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BIG K.R.I.T., whose space-themed 2014 sophomore effort Cadillactica (Def Jam) “shines like a supernova,” is “one of the most gifted rappers living on this wretched ball of blue called Earth.” (Billboard) Born and raised in Meridian, Mississippi, he has gracefully shouldered the mantel of Southern rap’s next great star since breaking out with his 2010 mixtape K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. He was featured on the cover of XXL’s annual Top Freshmen of the Year issue in 2011 and hasn’t looked back—the mixtapes Return of 4Eva (2011), 4Eva and a Day (2012), and King Remembered in Time (2013), along with his debut album Live From the Underground (2012), have each been a critical and commercial step up. With Cadillactica, he is poised to reach the top of the hip-hop pyramid.
K.R.I.T. will have to bring his A-game; the “hyper lyrical” phenomenon ANGEL HAZE has proven that “she can go toe-to-toe with any young rapper when it comes to flow and punchlines.” (Pitchfork). Born in Detroit, Haze’s religious upbringing kept her from hearing pop music, let alone hip-hop, until she moved to Brooklyn at 16. She is pansexual, and came out as agender earlier this year. Her self-proclaimed lack of musical influences and unusual personal narrative have combined to give rise to something truly rare in hip-hop: a totally original voice.
First up is the Brooklyn-born choreographer and flexing pioneer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray’s THE D.R.E.A.M RING, a crew of local dancers who recently performed a showcase at the Park Avenue Armory that “at first amazes and then glides into the mystical.” (NY Times)