Which regions of the country had the hottest scenes this year?
To kick off our 2017 year-end coverage, we're reintroducing a feature we skipped last year, the regional ranking. In 2015, we compiled a ranked list of the most popping scenes located in cities, regions, or states, taking into consideration established artists dropping albums as well as up-and-coming talent bubbling below the surface. That year, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Toronto finished first through third.
In the two years that have followed, rap (and music in general) has become even less tied to physical location, with cross-country collaborations or even partnerships (think Playboi Carti and Key! with A$AP Mob or Isaiah Rashad with TDE) becoming more common, relocation in pursuit of stardom (think Metro Boomin moving from St. Louis to Atlanta) becoming more common, and SoundCloud continuing to rise as a platform that can propel artists from small towns in the middle of nowhere to stardom. In 2017, we've seen an unprecedented number of kids like Trippie Redd and Tay-K emerge from cities with little to no previous rep (Canton, Ohio and Dallas, Texas) and score viral hits and/or powerful co-signs. That reveals not only a more decentralized music industry, but also one that increasingly understands how to gauge and capitalize upon youth trends that happen away from more tried-and-true channels. If we were still relying on dusty A&Rs more so than YouTube view counts, then Diggy Simmons would be topping the charts while Cardi B still danced in New York clubs.
Because of all of these factors, we're narrowing down our list from ten to five regions that dominated the conversations this past year. What region you got? What city should have made the list? Let us know in the comments.