Des Moines is growing. In 2018, studies by the U.S. Census Bureau named Des Moines as the fastest-growing major metro in the midwest. With this rapid population growth comes an influx of not only new people, but new arts and cultures into the city.
This is one of the reasons that Des Moines, IA––as weird as it may sound out loud––is a breeding ground for new and emerging hip-hop artists, and the perfect place to start/build a career in music.
Below is a running list of local artists who should be on everyone’s radar:
Juliano Dock (Trappa Juli): One of the most mature voices in DSM hip-hop, Juliano Dock, AKA Trappa Juli, is a pillar of the scene. His video for “Leisure Suit Larry” is the best music video to ever come out of the city, period. A great talent who even gives back to the community, teaching young, grade-school students courses in hip-hop music production.
Teller Bank$: With its unpredictable ebbs and flows, Teller Bank$’s style is unmatched. Although he’s been in the game for years, Bank$ is a newer act in the DSM scene. With his distinct mouse-y vocals and signature short songs (all of which seldom exceed 2 minutes), a Teller Bank$ album is always a treat.
B.Well: Search as you might, you will not find a sexier, more soulful voice in all of Iowa that’s smoother than B.Well’s. With his deep baritone pipes and truckloads of charisma, B.Well’s quickly established himself as a force in Des Moines hip-hop. Along with Teller Bank$ and Apollo Spacey, B.Well is one of the flagship artists of Deadstock Ent., a local collaborative.
Noel Price: Noel Price was the wild card on this list. He doesn’t have a lot of music out, but what he does have is the makings of a very successful R&B singer. With a style reminiscent of 2000’s Usher, Price croons confidently in solo projects, and as a reliable feature for a lot of local artists.
FlyLife Uvt: I don’t know much about FlyLife. I haven’t met him, I haven’t seen him perform live. Yet, I think he’s one of DSM’s best. I think this is due in large part to his successful utilization of social media. FlyLife has an impressive array of interesting music videos, as well as an album––”FlyLife’s World”––that bangs. We should all wait with bated breath to see what FlyLife does next.