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Updated: Feb 22, 2021

We at THOPFest take pride in the artists we put on our stage. We are fans of the music first and foremost. We love finding an artist early and giving them the opportunity to shine on our stage in front of our audience. We also love to see where artists take their careers after performing on our stage. Since we couldn’t throw our festival in 2020, we decided to do something special for the artist and fans. We compiled a list of our favorite projects that dropped in 2020 by artists that have performed at our festival. We want to not only continue to support these artists, but also keep our fans engaged with them and the music we are currently listening to. In case you missed one of these albums when it dropped, we are here to remind you to go check them out now!

Sa-Roc - The Sharecroppers Daughter

Since performing at #THOPFest April 2019, this goddess MC. has continued to make her mark on hip hop with several music and social media videos showcasing her amazing skills. In 2020, just before the pandemic hit, she was invited to co-headline a national tour with Grammy nominated Roc Nation artist Rapsody on A Black Woman Created this Tour. Soon after, Sa-roc released “The Sharecroppers Daughter”. This rhymesayer’s debut album features Black Thought and Styles P, both critically acclaimed. The album has been featured on many “Album of the Year lists” all over the county and has solidified Sa-Roc as one of best lyricists in the game. In case you missed it, be sure to stream it now

Our favorite songs: Forever, Deliverance, 40 And A Mule

Album Link:

Elzhi - Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up

Since headlining our first #THOPFest in 2017 and coming back as a special guest on the 60 East and Friends set in April 2019, the syllable sensai Elzhi has been extremely busy. In 2018, after working on unreleased music for a total of four years after his release of Lead Poison, Elzhi released the Jericho Jackson album with producer Khrysis and Jamla Records (9th Wonder’s Label). The album has been very well received and the music video/single for the project “Self Made” is still in daily rotation. Two years later, the Motown MC returns with the JR Swiftz Produced Seven Times Down Eight Times Up album. The album shows the elite lyricism of Elzhi, along with his creative concepts and storytelling. This album is a master class in why El is regarded as one of the best lyricists of all time. In case you missed it, be sure to check it out.

Our favorite songs: Light One, Write One, Potential, Jason

Album Link:

Vel The Wonder - Trophy Wife

You may have been introduced to her at our very first #THOPFest in 2017, or in 2019 when she made a return to the THOP stage. Vel The Wonder’s album Trophy Wife, provides the gold standard of "female rap" with its versatility and direct concepts. Vel proves that though her beauty earns her the title of a “trophy wife”, encased in this woman is power and intelligence that defies hollow glorifications of a woman on display. Vel The Wonder has character, true ingenuity, she is more than a pretty face, she is a woman of the people who gadges her environment with astute observations and criticisms. Trophy Wife plays off of the complex paradoxical idea that she is a symbol of being more than a symbol, and for that we applaud her.

Our favorite songs: Trophy Wife, Mariposa

Album Link:

Benny The Butcher - Burden of Proof

The Butcher is back serving up a feast of facts and foresight based on his hard fought experience in the game. The Burden of Proof can be compared to the aphorism “the proof is in the pudding” meaning: his greatness comes from surviving for years in the game. However, Benny The Butcher is doing more than surviving. His maturity has harvested wisdom to his whereabouts and directed his insightful moves compared to his competitors. The burden of his proof is being a living testament to the harsh reality of the hustle, the weighty responsibility of success. Benny (and Conway) have come a long way from their 2019 appearance at #THOPFest.

Our favorite songs: Burden of Proof, One Way Flight

Album Link:

Conway - From King to a GOD