Up Next: Rising Stars of 2016

We wouldn’t be a typical cliché music blog unless we tortured you with an abundance of ranking lists. From mid-season reviews to the best of just about everything in 2015, the RLGT team  showcase the best of the crop throughout the year.

Now here we are in 2016 and there’s a lot to be excited about. The biggest of the headlines being Kanye West *possibly* resurrecting GOOD Fridays (EDIT: looks like it didn’t happen, SCD EDIT: Fuck yeah it did happen) once more in anticipation to the release of his newest album titled SWISH. What else do we got? Well, Drake and Rihanna were spotted recently mysteriously shooting a new music video; are we getting closer to a new album from both mega stars?

As new albums from Pusha T, Majid Jordan, (3 projects supposedly from) Lupe Fiasco are expected to be released later this year, we will definitely seeing these big names like them carve the way for the year. But what is always interesting and unexpected are the unpredictable rises from up and coming artists.

Maybe it’ll be a catchy tune or maybe it’ll be a cosign. Stardom can happen in so many random ways. With that out of the way.. In no particular order, here are some artists who I think will have a breakout year (or yeezy-esque season) in 2016:

Allan Kingdom: Yeezy taught me, Yeezy taught me well. With the all craziness that happened this year in the West-Kardashian franchise, Kanye still managed to come through with one of the top tracks of the 2015, “All Day.” With Allan Kingdom lending himself on the stacked track, he did it justice with his notable performance.

To start off the new year right, Allan Kingdom released a new EP titled Northern Lights. I’m willing to put my money on him on his future.. It’ll be intriguing to see how this project does and how much buzz he can create after some well-deserved recognition from the best in the game.

Isaiah Rashad & SZA: TDE. Black Hippy. Isaiah and SZA. We already know the destructive power from the main leads of TDE, but what about these two? I thought Cilvia Demo was one of the better mixtapes in 2014. SZA really put it on the map with Z, becoming a coveted project that included many features in-house and also from some good industry talent.


Dave Free, president of TDE recently explained the plans for 2016 for the label in an interview with MTV news, “I’M EXCITED FOR PEOPLE TO HEAR THE NEW SZA ALBUM..I’M STUPID EXCITED FOR Y’ALL TO HEAR THE ISAIAH RASHAD ALBUM.” I know it’s not much (at all.. Couldn’t find anything), but at least they are still being mentioned… Right?

EDIT: I found some more. A new single titled “Smile” has now found its way onto the internet. Check it out below:

Will this just be a dream or will it become reality? With the focus of quality at the top of the list for a group like TDE and a historically having sublime track record for album releases, it may or may not be a long shot for these two labelmates to show their true potential this year.

Jazz Cartier: Last week RLGT introduced to you TRIPSIXX, a potential rising MC from Toronto, Canada. He’s still got a long way to walk until he wants to gain recognizable fame and fortune, but there might be one that’s ready to fly.

Also hailng from the 6 side, we have Jazz Cartier. He’s been quickly gaining buzz over the web over the last year with his high tempo grungy style and its capturing the attention of people around the biz.


Jaye Adams, his real name, had worked on his debut project Marauding In Paradise since 2011 and finally released it in April 2015 to much of his (and obviously my) satisfaction. That sign of commitment to his attention to good quality records is only a whisper of Jazz Cartier’s composition.

Wheezy: Wheezy who? No he’s not a rapper and no he’s not a singer. Wheezy, still a mystery to many of us is a producer hailing from Vicksburg, Mississippi. His most noticable work from last year is his contribution to Young Thug’s Barter 6. The 22-year-old maestro was chosen over Metro Boomin and London on da Track for the majority of the project, which comes to a surprise to most of us.

Wheezy has been pretty low-key up until now; but still gathers a budding track record with some of the game’s hottest including Rich Homie Quan and TI. Complex had a chance to interview the young producer, check it out here.

I started producing when I was 15 and as I got older my sound started maturing. It really just started from being in the studio, and [watching] older cats making beats. My older brother was rapping and I learned the software, kept doing it, and progressed. Just going in and sharing thoughts. – Wheezy via Complex

These are just a few who I think that I think will have a great 2016. Do you agree? Am I missing any key players? Leave your thoughts down below.

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