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GoldLink’s “The New DMV” Playlist Highlights The Region’s Up-And-Coming Artists

It includes songs by Rico Nasty, Shy Glizzy, Lil dude, and more.

Washington D.C. native Goldlink had a well-deserved breakout year in 2017, and rode the momentum straight into 2018 by following up his Grammy nomination for “Crew” by locking down recent collaborations with Christina Aguilera, Miguel, and more. The DMV rapper has consistently spotlighted other artists from his region on songs like “Crew” (Shy Glizzy), “We Will Never Die” (Lil Dude), and “Same Clothes As Yesterday” (Ciscero).

Most recently, he curated the “The New DMV” playlist on Apple Music, where he highlights a plethora of upcoming artists from the area. The curated list showcases the DMV—which stands for the tristate area of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia—as a hub for rising hip-hop and R&B artists. The playlist boasts hits from recent stars like Kali Uchis, Rico Nasty, and YBN Cordae, while making sure to include plenty of lesser-known artists as well.

The region has previously produced successful mainstream rappers like Wale and Logic, and now a new crop of MCs is emerging to build upon their success. IDK’s 2017 album IWASVERYBAD earned positive critical reception, while Shy Glizzy’s assist on Goldlink’s “Crew” earned both a Grammy nomination. 21-year-old Rico Nasty landed the cover of The FADER’s 2018 summer music issue, and YBN Cordae has several viral songs under his belt this year, like “My Name Is” and “Old Niggas.”

The DMV’s R&B front is in great shape as well, and noticeably includes talent from many women. Singer Kali Uchis released her debut album Isolation, which wound up peaking at No. 32 on the Billboard 200 earlier this year, while D.C.’s very own Ari Lennox solidified her spot as the first and only female artist on J. Cole’s Dreamville record label. Other vocalists highlighted on Goldlink’s “The New DMV” are Alex Vaughn, Kelela and MUDI.

Towards the tail end of the Apple playlist is “Kill Moe” by Beau Young Prince, a track that especially serves as an homage to DMV culture. Its title is a popular slang term used only in the DMV, which Genius user swagtron_kelly further breaks down in this annotation:

The eclectic mix of cultures and influences in the area make it difficult to categorize music from the DMV under a specific sound, whereas Houston rap was known for its “chopped and screwed” and New York for its signature “boom-bap” styles in the past. However, it’s worth nothing the DMV has always been home to go-go music—a very distinct subgenre of funk music that originated in D.C. in the mid-60s—and Baltimore club music. Artists like Goldlink and Matt McGhee often incorporate these unique influences into their music in hopes to bring the DMV culture to the ears of a wider audience.

“We’re just starting to gain the recognition we deserve,” GoldLink tells Apple Music. “I’m looking forward to a future where the DMV has the respect that breeds legitimate stars and is at the forefront of culture.”

Listen to the full “The New DMV” playlist above and read all the lyrics to Goldlink’s biggest hits on Genius.