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.
Influential personality DJ Skee, who known for his shows on Los Angeles’s 102.7 KIIS FM and Sirius Hip-Hop Nation, as well as mixtape collaborations with artists like Game, is one of the industry guests for the month of July. Below, check out his comments, and see which of these artists has what it takes.
I actually met this kid a couple years ago and have been a fan since. Good to see him gaining a lot of momentum recently, really dig his style and potential! He has a great team behind him as well (as evident from the Chris Robinson “All Black Chukkaks” video), and think he reflects everything going on in the culture right now stylistically and artistically with his music.
He has a really unique sound and style that I think separates him from the pack. With the backing of Lex Luger, the it producer of the moment in hip-hop, I think its could be just a a matter of getting the right record & team behind him. Was pleasantly surprised with, and being 17 I think we will hear much more from Doe in the future.
I don’t really remember anyone coming out of Portland, let alone a Vietnamese cat in this hip hop game. I feel like he needs a little more development with his raps to smooth out a little- in “The One” his rap style sounds a little too much the same in terms of speed, tone, aggressiveness, etc. If he could switch up sound a little bit to make a hit record, and with a little overall song development behind him, I think Thai has potential and look forward to hearing more in the future.
It’s not what you expect when you think what someone from Nashville’s style would be compared to when you check his bio & influences: Jay Electronica, Kanye, & Talib, yet Openmic somehow does have that feel. Sounding more like a Rawkus Records release circa 2000 than what you’d expect from a southern hip hop artist in 2011, Openmic definately has spitting skills… the question to me is if he will be able to expand to make more than just a good underground hip hop song, but a hit record that would appeal to the mainstream.
Although Epic himself I think has potential with his sound, I wasn’t a fan of “I Don’t Need You.” From the production to hook, as the first feature on his page (and what you’d look to be the best), I was a little disappointed. He stepped it up with “In The Air,” although anyone can sample Phil Collins and have a smash hook, but I liked the record. I also thought “White Boy” stepped it up, yet still lacked a little from being a hit. Will be interested to see what he comes with in the future, and especially being from the West Coast hope he and others can break through for the coast.
I really enjoyed his video to “EVERfor” and unique style–it all was good chill out music. Although a little too laid back sometimes, he can definitely rap and deserves the comparisons he has been getting to other (specifically Philly) hip-hop stars recently. I think he needs some development and someone to help guide him a little with overall direction, but Im definitely going to keep my eye on him in the meantime.
I don’t remember anyone coming out of Austin, TX, and didn’t know what style to expect after reading his bio, but M.i. instantly grabbed my attention with his breakout “After I’m Gone.” “Understand” followed up as another dope underground feeling hip hop record. My only issue is I don’t know if he does anything enough to stand out from the mix. You can definitely hear the G.O.O.D. music influence, but will he do enough to stand out from the multitude of just being a dope rapper and find his own style?