Freshman List

Sorry for another delay but I took a little time to really decide the last 6 artists on this list: in the first two parts, we listed Da Big Fella, Ras Nebyu, Mellzy, Hard Workin, Visto and Surreal. Check out the final 6 artists below.

Chris Bo

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Chris Bo is an artist signed under Fat Trel’s label DC 1135. We first heard Chris Bo on Fat Trel’s mixtape April Foolz on a track called ‘Round’; we then heard him on his own offering with a visual called ‘Goonz‘, which now has over 70,000 views on YouTube. Bo dropped his debut mixtape Ur Heart Or Minez this past summer in August with features from Fat Trel, Young Moe and Shy Glizzy. Ur Heart Or Minez was a strong first effort from the young emcee from the Southside. We look forward to more visuals from Chris Bo and new music in 2013 that will bring him to the next level.

Lightshow

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Lightshow came on the DMV scene strong last year with the release of his mixtape Life Sentence. Life Sentence was featured on the front page of DatPiff as the featured mixtape of the week. I came around Lightshow during his back and forth with the Street Hottest Youngin Shy Glizzy. Shortly after that, we sponsored his warm up to Life Sentence, titled Yellow Tape & White Chalk 2. He’s collaborated with such artists as Black Cobain, Wale, Chief Keef, Shy Glizzy and more. I would say Lightshow had one hell of a year: in November, Lightshow signed to Wale’s Board Of Adminstration and is set to drop his debut with the label, titled Get Well Soon, in March. I’m sure it will be bigger then his last mixtape with plenty of major features and better music.

Reesa Renee

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The only female to make our DMV Freshman List is Reesa Renee and she has definitely earned her spot. In 2011 she took her live show to the Apollo in Harlem, New York and was named the Apollo Champ. In 2012 she released her debut album Reelease, which in the first few weeks landed on the top 20 of the iTunes R&B charts. A few nights before the release of her debut album, she headlined show at the Fillmore in Silver Spring with Tabi Bonney, Ra The MC and more. She also landed a sponsorship deal with Sports Zone and has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper and Soul Train.

Dunson

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Dunson is a dope emcee from Baltimore, Maryland whom I’m sure a lot of yall haven’t heard about. I first learned about the emcee from my homie Modi (from DC to BC). Dunson first gained attention from Phatboiz and signed a production deal with the Grammy-nominated production team. After signing his deal, he did a few big shows at Highline Ballroom, S.O.B.s and Santo’s Party House where he was featured as a BET Music Matters featured artist. He later went on to open up for John Legend in Philly at Temple University in April. To close out his summer, he released his anticipated mixtape, The Investment, which features several guest appearances from John Legend, Mickey Factz and Swedish rapper Lazee. You might not know a lot about Dunson but he made a strong name for himself around the country in a very short time. In 2014, he may be another DMV artist to grace the cover of the XXL Freshman List.

Ace Primo

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Ace Primo is a 17 year old emcee from the District of Columbia who was founded by producer Rodney ‘Dark Child’ Jerkins and signed to his Dark Child records. In his early career, Ace Primo has already starred in a movie Loss of Life, which was a independent horror film about a group of teenagers whose night ends in horrific tragedy. In 2012 he released his debut mixtape Davinci: The Art of Lyricism. The project showcased his untouchable talent as an great songwriter and lyricist. He was also featured on multi-platinum artist Nelly Furtado’s album he Spirit Indestructible. Already featured in XXL Magazine and MTV, Ace Primo has 100,000 followers on Twitter and 2.3 million views on his Youtube channel. His latest video for his latest single — ‘Raise Your Weapon’ — has over 300,000 views. Ace Primo has performed across the country in notable venues such as the Roxy Theatre, Tiger Arena, Columbia Convention Center, Reliant Arena, Nokia Theatre, and DAR Constitution Hall (while performing on the Scream Tour: Next Generation, Holiday Scream Tour, and Stop The Bullying school tour). ACE Primo is definitely on his way to make a name for himself in the Hip-Hop game.

Yung Gleesh

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Yung Gleesh is the second artist signed under Fat Trel’s DC 1135 label to make our DMV Freshman List. Yung Gleesh is one of the founding members of the Go-Go band T.O.B and has left the Go-Go world alone to jump in the rap game. Some say Yung Gleesh sounds a little like Lil’ B; I would agree but I feel he may be a little better. Yung Gleesh had a very busy 2012 year and released 3 mixtapes: Cleansides Finest, Cleansides Finest 2 and 2 Tall Vs. Dolan Beats (Battle Of The Bands). Yung Gleesh’s video ‘Skrong‘ was posted on Fader and has over 125,000 views. ‘Skrong’ ended up being tweeted by rappers such as Danny Brown, Chief Keef and more. In early 2013, Yung Gleesh has spent a few weeks down in Atlanta to perform alongside Gucci Mane and has been in the studio with the Atlanta rapper. I look forward to what this may bring the young emcee from Northeast DC.

A small but committed group of writers, bloggers and videographers that (mostly) exist and function all over the D.C. Metro area.