Lists

Phoenix Hip-Hop Artists to Watch in 2018

Mouse Powell's First Love is due this month.
Mouse Powell's First Love is due this month. @ChrisFiq

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click to enlarge Dann G is determined to be on your mind. - NICK GALLEGOS JR.
Dann G is determined to be on your mind.
Nick Gallegos Jr.
Dann G
Dann G hit 2017 extra hard with the solid release of his iTunes charting album, Jesus, and played festivals including Goldrush. While he's done a great job cultivating his success as an individual artist, his focus is switching to his growing fan base, known as “Rennagades.” In other words, Dann G is determined to be on everyone’s mind by the end of 2018.

Julius King is stepping up to the plate. - DYLAN STORY
Julius King is stepping up to the plate.
Dylan Story
Julius King
Julius King’s clever, thought-provoking music combined with his high energy stage shows to turn several heads in 2017. Which means he's set up to have a stellar 2018. His newest song, “Sumn,” is a brilliant piece of work that puts King in the running as one of the strongest songwriters in the city. Expect him to step up to the plate throughout the year.

click to enlarge Vibe Lane hit the streets hard. - @EKTORLOUISE
Vibe Lane hit the streets hard.
@ektorlouise
Vibe Lane
This conglomerate of creatives dropped some of the best videos and music in 2017. The multifaceted group consists of Malik Scott, Lewis Santana, 30 Spice (Simply Damon), and Terick Lamont. Together, they hit the streets hard with compelling releases, eye-popping videos, and most importantly, solid music. Vibe Lane have set themselves to be one of the strongest squads to move forward in 2018.

click to enlarge Teek Hall co-hosts MatMania with MegaRan. - DANIEL SPIEGELMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Teek Hall co-hosts MatMania with MegaRan.
Daniel Spiegelman Photography
Teek Hall
Teek Hall spent 2017 cultivating his MatMania podcast with co-host MegaRan and working on his highly anticipated album, The Living Daylights. Produced entirely by one of Arizona’s most sought-after producers, Charlie Mumbles, the album features Open Mike Eagle and MegaRan. It's poised to launch Hall — as well as the Phoenix hip-hop scene — higher into the stratosphere in 2018.

click to enlarge Guild - ASA SPORBERT
Guild
Asa Sporbert
Guild
This creative lifestyle brand collective made a considerable amount of noise in 2017, mostly propelled by electrifying beat crafters like Galore and Blk Llama — and performances from the acts like Valley Sons. And they show no signs of slowing down, as Guild's already large collective continues to grow in not only members but in local admiration.

Honorable Mention: You
Easily the most important factor in the livelihood of the burgeoning Phoenix hip-hop community in 2018 is the support from the fans, fellow artists, and well-wishers. Years of animosity between artists, tastemakers, supporters, and all-out haters have caused a deep rift in the growth process and unified success of the Valley's hip-hop scene. As time goes on, events like the Arizona Hip Hop Festival and the success and support of artists like Futuristic and MegaRan continue to chip away at Arizona's hardened stereotype. But that's only because fans and supporters are willing to champion these ideals. As the spotlight begins to shine brighter on Arizona hip-hop, it will be interesting to see who remembers this. One thing is for certain: 2018 will be a big year.

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Jaron is a musician, writer, promoter, videographer, and a founder of the like-minded collective and movement known as Starstruck.
Contact: Jaron Ikner