18 Breakout Artists To Watch For In 2018

18 Breakout Artists To Watch For In 2018
Photo Credit: Laura Alston for Okayplayer

As 2017 comes to a close, @Okayplayer has a collection of standout talent that you should commit to memory for 2018.

Music fans were tremendously busy this year, sifting through project after project from big name artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Bruno Mars, Solange, J. Cole, Ed Sheeran, Kehlani and Jay-Z, just to name a few. It’s been difficult keeping up with the musical output but we’re not complaining.

As 2017 comes to close, there’s more music, more singles and new artists to mull over. And those artists, perhaps on the cusp of greatness, are clamoring for your attention. Conversely, we’ve seen acts like the Creek Boyz mobbing through Baltimore, serenading us with woozy melodies coupled with gritty imagery. Then there’s Deem Spencer, the young Queens, N.Y. native whose somber vocals toil, alluding heartbreak and loss.

Let’s not forget Bay Area local GQ, who shined through with a strong feature on Rapsody’s track “Ridin’”. On the R&B tip is Chicago crooner Ravyn Lenae, the vivacious voice behind some of Mick Jenkins and Noname’s hooks, aiming to win fans over with her six track EP titled Midnight Moonlight. And 6 Dog, hailing from Georgia, flaunts lackadaisical lyrics and bass-heavy beats on his internet-rocking single “Faygo Dreams,” which garnered over three million views on YouTube.

These artists have released songs that, in some cases, have only reached fans in the depths of the underground. Those levels happen to be the far corners of the internet, consisting of platforms like SoundCloud, where they have taken their music, and whisked it up to the digital heavens, hoping something would stick. But that just won’t do. Audiophiles are famished, seeking a break out, looking to shape next year’s sound. They want to embark on the path that their seasoned contemporaries have set ablaze. They want to become the next K. Dot, Drizzy or Jay.

So, with them in mind, we ask that you give their music a chance and help tell the world of their talents. Below you’ll find a collection of standout artists looking to make a splash going into next year. Here’s @Okayplayer’s roundup of 18 breakout artists to watch for in 2018.

Joyner Lucas

Joyner Lucas raised eyebrows this year with his racially-charged viral video for “I’m Not Racist.” The Massachusetts-based rapper released a mixtape called 508-507-2209 which charted at no. 7 on the Heatseekers Albums chart on Billboard.

Creek Boyz

Maryland’s own Turk P Diddy, Young Fedi Mula, and J Reezy came through with a catchy sound that best reps their town. Look for the Creek Boyz to carry that vibe into next year with more catchy Baltimore swag.


Dallas-based rapper FXXXXY generated buzz last year with “‘20 Taliband”. He started the year off on a good note with the tantalizing ten-track EP Flawed Up Shawty.

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