DMV Rappers On the Rise: YungManny, XanMan


Graphic by Elenna Mach and Olivia Turner

Local musicians YungManny and XanMan are making big names for themselves at young ages as they continue to release new music and gain large followings.

Monica Blassou, Staff Writer

“He say he from the hood he really from Bethesda” raps Emmanuel, better known as YungManny, who is often found next to his cousin, XanMan. The two DMV-based rappers, rapidly taking the music world by storm, happen to be cousins and life-long best friends. Although cousins by marriage rather than blood, two have a particularly close relationship and treat each other as brothers. 

YungManny was born in Bowie, Md. in 2003, and at the age of just 16, has over 120,000 followers on Instagram and millions of views on YouTube. His career began in 2016 when he released a number of singles, primarily on SoundCloud— a popular streaming platform for pursuing artists. His popularity grew in March 2018 when he released his “Meade Ties” EP. This work featured “Moana,” which is his most successful single to this day with almost 4 million views on Instagram and 2.5 million streams on SoundCloud. 

Now 19 years old, XanMan was born in Silver Spring, Md. and can usually still be found there. He fell in love with music in elementary school, started singing his own songs on his computer and eventually became more serious about his music, according to a May 29th interview. XanMan, a bit older than YungManny, is just as successful, with impressive accomplishments such as having over four million streams on his most popular song, “Gucci,” released earlier this year. Although the teen’s songs are often no longer than two minutes in length, his repertoire is consistent. 

Both Manny and Xan have the DMV flow, a type of rapping very commonly used in and around Maryland. This flow begins with soft synth, humming and short shouts back and forth, whether it is with one or two people. It continues with off-beat whispers and singing throughout songs. Other more popular DMV artists, such as Q da Fool and Shabazz, have been behind the flow for years. 

Although Manny and Xan have each had tons of success individually, the collaborations of the two cousins make for far-out outcomes. “XanManny,” released in May 2018, is the perfect combination of their comical insults and clever comparisons.

The most prominent aspect of the two artists’ music is their confidence and aggressive lines. Xan and Manny’s unique lyrics often use humor to demonstrate how invincible they believe they are. They will often shout each other out within songs, referring to them directly or indirectly.  

“I’m a huge fan, I like listening to them both a lot, but once I heard a song they had together, I knew that their collabs would always be amazing,” junior Eric Giron said. 

The cousins gained fame in many unique ways. A newer social media platform, TikTok, has popularized both of the rapper’s songs. On the app, users take snippets of songs and lip sync, react or dance to them. Xan’s song “Gucci” was one of the most used songs earlier this year. Users danced to the chorus and the dance became a global trend. Manny’s song “Moana” did the same with his lines like “Ooh, spray, fresh, febreeze,” and so on. From this, the two gained a significant following. 

Students who use TikTok are familiar with the two songs and often learn about new artists through the app.

“TikTok was the first place I learned who those rappers were,” sophomore Callie Borda said. “I don’t listen to them that much, but sometimes I find songs I really like and start listening to those singers more.”

The DMV is filled with artists pursuing their goals, and although it is difficult to succeed, Manny and Xan are not the only rappers who have. Maria Kelly, better known as Rico Nasty, is a female rapper absolutely killing it in the rap world today. Rico has known Xan for a couple years, and they still see each other. Rico has collaborated with Manny and Xan on a remix of “Gucci Down” by XanMan earlier this year. Other smaller artists like Simba, a rapper from Gaithersburg, have also left their mark outside the DMV. 

YungManny and XanMan have only just begun their careers and much more is to come for the two best friends. Artists from the DMV have definitely left a mark in the music world, and the two teens intend on making theirs.