The flowers are in full bloom this season and an impressive variety of rising artists have entered the Hypebeast radar. The Spring 2023 selection features exciting names blurring the lines of R&B, hip-hop, rap, rock, K-pop and more, allowing fans to rest their worries about what the immediate future of music may sound like.
For fans of: Ari Lennox, Mereba, Lucky Daye
Thanks to her surprisingly deep voice and evocative old school sound, Baby Rose has quickly ascended to become one of R&B’s most exciting emerging talents. While her first album, 2021’s To Myself, saw her sing solo from its beginning to end, her discography has since expanded to count the likes of Smino and Ari Lennox as some of her collaborators. Two years later, fans are anticipating next month’s release of the Washington D.C. artist’s sophomore effort, a promising record entitled Through and Through. Her latest release from the LP, “Stop The Bleeding,” paints a promising picture for the album with a heavy emphasis on dramatic instrumental flourishes underlining Baby Rose’s soaring vocals.
For fans of: Flo Milli, Princess Nokia, Tierra Whack
bbymutha has been rapping since the late 2000s but it was only in 2020 that the Chattanooga, Tennessee-hailing rapper dropped off her debut studio album, Muthaland. Having formed a rap group with her cousins in the tenth grade, she would later put a pause on her career to parent her children, work and pursue an education in fashion design – thankfully, a return to music was in order. The 25-track Muthaland is a primer on the boundlessness of contemporary Southern rap, hearing bbymutha layer witty bars onto electronic beats with an ease that’s at once laidback and razor sharp in its delivery.
For fans of: Earl Sweatshirt, MIKE, Genesis Owusu
On his sophomore album adultSW!M, deem spencer approaches the tangled complexities of trauma, family, love and loss make him seem decades beyond his 27 years. While the Queens-based has always had a penchant for the poetic, the follow-up to his 2019 debut Pretty Face and the 2020 mixtape Deem’s Tape is, along with simply being a worthwhile listen, evidence of the latest advancement in his ever-maturing lyricism and style. “This is the most confident I’ve ever felt in presenting myself to the world,” spencer told Hypebeast in a recent interview. “I feel like all my music previously was me talking to myself.”
For fans of: Gangsta Boo, Duke Deuce, Chief Keef
The lively and braggadocious spirit of Memphis rap lives on in GloRilla. The 23-year-old doesn’t even have her debut studio album out yet, and she already locked in a Best Rap Performance GRAMMY nomination for her viral hit “F.N.F. (Let’s Go).” Exuding self-assurance, intelligence and a penchant for domination, GloRilla is rising from the pack to slowly become one of Southern Rap’s frontliners, elevating the time and tested sound with a powerful mix of her own contemporary twist and rich vocals.
For fans of: Denzel Curry, DMX, Paris Texas
If there’s one phrase to describe JELEEL!, it’s “full of life.” The Rhode Island-raised, Los Angeles-based artist never fails to inject his brand of zest in everything he releases, regardless of the message he wants to put out. He finds beauty along every stop on his musical journey and transforms it into a harmonious mix of rap, rock, punk and even R&B — an effort evidently appreciated by his fans who always meet him with the same amount of energy, both during his live shows and when he drops a new track.
For fans of: Atomic Kitten, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd
The last few years has seen K-pop break into the international mainstream, and NewJeans is one of the newer groups to take advantage of that broken barrier. The ADOR-formed (owned by HYBE) girl group comprised of Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin and Hyein is ushering in a new era of experimental pop, but still manages to strike the balance of retaining the genre’s traditionally catchy hooks. NewJeans’ sound is almost atypical of a girl group, with simplicity and individualism working in their favor and allowing them to stand out from the myriad of artists trying to take their slice of the world’s newfound appreciation for K-pop.
For fans of: Kelsey Lu, Yaya Bey, Masego
Among the vast pool of artists seeking to launch their careers by way of social media, Ogi stands out as not only a definitionally self-made success story but also as a singer that has created a sound like no other. As a senior at Northwestern University studying political science, the Nigerian-American artist spent her free time performing in the school’s acapella group and eventually, created an Instagram account dedicated to posting covers of classic R&B songs. Her cover of Morton’s “Alright” caught the attention of the singer himself, who reposted Ogi’s rendition on his own account, an act that snowballed into a meeting with the producer No. I.D. and ultimately, a deal with his label ARTium Recordings. Even before putting out her first project, Ogi was hitting the road on Snoh Aalegra’s “UGH, THESE TEMPORARY HIGHS TOUR.” Showing no sign of slowing down, just as the tour wrapped up, Ogi promptly dropped off her first EP, Monologues.
For fans of: Sudan Archives, Liv.e, Solange
Attempting to describe V.C.R. is a heavy task. Becoming a multidisciplinary artist and author just seemed like the natural path for the Memphis-born Veronica Ratliff; she grew up in a notable musical family and spent her early years homeschooled, learning music theory from her father and taking on the classical violin and piano. Her further studies drew her to conservatories and, eventually, a music degree, but it was her love and musical influences that gave birth to what she calls “cinematic soul” — a genre blend of gospel, soul, funk and classical music, essentially captivating who she is an artist. Detailing who V.C.R. is, frankly, futile, so let her music speak on her behalf instead.
New Gen is Hypebeast’s biannual series highlighting some of the most promising up-and-coming voices in the music game. Every season, we spotlight talented and buzzworthy names you should have on your radar.