25 Artists To Watch In 2019: HipHop/Rap + R&B

The Hiphop/Rap & R&b genres have been growing and changing over the past few years. Here is a list of 25 artists you should keep an eye out for as we head into 2019. Check out our playlist here!

1. Ari Lennox

Label: Dreamville Records/Interscope Records

Washington DC native Ari Lennox made her way to the spotlight after her song “Shea Butter Baby” made it onto the soundtrack for Creed II. Ari Lennox recently signed with Dreamville Records/ Interscope Records and even opened for 6lack on the American leg of his ‘From East Atlanta With Love’ Tour. Check out her debut EP Pho.

Standout songs: “Shea Butter Baby,” “Night Drive,” “Backseat,” “Grandpa”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

2. Jacob Banks

Label: Interscope Records

London based Jacob Banks is re-energizing soul music one project at a time. Each song is carefully crafted with genre bending beats and african inspired grooves layered with soulful grit vocals. With intimate songwriting, Banks allows you into his world. Banks is headed out on tour following the release of his latest album Village. With vocals just as beautiful live as they are recorded, this is one show you don’t want to miss.

Standout songs: “Slow Up,” “Chainsmoking,” “Mercy,” “Unholy War”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

3. Cautious Clay

Label: Unsigned

Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Cautious Clay remains independent after dropping his first project Blood Type. Clay gained attention after his first single “Cold War” caught the attention of soundcloud users.

Standout Songs: “Cold War,” “Reasons,” “Stolen Moments,” “Joshua Tree”

Website~ Soundcloud~YouTube~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

4. Roddy Ricch

Label: Bird Vision Entertainment

Rapper Roddy Ricch delivers a unique blend of rap as he merges auto-tuned melodies with west coast street tales. The 20 year old was brought to mainstream attention after the release of his song “Die Young” and has appeared on tracks alongside Meek Mill.

Standout songs: “Every Season”  “Die Young” “Down Below” “Cream”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

5. Derrius Logan

Label: Casey’s Way Company

Hiphop artist Derrius Logan raps over smooth beats providing the perfect songs for days you just want to vibe out.

Standout Songs: “You Can Tell,” “Bring It Back,” “Whole Time,” “The Motion”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

6. Yxng Bane

Label: Disturbing London Records

Dancehall meets hiphop with Yxng Bane as he splices afrobeats with trap beats.  

Standout Songs: “Rihanna” “Vroom” “Answerphone” “Needed Time”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

7. Nao

Label: RCA Records/ Little Tokyo Recordings

U.K. based artist Nao dropped her debut album, For All We Know, back in 2016 and landed number 17 on the U.K. chart. In 2018 Nao released her second album Saturn. She has made songs alongside 6lack, SiR, Kwabs, A.K. Paul, Abhi Dijon, and more.

Standout songs: “If You Ever,” “Bad Blood,” “Drive and Disconnect,” “Another Lifetime”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

8. Kevin George

Label: Island Records/ Young Forever, Inc.

Connecticut-based producer and singer Kevin George blends shadowy beats with dark-toned r&b for a unique sound.

Standout songs: High Like This” “Loving Come Easy” “

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

9. April + Vista

Label: Otherfeels Recordings

Genre blending duo April George and Matt Vista combine electronic beats, futuristic soundscapes, with R&B storylines and soothing vocals.

Standout songs: “Fo’Sho” “Own 2” “Resilience” “How To Get By”
Website ~ Soundcloud ~  Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

10. Arin Ray

Label: Interscope Records

Arin Ray originally emerged on the scene as a pop artist. After rebranding himself he has come back as a R&B singer on his newest project Platinum Fire.He has had collaborations with some of the hottest names in the industry including Ty Dolla $ign, DRAM, Childish Major, Justine Skye, YG, and more.

Standout songs: “Communication,” “Take,” “We Ain’t Homies,” “HMU”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

11. Masego

Label: EQT Recordings

Trap house jazz inventor Masego launched his debut album Lady, Lady in 2018.Along with his soothing vocals this multi-talented musician plays a number of instruments including cello, drums, piano, guitar, and saxophone. Masego got his start creating live looping on the spot beats videos on YouTube leading up to an EP release and eventually his album. Keep an eye open as Masego continues to make waves with his unique sound.

Standout songs: “I Had a Vision,” “Queen Tings,” “Old Age,” “Tadow”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

12. Normani

Label: Cool/RCA Records

Former Fifth Harmony member,Normani, broke out on her own in 2018. Her duet with Khalid titled “Love Lies” became a top 40s hit in 2018 and appeared in the movie Love Simon.  Normani has released songs alongside 6lack, Calvin Harris, and Wizkid. With a debut album in the works, Normani is definitely someone to keep eyes on in 2019.

Standout songs: “Waves,” “Love Lies,” “Checklist,” “Slow Down”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

13. Buddy

Label: RCA Records

Compton hiphop artist Buddy has grown tremendously as an artist. This is proven with his newest project Harlan & Alondra.

Standout Songs: “Trippin,” “Trouble On Central,” “Black,” “Shine”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

14. Saint JHN

Label: Godd Complexx/HITCO

Saint JHN dropped his first full length album entitled Collection One. Even without a major label or marketing push, the album has done numbers. The charismatic yet  braggadocious rapper takes us on a journey with his 13 track album. This is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.

Standout songs: “Reflex,” “3 Below,” “Nigga Shit,” “I Heard You Got Too Litt Last Night”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

15. Melii

Label: Interscope Records

Mellow but assertive bilingual rapper Melii delivers melodic riffs and catchy bars. The Harlem based singer songwriter has been featured on tracks alongside Meek Mill and Lil Durk. Her debut project Phases released in 2018.

Standout songs: “Icey” “Como Si Na” “See Me” “Shit Talk”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

16. Noname

Chicago’s Noname got into the hip hop scene through spoken word poetry. Her sophomore album Room 25 released in 2018. Her music comments on social issues.Keep your eyes peeled for her tour dates in 2019.

Standout songs: “Blaxploitation” “Self” “All I Need” “Diddy Bop”

Label: Unsigned

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

17. Tierra Whack

Label: Interscope Records

Philly artist Tierra Whack debuted in 2018 with a 15 track,15 minute long visual album. Some called the project risky with each song totaling 1 minute in length but it was pure genius. Tierra welcomed viewers into her whack world.

Standout songs: “Hungry Hippo,” “Flea Market,” “Bugs Life,” “Hookers”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

18. Bri Steves

Label: Atlantic Records

Philadelphia’s rap and r&b artist, Bri Steves is bringing something special to the plate as she bounces from silky hooks to confrontational raps on each track.

Standout songs: “Jealousy” “Regrets” “Miami” “Late Night”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

19. VanJess

Label: RCA Records

Nigerian sisters release Silk Canvas paying homage to 90s vibe R&B. The duo toured the U.S. this year opening up for traphouse jazz musician Masego.

Standout songs: “Through Enough” “Another Lover” “Touch the Floor” “Control Me”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

20. Blood Orange

Label: Domino Recording Co.

Devonte Hynes better known by his stage name BloodOrange merges a variety of genres including afrocentric, r&b, jazz, and club music. Hynes paints  his latest project Negro Swan as a exploration into the deep dark corners of black existence.

Standout songs: “Best Of You” “Charcoal Baby” “Hope” “Chewing Gum”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Facebook

21. Kelvyn Colt

Label: Four Music/Sony

German rapper Kelvyn Colt combines emo-rap and R&B to make his own unique sound.

Standout songs: “Bury Me Alive,” “Love and Hate,” “Weakend”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

22. Popcaan

Label: OVO Records

Dancehall artist Popcaan has been crossing over genres drawing in on hiphop/r&b elements to create a unique sound on his latest project Forever. The Jamaican musician has recently been signed to Drake’s OVO Records.

Standout songs: “Silence” “Call Me” “Wine For Me” “Love Yuh Bad”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

23. Summer Walker

Label: LVRN Records

Atlanta based R&B singer Summer Walker dropped her debut album Last Day Of Summer.

Standout songs: “Session 32,” “CPR,” “Girls Need Love,” “Karma”

Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

24. Joyner Lucas

Label: Atlantic Records

Massachusetts rapper Joyner Lucas had his major record debut with 508-507-2209 in the summer of 2017. Seemingly overlooked, Joyner was brought into the spotlight this year in a collab project with Chris Brown called Angels & Demons.

Standout songs: “I Love” “Stranger Things” “I Don’t Die” “FYM”

Website ~ Soundcloud ~ YouTube ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

25. 88 Rising

Artist collective 88 Rising is reshaping popular music with their unique group. The collective is comprised of rappers including Rich Brian, Higher Brothers, Kohn,  Keith Ape, and r&b artists Niki, Joji, and August 08.

Standout Songs: “Midsummer Madness” “History” “Peach Jam” “Head in the Clouds”

Website~Soundcloud~YouTube ~Instagram ~Twitter ~Facebook