Tinashe (RCA)
Tinashe (RCA)

2013 was a benchmark year in general for black music.

We saw a new ‘golden age’ in hip-hop, a rap legend experimenting with a new sound, and a R&B queen release a secretly recorded album directly to the public.

But who’s going to shine in 2014? TheGrio has picked five up-and-comers you need to get hip to at the top of the new year.


The Cincinnati rapper Lantana capped off the end of an impressive 2013 with a monster of single that had the streets rocking. The 27-year-old Ohio native’s “All Hustle No Luck” is the proper anthem for those whose dreams are fueled by their ambition.


Tinashe Jorgenson Kachingwe, better known as Tinashe, is a rising star, but she is already an accomplished entertainer. The LA singer is also a dancer/actress having lent her voice to The Polar Express, and appeared on the sitcom Two and a Half Men. Check out her latest mixtape, Black Water to see if those Aaliyah comparisons are accurate.


Hailing from the state that produced singers like Anthony Hamilton, Fantasia, and K-Ci and Jojo, Durham, North Carolina artist KeithDopeMusic looks to carry on a Southern-flavored vocal tradition. Possessing  a voice that may sound like a throwback (think pre-‘TGT’ Tank), accompanied by The Weeknd-esque production, and honest storytelling, what more can you want from Keith?

Check out his video to “Go Girl” and his debut album Black, which drops January 15th.

Rugz D. Bewler

A talented rapper from Harlem that’s not repping DIPSET or A$AP, Rugz D. Bewler has been in the game for quite some time and has built the proper street buzz to take the next step. His new mixtape Bene, features production from heavyweights Sean C & LV and Sal Dali, and offers a different perspective of what life in Harlem is really like.

Download Bene here

Kitty Cash

Kitty Cash, the DJ for alternative singer Kilo Kish, is ready to stop into the spot light on her own. The Brooklyn native has a mixtape (Love The Free) currently out where she showcases her talented group of friends, which includes Sampha, Jesse Boykins III and Melo X, over low-fi beats.

Download Love The Free here

You can check out Kyle’s musical coverage on theGrio music page, and follow Kyle on Twitter at @HarveyWins.