Category Archives: Awards

The RapRise 2013 Rising Class Is…
By rapRISE |


Here we are again. It’s been just over a year now since our 2012 Rising Class was announced. XXL has now inducted their 2013 ‘Freshman Class’, so once again we must announce our list of artists to watch out for.
We thank you all for flooding the site and our Twitter account with your recommendations. As always, this wasn’t just based on a tally of votes. Here’s what our staff looked for in our Rising Class.

What we looked for:

  • Artists with strong or steadily growing fan bases.
  • Artists that know how to market themselves and also have marketability.
  • Creativity and content.
  • Artists who have had a presence on RapRise.
  • And finally, star power. Those artists that we at rR believe could/should be signed to major labels.

And’s 2013 Rising Class is…

Keep reading »

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2012 RapRise Awards: Staff Picks
By rapRISE |


As you know from last year’s, these awards are a little different than the main awards that have already been given out today. These are just what they are billed as… STAFF PICKS. These are not based on statistical facts. They are the opinions of our staff members, who have spent the entire year listening to your music and watching your videos.
Read on as they break down why they chose what they did in the following categories.

The artists we think you should keep your eye on in the upcoming year.

If you’ve ever watched a D-WHY video, you were probably as shocked as I was to realized that he is an unsigned talent. His production quality from audio to visual is always top of the class. His fan base is growing immensely – and the release of his free album ‘Don’t Flatter Yourself’ solidified him as a force to be reckoned with. D-WHY manages to stand out as he fits in. His personal lyrics, mixed with his seemingly bashful braggadocio, give him layers that many artists are missing these days. He is working with several hot ticket names in the industry now, and, mark my words, he will make a huge impact in 2013.

LGMike Stud
To say that Mike Stud won’t make it in this industry should almost be considered blasphemy. He is one of the strongest, and most consistent rappers we post, almost never having a song our staff did not like. This year saw him teaming up a lot with close friend Huey Mack, and most of their collabs were better than anything you’ve heard on the radio as of late. He was on tour the past few months and played sold out shows to frantic fans. A new mixtape, and an album are reportedly on the horizon. It’s a wonder he hasn’t been signed yet, but we would almost be willing to bet we won’t be saying this next year.

Our personal favorite videos of the year.

J.ScottD. Fields x Mr. Man x Futuristic x K.i.D x SK4MC x D-WHY “No Budget”
Everything about this video is exciting. Easily one of the best edited videos of the year. And I don’t just mean on an unsigned level. Each rapper delivered their own environment and experience as the powerhouse list of emcees traded bars. D. Fields, Mr. Man, Futuristic, K.i.D, and SK4MC gave so much energy and knew exactly how to bring you into their worlds. And then the closer of the show, D-WHY, who was the only artist to get a real suspense-building introduction, did exactly what he does best… win you over. And all of this with no budget? That’s a winner.

LGMike Stud “Youth”
The video isn’t really anything special. But what it is, is a perfect video for this song. A lot of artists seem to be forgetting how to make good videos for the subject matter. In “Youth”, Mike Stud showcases times with friends that really transcends age, which is precisely what he’s rapping about. The fun times in the video are genuine, and it just adds to the smiles that the video gives you. Some of the shots are great, featuring a few selections from inside a laser tag arena. One of the standout parts of the video however, is seeing Mike Stud pick up a baseball glove. If you know the journey of Mike Stud, this is more than just another frame in the visual, it’s the shot that makes the whole video.

Our personal favorite mixtape of the year.

J.ScottChris Miles “I Am Me”
Until a few weeks ago I was having a hard time narrowing down exactly who I was going to choose for this category. And then Chris Miles came out of the blue with a mixtape that sounds like an album and delivers like a greatest hits. Not bad for the first complete project from the 13 year old rapper. Mr. Miles has been on my radar for most of this year with his rapid-fire lyrics and infectious charisma. ‘I Am Me’ delivers all of that and more. His words are years beyond his age, and his production is aptly suited. If I was able to pick a second artist to watch their rise in 2013, it would be Chris Miles without a doubt. He will probably hate this comparison at first, but hear me out… Chris could easily become the Justin Bieber of the hip hop world. And I don’t mean because he’s a young white kid. Not at all. I mean that when he makes a major label debut, within a year he could be the top dog of his genre.

LGAdam Reverie “Michigan Autumns: Ballad Of Adam Reverie”
This was tough, I really only listened to two projects from our site this year for personal enjoyment. Those two, were very strong tapes, and just gave me everything I wanted from a project, and more. One of them was “The Captain” from J-Dub. The other, is the winner of the battle – Adam Reverie’s “Michigan Autumns: Ballad Of Adam Reverie”. The real joy of this project was that it didn’t catch me off guard. I am fully aware of Reverie’s talent, and have thoroughly enjoyed his other two projects I’ve reviewed. But this is most definitely his crowning achievement. It has every kind of mood, rolled into a package that treated production like a character in a movie.  His lyrics are some of the most hard hitting I’ve ever heard here. I know I’ll still be listening to this when I pick next years winner.

The one track that we can’t seem to deny ourselves of.

J.ScottCrown Marquiss “All wood”
Day after day, week after week, and month after month, we at RapRies are bombarded with music of all styles from all over the world. It’s only natural that we don’t necessarily like every song we hear. But sometimes, even though an artist may make music that we don’t traditionally like, we can’t stop singing their music. And all year I have been singing “Yeah you, mothaf*cka, you know me!” Crown Marquiss’ “All Wood” is comically undeniable. The video is pure jokes. The best part is… I’m not even sure if he meant to be funny.

LGChris B ft. Dange Dizzy “She Be Modelin”
Chris B is the ratchet king. I don’t really like this genre of music, but something about most Chris B songs make me want to throw on a fitted (which I don’t wear anymore), and head to a kickback (which I don’t do anymore) for a lapdance (same – girlfriend). Which means that Chris B makes me want to go back to my reckless ways. The definition of a guilty pleasure. This song in particular sounds like a Big Sean song, but boy-oh-boy does it bring back some memories.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

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2012 RapRise Awards: Power Player
By rapRISE |


This is it. The ‘Power Player’ award is our equivalent to ‘artist of the year’. This is awarded to the artist that dominated our site the past 12 months.

From a relatively unknown artist, to our Surprise Riser, to Power Player – all in one year. MikeThomas is exactly what we look for from artists that make their way to our site. His passion for what he does not only shows through his music, but in the impact that he now leaves on our site. Remember, all of the RapRise Awards (except for the ‘Staff Picks’) are based on statistical excellence on our site. MikeThomas has been just that - statistically excellent.

This has been quite the year for one of our favorite Rising stories, and we all can’t wait to see what he has in store for the next 12 months.

Congratulations MikeThomas!

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2012 RapRise Awards: Hottest RapRise Cypher
By rapRISE |


This is probably what many of you have been waiting for. Arguably one of the most controversial and talked about awards for this year. Another new category, ‘Hottest RapRise Cypher’ acknowledges the standout in our recent Cypher.

Several crews and solo artists submitted to the cypher. (Not nearly as many as those who said they would. But we’re not bitter.) We took a lot into consideration for this award, seeing what a hot topic item it was. Everything was considered – from fan votes, to statistical impact, to video quality, and most importantly… bars. When it came to lyrical quality, the unanimous winner seemed to be the ‘Justice League’ cypher, capped off by the verse that had every talking from J-Dub.

But the cypher that really encompassed everything for us was delivered by one of only two women seen in the cypher, Ladie.
Her cypher was noticeably regarded as one of the best, and our staff loved what she did with her 90s style, production quality, and mindset. And let’s not forget that fly appearance by Jessica Gorman as her dj.

Congratulations Ladie!

Posted in Archive, Awards, RapRise Awards, RapRise Cypher | Tagged | 9 Comments
2012 RapRise Awards: Power Album/EP
By rapRISE |


Like the ‘Power Mixtape’ category, this award recognizes a standout project in the album/EP realm. We see noticeably less albums on our site than mixtapes, (which is sad at times), but when we do see albums, some really stand out among the rest.

The “Power Album” award goes to none other than Adam Reverie for his more than stellar – ‘Michigan Autumns: Ballad Of Adam Reverie‘. The album did more than just numbers. It solidified the name of Adam Reverie as someone to really watch out for on our site. Other people took notice to the quality, and across most social networking platforms, you can catch buzz for the project. If it is Adam Reverie’s desire to make his mark on our site, he has done that and more with this album.

Congratulations Adam Reverie!

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2012 RapRise Awards: Power Mixtape
By rapRISE |


Every year there is at least one mixtape that graces RapRise that is huge when it comes to views, downloads, etc. This year saw a few – but while most made a big hit and then disappeared from our charts after a week or two, there was one that still defies our sustainability norms.

When Traphik released ‘Cruise Control’ we can’t say that we could foresee the impact that it was going to have on our site. But months later, the mixtape with the colorful cover art is still breaking records on the Rise. Released almost 8 months ago, and we’re willing to bet that it’s still sitting in the top posts of the week right now. This is exactly what the “power” in “power mixtape” is supposed to look like.

Congratulations Traphik!

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2012 RapRise Awards: Surprise Rise
By rapRISE |


There are many artists that we expect to maintain a top spot on our site – because they do it all time. Artists like G-3, Adam Reverie, J-Dub, etc. Those artists pretty much live in our top 5 posts. And then there are artists that even our staff didn’t expect to hit the top 5. More impressively are the ones who we didn’t expect, that just won’t seem to leave.

This year’s undeniable surprise rise was MikeThomas‘ “Far Away” ft. ALO. Before “Far Away”, MikeThomas was working hard to etch his way into the top recognized posts on our site. He often contacted our staff asking what he could do to help himself grow in his marketing. (Something we truly admire.) He continued to work hard, and one day he released a video that everyone couldn’t deny. As one of the most viewed posts on our site this year, “Far Away” held its charting position on our site for several weeks. Far longer than the 2 or 3 day lifespan that most songs get. And then all of his subsequent posts have charted as well.
We are no longer surprised when we see “MikeThomas” holding a top spot on the Rise.

Congratulations MikeThomas!

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2012 RapRise Awards: Most Consistent
By rapRISE |


The ‘Most Consistent’ award is not just awarded for consistent lyricism, or hit songs, but for a consistent presence on our site. That artist that always seemed to leave a mark on the Rise.

Call it a sneak attack if you must. But no one can deny that you always saw Adam Reverie making waves on rR. Sure, he doesn’t have the numbers of others, but across the board, almost every piece of music he has released has made it into the Top 5 Posts of the Week on our site. Even his reviews have done amazing numbers. With the release of his near-perfect ‘Michigan Autumns: Ballad Of Adam Reverie‘, Reverie seems like he’s looking to be more than just consistent.

Congratulations Adam Reverie!

Posted in Archive, Awards, RapRise Awards | Tagged | 2 Comments
2012 RapRise Awards: Power Crew
By rapRISE |


The first of our awards today is for ‘Power Crew’. This is a new award that we felt was only right to include after seeing such a presence from the resurgence of hip hop crews this year.

Many ‘crews’ have released their share of music this year, but not many of them have delivered as a unit just as strongly as they do individually. The one set of artists that has been the most statistically consistent on our site has definitely been December Gang. Led by their most vocal member, Jelani Carter, the December City Music Group has made several waves on rR throughout the year. Not to mention their noticeable entry to the RapRise Cypher, which was owned by Rsonic and Lex Leosis. And Slick-T has always been a man making waves on our site. This crew has more artists than we care to count, and each have something to offer. Let’s see if they can keep this up in 2013.

Congratulations to December Gang!

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2012 RapRise Awards: Categories
By rapRISE |


It’s almost time for the announcement of the 2012 RapRise Awards winners. We will announce all of the winners on Jan. 2nd. But until then, here are the categories that all of our Risers are eligible for.

Leave comments and let us know who you think should win each category.

And the categories are…

  • Power Crew
  • Most Consistent
  • Surprise Rise
  • Power Mixtape
  • Power Album/EP
  • Hottest RapRise Cypher
  • Power Player

Also, our staff will be selecting winners for our ‘Staff Picks’ Awards, which are based on their personal opinions.
The categories are…

  • Watch The Rise
  • Favorite Video
  • Choice Mixtape/Album
  • Guilty Pleasure

Good luck, to all of our Risers!

- rR

Posted in Archive, Awards, RapRise Awards | 16 Comments

  • What’s Your Name?

    Who are you? Really. Ask yourself that. The first step to making a presence is knowing who you are. The one thing that should always be consistent throughout your brand, (yes, you are a brand), is your name. Occasional name changes aside, your name always be the same. But when upcoming rapper, let’s call him “Kid Magic”, releases new music and his YouTube account calls him “K.I.D. Magic”, song title calls him “KidMagic”, Twitter calls him “Kiidd Magic”, and so on and so forth, how are his fans supposed to connect to his brand?
    (Keep reading)

  • Who's Next?

    Who will be the next Riser to join the Hall Of Fame?