D.C. hip hop, like most other genres coming out of this town, has seen its fair share of crests and troughs in terms of energy and excitement. But this is a town of hustlers. Kids on their grind doing whatever it takes to get their voices heard.
And over the last couple of years, the voices emanating from D.C. have been getting louder, once again reaching national and even international audiences. Perhaps most conspicuously is the rise of Wale, who on the strength of a series of mixtapes, forged connections that would land him on a major tour supporting Jay-Z, and get him a guest vocal appearance from one of the most powerful forces in pop music today, Lady Gaga.
But that’s just one example, and one man does not a city make. The talent bubbling in this town right now is palpable, from X.O., Kingpen Slim, and Phil Adé, to Raheem DeVaughn and tabi Bonney. These cats continually remind us why D.C. is the place to be.
Back in May, with two albums under his belt, Tabi released his first mixtape, A Place Called Stardom, the title of which might be an assertion of his planned destination. If so, Commonwealth served as but a single stop on his itinerary, announcing his intentions with the release party for the mixtape.
“I hope you all know, it’s my vision to make D.C. pretty much like New York or Atlanta. I don’t know if you all feel the energy, but D.C. is about to be that next entertainment haven.”
And judging from the energy of his performance, you know he believes it. Backed by DJ Stereofaith, Bonney ran through a medley of crowd favorites like, “Rich Kids,” “Jetstetter,” “Rock Bammas,” “Beat Rock” and newer track, “Nothin’ But a Hero,” which has an accompanying video that we also got to catch a sneak preview of.
Tabi’s certainly at a point with his talent, reception and recognition where he could justify jumping ship to NY or LA, both towns in which he spends a good amount of time. But he keeps coming back because he’s got D.C. running through his veins. This town consistently steps up to show their native son some love and in return, Tabi spreads the gospel of D.C. throughout his travels, as he continues on toward that place called Stardom.