Now that we got the top 10 rappers in the city when it comes to actual spitting and bars out of the way, let’s talk about the top 10 overall hip-hop artists. For this list, I’m expanding the criteria include:
1. Music: Bars, flow, vibes
2. Buzz in the city: Are people talking about you in the city?
3. Buzz outside the city: Are you getting media coverage, shows and general buzz outside the city
4. Social media buzz: Are people talking about you on social media?
5. Streaming numbers: This is important, but the least important on my list because people are out here buying streams
Again, as with our top 10 rappers list, I excluded artists who don’t live in Ottawa, don’t rep Ottawa or don’t spend significant time in Ottawa to make the list more accurate of what’s happening in the city.
So with that being said, here’s my list of the top 10 hip-hop artists in the capital:
1. Night Lovell
Spots 4 to 10 are in no particular order and are up for debate, but our top stop is not. That goes to Night Lovell. He’s packed out venues in Europe and has the industry buzz and major media coverage from No Jumper, XXL and Genius. The Junos came to Ottawa and shot a documentary about him. His streaming numbers are also ridiculous.
2. City Fidelia
Next up is City Fidelia. He also has the industry buzz, collaborations ( i.e. Eva Shaw), and legit streaming numbers to prove it. He’s been covered by Complex, Noisey and more recently CBC Music. Although he lives in Toronto, he spends significant time in Ottawa (where he’s currently recording his album) and reps the city.
SVLM is on fire. He probably has the most “commercial” sound in the city and his streaming numbers are growing as a result of being included on some of the big playlists alongside names like Drake. And yes, he can legit rap and freestyle, although we left him off our “Top 10 Ottawa Rappers” list because he primarily sings at the moment. Nevertheless, he’s one of the best songwriters in the city. He’s also one of the few local artists to have been played on Hot 89.9 as a commercial station.
Slots 4-10 are in no particular order.
After performing on the big stage at Bluesfest 2018, Hevve has been generating some buzz in the city. He recently collaborated with Long Beach rapper Waxx, son of MC Ren of NWA, as well as Norwegian R&B singer Sondrey, who will both appear on his next project. Also, he recently joined SVLM and Black Iri$h as one of the few local artists to be played on Hot 89.9 when his song “The Fever” was played on the air a few weeks ago.
Since moving back to Ottawa from Toronto last August, Dynamic has been working steadily in both cities. His business and promotions game is on point and he has one of the most engaged fan bases in the city. And of course, it helps that he’s one of the best rappers in the city.
6. Kenny KingCon
Like Dynamic, Kenny KingCon has one of the most loyal fan bases in the city. His social media engagement is pretty high for a local artist. One of the knocks on Ottawa artists is that they don’t actually get out of the city and do shows. That’s not the case with KingCon. He was one of the few hip-hop artists to actually tour in 2019.
7. KG Jay
KG Jay is one of the more promising artists coming out of Ottawa. He’s versatile and has strong commercial appeal. He’s also collaborating outside of the city and is killing it with his YouTube streaming numbers. He might just be my sleeper pick for Ottawa breakout star.
.I love these guys. Every time you hear their music you know they have what it takes to be stars. As rappers, JKing and Lance Lorenzo are slept on. They have metaphors and ridiculous flow. Hueso has that overall star presence. These guys are going places.
9. Black Iri$h
From the first time I saw this guy perform at Bluesfest 2018 I thought, “This guy is gonna be a star”. He’s one of the most charismatic and networked artists in the city. He also recently made his first appearance on Northern Bars on Spotify and has very good YouTube streaming numbers so he’s only going up from here.
10. Jeff Sanon
Jeff Sanon is one of the most talented artists Ottawa has ever seen. He produces. He raps. And he sings. And he does all those things well. Although he hasn’t done it yet, you know he’s capable of making hits. He also has a good fan base in the city.
Honourable mention: Dip Black, Arty Warhol
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If you missed my Top 10 Ottawa rappers list, check it out here.
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