Sixteen St. Louis Hip-Hop Acts to Watch in 2014
Press Photo Riley B.
I wanted to start 2014 off by giving credit to a few St. Louis artists I have been enjoying lately. I also wanted to mention people you probably haven't heard of, because this is the duty of a real fan. I could have easily written a blog about the household names and people you already know about, but I wanted to shine some light a few brand-new artists.
You more than likely won't recognize a few of these names. In 2014 I am hoping they will start getting the credit they deserve.
Riley B. - Riley B. is a young MC with a sea of passion. He's often seen in freestyle ciphers ripping the mic off the top of the dome flawlessly. He's entertaining to watch because you can feel his love for hip-hop in every word that he rhymes. He's hungry, but he also has a good attitude and he'll go far if he maintains this spirit. He kind of reminds me of a St. Louis version of Joel Ortiz, but much younger and currently in a developmental phase with his talent. I can see nothing but potential inside Riley and I'm rooting for his music in 2014. He isn't afraid to battle but he can also cut impressive records. The video for his current single "2nd Wind" let's us all know that Riley B. isn't the typical St. Louis rapper. In 2014 we will witness him grow into even more of a monster.
Press Photo Chris Grindz
Chris Grindz - He went to prison in the name of self defense. He came home and hopped face-first into the hip-hop scene. He's known to enter a cipher and steal the show and he isn't afraid to rely on his skills and reputation as a guy that lived the life he's speaking about in his music. Grindz is no stranger to tragedy -- his father passed away on Christmas morning. He has an interesting story overflowing with pain and triumph, but he's also a very genuine and warm-hearted person. It's very hard to find a local tastemaker that has met him and dislikes him; you feel like you want him to win because you can't believe he constantly defies the obstacles placed in front of him. On top of that, the young man can actually rap. In 2014 I'm hoping to see him keep pushing and producing quality music while also expanding his reputation as one of the town's most valid up-and-coming MCs.
Press Photo RT-Faq
RT-Faq - RT-Faq is easily the most slept-on member of the Doorway Crew. Nick Menn is a talented guy, but most fans don't understand that his entire crew brings it. He's dropped some of the most solid solo EPs in St. Louis music. Last year at the SXSW celebrity basketball game, he repped the St. Louis squad, crossed over Trinidad James, broke his ankles and made "Mr. All Gold Everything" fall flat on his ass. Theres no footage to support this, so it has became a tale of urban folklore, but some of the biggest names in the rap industry witnessed. His solo project Heir to the Throne documented the birth of his son. While it didn't garner the attention of Nick Menn's Goon Road it is equally entertaining, if not more, depending on your taste. Every hip-hop group has a guy that is super talented yet overlooked for some reason. In 2014 Rt-Faq will release another solo EP and we will also hear his voice alongside the likes of Rockwell Knuckles and Fresco Kane.
KD Assasin, Jah Orah, 923 - A collective of some of my favorite MCs, each member of this group has his own style and approach to the music. 923 would be the gangster. KD is the young gunner, with a wealth of talent. Jah Orah is from the west coast but brings his Project Blowed-styled conscious lifestyle raps to St. Louis in a very live and direct manner. People always complain about hip-hop straying too far away from its core sound. Well these guys are a textbook, classic hip-hop crew with no gimmicks attached. They are hoping to build their brand on the overall quality and endurance of the actual music. Their in-house producer and manager is none other than Stephen "Instrumental" King, and they have toured with the likes of Wu-Tang's Cappadonna. This is a unique group that could easily fit into nearly any hip-hop scene in the country. In 2014, as a fan of their movement, I'm hoping to catch more live shows from this collective.
Continue to page two for more.