For the past few years, the hopes of the D.C. hip-hop community have rested on Wale. His crossover tactics - getting a guest spot from Lady Gaga on "Chillin'," rapping over a track by electro duo Justice, performing on MTV - have landed him a large, diverse audience. Now he's trying to help some talented DMV rappers get the same kind of exposure. The Board Administration is his new label, founded with UCB vocalist Tre, and you can get a look at two of its members at a U Street Music Hall Showcase. Straight outta Alexandria is Black Cobain, a deft MC whose pop-culture references and pop-oriented hooks show a definite kinship with Wale and Fat Trel, whose rhymes on his new "No Secrets" mixtape are darker and more sinister than Wale's upbeat party jams. Go-Go favorites UCB, who've backed Wale everywhere from MTV to the 9:30 Club, provide the beats.
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