The phrase “Slept-On” often sounds like a misnomer when you’re dealing with artists on the come up. Of course they’re “Slept-On,” when they haven’t even broken yet. However, hip-hop has a long history of the success of rap crews led by one very specific leader in each camp. The result is other acts tend to get overlooked, waiting for their big day to hit the forefront.

Sometimes the non-leader of the group gets that opportunity—look at Raekwon, 2 Chainz or Earl Sweatshirt—while most chill in the back and become the crew’s secret weapon on songs. Well, the secret’s out now, as XXL picked 15 artists from 15 different crews who we’ve chosen as the most “Slept-On” of the bunch. Hopefully after checking this list, they won’t be “Slept-On” any longer.

Stalley Main Pub NEW - Photo Credit_Virgilio Tzaj

Stalley of Maybach Music Group
When the beard is in the building, you’re getting more than the typical flashiness and threats of other MMG members (we love flashiness and threats too though). There’s a reason why Stalley is the Honest Cowboy; he spits the truth when he rhymes.


Hal Williams of Odd Future
Whether tackling woozy production as part of Jet Age Of Tomorrow or slap boxing our craniums as Pyramid Vritra, Hal Williams brings the abstract rap to Odd Future. Electro-rap never sounded so good.

A$AP Twelvyy of A$AP Mob
When you hear Twelvyy rhyme, you know he’s from Uptown NYC. It’s not that members of the crew like Ferg and Rocky don’t rep for Harlem, but A$AP Twelvyy still sounds gritty and organic – like he hasn’t ripped the runway yet.

Dirty $anchez of Pro Era
Grossest name in the game, but Dirty $anchez spits with clean precision. It’s evident that Pro Era grabs from the influential Golden Era of hip-hop, and Dirty $anchez is proof of that. He and his lyricism are most definitely on the come up.

Doe B of Hustle Gang
He wears a patch over his eye and his rhymes are just as slick. Doe B’s raps are rooted in Alabama, but you can hear Houston and Atlanta when he spits. The Southern drawl runs deep, but so do his bars.

Cory Gunz of YMCMB
What’s it going to take for everyone to finally realize the potential of Cory Gunz? Seriously, isn’t having Peter Gunz as a father enough? Does he need his own reality show or something? Oh wait…

Jay Rock of Black Hippy
While everyone was all over Kendrick Lamar and his “Control” verse or yawk yawking with ScHoolboy Q and Soulo, it seems like we’ve forgotten the greatness that is Jay Rock. Don’t worry, you’ll remember when his new album drops.

Berner of Taylor Gang
Taylor Gang’s hustle should be studied. Wiz Khalifa’s journey to the top has paved the way for his other team members, and having Juicy J in the fold is helping the cause even more. Now that they’re all situated, it’s time for Berner and his personable rhymes to hit the ground running.

Fredo Santana Of GBE (Glory Boyz Entertainment)
Chief Keef is tied up with legal issues, and Lil Reese is finally getting his props, so pass the mic to Fredo Santana. The facially-tatted spitter holds it down for GBE with his grimy rhymes.

CyHi The Prynce of G.O.O.D. Music
Perhaps it’s taken everyone so damn long to give credit to CyHi The Prynce because his name keeps changing. It goes from CyHi The Prynce to CyHi Da Prynce. What’s next? Sigh-High Tha Prints?

Doughboyz Cashout of CTE World
If you’ve checked any one of CTE World’s latest tracks, you’ll hear Detroit's Doughboyz Cashout in the cut delivering some smooth bars. They make anything YG or Jeezy says even better when they slide through.

Rittz Of Strange Music
Rittz might look like the third member of LMFAO or Rick Rubin’s nephew, but his bars are even more party rockin’ (*rimshot*). The high-sped spitter of Strange adds another dimension to the camp – one worth checking out.

Crooked I Of Shady 2.0
Crooked I has sustained quite a successful career in his own right, but lined up next to the rest of Shady 2.0, he’s not getting his just props. The C.O.B. leader is much more than the 4th member of Slaughterhouse; he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Casey Veggies Of Roc Nation
Yes, you read that correctly. Casey Veggies is part of Roc Nation. Oh you didn’t know? You must’ve been too busy waiting for Jay Z to tweet or playing your J. Cole album. Yes, Young Veggies is down with the Roc, and he’s damn talented too.

Chip$ Of Bruiser Brigade
Chip$ might have a deeper voice and more teeth than his Bruiser leader Danny Brown, but his slow flow is also remarkable. It takes a lot for a Couch Potato to produce such ambitious bars, you know.

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