Damn. This was an epic year for Holy City hip-hop, wasn’t it? Benny Starr, Matt Monday, and Jah Jr. all returned with some of the best music of their careers, more rap shows popped up across downtown, and now rising rap star Abstract That Rapper is getting the public recognition he’s fought for over the last few years. “I’m just a kid from Georgetown who wanted to rap,” he says. “Wherever they gave me a mic, I took it.”

Beginning his music career in college, Abstract took the stage at open-mic nights and slowly cultivated a fanbase for his unique lyrical flow and his enthusiasm for strange song structure. Listeners saw both of those trademarks earlier this year with the release of his sarcastic middle-finger tune “Mumble Rap” and his ad-lib-only track “Libz.”

“Just because you’re doing this/ Doesn’t mean that you be doing shit/ I am so done with your foolishness/ Thinking your bars can relate,” he raps in a satirical triplet flow on “Mumble Rap.”

2018 was a relatively big year for Abstract, thanks to some under-the-surface occurrences. “‘Mumble Rap’ was kind of my flare shot to let people know that one, I’m still here, and two, I’m working with Real South Records,” he comments. “I’ve just been dropping breadcrumbs here and there to warrant consistency, as far as content.”

“My thing in 2018 was, ‘Alright, I’m going to work on something to the best of my abilities, in house,’” Abstract added.

For 2019, the rapper has several releases planned, including a series of compilation albums filled with music recorded with other artists. “It’s going to be kind of a posse cut, like a series of shits. Like Wu-Tang,” he says.

Abstract wants to thank everyone who voted and nominated him, and especially wants to thank his mother.

—Heath Ellison