Home Featured Rapzilla.com’s 15 Freshmen of 2016

Rapzilla.com’s 15 Freshmen of 2016

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Rapzilla.com’s 15 Freshmen of 2016

Dwayne Reed

Most of the music that Chicago-based artist Dwayne Reed has released will leave listeners labeling him a singer. He is a singer, but he’s one of a few 2016 Freshmen who are arguably as talented rappers as they are vocalists.

Perhaps his best display of this versatility has come on his song “Little Faith” — a folk song — and his feature on LABG33Ks’s “R3PO.” While his singing on “Little Faith” has garnered 56 thousand plays on SoundCloud, his bars on “R3PO” are just about as impressive.

Reed, who is signed to CTZN Music, has also put out a cover of KB’s song “Fall in Love With You” and recently dropped the single “Anxious” featuring Street Hymns.

Follow him on Twitter @DReedTheDope.

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue music?

I wouldn’t say that I have ever really decided to pursue music. It has always just been a hobby for me, you know, something I do whenever I get some extra time or money. Ultimately, I just want to make good music and glorify Christ. If something comes of it, dope! If not, I’m totally fine with that too.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career thus far?

The most memorable moment in my career has been writing the chorus for Json’s song, “Remember.” Christon Gray was originally supposed to sing the hook, but some things got changed up last minute and they went with J.R. But, I still have the rough version of Chris singing it, and it blows my mind that an artist of his caliber was actually singing the words from my notebook! I’ll always cherish that.


(Reed raps the second verse of “R3PO”)

What should fans be on the lookout for musically from you in 2016?

In 2016, I’ll be dropping my first rap project, ever. It’ll be a small EP telling my story as a young Christian man trying to navigate through singleness and being content in Christ. I feel like that’s something singles need to hear from other singles: “It’s gonna be okay. God’s got us.” So, people can be on the lookout for that in the early part of the year.


Jarry Manna

Few Christian hip-hop artists have released as much quality music this year as Jarry Manna, a Tulsa, Okahoma-based rapper affiliated with nobigdyl.’s indie tribe. collective.

In January, he dropped a free EP, The Elevator. In June, he dropped a free album, UGLY ALBUM. In December, he dropped a free EP with nobigdyl., no dillons.

Manna clearly has what separates great artists from good ones — work ethic.

Follow him on Twitter @jarrymanna.

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue music?

I’ve always liked music. I’ve been in the school choir since elementary. It eventually carried on into high school. I was the only guy to be in advanced choir and play football. But really, the actual pursuit, started around the time Drake and Kid Cudi started to get hot. It was like after hearing “Day ‘n’ Night” (by Kid Cudi), I started to actually see how music can effect a person, and I just had to be a part of it.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career thus far?

Maaan, the most memorable moment thus far has to be how people have perceived my most recent project UGLY ALBUM. Like, I never expected people to enjoy it the way that I did. But that’s exactly what happened!

What should fans be on the lookout for musically from you in 2016?

Well first off, my producer 2peece and I have been cranking out tracks since UGLY ALBUM dropped. We’ll more than likely drop some singles just for the listeners to enjoy. But we’re definitely gonna give y’all some sort of project before UGLY ALBUM 2. Oh! And you’ll also be seeing me working with another artist from my city by the name of KSON. I’ve watched this dude evolve in a span of only 12 months, and I’m eager to see how his work is perceived.

Jered Sanders

Jered Sanders is a new name to Christian hip hop, but not broader, underground hip hop. In 2014, AllHipHop.com celebrated him as one of the top 75 underground/indie and emerging artists of the year.

This year, Sanders released his debut retail album Daylight Savings Time., which — in an age when lyricism is less lauded than ever — is packed with bars. They, and his confident delivery, will be on display again in the album he’s dropping next month, Hope Is Dope.

Follow him on Twitter @JeredSanders.

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue music?

I decided to pursue music officially when I was about 16 years old. I auditioned for some record labels and began recording original music around that time.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career thus far?

Of my career? It’s twofold. Maybe “threefold,” if that’s an actual term. The first of which was being officially broke on The Wake Up Show with Sway, King Tech and DJ Revolution. The second, as a result of No. 1, being selected as one of AllHipHop.com’s Top 75 Emerging Artists of 2015. And lastly, releasing my debut LP, Daylight Savings Time. I have to throw in the birth of my daughter Sept. 5 of this year, too. Her name’s Hope, and I make Hope Hop music. Figured the double entendre would be kind of ill in that regard.

What should fans by on the lookout for musically from you in 2016?

Lots! I’m actually releasing my second LP, a follow-up to Daylight Savings Time called Hope Is Dope. That record’ll be releasing on Jan. 29 — all new material with features from Eris Ford, Raging Moses, Tone Spain, J. Nolan, Evan Ford, Mickey Factz and a few others. I also have a series of singles (and a visual) that’ll be dropping pre-release as well. Can’t wait to share, man… #HopeHop


Kaleb Mitchell

Kaleb Mitchell raps like he thinks he’s the best rapper alive — not based on boastful lyrics, but rather his fierce flow and confident delivery. He can also sing better than the vast majority of rappers who can rap as well as him.

In July, Mitchell released his debut solo project, Soliloquy, which became one of the most celebrated Rapzilla exclusive projects released this year. Since then, he put out several songs, including 10,000 Leagues”, where he showed off his vocals, which were also utilized on both Marty and F.E.R.N.’s recent solo Eps.

Follow him on Twitter @kalebcreates.

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue music?

I’ve been able to play the piano by ear since I was about five years old. But I started taking music seriously when I was 12.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career thus far?

The most memorable moment of my career was finding out that my hook had made the final cut of Marty For President. It was super fun working on that song.

What should fans be on the lookout for musically from you in 2016?

I don’t want to give away too much … but you will be hearing some very dope stuff in 2016.


Ki’Shon Furlow (now known as YourWelcome Shon)

Little Rock, Arkansas-based artist Ki’Shon Furlow has built a crazy buzz since this fall, and it started with his music video for “Crazy.” With the track, which has amassed 24,000 views on YouTube, Furlow proved that he’s much more than a battle rapper — having garnered much of his previous exposure through battle rap.

“Crazy” was the lead single of his mixtape Keep An Open Mind, which like Soliloquy, spread rapidly. His moment did not slow down, as Alex Faith featured him on his Bloodlines song “Roof” with Aha Gazelle, who soon joined Furlow in another hit video, “Hood Scholar.”

With another EP scheduled to release in February, Furlow’s momentum looks like it won’t slow down anytime soon.

Follow him on Twitter @KiShonFurlow.

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue music?

I’ve been a rapper my whole life. In my younger years, my passion was more raw and simply out of love for the genre. When I was about 17 was when I first knew I wanted to try to really get something popping with a career.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career thus far?

The most memorable moment of my career has to be the “Crazy” music video drop. It was really a breakout that changed everything for me — Even my own perspective on how to approach music. I was happy that everyone embraced the originality and could appreciate my style. It was like the first hug I’d ever gotten in Christian hip hop and currently the most viewed video I have, even over my rap battles.

What should fans be on the lookout for musically from you in 2016?

Life can change so much throughout next year, but I would say minimally, what you can expect from me are two projects. An EP most likely placed in February and an album in the summer. The EP is finished. It’s just timing at this point.

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