Last year was a breakout time for Best Hip-Hop Artist winner SilaS, an unabashed anime fan. His highly acclaimed album, “The Day I Died,” earned national attention and was featured in popular entertainment media such as Vibe Magazine. The album dealt with the nostalgia of remembering a carefree childhood in comparison to the hardships of adult life, and its lead single, “Gullah Gullah Island,” brought issues of the African American experience to the forefront.

Meanwhile, his live shows have captivated audiences both locally and beyond, and drawn some of the largest crowds yet for an independent artist in Jackson. He also toured extensively and performed at major festivals such as A3C in Atlanta and South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Here’s hoping that 2017 will see SilaS come even closer to becoming the Hokage of Jackson.—Malcolm Morrow

WINNER: Best HipHop Artist/Group


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