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NEW YORK, NY—On the warm summer night of June 22, 2015 a large line began to form down Varick St alongside SOB’s as everyone waited with anticipation to hear what some of the rising faces of hip-hop had to offer. Hot 97 started their “Who’s Next” series to expose true hip-hop fans to new and upcoming artists on their way to the top. Last night’s roster included Bronx Wild Boy Tray Pizzy, Brooklyn’s Masked Lyricist Leikeli47, and Baltimore Royalty King Los. The showcase was one for the books, so luckily for you we’re running it down set by set.
The night started off with a bang as Tray Pizzy and his 25-man-deep clique took the stage at 9:30 PM with an insane amount of energy. Pizzy’s extremely loyal fan base took up about half of SOB’s main floor and made sure to turn up and show out. Tray had the crowd yelling out “F*ck the police” as he performed his hit song “F*ck 12” which features another fellow emerging NYC artist, Manolo Rose. As the heat and testosterone levels continued to rise, Pizzy wanted to do it for the ladies by bringing out female rapper Billy Bada$$ to perform the “Recipe,” and man did she represent! Lastly, Pizzy showed love to all of the boroughs and had every New Yorker rapping along to his hit single, “My Borough.” Being from the Bronx, where hip-hop all started, I would say he made his borough very proud.
Next up was Brooklyn’s very own, Leikeli47, who rolled up on stage at 10:15 PM with three things: finesse, bars and her infamous ski mask. Although she experienced some audio malfunctions, Leikeli47 did what any true artist in that situation would do, she pushed through and gave it her all as she performed “Miss America” and Chiddy Bang” while simultaneously showcasing her amazing beatbox skills and swagged out choreography. She made Brooklyn, RCA Records, and her fans very proud and gained some new fans in us! And in case you we’re wondering (because we were), it’s pronounced (lah-KAY-lee).
As if the show wasn’t already hype enough, out comes the final act at 11:00 PM, Baltimore’s own King Los. But King Los brought something different to the stage, an air of immense humility and gratitude, as he almost teared up as he spoke about his debut album, God, Money, War which was released today after 10 long years of record label drama and setbacks. Luckily Los never gave up on his dream, as we watched him dominate the stage with tracks such as “Can’t Fade Us” and recently released “Glory to The Lord” feat. R.Kelly. However, his set would not have been complete without a sample of his freestyle skills, and boy we’re we amazed. As Los went on and on, letting one bar flow to the next with catchy punch lines and humor mingled throughout there wasn’t a head not boppin’ in the house.
Needless to say, the show was amazing. If you decide to look further into any of these artists, trust, you won’t be disappointed. Check out some flicks from last night in the gallery below.
Photo Credit: Fatimah Foster