A few months ago, XXL Magazine once again dubbed 10 young artists “The Leaders Of The New School.” Here we are five months later and after a little spotlight, we can now take a step back and look at all of these artists’ accomplishments and see who’s really decent.
Here’s the 5 XXL got right, and why you should be listening to them right now.
Charles Hamilton: This dude is one of the best out there doing it right now period, let alone for a rookie. Hamilton is a complete breath of fresh air for the rap game, as his love for music shines on every single track he records. He’s amazing on the beats and has unbelievable lyrical talent, but do not go into any of his mixtapes/projects waitin’ for that gangster sound, as this guy’s sound and style isn’t really like anyone else’s (I’ve heard comparison’s to his vocals sounding like Slim Shady and some of his beats resembling ‘Ye). The Sega loving blogger started out as a 19-year-old former heroin addict, until his first project “The Pink Lavalamp” unleashed a bidding war which resulted in the color pink-obsessed nerd to get picked up by Interscope. Now the 21-year-old Cleveland-born, Harlem-bred rapper has 12+ albums/projects/mixtapes out there on the web for download – including the Pink Lavalamp album – and it’s all crack. Check him out.
Songs, no wait, Albums, you should be listening to:
“The Pink Lavalamp,” “Crash Landed,” “And Then They Played Dilla”
Cory Gunz: This dude is sick. His old stuff is decent but now this kid has nearly perfected his craft to become a beast on the mic, and has his own flow that no one can touch. The son of Peter Gunz can rap faster (and sound better) than Twista, with lyrical content years ahead of most MCs. He will make your head spin. Keep your eye on this kid. Check these songs out below, but also youtube this guy, because he got some sick freestyles on there.
Songs you should be listening to:
“Body Bags” feat. Cassidy, “Box Full Of Bullets” feat. Square Off
Asher Roth: This kid is good, and when he’s on the ball, he makes great music. He’s also original and hilarious, and his lyrics remind me of a ’05-’06 Lil Wayne, even though a lot of people say he sounds like Eminem (is it a white thing?). I’m not sure how he got on a mixtape with Don Cannon & DJ Drama while basically unknown, but the Greenhouse Effect is a solid effort. It’s looking like he’ll be the first of these 5 with a retail album. Watch for Asleep In The Bread Aisle to drop in April.
Songs you should be downloading:
“Silly Boy,” “The Lounge,” “I Love College”
B.o.B: B.o.B is good and has talent, but it’s hard to say if his album stuff is gonna be decent. It could be good, but it could be weird as fuck, or that ringtone rap garbage. He’s got some jams, and some fuckin terrible songs. He even dropped a video for a song that sucks dick. But his ones that are good are fuckin great. You make the call.
Songs you should be downloading:
“Hip Hop Ain’t Dead (The Future),” “Generation Lost”
Mickey Factz: This guy can spit. His freestyles come off like a lyrically gifted poet, and the dude got bars. And while he does rap about real shit, the question remains on his flow, his musical talent, because what I’ve seen so far hasn’t been perfect. But we gotta remember he’s still a rookie and that’s the point of the article. The question is can he work on that shit and drop something to listen to. We’ll see.
Song you should be downloading:
A couple of these guys have come up with some collabs, and they’re pretty dope. In fact, I wanted to mention them separately because they’re so dope. “Change Gon’ Come” with Charles Hamilton, Asher Roth and B.o.B tearin’ it up “Neh Neh Neh” by Charles Hamilton and Cory Gunz. This shit is crazy.
“Swagga Like Us Freestyle” with Mickey Factz & Cory Gunz. No idea where I found this, but it goes hard.
Now who were these other 5 that won’t last?
Wale: He’s okay. But his lyrics are average and the dude lacks flow. His “Mixtape About Nothing” is overrated as shit.
Blu: See Wale, but replace “Mixtape About Nothing” with “Her Favourite Colo(u)r” and “overrated” with “whack”.
Ace Hood: DJ Khaled thinks he can give us anyone on his tracks. This kid sucks dick. The Khaled/Miami/Ringtone fascination is over. Not to say Miami doesn’t have some talent, Brisco should have been on this XXL cover, but Ace Hood just fucking sucks.
Curren$y: This kid does have talent. He can make songs, and his lyrics can be clever. But 95% of what he comes out with is average. I don’t care how many mixtapes he drops, he should have stuck with Lil Wayne, because now he ain’t goin nowhere.
Kid Cudi: This whiny little mother fuck ain’t even on yet, and he actually complained about his placement on the physical XXL cover itself. This kid can eat a dick. His one song is garbage and it’s still his only song anybody knows after 2 years on the scene.
So with that being said, at a 50% ratio, XXL did okay. So the question now is, who should have been in the other 5 artists to blow up?
Brisco: Fuck Ace Hood, this guy makes real goon music. While his message may not be revolutionary, his flow is, and I’ve heard him say some pretty clever gutter shit. His Underworld Rise mixtape is bomb.
Songs – “In The Hood” feat. Lil Wayne “This Is My Life” “I’m Back”
Bishop Lamont: This guy is pretty dope, and a perfect representative of the new west coast. He been around makin mixtapes for a minute, and they’re all pretty dope. I’m fairly certain he’s gonna be the Hittman of Dr. Dre’s “Detox”
Songs – “Kissin’ Tha Curb” feat. Busta Rhymes “Grow Up” “Missle Testing”
Black Milk: Black Milk is original, and his beats are crazy right now. I love an MC that puts their whole song together, and this guy does a fucking amazing job of it. His first album, “Popular Demand” was decent, but his latest effort, “Tronic” is fire. It has something for everyone, but most people could enjoy the whole thing as much as I do.
Songs – “The Matrix” feat. Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price & DJ Premier “Losing Out” feat. Royce Da 5’9″ “Give The Drummer Sum”
Glasses Malone: With Crooked I making it in last year, this guy needs in this year. If you ask me who leads the new west it’s Crooked I, Bishop Lamont and Glasses Malone. I doubted “Certified” (feat. Akon) and joked on it for some time, until I heard him on a couple tracks (“I’m Cold” with Crooked I and Hard Head & Big Baller (remix) with Mack 10 and Birdman). Then he dropped this mixtape, “Fuck Glasses Malone” and it’s absolutely crazy.
Songs – “Grown Man Anthem” “Haterz” feat. Lil Wayne and Birdman “Lonely At The Top”
Killer Mike: An intelligent rapper from the south that isn’t associated with Outkast?? Oh…he was associated with Andre 3K and Boi, but since going independant with Grind Time Rap Gang this guy has dropped some bangers. I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II is one of the best albums that dropped in 2008, hands down.
Songs – “Pressure” feat. Ice Cube “God In The Building” “2 Sides”
There’s still lots of dudes that I woulda have love to put up there, but they all seemed like they been around the game too long (Gillie Da Kid, Joe Budden and Royce Da 5’9″ all come to mind). Some of you are gonna agree, but I imagine most of you don’t, so what do you think, how wrong am I?-Nibs