Giphy.com via wifflegif.com
By Tamara McCullough, NewsCastic
If you mentioned DFW and hip-hop together just a few years ago, you might have been met with a blank stare or even a laugh. Rap and DFW don’t go together, right? Wrong!
Now, they go together like babies and pacifiers thanks to a new crop of DFW artists who are proving the art form is alive and stronger than ever in the Metroplex. In fact, there are 11 artists across DFW who are making waves to build their brand, express themselves, and, yeah, put DFW on the rap map!
Normally, ten artists would suffice, but since everything is bigger in our neck of the woods, we want to throw in one more just to prove how DFW has plenty of artists to spare. Without further ado, the top 11 DFW hip-hop artists making a name for themselves (in no particular order).
1. Music On My Mind
Music On My Mind (MOMM) consists of the Dallas brother duo, J Dot and Kashiff. Describing their style as “timeless,” MOMM believes that musically, they can take fans to a certain time or point in their lives and make them feel a part of that. “Even if you have never been to Texas, musically, we can bring you here.” MOMM motivates themselves with the vision they have, as well as the circumstances they live in and the struggles of the people close to them. “Music On My Mind” is more than the music to the brothers, but it’s a lifestyle and culture that they feel that they deserve. MOMM’s ultimate goal is to be able to touch people outside of the ones that are close to them and make music to be remembered as timeless.
Check out MOMM’s video for “Confessions” above. You can see them for yourself live at the Green Elephant on Sept. 17.
2. T Lo-Lo
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With music as her first love, 31-year-old T Lo-Lo has been lyrical for a lifetime but has only been pursuing a rap career seriously for two years. The Dallas lyricist describes her style as “suave, unique, bold, authentic, edgy, raw and original.” T Lo-Lo strives for the respect and recognition as becoming one of the greatest, hard-hitting lyricists in the game. At the end of the day, T Lo-Lo says, “I want to be heard. I want to travel the world. I want my family to live the lifestyle we have always been deserving of.”
“My favorite aspect of music is performing live on stage,” she said.”That’s where I come alive. My live shows reflect an unrivaled charismatic energy. I look forward to performing for thousands!”
This beast on the mic isn’t all about rapping either — she’s open to modeling and acting. “Music opens doors and I don’t know how to put myself in a box as far as opportunity is concerned,” T Lo-Lo explained. Catch the lyricist out at soundcloud.com/tlo-lo and Instagram @1princesstiana.
Photo Courtesy of Youngn
This young’n knows a thing or two about cultivating his own unique style. Since Youngn isn’t focused on emulating anyone else but himself, he describes himself as not trying to sound like anything “other than my own voice.”
The 29-year-old represents Oak Cliff and has been rapping for six years but just started performing a little over two years ago. “They told me I had too much talent for the garage!” Youngn understands that no matter how long you been at it, it takes time, so he puts in the time and effort, along with a lot of money.
Although Youngn does this alone, he credits his team, Ligit Ent, and knows that he’s come too far to stop. While Youngn doesn’t name call to feel more important, he does have 30 contests he’s won under his belt, including the 2015 Tha Afterparty Radio Awards’ “Artist To Watch For,” 2015 “Who’s The Hottest Champion at the Liquid Lounge” and has been nominated for the 2016 Urban Underground Awards’ “Outstanding Artist Of The Year” and “Most Dynamic Solo Artist.”
You can listen to Youngn here.
4. Queen Monroe
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When you have an ambitious name like Queen, you better bring the heat to the mic, and Queen Monroe, aka Queen Da Rapper, is doing just that. The 25-year-old raptress resides outside of Dallas and has been in the rap game since the tender age of 11. In her blood, Queen Monroe has been passionate about rap ever since she can remember since she comes from a family full of rhymers. While she may look sweet, Queen’s rap style is gangsta blended with a little Dirty South. Queen loves the feeling she gets when she’s on stage entertaining and admits that she loves the attention, but the right attention, of course.
Queen has done numerous shows in Dallas and has been in the presence of hip-hop giants like Bun B, Swishahouse, Big Chief and many more. Listen to more music by this rising star here.
5. Mia Eliani
This sexy raptress might describe herself as a “diamond in the rough” in one of her singles, but Mia Eliani delivers a smooth, confident style on her tracks. The 22-year-old Dallas rapper has been freestyling since 11. Never one to box herself into a corner, Mia Eliani says, “I can’t describe my style; it’s too versatile to be limited to one lane.”
A mainstay on the Dallas hip-hop scene, Mia’s main motivation is to provide a better life for the people in her life. While she’s known as one of the rap queens of Dallas, Mia Eliani wants to be the Queen of Hip-Hop and feels like she’s next after Nicki Minaj.
Above all, Mia loves rap and has a new mixtape on the way, “I Am Queen 2.” Check out more of her music here.
6. Yung Flamez
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With an East Coast style he describes as comparable to J. Cole, 30-year-old Yung Flamez has been rapping for 16 years. This North Dallas rapper stays hungry and is always looking to elevate his game. Motivated by his kids to rap and move forward with his legacy, Yung Flamez wants to be well-known by putting his message out to the world: “I live through my music, I want everybody to see things through my eyes.”
Living in a world of what Yung Flamez describes as full of “corrupt things,” he wants his listeners to get the perspective of a middle class black man to see that “the struggle is real but want them to see you can get out of the struggle.”
Supported and influenced by his team, YKPMG, Yung Flamez is influenced by his cousins, A. J. Escalade, J-Rod Booker and Eyes and appreciates everybody for supporting him and his movement. Listen to more of his music here.
7. Young Nino
Photo Courtesy of Young Nino
Working on a resurrection of his career, Young Nino has taken a noticeably more inspirational tone to his music. The 28-year-old Oak Cliff rapper is best known for his hit single, “Oak Cliff, That’s My Hood,” which garnered national airplay. Rapping since the age of 16, Young Nino credits his mother, who passed away, with motivating him to pursue his love of music. Simply, Young Nino wants to change lives.
Not looking to name drop, Young Nino has worked with the likes of Juvenile, Lil’ Flip, Jeremih, Juvenile and countless DFW artists. Regardless of any success, past, present or future, Young Nino puts God first. “God has to be in everything you do because that’s the only way you will prosper,” he said.
Photo Courtesy of C-Struggs
C-Struggs is definitely on the come up after the release of his latest single with Rick Ross. The 30-year-old Oak Cliff rapper has been rapping for the past decade and has been seriously rapping and performing for the past six. Describing his style as “real,” C-Struggs’ raps are entrenched in reality, such as what’s going on in the world around him. Using his kids as his motivation, C-Struggs wants to make a statement in his community to let others know that you have to at least try to change the community and make a better way of life.
The rapper wants to tell people that real support is coming out of the city, and “to support somebody trying to represent city in the right place.” According to C-Struggs, he wants to “shine light on how we live, thrive, survive and party in Dallas.”
This heavyweight rapper won a DDD award at the first DDD Awards Show and his Rick Ross-featured single, “Do It,” is currently building momentum on K104 and 97.9. Check out his Sound Cloud here.
9. Derale Drops-Knowledge
DDK, or De’rale Drops Knowledge, does just that — drop knowledge on his tracks. The 27-year-old Dallas rapper has been rapping since the age of seven and describes his unorthodox style as “unboxed.” Motivated to rap by social awareness and the often chaotic world around him, DDK strives to be the best by sharing his platform with other people making very good music. “I want to collaborate with the greats,” DDK explained.
XTRA FLY – Crowd Rock
Recently, DDK had a small appearance in an Indie film called “Faith in Fury,” which is available now on Vimeo. He also has an unplugged show coming this fall along with an EP release.
10. Dre Lundon
Photo Courtesy of Dre Lundon
There’s a new sound coming out of the Dallas hip-hop scene, according to Dre Lundon, the 23-year-old Northwest Dallas rapper. Rapping since he was 15, Dre describes his style as rare since he’s so versatile. His family and the things that he’s put them through, such as his incarceration, is Dre’s main motivation for rapping.
Looking to be a legend, Dre is looking to set Dallas records and make history, along with being one of the most, if not the most, dominant artist in the industry. One of his career highlights has been doing a show with Soulja Boy in Houston and Young Money star, Gudda Gudda.
Check out Dre’s single, “I Remember,” here.
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With “Dallas” in his name, you know that LowDallas is always going to rep the triple D in his raps. At 31, LowDallas has been rapping since he was 12. Over the years, LowDallas has developed a style that he describes as “original, Southern, dynamic, versatile.” While he has always had a love for music, LowDallas feels that he has something to give to the rap game. “There’s a lot of substance missing in the industry, and I feel that I could bring some of it back.”
LowDallas feels that the Dallas music scene is special. “There’s more to our story that needs to be shown to the world. Ultimately, I want to be successful at it… I want to be a voice for Dallas.” Eventually, LowDallas wants to be able to give back and help other people.
In 2015, the rapper released an album entitled, “FLYSTORY,” which he produced, wrote, engineered, as well as did the graphics for the entire album. LowDallas has another album that he’s getting ready to release entitled, “FLYSTORY Chapter 2” this year.