Frannie Kelley

The hip-hop duo Run the Jewels is keenly aware of what's going on in the world around them.

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This past year saw the rise of a rap trio out of Buffalo, N.Y., who has earned the vocal support of hip-hop's legends. Over the past 12 months, the members of Griselda have collectively put out nine records, including their major label debut together.

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Session musician Stephen Bruner has played bass in other people's bands for more than a decade. He can play metal, R&B, hip-hop, jazz. And he's been folding all that into his own music, which he puts out under the name Thundercat.

Now, with his second album, he's stepping to the front of the stage.