10 ) Big Sean
Big Sean has been patiently waiting in Kanye's wings for years now. He signed to G.O.O.D Music in 2007 but only has a bunch of guest verses and two ominously titled mixtapes to show for it. Look for Sean to expand on his Finally Famous mixtape series with the release of a similarly titled debut sometime in 2011. Pharrell, No I.D. and Yeezy are on board for his debut album.
9 ) Preemo
Preemo has been bubbling under the radar for most of his career. Despite dropping a stunningly impressive album, Concrete Dreams, and a brilliant mixtape, Flight 713, in 2010, he didn't get the attention he deserves. The Texas native isn't in a hurry to compromise his sound for a shot at fame. Preemo is so proud of his work he could die a content soul. And for good reason; Concrete Dreams is enjoyable from cover to cover. It’s the kind of music Kanye was making when he first broke out – dark, raw, personal. He's going to be a headache if given the opportunity.
8 )L.E.P Bogus boys
Chicago's own L.E.P. (Lower End Professionals) Bogus Boys offers that rare blend of wild ambition, inventive videos, and creativity that's often absent in street rap. Part of what makes the duo so charming is that they continually strive to connect with the listener, even while rapping about some of the grimiest crime in South Side Chicago. Common and Lupe Fiasco may speak for the thinking man, but Count and Moonie are the voice of the streets.
7 ) The Nice guys
Niceguys (Yves, Candlestick, Free, and Christolph) are generous with bombastic drums but stingy with flimsy boasts. Slivers of style abound in their music, but they take a back seat to metaphor-driven rhymes, humor, and emotional depth. Their 2010 album, The Show, was a fun-filled opus that nudged them further into hip-hop consciousness. If the Houston group follows up with a strong outing in 2011, they certainly won't go unnoticed for too long.
6 )Boog Brown
In a perfect world, Boog Brown would be a star. There's always an undercurrent of emotioinal nuance in her voice. One moment she's projecting a somber elegance. The next, she's singing beautifully in a calm, confident tone. Think Lauryn Hill at her most sepia-toned. Last year, Boog collaborated with Apollo Brown on the sleeper LP, Brown Study. If that album revealed one thing about Boog Brown, it's that she has a way of infusing despair with charm.
5 ) Kendrick Lamar
K.Dot tried. He really tried doing the safety dance and all he got was an empty soul. When that approach left him with an unsettling feeling, he changed his rap moniker and vowed to only make the music he can be proud of. Once he made that leap, Kendrick Lamar effectively placed himself on the path to greatness. His mixtapes bump harder than most albums. He raps like he's fighting a cold, but once your ear adjusts to his voice you're in for a helluva ride.
4 )Cyhi da Prynce
Cyhi da Prynce was already sitting on a Def Jam deal, but one freestyle altered his musical journey. Kanye West caught a whiff of the Atlanta MC's remix of Yelawolf's "I Wish" and immediately went looking for him. Ye and Cyhi later flew to Hawaii to rub minds and vibe in the studio. Three weeks later, Cyhi da Prynce entered into a partnership with one of rap's biggest royalties. The 26-year old lyricist spent much of 2010 killing freestyles and wrecking guest features. He's a classic example of seizing every opportunity to shine. Look for his GOOD Music debut in 2011.
3 ) Big K.R.I.T.
Close your eyes and pretend it’s 1996. UGK's Ridin' Dirty is oozing from every Cadillac in Houston. J Dilla and Outkast are dominating the airwave in Detroit and Atlanta. Now fast forward to 2010. Throw the three aforementioned acts in a blender and sprinkle a hint of 8Ball & MJG. Open your eyes. Welcome to the world of Big K.R.I.T. The Mississippi MC is the complete package. I'll be surprised if he doesn't have a big year in 2011.
2 ) OFWGKTA
OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) isn't for everyone. While most new artists succeed on the strength of universality, this L.A. posse succeeds by annoying the hell out of people who want nothing to do with their odious rhymes about coke, rape and swastikas. Their 19-year old leader is the mastermind behind one of 2010's best rap songs, "Bastard." No bright stars here. Instead, Odd Future seek to express a shared universal pain. The wealth of their substance and the depth of their roster make them a force to reckon with in 2011.
1 ) Danny Brown
Danny Brown has a way of making the familiar sound original, whether griping about his state of penury or telling female friends to squeegee his third eye. He's also a heartbroken rapper. Where Nas once saw hope in the face of poverty and told us that "the buck that bought the bottle could've struck the lotto," Brown is scared he won't ever find an answer to the ugliness he sees in the world. "F-ck the lotto," Brown barks, "the buck's on the bottle."
you mean like new artist that we never heard off? Because if not, than i think J-Cole and Jay Electronica will do good this year, and after Shady signing Yelawoulf and Slaughterhouse, it looks like they will be the ones to watch...
I havnt heard of any of these rappers and I dont think we will hear of them in 2011 the new rapper to watch at the moment is Professor Green.
by TheBlondie 6 years ago
Am I the only one who thinks rap shouldn't be considered music?It isn't singing, its just fast talking- they are pretty much all about the same things, and all sound similar. Why is rap such a popular genre of music?
by Kathleen 8 years ago
Do you have a goal for 2010, or a plan to change your life in some major way? I don't mean New Year's resolutions, but rather a plan to be in a completely different place by the end of the year?My goal is to live in London by this time next year, and to celebrate the 2011 New Year at my favorite...
by Steven Escareno 7 years ago
Well, you can make a strong case for him that's for sure. Then again, you could argue that he's never been a great x's and o's guy because he's always had the luxury of having an assistant coach in Tex Winter that practically invented and defined the infamous Triangle offense of today's...
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