Gripe all you want about food pics and selfies. If you are a DMV hip-hop artist and you’re not on Instagram, you may as well be rhyming into an abandoned mine shaft.
D.C. rappers love Instagram like decor-loving yuppies love Pinterest. Follow just a few local MCs on the photo app, and your feed morphs into a DMV hip-hop news ticker. They post bountiful fliers, crew pics, clips of new songs (or old songs, if there aren’t any new ones), shout-outs to fans, photos of their own tweets, and above all, selfies—a parade of selfies. Also: If you follow any stoner rappers, expect to see 3,581 images of them blowing weed smoke. Trap rappers will upload 10,000 straight-faced crew pics. And unless he breaks up with her again, Fat Trel will post near-hourly pics of his girlfriend, Chrissy.
Followers of any hip-hop, local or not, already know that Rap Twitter can be overwhelming. (So many RTs!) Hip-hop Instagram is better. More wheat, less chaff—-unless you really hate photos of dudes holding Champagne bottles. In which case: I hear Tumblr is fun.
A handful of DMV hip-hop Instagram accounts worth scoping:
Uptown rapper Supreme—he of the awesomely named Swag Genie EP—has an Instagram feed that’s more hipster than most. Recent posts show a fixed-gear bike, Instagrammed versions of Polaroid photos, and a selfie of him wearing a turtleneck. #swag.
The rising MoCo rapper got signed to Def Jam out of nowhere and went on a big tour with Kid Cudi, Big Sean, and Tyler, the Creator. The result: Too many damn photos of arenas. His funny videos make up for it—especially a July clip of him rocking to Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” while holding a kitten.
@iammissylove (private feed)
Northeast rapper Missy Love rhymes a lot about gunplay, but her Instagram reveals a sweeter side: pics of her girlfriends, oodles of glamour shots, and yes, photos of her holding a kitten. Missy and Logic, the DMV awaits your cat-themed collabo tape.
If there is such a thing as a classic trap-rap Instagram, this is it. The mutton-chopped rapper nicknamed Streets Hottest Youngin’ posts endless pics of his stoic crew and stacks of cash. But a recent video of Glizzy giving food to a homeless man injected some much-needed softness.
The stoner rapper from Maryland posts waaay too many photos of herself looking baked. But Kelow’s wacky fashion sense—neon! Layers! Camo everything!—also makes her feed interesting to peruse while you, too, are baked.
Ras Nebyu, the self-styled “Uptown Ethiopian Tupac,” trumpets his heritage, childhood, and family all over the ’Gram. There’s a photo of injera and stews. A pic of a lil’ Ras Nebyu next to his Lion King birthday cake. And an image of himself and his auntie, captioned “BY FAR MY FAVORITE AUNT.”
Kelow photo by Darrow Montgomery