It’s no secret that mainstream Hip Hop faced some turbulence this past year, with a series of highly-anticipated projects not quite hitting the mark set by their talented creators. Despite a handful of exceptions, the rap game experienced a bit of a lull in 2023, as demonstrated by the lengthy period of time it took for a rapper to top the charts. However, the silver lining lay in a wave of eager, new rappers hungry for recognition.
In a world boasting micro-fandoms and TikTok sensations, paired with a post-lockdown thirst for live experiences, the anticipation for fresh releases from up-and-coming rap stars yearning to be your next fav is real and building excitement for what Hip Hop has in store for 2024, daily. With that said, HipHopDX is proud to introduce its Rising Stars for 2024.
So what is a HipHopDX Rising Star, exactly? A Rising Star is a burgeoning talent we pinpoint within the year before or after their initial introduction and rollout of new rap music. These are the new rappers that we feel have the ideal total package in terms of their musical sound, performance and genuine personalities.
Over the course of the year, we will highlight their career progression through exclusive features, interviews, playlists and other surprises.
Much like DX‘s past new rappers’ iterations of Rising Stars (Ice Spice, Coi Leray, Doechii, BIA, Luh Tyler, EST Gee and GloRilla) the Rising Stars 2024 will undeniably set the bar for a fresh batch of talent for Hip Hop this year.
For a lineup of who HipHopDX believes are poised to be the year’s best new rappers, and who are set to make waves in terms of authenticity, musical style, and social media charisma, keep on scrolling.
Editor’s Note: All names below are listed in alphabetical order.
Making waves in 2023, the 24-year-old ruled the Lonestar state with his attention-grabbing debut album, Amar. Elsewhere, singles like “Mmhmm” secured his debut on the Billboard Hot 100, while the collaborative track “Climate” with Offset made its mark at No. 48 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
With three projects under his belt, including Bacc From the Dead (2020) and Big Stepper (2022), along with an OG Ron C Chopped Not Slopped version of the latter, BigXthaPlug has proven he’s a force with enduring stamina.
While relatively new to the rap game, Karrahbooo hit the jackpot with her breakout hit, “BOX THE 40,” earlier this year. Released in late March, the visual offering features a cameo from Lil Yachty and has 600,000 views on YouTube to date. More recently, the Atlanta native signee joined forces with Lil Boat and the remainder of the Concrete Boys crew for an On The Radar freestyle that premiered in late October.
Ending the year on a high note, Karrahbooo set the airwaves on fire as one of the best new female rappers with and infectious track titled “Running Late.” On that same day, Karrah linked up with ANYCIA for the easy flowing “Splash Brothers,” doubling down on her success.
With consecutive releases in her back pocket, the rising new female rapper proves she’s got the goods to keep the momentum.
Last year, Bronx-born Lady London (real name Zaire Miylaun Stewart) put on for her hometown by scoring A-list collaborations with the likes of Ciara on her TikTok-ready “Da Girls” remix, alongside fellow emerging artist Lola Brooke.
Continuing the momentum, the pint-sized powerhouse dropped her “Pop Ya Shit” freestyle, a cheeky take on Birdman and The Clipse’s “What Happened to That Boy,” making waves on social media and bagging endorsements from Hip Hop legends Nas and Big Daddy Kane. Adding to her success, Lady London unveiled her debut album, S.O.U.L (Signs of Universal Love), in November, treating fans to her signature storytelling.
Then, in a power move, she joined forces with CÎROC for the release of their limited-edition Honey Melon vodka, proving she’s not just an artist but a trendsetter. With each flow, Lady London paints vivid pictures, showcasing her distinctive cadence and tone, ensuring she stays at the forefront of conversation as the new year begins.
Bay Area rapper LaRussell gained viral traction after the release of his genius re-imagination of the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song, produced by Link+Up.
The independent artist has been known to put on a good show with his sold-out “Pergola” concert series held in his parents’ backyard, where guests are treated to delicious eats and one-of-a-kind performances. Although, there have been whispers that LaRussell has been flirting with the idea of inking a record deal with Def Jam, the jury is out on whether he’ll sacrifice his independence for a sizable cash advance.
Best known for her viral Sisqó-sampling anthem “Telfy,” Brooklyn-based rapper Maiya The Don has been making waves as the proclaimed “future of Hip Hop,” as seen on TMRW Magazine‘s January 2024 digital cover.
Her rise as a formidable MC and one of the best new female rappers out right now is marked by her diverse catalog, featuring the seductive 2023 single “Body,” a track that cleverly samples Mariah Carey‘s iconic “Touch My Body”; “Luv U Better” featuring Shawny Binladen; and a successful stint opening for Flo Milli’s Thanks for Coming Here, Ho’ tour, last fall.
Proudly representing her Puerto Rican heritage, the beauty influencer and TikTok sensation turned rapper seamlessly blends her love of style and culture into her artistic expression as made evident with Hot Commodity, an 11-track mixtape which boasts features from Ty Dolla $ign and Maeta. With her finger on the pulse of what it takes to turn heads, Maiya The Don is without question someone to keep your eye on.
Born Michael Jordan Bonema, Brooklyn rapper-producer MIKE has been known to wear his heart on his sleeve — channeling seasons of sadness into solemn, trapsoul-infused bars. A more seasoned HipHopDX Rising Star, Bonema released his first mixtape, May God Bless Your Hustle, at 18. In the years that followed, MIKE would add to his arsenal the projects Tears of Joy (2019), Weight of the World (2020), and Disco! (2021), gaining support from his hero, Earl Sweatshirt.
In 2022, he bagged a partnership with Tommy Hilfiger and Patta, birthing One More, a joint EP with Wiki and Alchemist. The epitome of “I be in my bag,” MIKE would go on to flex his skills as a savvy business man by curating the Young World Festival, a free event in his hometown which has featured performances from the likes of Noname, Slick Rick, Tisakorean, Junglepussy and Mavi.
With ties to the community, an authentic sound and the mentorship from legendary lyricists, it’s likely MIKE’s rise to mainstream popularity has just begun.
In a whirlwind year, cowboy hat-toting That Mexican OT skyrocketed to fame with his smash hit “Johnny Dang,” paying homage to the famed Houston jeweler to the stars. The summer anthem — which also features Johnny’s rap business partner Paul Wall — not only graced the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 11 weeks but also earned a RIAA GOLD certification.
Capitalizing on his success, the 24-year-old Bay City, Texas rhymer dropped his debut studio album, Lonestar Luchado, marked by a memorable performance at a Houston Spotify concert and coveted spot on the platform’s Most Necessary playlist. Fusing his Tejano roots with influences from East Coast heavyweights like Slick Rick, Eminem, and Big Pun, the 18-track project features standout tunes like “Groovin,” “Skelz” and “Missed Calls.”
Kicking the year off with a bang, OT (meaning “outta Texas”) unveiled the visual treatment for “02.02.99,” setting the stage for what promises to be an exciting season.
The rough-n-tough rhymer was tapped by Swizz Beatz last year for his Hip Hop 50: Vol. 2 EP, alongside Jadakiss and Benny The Butcher. Meanwhile, West Coast legend Snoop Dogg joined her on the remix of her breakthrough hit “This Is New York,” transforming it into “This Is Cali.”
With a Cardi B co-sign, a Snoop Dogg remix, and Swizz Beatz set to produce her debut EP — Scars and Stripes (release date TBD) — Scar Lip’s journey is on a rapid ascent.
Known for his unique flair and refusal to conform to traditional genres Teezo Touchdown has garnered attention from the likes of fellow oddball Tyler, The Creator — with whom he toured alongside Vince Staples, and Kali Uchis, in 2022 — and Travis Scott, among others.
In late-2023, the 31-year-old HipHopDX Rookie of the Year nominee stormed onto the Hip Hop scene with the release of his electric debut album How Do You Sleep At Night?, defying age norms. The solo effort, a pop-punk mashup, was co-signed by Drake who declared the project to be “some of the best music ever.”
Currently amassing millions of streams on Spotify, the Texas trailblazer recently announced he’s maximizing his newfound success for his first-ever solo headlining tour, aptly named the Spend The Night Tour. The 19-date trek is set to kick off in April, with stops in Charlotte, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Los Angeles, Dallas, and more before wrapping in Atlanta come June.
Needless to say, if his current trajectory is any indication of the year he’s going to have, it’ll be one for the history books.
Veeze — who came into mainstream prominence with the release of his 2020 track “Law N Order” — launched his imprint Navy Wavy in 2023, in partnership with Warner Records and his manager Terrence “Snake” Hawkins.
The move garnered the attention of Warner’s CEO and Co-Chairman Aaron Bay-Schuck, who praised the Detroit lyricist for being an exemplar “of how being resilient, teachable, loyal, as well as remaining true to yourself, can ultimately change your life for the better.”
Along with the label, the “Choppas in Hawaii” rapper announced his first headlining tour which kicked off in early October, with support from Talibando. Doubling down on the success of the nearly sold-out tour, Veeze released his Ganger album, catching the ear of JAY-Z, one of his idols, who opted to feature him on his much-talked-about “Couple Songs of ’23” TIDAL playlist.
Check out previous HipHopDX Rising Stars below:
You can also check out the winners and nominees of the HipHopDX Awards 2023 here, including the Best Female Rappers of 2023.
Artwork and Graphic Design by JR Martinez.