Top 5 upcoming rappers of 2021
Ka$hdami, photo by Kevin Lombardo


The new generation of rap is on the rise. For many rappers, going viral may be a way of helping them build a fanbase, but with the likes of SoundCloud and the internet, being an underground artist may not be as difficult as it may have been in the past. Will the new generation of rap birth another wave similar to the “SoundCloud Era” of 2016-17? This is my list of the top 5 upcoming rappers for 2021.

Although many underground rappers have established a name, these rappers are the next upcoming in terms of being closer to the mainstream. With the help of SoundCloud, YouTube, rapper/producer Lil Tecca, and director Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade, they all helped expose the underground scene to main consumers. Here are the top 5 upcoming rappers to be on the lookout for.



With 107,000 followers on SoundCloud, there is no doubt that Sofaygo is next up. He recently had a Lyrical Lemonade music video for his song “Knock Knock,” which was produced by rapper Lil Tecca. That video has a whopping 22 million views, which helped him grow more into the mainstream. He also has been hinting at being signed by Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Records. With origins in Atlanta, Sofaygo is at levels of superstardom.


Ken Carson has 14,800 followers on SoundCloud. His biggest song on the platform is “Yale,” which has 447,000 listens. I found Ken Carson from the song “High as Shit.” Nevertheless, Ken Carson has been on the rise. Spawning from Atlanta, he has been under the tutelage of Playboi Carti. His melodic sound is reminiscent of Carti but simultaneously unique. According to Highsnobiety, Carson states he will be releasing his next project titled Project X in August. He states, “You can expect the album in August. And to the fans that are with me right now, I would say that you can do anything that you put your mind to, don’t let anybody ever tell you differently.” With this being said, Ken Carson is going to be one of the greats.


KanKan has 27,600 followers on SoundCloud. One of his biggest songs is “nun to me 2.” Recently, on Twitter, Ken Carson and KanKan have been having an exchange of words. KanKan was stating that Ken Carson cannot release whenever he’d like to, in which Ken Carson releases 6 new tracks. I like KanKan because of his melodic, mellow autotune style. I think his vocals are very good. My favorite song is “Nun to me 2.” It reminds me of the second half of “Oh My Dis Side” by Travis Scott. KanKan is very talented, and with the right people, he will definitely make an impact within the rap industry.


Next on my list is Ka$hdami. Ka$hdami has 44,100 followers on SoundCloud. One of his biggest songs is REPARATIONS!, which has 3 million plays! According to 360 Mag, Dami spawns from Las Vegas but was raised in the DMV area. 360 Mag also states, “At 12-years-old, he joined the hvmor rap collective and lit up SoundCloud. Finding his signature sound, he continued to rap on Instagram throughout 2020, teasing out snippets and organically building viral buzz. Eventually, his original Kappin Up caught fire on TikTok.” His style is very melodic, but he also raps. My favorite song is “I Know,” which has 295,000 views and was produced by Lil Tecca. With the guidance of the likes of Lil Tecca, Dami should have no issues in the music industry.


BabySantana has 40,700 followers on SoundCloud. He has been on the rise. With also having nods from Lil Tecca, he is definitely on the rise. The two were also featured on his “Prada Remix,” and it is said that he has a video in collaboration with Ka$dami and Lyrical Lemonade on the way. He also had a song titled “Antisocial 2” that has been doing very well. It features other prominent upcoming rappers such as Slump6s, Yung Fazo, Xhuloo and SSGKobe. The song has +2 Million plays on SoundCloud! With everything being said, Santana is reaching new heights with each release.


Although this is my top 5 list for the next rappers to reach the mainstream, the underground rap scene doesn’t end here. There will be many rappers within the underground and with the current state of media outlets, the chances of virality are endless. Previously, I mentioned SoundCloud being an era that spans from 2016-17. Are we in a second wave of the SoundCloud era? How long will it last? As listeners, we’ll have to tune in to see the future of rap. They could also use your support, so don’t hesitate to create a SoundCloud account.


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