The days of artist development are almost over. Now artist’s have to be the finished product before they get signed.
Sometimes XXL covers certain artists because they dont want to damage relations with managers, label execs and sponsors. Plus, they have to sell issues too just like rappers do. So some talented rappers suffer as a result.
Looking back on the 2009 XXL Freshman list, in the last 12 months, which one of these guys was a bonafide success?
XXL Class of 2009: Who passed who failed?
I heard Wale had a bigger budget for his album than 50 Cent . He still sold under 30000 first week.
Cory Gunz and Charles Hamilton are talented but they haven’t shown any signs of making hit records.They’re young so there is still time for them. B.O.B is still sort of uninteresting.
Asher Roth‘s single went Platinum, so props to him, even though the album flopped. (PR Team’s worst nightmare though)
Blu and Curren$y are both talented but they had no machine behind them to give them proper direction. (I heard Curren$y is making big moves with Dame and Mos Def this year)
Ace Hood and Mickey Factz? Lets not even go there…..
So that makes one, maybe 2 rappers from that class who passed. The main problem with the list is who really deserved to be on it? I could only vouch for 4 or 5 of those guys.
Which brings me to this years XXL Class of 2010.
I don’t know how XXL created their list. Its most likely to be based on managment and label relations, and “internet buzz”, which really counts for little in actual sales.
In the list I’ve taken into account their rapping skills, hand to hand sales,originality,quality of mixtapes, regional buzz, image and ‘internet buzz’.
Im assuming the likes of Mikky Halsted, Freddie Gibbs, Nipsey Hussle,Jay Rock, Wiz Khalifa, J Cole and Nicki Minaj (because sex sells) will already be on the list. But I’d have to consider putting these guys on that list too.
H World Class of 2010: (In no particular order)
Yelawolf: In case XXL didn’t notice, Middle America LOVES white rappers. Especially when they have a good story behind them. But Yelawolf, isn’t merely a white rapper. His bamma meets redneck meets skater image and unique style of rapping make him stand out. Good song concepts too.
Vado: A NY rapper,who raps mostly about coke and guns.The streets in Harlem seem to like Vado (no homo). Comparisons have been made to Juelz and Shyne, which is never a bad thing. If he continues his form on Gangsta Grillz, then I’m sure he could help encourage more rappers to emerge in NY Hip Hop.
Doey Rock: Bay Area rapper, who has a distinct voice, good wordplay and personality in his rhymes. Just because he doesn’t have records with Dre x Snoop doesn’t mean he’s not there. Never write off the Bay Area.
TMI Boyz: Mark my words, these guys will be involved in a bidding war this year.The Texans moved the 2nd highest amount of Independent records last year out of 1500 albums. Backed by former Cash Money hitmaker, Mannie Fresh. TMI Boyz made $1.5 million last year from record sales and touring.
Add-2: Add-2 is in his own lane, making songs I can relate to. Also has a fantastic ears for beats. Uses a variety of flows from the fast midwest flow, to a slower laid back one. Luxury is on constant rotation for me.
Jay Electronica: What more needs to be said about the New Orleans native? A true rappers rapper, with a mysterious background. He never sounds like he’s forcing out multi-syllabics like some rappers and has already collaborated with Nas, Just Blaze and other hip hop heavyweights.
Rita J: The Chi-Town resident can rap her ass off. She could be some much needed fresh air in Hip Hop. A female who can rap, and doesn’t use ass implants and fake titties as her unique selling point. She doesn’t try to sound like a dude while rapping, her voice has a nice pitch to it.
Meek Mill: Smashing the mixtape scene in Philly right now. His street raps have a lot of energy in them and Meek has been cosigned by many Philly vets. Established in the Philly battle rap scene that gave birth to the likes of Beanie Sigel, Cassidy, Freeway and more. Won several awards at the Philly Hip Hop Awards last year.
Young Reek:Latino rapper from Philly. I’ve heard tracks of his, and some sound radio ready,with hooks and concepts. He got a nice little flow and a sing songy style reminiscent of Peedi Crakk/Hot Boyz. I don’t know how old he is, he sounds kind of young. But with proper direction, he could be one for the future. Won Best Latin Artist at 2009 Philly Hip Hop Awards.