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D.C. isn’t known as a hotbed for elite rap talent, but lately a crop of hungry MCs have emerged from the nation’s capital ready to make their mark on the music industry. 

Many of these up-and-coming lyricists will take the stage on Sunday, August 21 at the Hampton Conference Center in Capitol Heights as part of the LiveLIVE “Back-to-School” concert. Big Flock, Lightshow, ShabazzTopDolla Sweizy, Too Easy Black, Lazy Da KidTino LoudYung Cezzand Bali Baby represent the next generation of DMV hip-hop. 

Lightshow is probably the most accomplished rapper on the card. In 2013, Complex named him one of the “Top 25 rappers to watch,” along with fellow D.C. rapper Fat Trel. He also turned in a stellar verse on the track “Georgetown Press” from Wale’s Folarin mixtape. Lightshow will release Life Sentence 3 on August 26th, the latest mixtape from his critically acclaimed and popular series. TopDolla Sweizy is another artist with a blindingly bright future. His appearance fees definitely went up a couple of bands last year after his hit single “I Got Ice” garnered local and national radio airplay. But the rapper with the most superstar potential—and tattoos—might be Big Flock, a charismatic and sometimes controversial underground sensation. 

These talented young artists are obviously inspired by the success of established D.C. area rappers like Wale, Shy Glizzy, Fat Trel, Logic, and more recently Mike D’Angelo (Cash Money Records) and LyQuin (DJ Drama affiliate).  

The concert is presented by LiveLIVE Ent., a company founded by local musician and businessman Cornelius “Neal” McDonald. According to McDonald, who will host and perform at the event, the “Back-to-School” show won’t just be an ordinary party. 

“This is a celebration of life and education, and a motivational rally leading up to the first day of the school year,” McDonald said. “This will be one of the most popular events of the summer. We will have a meet and greet backstage for fans, and DJ BluStar will be spinning the latest music all night.” 

Who knows? We may have the next Drake or Kendrick Lamar right here in our own backyard. And right now is the perfect time to see them perform live. Before they become jaded by shady record deals, unscrupulous promoters, and thirst trap Instagram models. 

The LiveLIVE “Back-to-School” concert will be held at the Hampton Conference Center, 207 West Hampton Place, Capitol Heights, Md., on August 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available here.