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The 5 Rising Rap Stars Who Raised the Bar at A3C 2016

Ashley Vance
Posted by Ashley Vance on Oct 18


A3C ended last week, yet we still have the joyful noise of quality hip-hop ringing in our ears.

The best thing about a good music festival is leaving with a playlist full of new tunes! A3C is the biggest breeding ground for new talent and the 12th annual edition of the festival brought out some of the best rising acts Atlanta's ever seen. While some fall into an abyss of forgotten dreams, others manage to rise above the mediocrity surrounding them, proving to the rap game that they're here to stay. 

With our staff running from stage to stage to find out who's got what it takes to be considered a major MC, it's only fair that we highlight a few up and coming talents with promising careers. This is more than a list of rappers who can rhyme --- these hip-hop hopefuls have the look, sound, and attitude it takes to be the next big thing. 

From a short, bossy badass rocking designer jeans to a quirky, four-eyed 18-year-old from Kentucky, each one of these show-stoppers brings a little something different to the table. If you're savvy to underground music, check out these 5 Artists and read about their highlights from the biggest hip-hop festival in the country:

5. Yung Baby Tate


The superstar in the making has only been at this for about a year now, but she can definitely feel things changing around her. Scrolling through her instagram, you can easily tell she was born to stand out. "I've had a lot of people come up to my crew and tell us we look like the Spice Girls, and after thinking about it I have to agree! I’m just a saucy girl with a spicy gang & a flossy stylist! I don’t like to look basic," she said in an interview. 

To describe A3C in three words, she picked the ATL classic phrase, "It. Was. Lit!" When it comes to making moves as a female MC, Tate is glad to be a figure for the young girls she can be an example to and hopes to show women like her that anything is possible. A year from now, Yung Baby Tate hopes to be worldwide brand, "wrapping the world in more rainbows than a pride parade!" 

4. Dex Lauper


Dex only dove into hip-hop about 8 months ago at the age of 18, but he's been making music his entire life. Son of country music sensation Cindy Lauper, the singer/songwriter turned rapper has some pretty big shoes to fill.

The southern hospitality of the ATL music scene was his favorite part of A3C. Living in NY, "It's great see a city where everybody supports young artists who are coming through and working," he says. This was his first time at A3C, but he's no stranger to Atlanta. He's especially fond of our soulful, southern cooking, and he makes sure he stops by Gladys Knight's Chicken & Waffles on his way out. 

3. Money Makin' Nique


Nique's name has been circling through the streets for some time now, but if you ask him, he's just getting started. "I think everyone is waiting on me to drop this new project," he said. "We've worked hard up to this point and I just wanna have a proper introduction to the world." 

Musically, Money Makin' Nique combines elements of everything that inspires him. He presents his sound in such a unique way, that he's become known as "the perfect hybrid of the north and the south." Naturally, he considers himself an innovator. His favorite A3C moment came from soaking up the insight provided at a panel featuring Combat Jack and Zaytoven. "Next year I plan for us to be at the forefront of everything. Standing out while remaining us still. The goal is to transcend," he said.

2. Rene Brown


Living in L.A., Rene Brown can always look forward to the authenticity of ATL culture. "I actually flew to Atlanta just to record my last 2 EP’s," she said in an interview. "I love the energy I feel like I can only get there. I spent a few extra days in the city following A3C this year to hit the studio and make sure this upcoming project has some ATL vibes!"

Pinned up against all odds, Rene loves the way it feels to make major moves as a female MC. "There's still so much to be done and so many things to accomplish on behalf of female artists," she says. "I always look forward to kicking down those doors and breaking down those walls. Its a very exciting time!"

1. Jack Harlow


At first glance, you wouldn't guess that this high-school grad from Kentucky spit ice cold bars... until you watch him take the stage. He considers himself on the brink of being in the national ‘up and comer’ conversation, but he may be even closer to money & fame than he thinks.

Harlow is a Jack of many trades, but he never lets himself get complacent. "I definitely recognize my age and use being young to my advantage. I’m still impatient and holding myself to the same standard as all my favorite artists, and I think it’s been key to my progression," he says. "I still have to finagle my way into every damn venue though, since everything is 21+ all the time." 

A year from now, Harlow hopes his brand will be a little closer to perfect." I'm just trying to figure things out, as an artist and a person. Learning every day," he says. 

Ashley Vance

Written by Ashley Vance

Vance is A3C's Editor-in-Chief. Working as an Atlanta-based content guru, she dedicates her free time to helping artists build lasting brands.

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