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The Sochi Winter Olympics may be over but the competitive spirit in new artists is still burning. But the judging powers are always in the hands of the listeners. So hang up the jerseys for the next two years until the Summer games and check out the heat from the up and coming artists of tomorrow. Also, mad props to the motherland aka South Korea for earning the hosting spot for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Sidenote for this week: Where my Midwest and West coast rappers at?!


In case anyone has this column’s aim twisted, consider being featured on SYLR as the official first step to your endless path to getting to the top of the chain and staying there. Notice how we said, “staying there.” Some artists have been putting in work and have seen relatively minimal hype. This platform was created to spotlight those deserving the attention of industry folk, fans, and everyone in between. Be sure to stay up to date on what’s legit by checking out the four projects below. If you feel differently, we welcome you to prove us otherwise.

Attention all rappers: This weekly post is a call to arms-lyrical arms. If you do this thing called rap, these four projects are four slaps in the face punches to the throat. And no one just takes a punch to the throat without retaliation. Let’s see yours. And for those who were selected already, let’s see where you go from here. The Source is watching…

South: Wally LeftWorld Series EP

This North Carolina emcee is part of the South camp of Hip-Hop refusing to fit any boxes. He falls in line with EarthGang, ASF, and Diemon. His sound is distinctively West Coast but it doesn’t come across as biting since it has a universality to it like the Cool Kids and Asher Roth.

East: Al-DoeKeys of Heaven

The Bronx emcee is what you want your street born and raised rapper to be like. He unabashedly mispronounces luxury brand names and grew up in an area where girls swing on each other like Sharkeisha like it ain’t no thing. Plus his name reminds me of Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds and that’s not a bad thing with the determination and sense of justice Al-Doe lives by.

East: Michael ChristmasIs This Art?

From the first track I heard from this Boston emcee, I was curious to see what a full album from him would sound like. And I’m satisfied with the results. Christmas wraps up a solid project with witty storytelling abilities that not only make you laugh but make you realize that as you stand in his shoes, you’ve been there before. The production matches his style of flipping between serious and joking manner-rap game Bill Murray. Can’t wait to see what this kid can do with a stage.

Trust me, I listen to every submission. To get your project considered for SYLR, please email the following information to

Where you’re representing
Short bio
Streaming link to your project (do not attach any music)

Bryan Hahn (@notupstate)