Outside of D.C. rappers Wale and Fat Trel, Maryland has yet to found their young rapper to put on for the region. While there's a strong pool of talent ready to blow, Ace Cosgrove captured our attention with his mixtape Simple Criticism, which showcased his free-spirited rhymes over prime production. Since then, he's aligned himself with industry heavyweights to take his career to the next level. It's Maryland's turn to shine.

Name: Ace Cosgrove.

Age: 23

Hometown: Montgomery County, Maryland

I grew up listening to: Young Jeezy. Definitely don't do trap music, but I listened to a lot of Jeezy. 50. A lot people who do like street music. My dad came out of jail when I was in 8th grade and was heavy on Jeezy. When Trap Or Die came out, I was the biggest fan of that. I just thought I was gonna sell weed and become some boss ass weed dealer. Now, I like Ab-Soul and stuff, but even like early in my career, people were like, "You sound like Ab-Soul." Some people say I sound like Pharcyde. Danny Brown? People say all kinds of crazy stuff and comparisons.

Most people don't know I: That I am a heavy Ledo Pizza fan. If I ever get some money, I am gonna open a chain of it. Start monopolizing.

My style's been compared to: People say all kinds of crazy shit. Ab-Soul. Danny Brown. Pharcyde. Wiz Khalifa, I guess because I am skinny and Black. All kinds of left-field [comparisons.] If you think about it, all of them don't sound anything alike. I take it as people always want to make a comparison. When you hear something new, you have to try to compare it. I take it as that's the way society is built.

My standout records and/or moments to date have been: I'd say Simple Criticism only 'cause that was the first project I was actually happy about. If I could go back, there's a lot of stuff I'll fix obviously. That was the first project that I was like, "Yes, I can't wait to drop this."

My moments to date I'd say [was] my pretty decent show. It was like 400 people. I opened up for Chris Webby. That's super random and it is not my lane, but he brought out a lot of teenage kids there. It was like 400. I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I did one open mic before that in high school. I've never been on stage. None of that. That was like my first real moment 'cause like I was actually interacting with people. Even if the music wasn't good, people were still coming up to me. I was getting like T-Shirts and shit. It was like real recognition. It felt good. It felt like work was paid off, but it still a lot to go. That was the first moment I was like I can actually make money off this, make it a living.

My goal in Hip-Hop is: My goal is to continue my own lane, make my type of music. Not merge off making my type of music. Be really paid off making highly extreme good music. Own a McDonald's and a Ledo Pizza because of music.

I'm gonna be the next: Next Ace Cosgrove. I'm not going to be the next big deal. I am not going to be the next other guy. I'm gonna be the next Ace Cosgrove. I think a lot of music is sounding exactly the same. I just want to provide different music and just good music. Music that people can actually roll down the street with actual lyrics, not just "Oh, I'm about to pop a molly and fuck your bitch."

To check out more of my music go to: Follow me on Twitter (@ace_cosgrove) and Facebook.

Standout: "War Wounds"

Also check out: "Diamonds"

And: "Righteous Views"

Bonus: "Sick Little Fetish" (Produced By BeeWirks)