Breakout: "Orange Boxcutter"

Also Check: "My Story"

And: "Standout" featuring Joe Budden

Name: AWAR

Age: 30

Reppin’: 518/Upstate NY originally, I live in NYC now. I've been associated with a few crews over the years, the first was Fallen Angelz, a crew of hungry artistic battle trained emcees I met when I was part of the NYC scene in the early 2000's. It was a different era back then, ciphers everywhere, the culture was really thriving. I'm also one of the original members of Pitch Control Music (PCM) out of Albany, NY. We helped build a local scene in the 518 between 10-15 acts and DJ's who were hungry for live shows and becoming known as a movement. These days I'm mostly solo, I have my main producer who is Vanderslice, and some emcees that I regularly collaborate with. My crew is my friends and family.

My style and/or skills have been compared to: I'm a student of hip-hop first and foremost. It seems like every new White MC to get the spotlight always gets compared to Eminem, and when I was younger I used to get that, but I've been rapping long enough that I feel like I've really become comfortable with my skill set and I have my own sound. If anything I want to be compared to the NY greats, Nas, Biggie, Jay-Z, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Guru, DITC, Wu-Tang, Boot Camp - people I grew up listening to. I try to focus on real subject matter when I'm writing. I like to use storytelling, imagery, metaphors and wordplay and flow to set myself apart.

I started rapping: I started writing when I was about 13, I started performing in front of people when I was about 17. I put out my first official release in 2005.

My standout records and/or moments have been: Before this year, I had a few records I'm proud of and have been able to tour off. This is really the year that I have worked for. I released the Things Of That Nature EP in April, which is an introduction to who I am and what my sound is. It showcases more of my introspective, storytelling side. The newest record out is Nature Of The Beast, is more aggressive, in your face, bangin hip-hop kind of record. It has production from Vanderslice, Alchemist, Sid Roams, M Phazes, Frank Dukes and Ayatollah on it and features from Joe Budden, Manifest, Mic King and Lawrence Arnell. That is the second release of a trilogy of records I'm putting out this year. The final installment will be the biggest, my new album, The Laws Of Nature. The production and guests are crazy, and I'm rapping my ass off on it.

I’m gonna change the game by: Giving you music with substance to it. I'm an indie artist but I like making records that sound like they came from a major label budget, with artistic integrity. I'm really in the kind of space where I just want to make a classic hip-hop record. I'm not talking about making a nostalgic boom-bap record that makes everyone remember why they fell in love with hip-hop, but by pushing records that sound timeless. That won't sound dated or like I was desperate for a hit. Bring artistry back to the forefront. Support artists that have something to say and make music that makes you feel something. I know the times and way that you release music have changed, but it's still quality over quantity. Bring back that level.

I’d Like to work with: I'm proud of the roster of producers and artists I've worked with already on my album, The Laws of Nature. But DJ Premier, Wu-Tang, Just Blaze, Pete Rock, Nas, Jay-Z, Devin the Dude, Scarface, Mobb Deep, Dr. Dre are on my list for artists that I'd love to work with in the future.

My goal in hip-hop is: To have my own lane and fanbase that supports what I do. I want to continue spreading good music and using this art form as my therapy and the way I express myself. I want to make you excited to listen to real hip-hop again.

I’m gonna be the next: Artist who didn't need a label or any handouts to make music that impacts others. A brand you can trust. I genuinely love the music and I think that will show in the records I make.

To check out more of my music you can go to: TwitterFacebook, YouTube

More From XXL