Everyone in hip hop is discussing the resurgence going on in New York City. A slew of new rappers from the Big Apple have emerged, putting the city back on the map. Most of these new rappers restoring New York City to its former glory are from Harlem. There is no denying the overall movement, however, with French Montana easily leading the pack, but Harlem is putting the city back on the map.
To be fair, when New York hip hop entered its “dark phase,” Harlem and the G-Unit movement were the only ones keeping New York relevant. Despite dwindling record sales and beef with other rappers in the city, and amongst themselves, The Diplomats, led by Cam’ron, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana kept New York rappers in the headlines. As far as having New York on the charts, Jay-Z unretired to return New York to commercial success, but Cam’ron and company kept things going.
Now, there are an abundance of rappers from Harlem who are making waves. Undoubtedly, A$AP Rocky is the the biggest rapper in Harlem, at the moment. Only a few months ago, A$AP Rocky only had a small following and now many feel he is second to only French Montana in terms of popularity in the overall New York City hip hop scene amongst new artists. While A$AP Rocky is the most-popular Harlem rapper, there are many who have been making moves on the underground scene, such as A-Thug, known for his Shot Caller mixtape. Azealia Banks has proven to be a rising star, with many feeling she is the next great femcee in the game.
Azealia Banks has managed to gain the attention of many important people, as she was recently signed by Lady Gaga’s manager and she has a collaboration on the way with Missy Elliott. If her work was not enough to keep her in the headlines, Azealia Banks also has an ongoing feud with the newest Grand Hustle artist, Iggy Azalea over the similarities of their names. The beef has grown to also include T.I., who mentioned Banks in an interview last week. Upon hearing T.I.’s statement, Azealia Banks called him out on Twitter, having many choice words for the controversial rapper.
Harlem has always been known for not backing down, as Cam’ron, the previous undisputed leader of the Harlem hip hop scene, took on 50 Cent after he made a statement he did not like on the radio. 9 Milly has built a name for himself and is another popular rapper on the streets of Harlem, preparing to release a series of mixtapes. Only doing features and releasing singles and music videos, 9 Milly has managed to make a name for himself as one of the hottest up-and-comers in the game. There is much new talent coming through Harlem and making national names for themselves.
Along with the wave of new talent has come the emergence of some names from the past. Eight years ago, Mase made his grand return, only to again disappear for a few years. A little over a week ago, Mase resurfaced alongside Rick Ross and French Montana. There are rumors of him joining Maybach Music and Mase has revealed he is working on new material. Mase, along with Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Azealia Banks, 9 Milly, A-Thug, and many other rising Harlem rappers are all making names for themselves and have kept Harlem the hottest hip hop scene in New York City.
Although Harlem never truly left the national hip hop scene, Harlem has made a strong comeback.