There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Regular DMV Beats readers should already be familiar with Darius “Prinz-D McCall, who calls himself the First Deaf Rapper (I gave him shine here and here, in particular). His profile continues to grow, though: In mid-October there was an in-depth piece on WAMU-FM, and then a few days ago Spin magazine made him the cornerstone of a profile on hearing-impaired MCs. (He’s also got a press contact now, too.) “All I really care about is that when people hear me, they’re like, ‘That’s nice! He’s deaf? So fucking what,'” he told Spin. —-Joe Warminsky
Two huge deliveries from Maryland rapper Lyriciss this week: His debut independent album, The Balance, and a video for album cut “Big Gold Chain.” Directed by Dante Bailey, the video spins a cautionary tale about the trials, tribulations, and casualties of the drug game. “Just a young nigga lost with no GPS/So he keeps one eye open like CBS,” Lyriciss raps, offering his own take on one of Jay Z‘s most famous lines from “Can I Live?” Both the video and the song reflect what Scarface taught us nearly 30 years ago about the American dream: There are no happy endings, even for the “success stories.” Pick up The Balance on iTunes or Amazon.—-Julian Kimble
In March, the assiduous Nike Nando released his SprdLv mixtape, which opened with the strong title track. Nando and DeuceTheMusic filmed a video for “SprdLV” earlier this year, but it was delayed till, well, now. It’s a simple, black-and-white clip shot in the snow-covered woods—-a nice complement to Drew Beats‘ horn-heavy production. Look out for Nike Nando’s next project, CouldBeWorse, out on Christmas Eve. —-JK
Run The Jewels
It’s safe to say that Dungeon Family affiliate Killer Mike is fond of the nation’s capital. Over the last year and a half, he’s performed at the Rock & Roll Hotel, Howard Theatre, and the 9:30 Club. For the latter gig, Mike joined forces with underground luminary El-P to promote their self-titled collaborative album, Run the Jewels. During their visit to D.C., the duo found time to film a video for the rappity rap-laden “Get It,” parading around the District and loitering on President Obama‘s manicured lawn with tourmates Kool AD, Despot, and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire. —-Harold Stallworth
Yung Gleesh—-one of perhaps only three rappers on the planet consistently using Auto-Tune to greater effect—-extends his unrelenting viral campaign with a Will Hoopes-directed video for “Which 1 U Worken,” a lighthearted ditty from his retail debut, Ain’t Shit Changed. The brief street single, produced by frequent collaborator Dolan Beats, is crammed to the hilt with methodical inquiry. Gleesh makes like a felonious pollster, asking listeners to weigh in on everything from gang affiliation to which semiautomatic weapon would best match his sneakers. —-HS