FREEZ

His hometown: Minneapolis.

His crew: A co-founder of the trio Illuminous 3, he now records for Soul Tools Entertainment.

His story: Hardly a newcomer to local hip-hop insiders, the 28-year-old South Sider (real name: DeShawn Richard) was turning heads as a high schooler with Ill 3, with whom he performed at the first Soundset fest in 2008 outside the Metrodome. He started anew this past winter with “Freez’s Frozen French Freys,” a collaboration with producer Mike Frey featuring spirited guest turns by Muja Messiah, Greg Grease and Metasota. The album earned him local accolades and his first Soundset solo set.

His music: “FFFF” is often brash and boastful, eschewing the Minnesota Nice rap aesthetic with slams on “hipsters who choose to be broke” (in the tongue-twisty gem “Most My”) and drug slingers who “died trying to look up to a G” (“On Da Grind,” featuring Greg Grease). He gets personal, too, in the aptly named family saga "Survival." Frey’s beats are similarly in-your-face but stylish, with a little old-school soul and funk flavor.

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER