10 Phoenix Hip-Hop Artists & Producers to Watch in 2017

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5. Eddie Wellz
Eddie Wellz is another member of the Truminati Music Group family. With three projects under his belt, an Arizona Hip-Hop Awards nomination as Best New Artist in 2014, a stint on the TruSummer 2015 tour and another one on the way, Wellz is definitely on his way up. Every bar and every verse Wellz produces is fueled by his passion to create music with purpose. He aims to create awareness and impart knowledge unto others with every rhyme. Eddie Wellz' versatility knows no bounds, which is priceless to a rapper looking to stand out from the pack.

4. Kirsin
Kirsin Andrew Mitchell raps and produces and is co-founder of hip-hop collective Approached By Concept Free It Means Everything (ABCFreeIME), as well as an engineer and director. His music traverses from intense and sexual to soulful and melodic. Composed of bouncing bass and echoey synths, his track "Lights" plays more to the melodic/soulful side, while "Roses Are" delves into Kirsin's darker, more melancholic side. His talents as a director, artist, and engineer marry well together for his music videos, the overall production of which are all rather impressive. It's clear to see that Kirsin is swiftly moving in an upward direction, with no intention of stopping anytime soon. Things pick up fast when you stay in your own lane.

3. Lamar Crushin
As if Truminati Music Group wasn't already killing the game, they've got artist Lamar Crushin to up the ante. Hailing from Germantown, Maryland, Crushin moved out to the West Coast to further pursue his dream of becoming a rapper. His journey has been riddled with hardship, something of which adds to the rawness of his music. There's no dodging, weaving, or messing around when it comes to Crushin. His music is from the gut. A pure expression of who he is. Lamar Crushin will celebrate the release of his debut album, 92, on Friday, January 27.

2. Touré Masters
Rapping comes naturally to Arizona MC Touré Masters. Whether in the studio, on stage, or writing in his bedroom, Masters puts his heart and soul into every inch of his music. Masters sound incorporates R&B with elements of jazz rap. His lyrics are crisp and his delivery style has a little bit of a bounce to it. On "Still Concerned," Masters appears to pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest by tying in a computerized female voice similar to the one featured throughout the iconic trio's album Midnight Marauders. With nods from local radio stations and his premiere album, King of The Chill, in production, Touré Masters' future looks bright.

1. Injury Reserve
Composed of rappers Ritchie With a T and Stepa J Groggs and producer Corey Parker, Injury Reserve is a Tempe-based band notorious for an aversion to the Copper State. In 2015, the group self-released their 11-track debut album, Live From the Dentist Office, which went on to receive acclaim from national music critics. Fast forward to 2016, and Injury Reserve was back at it with the release of their second studio album, Floss. The lyrics and musical ingenuity on bangers like "Oh Shit!!!" and "All This Money" reaffirm the group's alternative take on party rap. "Keep on Slipping (featuring Vic Mensa)" plays to the group's versatility, as it is composed of more soft, introspective cuts. Injury Reserve's strong resume will no doubt keep them paving their own lane well into the new year, which just might see them explode on a national level.
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