The days of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac have long since passed, but the hip hop game is hotter than ever. There’s a new crop of rappers and hip hop artists on the rise who are absolutely massacring the music industry. Let’s take a look at the top five hip hop artists to watch in 2013.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have brought their unique swagger to the music industry in a big way. They’ve revolutionized the musical genre of hip hop that typically boasts of fame and life in excess with their chart-topping hit “Thrift Shop”. The duo instead beams about bargain-buying at their local Goodwill–priceless.
Staying true to their brand the duo tackles social issues gracefully, without ever forgetting to entertain the shit out of a crowd. Their progressive single called “Same Love” promotes same-sex marriage and was written during the Washington Referendum 74 campaign.
Be sure to check out Macklemore’s latest hit “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton. The song has a John Legend-esque soulful sound to it that pairs perfectly with the fire that Macklemore spits.
We got a f*%&$*# problem–we love A$AP Rocky. Reppin the East Coast, A$AP was born in Harlem and is relatively new to the rap scene. He launched into critical acclaim with his debut album Long. Live. ASAP. His influences include other famous rap and hip hop groups like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Three 6 Mafia, Run DMC and Wu-Tang Clan. In his fast rise to fame he’s already collaborated with chart-toppers like Rihanna, 2Chainz, Kendrick Lamar and Drake.
Check out “Goldie,” “I’m Different” and “Fucking Problems” for a taste of A$AP’s lyrical mastery and flair.
Kendrick Lamar hails from Compton, California. Currently under Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label and Interscope Records, he is a well-deserved nominee for our Hip Hop Artists to Watch category. Even before receiving major attention for his mixtape Overly Dedicated, Lamar was a massive internet star.
We love everything about Kedrick, his story, his struggle, his poignant lyrical fire, his raw talent. He lays everything on the table with every lyric. He doesn’t glorify urban warfare, but instead tries to help people understand the complexities of street life. He is in a subgenre of his own, even within the rap community. Check out his hit single’s Swimming Pools to better understand what all the hype is about.
The East Coast is serving up some serious talent this year, in the form of another hip-hop sensation Joey Bada$$. He’s an independent hip hop artist from New York and part of Pro Era. He has recently stepped into the light with his mixtape 1999 and his “Survival Tactics” video that spread across the internet like wildfire.
His ability to freestyle is of particular note, and has gained him widespread acclaim on YouTube. His flow, style and wordplay are proof that he is in fact a badass. Check out his single “Unorthodox” and get familiar with this soon-to-be massive talent.
Future aka Nayvadius Wilburn is a Haitian American from Atlanta, Georgia. Signed to Epic Records, this rapper lives up to his prophetic moniker. In a genre all his own, Future combines auto-tune, rap, singing, and futuristic beats.
He is the penman behind YC’s hit single “Racks” and has collaborated with Gucci Mane on his Free Bricks album. He brings a refreshing, progressive sound and flavor to the rap game and we look forward to his bright future. His newest mixtape Future Hendrix will feature Kanye West, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Drake, Andre 3000 and many more. Check out his song “Karate Chop” featuring Casino.