Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a duo from Seattle, have emerged as a premier national hip-hop group. They recently broke new ground by independently releasing their debut full-length album, The Heist, which shot into the #1 spot on iTunes and debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts without the support of a traditional record label. Their singles "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us" have both reached the top of the charts and become wildly popular.
Talib Kweli is an American rapper from Brooklyn, N.Y. He is frequently credited as one of the best-known rappers in underground hip-hop, despite not having significant commercial success. He released his solo debut, "Quality," in 2002 which gained some attention thanks to the Kanye West-produced single "Get By." He is also known for "conscious rap" – a style of rap involving lyrics that deal with the community, are uplifting and address social issues.
Chance The Rapper is an American hip-hop recording artist from Chicago. In 2011, he gained recognition for his music after releasing two mixtapes online that he recorded during a 10-day school suspension. Forbes 'Cheap Tunes' described him as an artist who delivers a "noticeably strong first effort from a member of a thriving young hip-hop scene." In January 2013, he was included on XXL Magazine’s 2013 Freshman Class Nominees, an annual list of up-and-coming rappers.