6 Hip-Hop Artists To Look Out For In 2017


2016 produced releases from cash kings Drake and J. Cole; cash princes Rae Sremmurd and PartyNextDoor; and record label-less Chance The Rapper, who dropped the first streaming-only album to receive a Grammy nomination.

While the past 12 months may have been a harvesting year for the aforementioned creatives, a number of hip-hop’s rising stars look to increase their chances at a spot on the coveted FORBES lists in 2017.


The Portland rapper quickly found his way onto almost every rap-curated playlist with his summertime hit “Caroline.” The modern millennial funk song currently sits at over 95 million streams on Spotify, and it’s accompanying banana-yellow music video has acquired over 55 million views on YouTube. In tandem with the song’s success, Aminé inked a deal with Republic Records. With a November appearance on The Tonight Show, and the release of two follow up singles, Aminé hopes to exceed prior milestones in 2017.

Dave East

Former basketball player David Brewster Jr. once shared the court with then-future NBA draftees Kevin Durant and Ty Lawson. But when his college ball plans didn’t pan out, Brewster re-branded as a rapper, and Dave East was born. In 2016 East released his 10th mixtape Kairi Chanel, signed a multi-million dollar partnership with Def Jam and embarked on his first headlining tour. The list of accomplishments validates his demands for the $10,000 booking price tag, as reported by his retinue. In the next year, East looks to test out his acting chops, starring alongside Gabrielle Union in the BET drama Being Mary Jane.

Jazz Cartier

Cartier has been steadily increasing his fan base and his bank account as Toronto’s latest musical phenom. In 2016 he saw an over 2500% increase in online merchandise sales, and brought in an estimated $85,000 in merch revenue as the opening act on Post Malone’s Hollywood Dreams tour. Cartier is surviving as artist without a record deal, with plans to conquer terrestrial radio, embark on a European tour in February and build upon his budding relationship with Nike.


With standout guest verses on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap and Coloring Book, Noname has been a rising talent within hip-hop blogosphere. Her Chicagoan roots spill their way into Telefone, an album filled with poetic raps, and features bubbling Chicago emcees such as Mick Jenkins and Saba. With a recent SNL performance alongside Chance The Rapper, Noname will bring a live show to 18 cities in 2017.


Russ (courtesy of Columbia Records)

“Came a long way from 100 views,” Russ often claims via Twitter. In 2014 the self-proclaimed DIY pioneer began releasing one song per week. Though it took over a year for his music to gain enough traction to capitalize on, it was well worth the wait. In July of 2016 he inked a partnership deal with Columbia Records and released his first Billboard-charting single “What They Want.” With the help of booking agent Cara Lewis, Russ now demands $20,000 per show, and is expected to have make an appearance a number of music festivals in 2017.


After a guest appearance on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap and Coloring Book, as well as debuting the fellow Chicago artist’s lead single “Angels” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Saba was ready to take advantage of the buzz he had garnered. In October, the he released Bucket List Project, an album that touches on the blessings and plagues of Chicago’s West Side. The album accumulated over one million Apple Music streams and 770,000 Spotify streams in its first week, according to his retinue. 

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