So often, you hear artists from certain areas like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles getting love nationally, but never any from D.C. Why is that? Is it lack of exposure? Is it mainstream just not trying to even look our way? Is it lack of support from our own? It could be this and more, but I, for one, feel like our city has a bevy of talent that rivals and even usurps what we’re hearing today. In this article, I will shine the spotlight on three individuals, from our Nation’s Capital, that deserve a listen and, even more important, your support.
You may have already heard this talented young fella on the radio lately with his smash groove, “Long Song Away”, but on his debut album on Motown titled “The Awakening”, Ross is out to prove that he’s not to be associated with ‘one-hit wonder’. Though his age says he’s young, you do not hear it when you listen to this album. Along with his dope vocal skills, songs like the aforementioned “Long Song Away”, the slick and charming “Don’t Go”, and the inspirational “Be Great” make it evident that this a man that has studied his craft and surely respects it. Aside from Raheem Devaughn, this album is the first one in a long time that I thoroughly enjoyed and now bump on the regular. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for this fellow Washingtonian.
I’ve been on this dude for a minute now and, while he doesn’t fit into the traditional R&B peg, this D.C.-born, P.G. County-raised rapper/producer/sometimes singer reminds me of a J. Cole as far as content and solid lyrical flow. His production is soulful, melodic, and puts you in a zone that you won’t want to get out of. Oddissee has various albums that feature vocals and just instrumentals like “The Beauty In It All” and “Rock Creek Park” out that I strongly urge you to check out, but his recent release, “The Iceberg” will tell you all that I’ve been saying and more from the first track to the last. “Things” and “Digging Deep” are my personal favorite joints. I’ll even go as far as to say this dude is Goodguy Certified, which is an honor I don’t give regularly! He’s the truth. Trust me on this!
Another respected artist that has been in the game for a while, but is just getting the love she’s been long deserving of nationwide. Also known as Mumu Fresh, I’ve been a fan of hers ever since first seeing her at the U Street Music Hall opening up for Bilal. With an off-the-charts vocal range and eye-raising lyrical delivery, Youssef is one of the District’s beloved rising starts, not to mention that she’s also Grammy-nominated, from her work in 2007 with The Roots, and has also toured with Common. Her recent project, Metamorphosis, only continues to prove that.
So when you’re looking for good music, you need look no further than your own backyard.