Show & Prove is our section in the magazine where we highlight which rappers are hot in hip-hop now. Many who have appeared in S&P have gone on to launch successful music careers. With the goal to bring our hand-picked selections online, here are the stories from Vince Staples, Lil Herb and K Camp, as well as their entire mixtape discography. Our June/July issue featuring 2014′s XXL Freshman Class is available on newsstands now.
Twenty-five years after legends like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube put California MCs on the map, hiphop is experiencing a serious West Coast revival, and Vince Staples is rhyming his way into this next wave.
The Long Beach native is only 20 years old, but his resume is already stacked. Staples has toured and released a mixtape with Mac Miller (2013’s Stolen Youth), recorded with Earl Sweatshirt, ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, and collaborated with Jhené Aiko. His most recent mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2, which dropped in March, has propelled him even further into the spotlight; an as-yetuntitled debut album on Def Jam Recordings is up next, hopefully, before the end of the year.
Growing up navigating the streets and in an unstable home environment, Staples dropped out of high school at age 16 and picked up rapping because his friends were doing it. Those friends introduced him to Syd Tha Kyd of Odd Future, which led to his guest appearance on “epaR” from Earl Sweatshirt’s breakthrough 2010 mixtape, Earl, when Staples was just 16. He released his debut mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1, in January 2012 and met Miller through Earl later that year. The two dropped Stolen Youth the following June.
The tape caught the attention of No I.D., executive vice president and co-head of A&R of Def Jam Recordings, and Joie Manda, the former president of Def Jam, and Staples was signed the summer of 2013. “Since he signed, he has grown leaps and bounds, probably faster than anyone I have ever seen,” says No I.D. “He’s gonna be one of the special ones. He has it all: lyrics, intelligence, street savvy, storytelling, charisma, a voice, a perspective.”
The superstar hopeful just wrapped up ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron Tour, and his Def Jam debut is his biggest project on deck. “I really got everything I need [for the album],” Staples says. “I’m able to take my time and make it exactly what I believe it should be… We’re going to make sure this moment is perfect.”
The real is back, and he’s just getting started. —Ernest Baker
Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1
Winter In Prague With Michael Uzowuru
Stolen Youth With Larry Fisherman
Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2