There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The Mid-Atlantic is home to a bevy of talented musicmakers. We present just a few regional artists—some live here while others are from the area but now live elsewhere—making waves in 2019. You should bop to their music this summer and beyond. —Kayla Randall
Since the 2016 release of his masterful single “Crew,” which featured fellow local artists Brent Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy, this rapper’s star has continued to rise. In June, he released Diaspora, an album that merges Afrobeats, hip-hop, and R&B. It’s perfect for summer, and some of GoldLink’s best work.
Big Bop: “Maniac” is a catchy contemporary hip-hop stunner.
The Duke Ellington School of Arts alum’s debut full-length album Shea Butter Baby is a honey-dripping R&B confection about relationships, self-love, and pleasure. The album is buttery and lush, and the funky soul instrumentals combined with her lyrical honesty makes the work feel distinct.
Big Bop: “New Apartment” is a joyous declaration of independence and one of the best songs to come out this year.
Easton, Maryland, native Maggie Rogers has recently sold out show after show in D.C., from 9:30 Club to The Anthem. The singer’s major label debut, January’s Heard It In A Past Life, is a shining pop offering that cannot be refused.
Big Bop: “Fallingwater” is a sweet hymn, and its late beat change will have you lifting your hands in praise.
On her aptly titled new album Anger Management, Rico Nasty brings the kind of energy that you need to get through the day. She’ll have you feeling like you can stomp your problems into dust and knock out anyone who questions you—it’s cathartic. Her rage rap tunes are the definition of hype, and listeners can’t help but feed off her flames.
Bonus Bop: Though it isn’t on the album, the single “Sandy” is a bouncy banger that can give you an instant boost.
Brent Faiyaz’s own music is as endlessly listenable as his enduring hook on GoldLink’s hit “Crew.” His latest is Lost, a six-song EP full of his airy, smooth ’90s Golden Age R&B vocals and excellent harmonizing with himself.
Big Bop: The short, infectious mid-tempo track “Why’z it so hard” is so, so good.