Karen Civil Rates Artists from XXLMag.com’s The Break

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.

For the month of April, social media maven Karen Civil—who will serve as one of three judges—checked out the section to see what yesterday’s talent (Tez McClain) had to offer. Check out her comments below.

Tez McClain
Overall: L

Tez McClain “Jordans & A Gold Chain” (to see more from Tez, click here)

Anybody, and I mean anybody, with a co sign from Brad Jordan – better known as Scarface – warrants a listen. Such is exactly the reason giving Atlanta’s Tez McClain a listen was so imperative. Where there is potential in Tez’s music, one of the worst things an up and coming artist can do is answer the dreaded “whose style does yours compare to?” It’s fun the answer with those who inspired you growing up, but the moment he/she says someone, they are automatically pigeonholed and unfortunately not given a fair share.

Tez says his ability to make a variety of records is classic Tip while his introspection has highlights of Nas. That alone will make it hard for the masses to give him a fair shake. “Jordan’s And A Gold Chain” is decent and a record that has given him a respectable buzz. The Nas sample is even well placed, but Tez falls short on making it a record that will make the masses gravitate towards his sound. Instead, of the three videos listed, “Untitled” shows the most promise as McCain grapples with several real life topics in a purely honest fashion. Again, it’s not Nas, but respectable none the less.

Time will tell if Tez blossoms into the next MC Atlanta to make noise nationwide. Dubbing him the new age T.I. is too much at this point. He may not be the usual “Atlanta rapper” as he standed in his bio; he’s also not making the type of music that can grow to define an entire generation like several of those “Atlanta rappers” before him. As long as McClain continues to plant the seed of success, however, something will eventually bloom. Whether or not he’s capable of becoming a household name is a totally different topic altogether.