dumb and Outta Control (YDOC)” with his friend Bari Allen. Received local but but hard a harder time getting their sound out there, Smino released his first solo mixtape “SMEEZY DOT COM”. Shortly after Smino attended Columbia College in Chicago where he met engineer and current manager Chris “Classik” Inumerable.
Currently, Smino is part of a music collective called “Zero Fatigue” with producer Monte Booker, and fellow artists Jay2, Bari, and Ravyn Lenae. His first EP, “S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck”, was released October 2nd, 2015; then his second December 11th titled “Blkjuptr”. In teh year of 2106, he appeared on Nonames, mixtape “Telefone” with Saba and Phoelix on the track “Shadow Man” and was alongside Mike Jenkins on the “A Quest For Love” Tour. Smino released his debut album “Blkswn” on March 14, 2017.
La’Reonte Wright, stage name known as Dizzy Wright, is an American rapper from Flint, Michigan. He first got into hip-hop by listening to rappers Nas and Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony; which Layzie Bone, a member, happens to be Dizzy’s uncle.
He began rapping at the age of eight forming a group called DaFuture with his brother and a close friend. Since his mother was a concert promoter, he was exposed to the music industry at a very young age and says it is the very reason why he wants to stay away from major labels and stick to the independent ones. In 2010 after signing with Funk Volume record label, Dizzy released his debut album “SmokeOut Conversations” which happened to hit number 42 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number 8 on Heatseekers Album charts. It was later announced in 2013 that Dizzy would be on a member of the XXL 2013 Freshman’s list after getting the People’s Choice vote.
He later released his next mixtape, “The Golden Age” which landed at number 39 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. In 2014 Dizzy released his EP, “State of Mind”, which hit number 54 on the Billboard 200; then “The Growing Process” in 2015 which hit number 47.
Jo-Vaughn Scott, stage name known as Joey Bada$$, is an American rapper born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. He was the first of his immediate Jamaican Family to be born in the United States. Joey first started rapping under the name of “JayOhVee”, but eventually changed it to Joey Bada$$ because he said it was what sounded cool at the time.
During the year of 2010 a video of Joey freestyling was uploaded to Youtube and after being re-posted to hip hop websiteWorld Star Hip-Hop caught the attention of the president of Cinematic Music Group, Jonny Shipes, who shortly after became his manager. In 2012 Joey released his debut solo mixtape, “1999” which was announced as one of the best mixtapes of 2012.
His debut album, “B4.DA.$$” was released in January 2015, hitting number 5 on the Billboard 200. His next album, “All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$” is set to release in April of 2017.