Friday, December 31, 2010
Rappers To Watch In 2011
I first started doing this list last year for HipHopCulture. It got a lot of comments and attention. So here I am again at the end of another year to tell you who to look out for. I'd say that 8 out the 10 rappers I put up went on to have big years. Having Charles Hamilton on last years list made it look less credible. The criteria for this list are rappers that have yet to put out an album.
Really, I wonder if he'll ever really get on. I've been a fan of XV for a while. Seems like he gets no credit for what he puts out. He dropped one of the better mixtapes from last year with "Everybody's Nobody" (which is a very good title for him) and was left of the XXL Freshmen cover. Not sure he'll get it this coming year either, but he did drop "Vizzy Zone" this year which is growing on me. Maybe if he drops his long delayed album "The Kid With The Green Backpack" his buzz will get bigger.
9. Cyhi Da Prynce
There's no question for whether he can spit or not. Because if you've heard him on "So Appalled" or "Take One For The Team" you know that by now. For him to really become more popular he needs to drop some of his own tracks though instead of guest verses on Kanye tracks. He did drop "Royal Flush" which was a decent listen. But I feel like he's just getting started.
8. Show TuFli
He's probably the least known rapper on this list, but Show's been working hard lately. Before this year he was pretty much known as Charles Hamilton's protege, but in this past year he's dropped 2 mixtapes "Soldier of Love (Music Inspired by Sade" and "Keep In Mind That I'm An Artist And I'm Sensitive About My Shit (Music Inspired By Erykah Badu)". Also he currently has a music series going called TuFli Tuesdays. I'm unsure of whether an album is coming in the near future, but he's making a name for himself.
7. Meek Mill
This one might be a long shot, but Meek is starting to finally gain some buzz outside of the Philly area. He dropped two good mixtapes this year with "Flamers 3" and "Mr. Philadelphia". He's still signed on T.I.'s Grand Hustle label and has definitely gotten the co-sign from Rick Ross and was featured on his latest tape "Ashes To Ashes". Maybe it's not such a long shot.
I know this is a bold statement, but he has the best flow in the game for any one coming up. Since last year he's been putting out consistent quality material from "Broken Headphones" to "How Thoughtful". He's currently on his way to releasing "The Reason: A Defense Mechanism". He's one of my favorites but I'm pretty sure he won't have the commercial success that some of the other artists on this list will.
5. Kendrick Lamar
I feel I just caught wind of this dude recently. But he just brings a new style to the game. He's no where near the best. He's got average lyrics, but he's doing something different. His "Overly Dedicated" mixtape is one of my favorites of the year. He's also gotten the co-sign from Dr. Dre. I'm interested to see which move he's going to make next.
4. Big Sean
Look who's on the list again this year. Since he didn't drop Finally Famous: The Album this past year he makes it again. At this point, everyone knows what he can do. He's got serious potential to be the next big thing it depends on what does next. He put out one of the best mixtapes of the year with "Finally Famous Vol. 3" and his number of fans keep growing. Seems like he's next to blow up.
3. Jay Electronica
He's the oldest on this list by far. But he and J. Cole probably have the best chance of putting out a classic hip hop album. If Act II ever drops like it was supposed to this past year then it will be a force to reckon with. He's obviously on his way up, even he is already in he's 30's. He was just recently signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label. All we can do as fans is wait for the album to drop.
2. J. Cole
It's just about that time Jermaine. He's been signed with Jay-Z for over a year now. He's put out a quality single with "Who Dat" a follow up to "The Warm Up" with "Friday Night Lights". He's been featuring on radio hits from artists like Miguel, Sean Garrett and Keri Hilson. It's time to put out that album we've been waiting for. It is expected for a first quarter 2011 release but release dates are always flexible.
1. Wiz Khalifa
His time definitely is now. He's been featured on magazine covers. He's had a gold selling single with "Black & Yellow". "Kush & Orange Juice" was my personal favorite mixtape of the year. All he needs to do is put out the expected album. He's already big now. I wonder how big he'll be when the year is over.