Here’s a local kid from the Philadelphia area, actually went to my High School, who is on the come up. The grind is tough and I respect his work, with good flow and a solid beat, what isn’t to like? Check out him out @5tarting5.com and on Twitter @taresco
The State of Hip Hop -
Written by Kyle Norman
To be a successful rapper in the game—and by rapper I mean an artist whose rhymes actually have substance—an artist has to carve out a niche. Gone are the days when strictly rapping about material items and fictional hood tales could get an artist a platinum plaque. You’ve got to be something or somebody. Drake for example is the emotional rapper; with singing and rapping aimed straight at your heart. J Cole is the college boy from the hood; rapping about his realistic and relatable success.
And while the artists in the game play a significant role in driving this change, it’s the artists not in the game that, when examined closely, make the biggest impact. Take a rapper like Lil Flip for example. In his hey day, Flip was all about candy painted rides and cliché rap love songs with an R&B singer on the hook. And aside from his Houston accent, I think it’s fair to say that at the time there were a million other rappers just like him. Now, I don’t mean to hate on Flip as I have some of his records on my ipod but could you him being successful in the game as it is today? Probably not. And the reason for that, to be put simply, is that fans have gotten smarter.
Rap in the early 2000s was still just a novelty to most. It wasn’t about the lyrics or the depth of songs; it was all about the sound. And while one could certainly argue that there are exceptions to this generalization, think about it like this: if artists like Lil Flip or Mike Jones (sorry Houston, I do love Bun B if it’s any consolation!) could be massively successful, did it really take as much to be successful in the game at that point in time? I mean could you honestly see Mike Jones topping the charts in 2012 with a single that has T-Pain or some R&B artist? Because I just don’t see it.
But in my mind that is not a bad thing. Sure rap might be getting away from its strictly street and thug attitude, but that doesn’t mean its getting worse. In fact, the game seems to be in better shape than its been in quite sometime. Rappers are coming out with material that has real substance and that isn’t just some ego trip about cars and girls. And while the latter can be enjoyable at times, at the end of the day Rap’s only shot at survival is to become smarter as a genre, and that’s exactly what its doing.
What to look for in 2012: Albums, Artists, and Comebacks
2012 is shaping up to be a big year in hip-hop. 2011 certainly had many positives as fans were able to see the release of many highly anticipated new albums and the breakthrough of many new up and coming artists. But 2012 has the potential to be an even bigger year. As some fans may have noticed, the established acts of hip-hop have sort of taken a back seat to the new school (i.e. Drake, Wale, Kid Cudi, J Cole, Mac Miller, etc). But because of this explosion of new talent onto the scene, many of these already established artists are hungry to regain the spotlight; hopefully stepping up their game in the process. So as we begin the new year, lets take a look to see who will be making some of these comebacks, what might change the game, and which new artists are emerging to keep these older heads on their toes.
Some of the most exciting comebacks this year—or potential comebacks—are just now getting started. Rick Ross, for example, has just released his first solo material since 2010, and has set his sights on having a very successful year individually with the release of his 5th studio album God Forgives I Don’t. and although Ross just had a monster year with the early success of his label, the future of his rap career—and maybe even his label—depends strongly on the result of this album. In order for Rick Ross to truly anchor his label and crew, he’s going to have to prove to everyone why he feels he can make history. Because if Ross’s album is a flop, who’s to say the rest of his labels releases won’t be too? So for Rick Ross, its put up or shut up in 2012.
Kendrick Lamar - Rigamortus Remix ft Busta Rhymes
To me, Kendrick Lamar’s Section 80 has got to be one of the best records of 2011
Wiz Khalifa Snoop Dogg - Young Wild and Free
This is the original song that was dope as shit and not that radio bull shit