For the D.C. metropolitan area, Hip Hop was largely secondary to a unique genre that took over the city and its surrounding areas during the ’80s and ’90s. While other places were evolving with different interpretations of rap, the nation's capital was more focused on go-go -- a subgenre of funk, largely credited to the late Chuck Brown, that spawned icons like Sugar Bear, Roc Mikey, and musician-turned-actor Anwan “Big G” Glover. The percussion-heavy style of music continued to be pushed by bands from various neighborhoods, all of whom had little problem packing out clubs and recreational centers in and around the city.

Due to increasing violence and unfair perceptions from officials and law enforcement, the landscape of go-go and its events began to decline in the DMV, a term that loosely stands for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. At that time, the town's rap scene truly began to take form. One of the earliest movers was D.C. Scorpio, who teamed up with go-go outfits like Experience Unlimited, Brown's Soul Searchers, Rare Essence, and Junkyard Band throughout his storied career. Soon, other artists and groups cultivated a true Hip Hop hub for the operative heart of the United States.

Now, the DMV provides a variety of styles that anyone can enjoy. Frontrunners like KP Skywalka, Big Flock, and PINKYTHARAPPER are just a few of the many rising stars carrying the torch for the region.

REVOLT compiled a list of 17 Hip Hop acts that helped create the DMV’s exponentially growing platform. Check them out below.

1. D.C. Scorpio

D.C. Scorpio was a true pioneer for his city when it came to rap. Alongside others like Tony Blunt and the departed Fat Rodney, he made waves by bringing his lyrical skills to go-go events around the area and eventually caught the attention of legends like Doug E. Fresh and Chuck Brown. Singles like “Stone Cold Hustler” and “Beam Me Up, Scotty” were further amplified via radio spins and live appearances at some of the DMV’s most notable spots – including a former Maryland venue where he created the aptly titled Go Go Live at the Capital Centre.

2. Section 8 Mob

The arrival of Section 8 Mob marked a change in the D.C. area’s Hip Hop sound, as the group incorporated elements normally found in places like Houston, New York, and Los Angeles. Following their debut, Controlled Dangerous Substance, the collective partnered with Tommy Boy Records to deliver the classic follow-up, Guilty By Association. While there weren’t any other albums from the collective, its members would go on to pursue solo careers.

3. Nonchalant

Nonchalant found musical success with her breakout track, “5 O'Clock,” an honest depiction of street life in D.C. that featured Bink Woods Dre and Drecia Vega. That track served as the lead single for the artist’s debut album, Until the Day. She later made appearances on the soundtracks for Dangerous Ground and Half Baked.

4. Black Indian

Black Indian was another D.C. talent who found moderate major label success with “Get Em Psyched.” That single would lead to a debut LP of the same name and plenty of shows alongside some of rap’s biggest artists. After parting ways with MCA, Black Indian released a wealth of music independently until his unfortunate death.

5. Questionmark Asylum

Questionmark Asylum – comprised of Digge Dom, Ding-Ding, Mistafiss, and Rosta Swan – was the first D.C. group to score a major label record deal. That achievement led to the well-received debut The Album, a mix of local vibes and East Coast influences. Singles from that project, including “Hey Lookaway” and “Get With You/I'd Rather Be With You,” further added to the project’s replay value. According to The Couch Sessions, member Ding-Ding has since passed away.

6. Diamond District

Diamond District emerged with sounds reminiscent of groups like De La Soul. Consisting of Uptown XO, yU, and Oddisee, the artists gained serious attention via their debut album, In the Ruff, which led to a partnership with Mello Music Group. Their follow-up project, March on Washington, received equal amounts of acclaim. All three talents had solo careers of their own, too -- Oddisee produced for and collaborated with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Little Brother, Freeway, and more.

7. Oy Boyz

Oy Boyz brought a different level of authenticity to D.C.’s rap scene. The collective delivered one of their biggest highlights with the DJ Scream-hosted Oyminati, complete with collaborations alongside the likes of Bankroll Fresh and Chink Santana. Each of the Oy Boyz subsequently found momentum as solo artists, with member Noochie receiving recent accolades for his “Front Porch” performance series.

8. Tabi Bonney

Togolese-American artist Tabi Bonney repped D.C. heavily with his breakout single “The Pocket,” an audio lesson in local culture and terminology. The album that it appeared on, A Fly Guy’s Theme, added to the vibes with collaborations alongside Raheem DeVaughn, DJ Flexx, Haziq Ali, and Shydi. Bonney incorporated other elements into his sound on later releases (ex. “Faded”) while expanding his reach as an international entrepreneur.

9. Kingpen Slim

Kingpen Slim is a rapper’s rapper who’s approach to lyricism is otherworldly. That ability allowed him to go toe-to-toe with Clipse, Wale, Styles P, Symba, and many other emcees with seemingly little effort. Following his well-received Beam Up series, Slim kept fans fed with Life After Doubt, Trapper’s Delight, and his most recent effort, If God Could Rap.

10. Lola Monroe

Previously known as a decorated model and video vixen, Lola Monroe rebranded herself as a formidable rapper via mixtapes like Boss B**ch's World, The Art of Motivation, and Untouchables with Boosie Badazz. She then enjoyed a short-lived stint as the first lady of Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang, which spawned the classic Lipstick & Pistols project. She and her longtime partner, Baltimore’s King Los, also collaborated frequently.

11. Wale

Wale isn’t just one of the DMV’s greatest imports; his impact continues to be felt in the region he consistently pays homage to. Over seven albums, countless mixtapes, and featured appearances, the Maryland-raised emcee collected more than his share of Billboard No. 1s, RIAA certifications, and awards across outlets. A product of the iconic blog era, Mr. Folarin is still blessing the masses with dope music long after solidifying the D.C. area as a major part of Hip Hop’s expansive network.

12. Logic

Before he caught the attention of big labels, Logic and Visionary Music Group built a grassroots campaign that saw the rapper scoring fans through hard work and dedication. After the release of his Young Sinatra mixtape, the Maryland artist found himself at the forefront of his generation and now stands as one of Hip Hop’s premiere emcees with eight albums under his belt.

13. Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty is just as much a rock star as she is an amazing rapper. Since earlier works like Super Trap, the Maryland wunderkind has expanded into a multitude of genres, from electronic to alternative. Her debut LP, Nightmare Vacation, was met with critical acclaim and boasted high-profile collaborations with Gucci Mane, Don Toliver, Trippie Redd, Sukihana, and more. She’s even more revered as a live performer.

14. Shy Glizzy

Shy Glizzy, also known as Jefe, is a champion for the less fortunate. The Southeast D.C. talent has a penchant for storytelling with raw authenticity, as heard on hits like “Awwsome,” “Waikiki Flow” and “Do You Understand?” His Law and Young Jefe series stand as some of the best music from the nation’s capital (and the country as a whole).

15. IDK

The man formerly known as IDK has been wowing fans with thought-provoking cuts that also function as dance floor jams, placing him in a league of his own. Projects like Is He Real?, USEE4YOURSELF, and the KAYTRANADA-backed Simple. were met with universal praise, as were his show-stealing contributions for songs by the likes of ASAP Ferg, Saba, and City Morgue.

As with DMV peers like Rico Nasty and IDK, Goldlink found a special niche that separated him from other artists. In addition to utilizing an oft-melodic, rapid flow throughout many of his songs, the VA-raised emcee regularly incorporated elements of electronic vibes that brought high-energy to any dance floor or concert hall. While his entire catalog is highly rated, it was Goldlink’s collaboration with Shy Glizzy and Brent Faiyaz – the Grammy-nominated “Crew” -- that catapulted him to global fame.

17. Fat Trel

Since aligning himself with Wale’s now-defunct Board Administration, Trel commandeered every song he rapped on. His No Secrets mixtape deserves to be placed in a museum, as do classic cuts like “Deep Thought” and “Respect With The Teck.” Along with his Slutty Boyz collective, Trel’s impact and influence is resounding.