Three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), a new artist is featured on XXLMag.com’s The Break. An ideal destination for fans, artists, and industry members, The Break showcases up and coming talent, giving a brief introduction on the artist or group, and highlighting some of their standout music. Each month, industry insiders will team with XXL to rate and comment on the submissions.
Rostrum Records’ Arthur Pitt, the man who’s been behind the scenes during the ascents of Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller (and before) has an ear for talent. Below, check out his comments, and see which of these artists has what it takes.
Solely heard about this kid from the T-Mobile commercials. While the rapid fire flow is cool (Eminem would rap circles around you amongst others), I’m a bit turned off by the arrogance. Also noticed a shot at Asher Roth in “Pale Kid Raps Faster” who is by far a superior MC and songwriter than Witness. While I am an advocate for competition, I’d avoid taking shots at other MC’s off the bat. You were in a T-Mobile commercial not the Billboard Charts or touring to please a legitimate fanbase. On a more positive note ”Love and Love” was very impressive. Dare I say reminiscent of Common in his prime. I’d be interested in checking out a full project. Witness definitely has potential and could make some noise with the right team around him. Overall, I am impressed and expect bigger things fromthe kid.
Love the New Orleans sound and bounce, not this fella so much. I understand the attempt at making a quick regional hit but come on son. Even you can do better than this. First off, the women in the video overshadow you and I’m not crazy about them either. This type of music is not my cup of tea regardless of the regional sound being represented so don’t take offense that I am not feeling you Mr. Ghetto. I am sure that you know what you are doing marketing wise (2.6 million youtube hits). I am also sure the OG’s in New Orleans who created the hip hop scene there would not cosign this either.
I love female MC’s and believe we have a shortage of them in present day music. Seems like Nikki is taking the right approach getting her music to the networks to increase her buzz first with placements on MTV AND VH1. Really enjoyed “Beautiful People.” Marilyn Manson meets Nikki. Love the fire, anger, eeriness, and style of the video. Nikki also relies on her distinct sound to catch the ear and eyes of the audience in this visual rather than looks. I respect Nikki going away from the frequent stereotypes we see in a lot of female MC’s these days. ”Nobody Loves Me” was a great balance and another unique visual. Keep following your vision. I could see you working with everyone you listed in the ”I’d Like To Work With” section.
Very impressed that such a young kid could produce his own music and direct the videos. Let’s see how long he can keep that up. I can hear the potential on “BreakThru” and I like the look, approach, and style Samson has. His flow is pretty tough but definitely needs to be polished a bit. What impressed me most is how comfortable Samson is in terms of being different and in front of the camera. That is usually a sign that an artist will always look to cross genres of music and not limit themselves to one type of sound. Keep doing your thing.
With artists like J Cole and Rain coming from this area expectations are high. ”Pinot Noir” was pretty dope with a good flow, strong confident delivery, and classy style. Some Khrysis and 9th Wonder production would suit you well and I think the East Coast would feel you. The only critique I have is that you are missing some hunger in your voice. Sort of like a J Cole light. It doesn’t grab me 100%.