Miami's rap scene is on the come-up. There is no stopping or denying it. Over the past couple of years, numerous local talents have taken to the mic and released quality material that warrants outsiders' ears.
Our city's rappers aren't only about the keys picked up at the Port of Miami at 2 a.m. from "papi" while trying to escape the Coast Guard and the Feds. There's intellect and soul in the next generation's words, providing fans and hip-hop enthusiasts with a glimpse into the minds, surroundings, and personalities of the real people of the 305.
Of course, there are more than ten rappers in Miami, many of them great. But we here at Crossfade picked this group of newcomers because they could be the core of 2014's scene.
Let the debating and hating begin.
See also: Miami's Top Ten Hip-Hop DJs of All Time
Good luck trying to find or manufacture a viable reason to argue this one. His Nostalgic 64 is arguably the best hip-hop project to come out of South Florida this year, providing Miami with 2013 anthems in the form of "Threatz" and "Zone 3." At only 18 years old and fresh out of high school, Curry's rhyming schemes and storytelling abilities are astounding, which only makes the anticipation for his follow-up, Planet Shrooms, that much greater.
If you want to be great, you have to study the greats. Or you can get "Emails From Kanye West" like Bizzy Crook. After being pushed back for months, his album '84 (named for the year that Michael Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls) was finally released, studded with solid singles such as "Park Avenue" featuring Estelle and "That Money" featuring Nelly. But Crook can't stop now, '84: Off Season is just around the corner.
If you've attended certain hip-hop shows in South Florida like Big K.R.I.T.'s at Revolution Live, then you can attest to the support QuESt has earned the last couple of years. But in 2013, he kept pretty quiet after releasing Fear Not Failure. Maybe it was because he was too busy doing the 32-city Welcome to Forever tour with XXL Freshman and Maryland rapper Logic, announcing his signing to Visionary Music Group, and prepping the video for "NEATO Season," which is set to be the centerpiece of his upcoming full-length project.
California has Snoop. Houston has Devin the Dude. New Orleans has Curren$y. And Miami has Prez P. Not one for so-called "get buck" songs, Prez has found a mellow sound suited to his personality and mastered it on his latest effort, The Ambiance.
Lil Champ FWAY
All hail the FWAY God! With two mixtapes released this year, Finesse Muzik and Real Nigga SHXT, he continues to lead the FWAY Nation with prowess unmatched by any competitor. Though his lyrics may not inspire deep thought and he doesn't often deploy complex rhyming schemes, FWAY's raw honesty and lack of fucks to give is what marks him as one of SoFla's best young rappers.
See also: Lil Champ FWAY Talks Real Nigga SHXT
It's Braddy, not Brady. Get it right. This football player turned rapper has done well for himself since trading his helmet for a mic. In less than two years, he's created a steady buzz and loyal fanbase off 2012's Innovations and this past March's Warbuck$ with buddy Pouya. His next project, Private Sessions, is still without a release date. So for now, the fans will just have to settle for the remix to his breakout hit, "Can't Tell Me Shit," featuring fellow all-stars Denzel Curry, Sir Michael Rocks, Curtis Williams, and Robb Bank$.
Flight School Preps
After a furious campaign in 2012 with the release of Expensive Dreams and a slew of videos, Flight School Preps' Sly, Jay, and Reese came back with a somewhat low-key year, following the release of BlackMartketED at the end of this past May. Not to worry, though, because the trio has dropped a new single, "Ventilate," just before the year ends to serve as an appetizer for the next FSP project.
f you're on Twitter or Instagram, then you or someone you know or someone's cousin's best friend's sister is probably following Pouya. One of only a few on this list to put out multiple projects (Warbuck$ with SDotBraddy and Baby Bone) in 2013, this young Jesus look-alike who preaches at Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony speed has garnered a cult following by performing everywhere from SoFla to California. As his trademark line goes: "Don't sleep on me, hoe!"
It may have taken a few years to finish, but Nik SB's Reparations did not disappoint. After contributing a couple songs to Miami rap collective Pro Club's compilation project, Nik SB fully emerged with a raw and heavy project filled with lyrical explorations of dark days, drug use, and the shock of waking up with a rifle next to a Bible. He may have the slimmest discography of anybody on this list, but it's what's in those tracks that earned Nik his spot.
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The "JiDoubleG" may not have received a ton of recognition yet. But if your mixtapes are being hosted by Philly's DJ Drama and Don Cannon, then you must be doing right. After releasing HighGrade in 2011 and Spittaduction in 2012, Jigg maintained the purity of his product with the release of HighGrade2 on New Year's Day 2013. And of course, HighGrade3 is expected to crop up in 2014. We're calling Jigg our wildcard.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter: @LeeMCastro