On The Radar became the go-to platform in 2022 for up-and-coming rappers to show and prove. At first, many of the mainstays of New York’s drill scene began appearing on the platform. Not only dropping bars but also, providing some of their most compelling interviews. However, what was initially limited to regional acts during the pandemic quickly spread into a worldwide affair.

Gabe P is the mastermind behind On The Radar, who launched the platform in 2022. Since then, the platform’s helped break plenty of artists, like Ice Spice. At the same time, they garnered the attention of the biggest acts in the genre, like Drake and Nicki Minaj. This year, On The Radar leveled up with the number of freestyles and interviews, many of which have gone viral. DThang’s freestyle helped attract new eyes in late 2021 but the momentum continued to build throughout 2022.

On The Radar host Gabe P via @youleeseas
On The Radar host Gabe P via @youleeseas

“Expansion is key,” Gabe told HotNewHipHop during a November Zoom call. “We’ve been blessed this year to really host people from all over. We’ve had Skillibeng on the show. We did GloRilla’s first interview in New York City, her very first interview in New York City.”

Artists like GloRilla, Ice Spice, and Skillibeng are a few who graced the OTR microphone before their mainstream success. However, it was largely a stepping stone for what’s in stores in 2023. Gabe has plans to take it global – not just bringing the world to New York City, but bringing On The Radar on the road with him.

“Next year, we’re going to take the show on tour. Right now, we’re aiming to hit I think 4 or 5 cities,” he revealed. “Memphis, Miami, Atlanta, and L.A., I think are our first couple of stops. So obviously, we’re always going to be near our base, we’re always going to do what we got to do for the city, but On The Radar is so much bigger than that. It’s an expanding ever-expanding music platform and you know, we’re going to be the biggest music platform in the world.”

From Ron Suno’s shirtless freestyle to Bizzy Banks’ first day-out freestyle, On The Radar produced some incredible moments. So, it was only right that we caught up with Gabe P for 12 Days Of Christmas to rank his favorite OTR freestyles of 2022 and share the stories behind them.

Check out our interview with Lola Brooke for 12 Days Of Christmas here.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

10. Ron Suno

The first thing when Ron walked in and Ron and I were talking, he’s like, “yo bro, I want to be the first person on On The Radar to do this without a shirt on.” And I’m like, “bro you’re out of your f*cking mind but I love the idea and I love the energy so we’re going to do it.” That was one of the shock factors, I guess. Like, off the rip when it dropped because people were like, “why he don’t got a shirt on? Why his boxers showing?” But I think that added a value of why people kept watching it, too, because people were like, “what the hell is going on in this freestyle? Why he got no shirt on in the thumbnail?” So that was kinda the vibe. It was definitely very energetic, you know what I’m saying? You know how Ron Suno comes and brings to the table. 

And I think the freestyle surprised people in a lot of ways because I feel like Ron often gets counted out of certain conversations because of the fact that he used to do IG skits and comedy and things like that. But I think that’s unfair to count Ron Suno out of these conversations because when you have people like DDG who do YouTube and do music at the same time. So it is possible to do these two different things and still be taken seriously in both. And I think this freestyle definitely showed people that Ron got it.

The thing is Ron did that whole thing in like one take, too. That was all like one take. There were no extra takes. Ron’s breath control is really like that. There are no punch-ins, there’s no retakes. Ron’s breath control is like that. So I think that that freestyle– you got to put some respect on Ron Suno’s name after that freestyle.

I would put Ron Suno’s freestyle at #10 spot because I feel like it’s definitely in the top 10 freestyle moments of the year and it definitely showed people —  people gotta put some respect on his name after that. I’m just leaving it at that. And it’s about to hit a milli by the end of the year. So you know, if people didn’t like it, it wouldn’t be at a million views.

9. Chris Patrick 

Well, Chris Patrick kind of came across my radar this year. It was his idea because I was always let the artists pick the beat. I want them to feel free when they come in my studio to record. I don’t want them to feel, like, too antsy. But he came in, I think he had a hoodie on but he was like, “Nah, I got to do this with just the tank top on,” and I was like “Alright, bet.” 

I had known of Chris Patrick but I wasn’t super overly familiar with him. I had gotten introduced to him by his publicist but I was into it because I like the way he raps. I think he’s an incredible talent out of Jersey, and I think he’s underrated. He had the X-Files project on the way like a month later and so I was like, let’s see what this is about, right?

So I bring him on the show and he starts rapping and when I saw the “Heart Part 5” I was like, “oh, this is a heavy sell for someone to come onto this show and start rapping over this beat, ‘cause this beat is crazy.” And like Kendrick – you trying go up against Kendrick.  So when he started rapping he just kept going. He’s still goin’. He did the whole beat and the whole time I was just like, “goddamn,” just shaking my head ‘cause this boy went crazy. And the cool thing about Chris Patrick, if you watch the interview, he explains how every single one of his freestyles that he ever dropped tells one long story. So, if you watch the freestyles that came before it on whatever other platforms he did it on and whatever comes after, they all tell one story, one cohesive story.

I’m going to throw him in at number 9. I think it was definitely one of the best lyrical freestyles of the year. Definitely went viral on Twitter and it just happened to be at the perfect time for him with X-Files coming out. And I think… I think Kendrick saw it too. Kendrick might not ever say he saw but I know Kendricks saw it and I think that that’s probably one of the coolest parts about it. It just went too viral on Twitter. You know, Top Dawg’s always on Twitter tweeting. I’ll be shocked if Kendrick didn’t see that freestyle.

8. Chow Lee & Cash Cobain

Cash Cobain and Chow Lee were some of the first guests in that spot at On The Radar when I first started shooting in there. If you know you know, Cash Cobain is a catalyst for a lot of the sample stuff going on in New York. Through his early music with Shawny BinLaden, to now with B-Lovee, to even some production on some sh*t that hopefully, you’ll get to see soon that’s going to be insane. If you know, you know, like, he’s really him.

But Cash and Chow make music for the ladies. A lot of their sound has always been like sexy drill. Like, this sexy drill thing that people were laughing at for a while, I need people to realize that sexy drill is a thing and they’re 10 steps ahead of a lot of other artists in the city because women are really the key to everything. Women are the key to streams, women are the key to your music taking off, women are this, women are that, and that’s what they cater to, even in their music.

Originally, the plan was actually to have like 10 strippers behind them, too. I got a text from Glyn Brown, Cash’s manager, like, “yo Gabe, we’re bringing the girls tomorrow.” We never ended up bringing the girls but I think for the betterment of it, I think that it was focused on just them and they really slid on that. Those songs ended up becoming some of the biggest songs on the 2 Slizzy 2 Sexy project. They got noticed by Brent Faiyaz. That freestyle went a little viral on social media and I think it was a great moment for them. They just both got announced to be on the Rolling Loud lineup for LA. So shout out my Slizzy family. Shoutout to sexy drill guys. They really all up next and that’s why I have this up there because I think it’s one of the most memorable and also, one of the most effortlessly fun freestyles because I think people forget to realize that you can also have fun while doing this sh*t. It doesn’t always have to be serious. A lot of the stuff at the end of what they were doing was just freestyling over that sh*t. They were just having fun and it turned out to be incredible. 

So I’ma put them at #8. I mean we brought that sexy drill movement to the forefront with that freestyle. It really helped expose Cash and Chow Lee for the incredible artists that they are and it was a great lead into their 2 Slizzy 2 Sexy project, which if you haven’t tuned in, still one of my favorite projects of 2022. 2 Slizzy 2 Sexy deluxe is out now. One of my favorite projects of the year so, shout out to my guys.

On The Radar host Gabe P via @yoseecio

7. Bobby Shmurda & LouGotCash

Well, Bobby and Lou Got Cash had the pleasure of also being the first artists in On The Radar, in the new studio, to get their haircut in the studio, so that was fun. But the energy that night – originally, it was just a Bobby Shmurda freestyle that was playing. We had it set it up but then Bobby comes in like, “Yo, I’m bringing Lou,” I’m like, “oh, bet.” And then he was like, “Lou’s gonna rap, too,” and I was like, “oh, interesting. I didn’t know that this was going on.” But they had just dropped “Foreign Sh*t” and I really like that record because it was one of the records that people were like “oh, Bobby’s back to rapping again. Bobby back.” So I’m like, “maybe they’ll do something together,” and then they actually did the freestyle together. We had them perform. I think Bobby performed “Gorilla” and then they performed “Foreign Sh*t,” too. But the energy that night was crazy. 

First of all, Bobby almost broke my entire set during the interview. But we love Bobby. Bobby killed that. If you watch some of the videos that we posted of the BTS of Bobby going crazy and sh*t like that. You cannot help but smile and just be happy for Bobby because Bobby really showed out and he really showed people, like, “don’t f*ck with me, bro.” Bobby can still rap and Bobby is also just having fun out here, living his life, having the time of his life, doing what Bobby does and I think, at the same time, people love to hate that because people hate seeing other people happy, especially on the internet.

I think that when you look at Bobby, and all that he’s done since he’s come home and all that he’s been through in the past 7 + years, he deserves this moment to 1) be happy and enjoy his life and do whatever the f*ck he wants to do. And now, even with the new Shmurda Got Cash tape , he’s rapping again! So at the same time, not only is he proving the people who doubted him wrong, but he’s also living his best life. Like, you can’t really say nothing else about Bobby anymore because Bobby is going to be Bobby and Bobby will always be Bobby. Bobby is a comedian, Bobby is an entertainer, Bobby is a rapper. He’s all three of those things and he’s great at all three of those things. So shout out Bobby. Shout out Lou Got Cash. I’m happy that both my boys were able to have their spotlight, get their moment back in the spotlight with this one.

I’ma write this as number 4 because of the moment that I created for Bobby and Lou and how it kind of rejuvenated a lot of attention around them. I had people sending me screenshots of them buying tickets to their show because of my freestyle. So, I think that’s super fire.

6. Ice Spice

I knew it was going to do well. I knew it was going to do great because, you know, when I found her, me and my brother Glyn Brown, we were talking about her and you know, we’re like, “oh yeah, she’s about to be the one.” I didn’t know at the time how it was going to turn out for her, right? But the way it turned out for her was just so incredible. I love that she was able to use that as a springboard into everything else that she did.

Even with looking at how the response to it —  I don’t know if you know, but the freestyle only had 80,000 views for a while. It was viral online but on YouTube, it only had 80,000 views. Now, it has 900,000 views. By the time this article comes out, it might be at a milli. But when “Munch” came out, the freestyle just took off even further. I think the freestyle – a lot of the discourse on Twitter was they used the freestyle to show that she’s more than just what she did on “Munch.” And “Munch” is an incredible record. I think if you hate on “Munch,” you just don’t like having fun. It’s a great record but Ice can also do so much more than “Munch” and I think the freestyle really helped combat a lot of what people were saying in that discourse. So I’m happy that this created a moment for her. Shout out Ice Spice and I appreciate her. You know, we made history together. We got a Drake co-sign off that together. You can’t really complain about that in the long run.

I didn’t expect that Ice Spice would be the one to get Drake’s attention. Fun fact: Drake liked the post about the AJ Tracey freestyle, too. Yeah, so that one got his attention but the funny thing about that is that Ice Spice and AJ Tracey dropped on back-to-back days. Ice Spice, AJ Tracey, and then, Jenn Carter, Tata, and Kyle Richh freestyles all dropped back-to-back-to-back so that’s a three-day run right there all in of its own. Which is kind of cool if you think about it.

I’ll rank her at #6. I think it created a dope moment and I love how it was able to help Ice Spice combat all the negative attention she was getting about her rapping skills it kinda showed people a different light of how she could rap.

#5 AJ Tracey

So AJ, he’s really like —  out of all the artists who I met this past year, AJ has quickly become one of the ones that I feel like I formed a real friendship with. One, he’s always showing love, and always supportive but also, being a fan of AJ for so long – you never know how people are going to be when you meet them in person finally, right? But he was so genuine, so cool of a person that when we met, it was hard not to f*ck with him. Like, he came in and he was ready to work and he was totally — we dropped that sh*t the next day, by the way. Like, the freestyle came out the next morning. We started promoting it while he was still there after he recorded it because that’s how good it was. That’s how quickly I wanted to get it out. 

Before he came in, I’m assuming he’s going to do like a UK-type beat or something and he comes in he’s like, “Nah bro I want to do this Jersey beat.” And even before he came in, this all started because he actually DM’d On The Radar on IG. He’s like, “yo, I got some heat for you, brother. When I come to the city, I’m going to tap in with you,” and then shout out my guy Marco who made the play. He be running around with AJ in New York. He really brought the play together and we were able to make this incredible freestyle and interview happen. I did not expect him to do a club beat like that but I’m really happy he did. Actually, the plaque’s not in my room but that song that he ended up turning the freestyle into has 10 million plays on Spotify. So I got a plaque for that in the studio right now, too. So shout out my brother AJ. One of the most genuine people in the game and you’ll definitely be seeing me and AJ working together in the future when he comes back to New York. 

This is number 5 for me. For sure. I just think in terms of impact, you know what I’m sayin’? The impact of the freestyle itself. Not only was it AJ’s first record since “Reasonable” and “Reasonable” was his first record since his last project, but this record really took on a life of its own on TikTok, on social media, on Twitter. I think that this was, for an American freestyle, this was huge for me, for AJ, and for everybody involved. I don’t think AJ has released another song since then. So just in terms of creating a moment, I think the top five of these freestyles are really some of the biggest moments we created this year so that’s why I got to put AJ right there.

4. Digga D

First of all, I want a shout-out to everybody who helped line up the Digga D thing. There were a lot of people. Shout out Ricky, shout out Vach, and especially, big shout out my brother Crooklyn Reactions. You know this would not have been possible especially without Crooklyn. If you don’t know who Crooklyn is, you got to tap in with Crooklyn. Crooklyn was doing big UK drill reactions back in the day. He still does incredible New York drill reactions to this day and he’s a very much a big part of the glue to a lot of the stuff in the city. 

But with Digga, so we made that happen. I got in touch with Digga’s team and we were able to get the freestyle done. With the freestyle, Digga came in with a Hennessy bottle. Hennessy bottle and all-black Nike Tech. I was like, “oh yeah, London and New York – not that different.” So, he came in. Literally, off the rip, knocked out the freestyle. That took him two seconds and then, we did a great interview after and we really got to talk a lot about like the censorship and things that he deals with overseas.

But Digga wasn’t our first UK freestyle. Our first UK freestyle was Kwengface, which actually, I believe probably got taken down by the British government. We not going to talk about that but I gotta shout out Kwengface because if we didn’t do Kwengface people like Digga wouldn’t be possible. So Kwengface always has to get the special mention. I think we dropped that like top of January. 

But Digga was really the catalyst for a lot of the stuff that we did in the UK. I don’t think that there would be a AJ Tracey freestyle without Digga D. I don’t think that there would be an Unknown T freestyle without Digga D. I don’t think a lot of the super attention that we get and the fanbase we have in the UK would be possible if Digga wasn’t the first one to come and stop by On The Radar.

One of my goals is bridging those gaps, whether it be the UK, hopefully, Italy, Spain, Germany. Even with a lot of Afrobeat artists that we’re doing, I want to be able to bridge that gap between New York, America and all these other places. I think Digga was really the catalyst and the one who helped kicked the door down so shout out Digga man. I appreciate him.

 I’ma put him at number 4 right before AJ Tracey because you know Digga came first. Digga opened the door for AJ Tracey so I think it only makes sense if Digga and AJ Tracey are 4 and 5. 

On The Radar host Gabe P via @youleeseas

3. Kyle Richh, Jenn Carter & Tata

Insane. One, I did not expect this one to do what it did. I knew it was going to do well but I didn’t expect it to blow up the way that it has. It’s our second most viewed video, currently. When we’re recording this, it is sitting at 5.3 million views. First of all shoutout to the whole 41. Shoutout to all them guys man. They really killing it. Shoutout Touchamill, Rite or Wrong Entertainment. You know, I spoke with Touchamill because I wanted Kyle Richh on the show and I didn’t really know too much about Jenn and Tata but he was like, “Nah, bro. You got to do all them. Like, they really the new Wu-Tang Clan. They the Wu-Tang Clan of this drill thing.” I was a little skeptical at first but the thing about me is I’ve learned to just — I believe in people. So I was like, “you know what bro. I’ma give you this opportunity. I want to see what they can do. Let’s make it happen.” 

And then, the energy in that room that day was mad calm. Everybody was mad cool, like I didn’t expect this out of them. I thought they were gonna be wildin’ but actually like all three of them was really calm, really cool, really collected. Like, they were all just waiting. You felt the energy, like they was about to snap. 

Also, it was a very unconventional cypher. They all brought different beats, like they all did two different beats each. So that was the weird part for me. I was a little skeptical at first because I’m like, “I don’t know how this is going to work in a video,” like if people are going to like this. But again, I trusted the vision that they had presented to me. I was like, “let’s see what happens. If it works it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, but you guys still get the good look out of it.”

So they record the freestyle then the rest is history. Like, we dropped that as back-to-back-to-back with AJ and Ice Spice and it just took on a life of its own. I don’t think anyone expected it to do what it did but we knew it was going to do well and I think that it’s cool that it helped launch all three of their careers as a unit. Joining Republic Records and getting signed and changing their lives forever. So shout out to them. Hats off to them.

That’s why I will put it at number 3 because if we’re talking about breakthrough moments of the year, they’re definitely up there and they came with the energy and I think the energy alone is why they deserve that number 3 spot.

2. Bizzy Banks

So I got a call from Bizzy. I got a text from his manager, actually, I think 2 weeks before the freestyle like, “yo, I just spoke to Bizzy, Bizzy is coming home. We want to do the freestyle,” because Bizzy has always been on my list. Last Rolling Loud 2021, Bizzy said he was going to do it. Then, unfortunately, you know, he got locked up.

Obviously, Bizzy was always a person who I wanted to have on the show and I think that Bizzy is someone who is not only great at rapping over Drill beats, but Bizzy is a great rapper. Like, a great rapper. If you listen to his bars on I-95 freestyle, you know, you’ll see it in there. He’s not rapping over a drill bit there. So when it came to this, I got the call. They’re like “let’s set it up,” we set up the date. And then a couple of days before Bizzy got home, I got the call from Bizzy. One, I was just happy to see Bizzy home, man, because Bizzy is a real genuine dude. He’s a real quiet dude. Bizzy is really to himself, but that boy, he got it, man. He’s really one of the best rappers out here in New York. And I knew he had a point to prove because he was like, “yo, it’s cool you got all these little new guys on the show but I’ma come through and show everybody how it’s done, properly.” And that’s the energy I want for my boy. 

So he comes on the show and you know we do his first day out freestyle, his first day home freestyle. And the energy in that room — we took shots before. It was a real positive energy in that room. It was celebratory. Like, we home. we here. You know, one of the best young rappers in the city is here. He’s out of jail, he’s home and it was just an incredible night, man. I can’t even begin to describe how great it was just having Bizzy back and having Bizzy kill this freestyle and it created such a dope moment for Bizzy man. I’m really so happy for him and so proud of everything he’s accomplished since then, too.

For me, I’ma put this at number two for me just because, one, you’re bringing home one of the hottest Brooklyn drill rappers, right out of jail, coming home to do this freestyle. He murdered that freestyle. He challenged all these young rappers to get their bars up– one of the lines I remember from that is, “I told Gabe that I’m coming to rap/ These – coming up here to make tracks/ They screaming and dancing and puttin’ on acts/ Smoking on – they ain’t put in packs.” That’s one of my favorite bars. And I liked how Bizzy upped it and challenged everybody to do better.

1. Ladies Night Cypher – Lola Brooke, K Goddess, London Hill, Connie Diiamond, Billy B, Pretty Dij & Big Zen

The Ladies Night Cypher has always been something that I was planning on doing. I wanted to do that like probably back in November 2021 but it was always the task of getting people together that was kind of the hard part. Getting 6 women together, getting 6 people together in the same room – hard task. Not easy. Took a while, but we made it happen. I reached out to everybody and I made sure everybody was cool with everybody else. We put everybody in a group chat and started making it happen. 

Big Zen was actually a last addition to the cypher, too. If you notice, all the girls that were on the cypher were all part of my show before but I wanted to add one last person in just to kind of add that little extra flair to it and I’ve been aware of Zen. I like how Zen’s voice packs a punch when she raps. Like, it feels like you got slapped when she raps, as funny as that sounds. Somebody compared it to a boxer, I think it was on Pitchfork, and that’s really how I feel her voice is. So I felt like she would be perfect to be on the tail end of this Cypher so when I added her, it just felt right. 

But the energy that night was good, man. Like everybody came through, everybody was ready to work. We finished recording everything with the cypher pretty quickly. We got some great behind-the-scenes. It was interesting because everybody have their own little team of people there. Some people even brought their little cousins. I think London may have brought her little cousins or whatever. So it’s cool. Like, family was in the building, people in the building.

It’s a little nerve-wracking because you don’t know if the different groups of people are gonna f*ck with the other groups of people. But it was very peaceful in there. We made that happen and I think it was so cool how we got to do something that hasn’t been done before. Well, I mean,  it’s been done before but like in this day and age, like 2022, 2021, we made something really impactful in the city and in music. It went so far beyond that. It gave everybody a lot of great looks. We got co-signs off that cypher from Foxy Brown, Fabolous, Jim Jones. Like, the list is very long on the co-signs for that cypher. 

For me, I might put that as my number 1 moment for the year, to be honest with you, for the ladies. I think there’s a lot of conversations about women in Hip Hop, right? And like, the content of what they rap about and you know, just bringing women together and kind of empowering them.

You know, you see a lot of women in hip-hop beef online but like to get 6 dope artists from New York – and you know how New Yorkers be. To get six dope artists from New York to be in the same room. Even though they’re not in a group, they may not know each other. Some of them maybe have beef with each other and put them on the same cypher for them to kill it and create this viral moment that’s bigger than all of us. I think that’s why it’s special because all these other freestyles were incredible moments but they weren’t group efforts. This was a collective effort. Not between one person. Not even between 6 people. Between anywhere from 10 to 20 people to make this cypher happen, to make the cypher special. I think that’s why it’s such an impactful moment from this year and it still gets views every day. Like, it’ll spike up 10-20 thousand views at random times and especially with how Lola’s blown up right now and like, Connie signing to Def Jam and London being on a song with Nicki Minaj. Like, come on man, you can’t help but smile about that.