Brian Brown at The Basement East
Photo: Amber J. Davis

While there’s no secret recipe for building a successful rap career, Brian Brown has been working hard at it from every angle this year. He’s raised his profile in town with live sets, including at The Boom Bap’s enormous 10th birthday party and a Meant for the Milk Crate show. He’s been making connections in other scenes — his work with Grammy-nominated Chattanooga producer TIGGI has made the promise of a forthcoming full-length even more exciting. Perhaps best of all, the tracks Brown has released are top-shelf showcases for his nimble, thoughtful rhymes about what it takes to get to the next level. STEPHEN TRAGESER