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The Source Unsigned Hype is still the premier place to go for unsigned talent looking to gain exposure. We’ve come a long way from accepting demo tapes and a photo for a chance to appear in the magazine. We introduced Hip-Hop to the likes of DMX, The Notorious B.I.G., Common, Mobb Deep, and Eminem.

So many great legacies we have helped to build and we were rewarded with the success of these artists. As we step into the modern era now, we aim to continue pushing the culture forward by breathing new life and energy into Hip-Hop.

With this in mind, our The 2018 Unsigned Hype Showcase was incredible. Artist came from various regions around the country. However, one of our standouts was a homegrown talent from Flatbush, New York.


Ricky Rikkardo proved there are still some lyrical spitters left in the city. Guided by Will Power Ent, he came ready to impress whoever needed to be impressed for a chance at elevating his career.

Rightfully so, Hot 97’s DJ Enuff, Rap Plug’s Craig King and DigiWaxx’s CL witnessed his potential. Performing his original song “Crypto,” he purposely aimed to inform the audience of the new form of digital currency. Still, there’s room for growth and development but we were impressed as well.

We caught up with Rikkardo after the show to get his perspective of his SOURCE360 Unsigned Hype experience. He also shared some knowledge about the digital currency.

Describe the feelings you had while being on the SOURCE360 Unsigned Hype stage?

Ricky RikkardoTo be in The Source environment was a dream come true.

Can you describe your mentality leading up to your performance?

Ricky Rikkardo: Become a new staple, make the most of the opportunity, so for me it was “put up or shut up.”

In the words of Eminem, who was the Unsigned Hype of March 98‘, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” With this in mind, how would you explain your musical style to people who have never heard of you?

Ricky Rikkardo: I’m two eras–lyrical assassin vs vibe music.  I’m comfortable on either side. I’m the Hip Hop Musiq Soulchild, bridging the gap.

Interesting analogy, we like the confidence you display Ricky. Tell us more about your song “Crypto,” which you performed on stage for the judges.

Ricky RikkardoIt’s an anthem them for the cryptocurrency.  An intro to investing in the new wave of currency with a positive vibe. From trap money to crypto.

Sounds like a lot of thought went into this song. What’s next for Ricky Rikkardo?

Ricky Rikkardo: I’m trying to hit the SXSW stage with the same energy. But I want to continue building and putting The Bush (Flatbush) on the map.