Next Up: Pt. 2

WANTED: The T.I. of tomorrow. The Kanye on the cusp. The Weezy-in-waiting. XXL looks into the crystal ball and calls the 10 best bets for future rap superstardom.

6-101.jpg

Label chiefs and A&R execs talk about looking for that elusive element of “star quality” in aspiring artists—intangible stuff like whether or not listeners believe someone’s music or if viewers want to be the person they see on MTV. But if predicting potential for success were easy, the labels wouldn’t be wrong so often. (Jay-Z wouldn’t have had to start Roc-A-Fella Records to put his music out himself. And Lil’ Zane would be quadruple platinum.)

Most of today’s biggest names are former outcasts and loudmouths that few believed in and no one would have wanted to be. 50 Cent was just a chubby kid from Queens with a chip on his shoulder before bullying his way to the top of the game. Kanye West was a college-dropout Chicago producer tugging on Jay’s coattails. Eminem was just some White backpacker MC from a trailer park in Detroit. And who would have thought Lil Wayne would be the Hot Boy sitting on top 10 years after Juve hit with “Ha,” ha?

While the pool of true hip-hop superstars is shallower than ever at the moment (in case you haven’t heard, the industry is experiencing something of a down cycle), there’s bound to be a few diamonds in the rough among the newbies. So the XXL brain trust set up shop in the boardroom for a few weeks and emerged with a Top 10 list of hopefuls. We considered things like technical proficiency, swagger, presence, co-signs from already-established artists, and the extent to which they move the crowd. So, without further ado, here are the 10 rappers we believe have the best shot to reach the top.

Click here to read Next Up Pt. 1

GORILLA ZOE: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
zoe.jpg
JOELL ORTIZ: A Hip-Hop Happy Ending
joell.jpg
CROOKED I: Coming Out Weekly, Powerfully
crookedi.jpg
PAPOOSE: State of the Art
papoose.jpg
YOUNG DRO: Best Thangs Poppin’
youngdro.jpg
  • the one

    Pap and Joell. Damn XXL, y’all cna’t pick some better newcomers than this. These dudes been out for years an aint drop no fuckin albums yet except Lupe and one of them other dudes. If this Is all we have comin’ out next. Damn, Hip hop is dead.

    • http://xxlmag.com Thrills

      I think yall fuckers need to stop hatin let these fools do there thang they gonna be on a cover 4 a reason, duh cuz they got skills.

  • KLETEWOOD

    XXL…Mark my word’s. NONE OF THESE “CHOICE RAPPERS” WILL BE ON TOP.

    YA’ALL FOOLS NEED A NEW CRYSTAL BALL.

    -Weaksauce

  • Vuitton Gotti

    No disrespect but yall picked who was gonna be the top niggaz once before, and yall was wrong like fuck. The only niggaz still poppin outta like 20 of’em is The Game, Young Buck,and Juelz Santana.

  • paychexx

    mr ortiz a spitter, young dro a spitter, crooked i a spitter, papoose a spitter, gorilla zoe a spitter. i like them all. cant wait on dro and mr ortiz. peace check out myspace.com/holysmokes1 that kid nice!!!

  • og bobby j

    I said it before and I’ll say it again….Papoose will shut this industry down

    The Nacerima Dream ….cop it

  • CHICAGO “G”

    YA’LL BOGUS FOR THIS WEAK ASS LIST PAPOOSE IS TRASH, DRO IS TRASH, GORILLA ZOE TRASH, ORTIZ IS LUKEWARM HE AIN’T HOT, CROOKED I IS THE ONLY DOPE ONE ON THIS LIST AND LUPE WAS THE ONLY DOPE LYRICIST ON PART 1… STEP YA GAME UP XXL IF THIS IS THE FUTURE OF HIP HOP I’M DONE WITH IT…

  • latinpistol07

    a couple of years these guys would of blown up. now a days peoples only want to fuk wit shit like huey, soulja boy and sum other wack ass niggas that cant even rap. srry cuz but hip hop is dead

  • Anli(Aint.Nothin.Like.It)

    Ok. Dro I like.#3 album for a new comer aint bad. Joell and Papoose be on it but where the album at. Gorilla Zoe? I only liked Hood Nigga cuz Jeezy was on there. I hated the original version of that song.”I see you no you see me” need i say more. Trash when it comes to puttin together some tight shit. Havent heard alot of Crooked I shit but everything I heard he killed it. Him and Game represent how West Coast niggas should be rappin. Fuck that Hyphy shit-Spit and let me hear what the West is about like Dre and nem did back in the day. Dallas Tx stand up!!!!

  • Pittsburgh’s Boss

    eh, whoops? Forgot about Wiz Khalifa?

  • Freddy(Vega$)

    at least this line up is better than the 1st one, everysingle one of these dudes got “STAR” potential but which one of these dudes is going to have that cross over appeal & be bumped on all the radios?? I think its going to be Ortiz, he more for the people and he if differnt then the other rappers. some other people that need to be mentioned:
    -MURS
    -Hell Rell
    -Little Brother 2.0
    -Stat quo
    -Consequence-its bout time this nigga gets his due
    -Slim Thug
    -CAGE
    -Ray Cash

  • Cuban Link

    Young Dro?How much did Grand Hustle pay y’all for that one…

    Crooked I aint much neither.The rest are gonna be hot though, hopefully.Gorilla Zoe=Next King of the South if he ditches the rest of Boyz N Da Hood (with the exception of Jodi Breeze, whos fire)

    Pappy obviously is the next Young Hov

    Joell Ortiz is gonna be fire esopecially if Dre puts him out instead of just shelving him

  • 2wack

    wtf,no bishop lamont

  • they love to hate the bay

    -bishop lamont
    -mitchy slik
    -messy marv
    -murs
    -ya boy
    -clyde carson
    -glasses malone
    -planet asia
    -tha jacka
    -turf talk
    -damani

  • VA

    no bishop, budden, or ya boy… try droppin boosie, plies, and gorilla zoe and you mite be on to sometin

  • Emissary

    swagger, presence, co-signs from already-established artists NONE OF THESE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH EMCEEING BUT HEY NONE OF THESE FUCKERS ARE ANYWAY……….hip hop is dead

  • Kid Kash

    mayne i’ve been waiting for crooked to drop ever since suges chronic “the chronic 2000″. everything he spits is hot, he just aint ever gonna bring it with an album, and if he does it wont sell. he ain’t commercial enough. west coast to hard for all yall.

  • iamthajuice

    where is loaded lux, j.r. writer, 40 cal, wale??? the best to is pap and yung dro every1 else 1 hitwonders. esp. zoe!!

  • http://none nasir

    they all garbage.old rappers.damn gorilla zoe.ya kidding me…where iz mistah fab on ya list?

  • E SAINT LOUIS

    THIS WHOLE LINEUP WAS BULLSHIT. LUPE THA BEST ON THIS LIST. DRO BE SNAPPEN ON TRACKS. AND I FUC WIT BOOSIE. BUT THEY PUT RICH BOY AND GORILLA ZOE, WHAT THE HELL ARE YALL THINKIN. I HOPE THEY DONT THINK THESE WACKASS DUDES ARE GOING 2 B THE FUTURE. IF SO HIP HOP IS IN TROUBLE.

  • Ruff Huff

    the list is for up and comers… people who are gonna be stars… not what you packpackin internet fucks think is the best rappers… im sorry but people like mistah fab and wiz kalifa are never going to be huge stars… they will proably never get past the level they are at now

  • http://www.hotmail.com raoul

    Sorry to say this but PAP is gonna be another Cannibus. USELESS TRASH!! Saigon will have the biggest flop ever!!
    The dark side clouds the future!!
    http://www.vinyl1980.com

  • CT 860 5 STARR

    Might as well put the whole black wall an its affiliates:
    -Cyserro
    -Juice
    -Ya Boy
    -Bishop Lamont
    -Gage
    -Jay Rock
    -Glasses Malone
    -Clyde Carson

    an oh TECH N9NE!!!!!

    fuck this gorilla zoe shit but plies is straight gully fuck what a hater say

  • NAWLEDGE

    GOOD JOB XXL! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN MAY I PRESENT THE MOST UNBALANCED, FUCKED UP LIST OF NEXT BIG RAPPERS!!

    GORILLA ZOE – ????????
    PLIES – SUCKS ASS!!
    BOSSIE – SUCKS MORE ASS!!
    RICH BOY – I DONT KNOW

    Why were these guys put on the list?! The rest I agree with but it should’ve gone like this…
    PAPOOSE
    YOUNG DRO
    CROOKED I
    SAIGON
    LUPE
    ——–CONSEQUENCE
    ——–IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE
    ——–STAT QUO
    ——–FLO RIDA – (before yall niggas start cussin me out and hatin, listin to some of his other shit. Not just “Low Low” with t-pain-in-the-ass no homo)
    ———J.R WRITER
    ———GILLIE DA KID – (how could yall 4get about him?!?!?!?!)
    But, thats just my opinion.

  • HIP-HOP NEEDS HELP

    IF THIS IS THE FUTURE IM GONNA START LISTENING TO POP & ROCK…NONE OF THESE NICCAZ CAN MAKE A HOT SONG MUCH LESS A FULL ALBUM TO ENJOY ON TOP OF THAT EACH ONE OF THEM TALK ABOUT THE SAME CONTENT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF LUPE NO ONE STANDS OUT FROM THE OTHER ITS JUS A BUNCH OF RAPPERS FROM OTHER STATES WIT DIFFERENT ACCENTS..
    CROOKED I…..THIS NICCA A WASTE
    YOUNG DRO…..TRASH
    LIL BOSIE ….TRASH
    GORILLA ZOE….WHO LISTEN TO HIM? WASTE
    PLIES….WEAK
    RICH BOY…COOL BUT NOT CONSISTANT
    JOEL ORTIZ..THIS NICCA TRASH
    SAIGON..HE DONT GOT WHAT IT TAKES
    PAPOOSE..IS A MIXTAPE RAPPER I DONT SEE HIM WIT A HIT SONG LIKE SOMEONE HE GONNA HAVE TO BUY A HIT
    LUPE..IS THE ONLY ORIGNAL ONE OUT THE BUNCH MIGHT HAVE A SHOT!!

  • http://WWW.HARDINDAPAINT.COM COMPTONRIDA1

    WHERE THE F#@! IS GLASSES MALONE…. SEE THIS IS WHAT IM TALKIN BOUT…HATERS… WE LOVE EM THOUGH

  • West West Yall

    Fa reals, dis list iz supa weak. Crooked I iz wit tha biz, Zoe do his thang, Papoose iz aight, Dro only really got two bangers,Lupe iz original …but the rest iz weak. Ya Boy iz gonna blow, Bishop Lamont iz real, Juice, Jay Rock, G Malone are all wit it too.

  • mr brooklyn

    TO ALL THE ARTIST THAT MADE THE XXL TOP 10 FUTURE LIST KEEP DOIN WHAT U BEEN DOIN BECAUSE ITS WORKING WELL U DUDES ARE ALL DOPE IN YOUR WAYS FUCK ALL THESE HATERZ . WHAT I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IS A TRACK WITH ALL OF U ON IT NOW THAT SHIT WOULD SHUT ALL THESE HATERZ UP….

  • Tense

    there aint nothing to talk about…ya’ll know Dro has spawned the biggest hit song so far out of all of em. big hits are big money so theres a future 4 the nigga

  • the real Real Talk

    Don’t know why Jim Jones isn’t on the list. I don’t really like him (lyrics is weak), but he is obviously somebody who I’d pick on a list of “who’s gonna take the game”. Not really into Dipset at all, but you have to respect the moves he’s makin with the deal he just signed. Plus he had a HUGE hit radio single and album on an independant label (Koch)…. That is a major and rare accomplishment. Plus he is actually set up to take the game, while some of the artists on the lists are battling labels (Papoose for example). And Gorilla Zoe is on Bad Boy Records. That means no matter how good he is, his career will be over soon like G-Dep, Da Band, and the rest of ‘em.

  • http://myspace.com/yeahirap Steffond

    Crooked I
    Lupe Fiasco
    Joell Ortiz
    Saigon
    Papoose

    the other five naw

  • west oakland

    do u not know about oakland we r the best when comes to the rap game u take our style and make so much cake off of it and then hate on the west but we got new cats on the way way like the realest cats i know MONNIE HOGG THA GREAT,THA ROASTA,JC JACOB LADDER,i presents this to u all i bull shut u not if u like wuts out now just wait on this cats and as 4 U NEED ONLY KNOW THIS MY MAN OUT OF WEST OKLAND GOT ME ON THE WAY WAY DOG TWON 3400 HE IS CAN U HERE ME TLAKING

  • koolg

    LETS BE REAL…..CROOKED I DESERVES A COVER BY HIMSELF…..AND WHEN HIS ALBUM DROPS..IT’LL HAPPEN!

  • http://www.sextalk.com Donnie

    hey dis is why im hot is a tight song mang, i wanna jubie dance to it yo

  • dan

    ya how could u guys forget about gillie da kid nd stat quo

  • fdfdsfds

    how could u guys forget gillie nd stat quo
    w\e crooked i is best on list

  • irv gotti inc/mpire

    HANDS DOWN THE BEST ON THIS LIST IS THE HOMIE FORM LONG BEACH FLOSSANGELS CROOKED ICON THE REST OF THEM NEED TO STEP THERE GAME UP

  • http://www.hiphopgame.com gshanjr

    gillie is 100 years old first off.. pap got lyrics but lyrics dont sell records anymore..if you cant party like a rockstar,wipe me down or crank dat..you aint even comin out. niggas like styles p aint even gettin a real shot.rap just wants to name niggas as the second coming…but it aint happenin.. hip hop aint dead but this shit is in the ER.

  • OreO1″BR”

    MAN ALOT OF THESE DUDES UP ON HERE ARE WACK EXCEPT FOR CROOKED I. THAT DUDE SPITS SOME HEAT…. HE’S THE ON;Y ONE DESERVING OF THIS… BUT XXL LIKE ALOT OF PEOPLE U IN HERE SAID YOU NEED TO STEP YOUR GAME UP AND REALLY DO SOME RESEARCH YOU FOR GOT A FEW FROM THE WEST COAST MAN…..

    OMAR CRUZ(SICKEST MEXICAN FROM THE WEST… LA KNOWS WHO HE IS)

    JUICE (OUT OF ARIZONA)

    DAMANI (INGLEWOOD)

    GLASSES MALONE (WATTS)

    NO DISRESPECT TO THE SOUTH OR EAST BUT XXL YU LOOK OVER THERE TOO MUCH.. STOP HATING AND LOOK AT AND RESEARCH EVERY REGION….

    LOOK OUT FOR OMAR CRUZ THIS MEXICAN DUDE CAN FLOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • “South East LA”OreO1″BR”

    CROOKED I!!!!!!!!!!

    OMAR CRUZ!!!!!!!!!!

    CHECK OUT OMAR CRUZ:

    http://www.dubcnn.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?search

  • MANIC

    CROOKED I IS A BEAST, REAL LIRICIST!!!!!!

    1. CROOKED I
    2. YA BOY
    3. BISHOP LAMONT
    4. G MALONE
    5. JAY ROCK
    6. OMAR CRUZ
    7. JUICE
    8. CYSERRO
    9. CLYDE CARSON
    10. TECHNIQUE
    OOH DONT FORGET ABOUT ROCCETT.

  • Jackson

    YA BOY this nigga should be # 1 yall CRAZY.
    Yall need to do a spread with Ya Boy and see what he about and get into the movement.