As we move into the New Year, the hip-hop scene is looking very promising with several talented rappers that are sure to make an impact and leave a mark in 2011.
First on the list is Mississippi’s own Big K.R.I.T. K.R.I.T. created quite a buzz for himself throughout 2010 with the highly acclaimed mixtape, “K.R.I.T Waz Here”, modest rotation on MTV Jams, and a spot on the Waken Baken tour. His slow country drawl, hand crafted beats, fresh subject matter, smooth flow, and potent delivery combine to create the perfect combination of pure, southern hip-hop. Picking up where David Banner left off, the new heir to the crooked letter state is one to keep an eye on in 2011.
From No Limit Records, to Lil Wayne’s Young Money crew, and now on Dame Dash’s new BluRoc label, Curren$y is not exactly a new artist. The Jets front man released two well received albums in 2010 – “Pilot Talk” and “Pilot Talk II”, but it would seem his potential is only now just being accessed and the world can expect big things from the Louisiana spitter in the coming months.
Capitalizing on the buzz he has created since a student at St. Johns college in New York City, J.Cole is reaching 50 cent in 2004 or Drake in 2010 levels of hype, and deservingly so. It is refreshing for a rapper to be as honest and sincere in his rhymes and serious about his craft as J. Cole has been, and the young rapper’s dedication has not gone unnoticed. Signed as the first rapper on Jay-Z’s newly minted Roc Nation records, J. Cole is poised to follow in the footsteps of the big homie, Hova, and his previous protégé, Kanye West. Cole dropped the venerable, album quality, “Friday Night Lights” mixtape in the fourth quarter of 2010. If his mixtapes are any indication of the much anticipated unnamed album that is set to drop sometime in 2011, then the year is already his for the taking.
Mr. Cole will be facing stiff competition from his new label mate, Jay Electronica. Jay Electronica has been lurking under the radar of the mainstream for years now, and it would seem the stars have finally aligned and the world is finally ready to embrace the eccentric, non-formulaic music of the enigmatic emcee. In 2010, he started the year off correct with highly praised song, “Exhibit C”, along with a jaw dropping guest verse on Reflection Eternal’s “Just Begun” track. Though his behavior is often erratic and unpredictable, his recent signing to Roc Nation leads one to believe that 2011 will be the year of Electronica.
Last, but certainly not least, is Young Money’s hidden gem, Cory Gunz. Cory, while young in age, is no newcomer. The son of Peter Gunz, the young rapper has the DNA of great emceeing hardwired into him. After countless mixtapes, label switches, an explosive verse on Lil Wayne’s 2008 hit “A Millie”, (the verse was so hot that it was eventually deleted and replaced with another verse from Wayne as not to be outdone on his own song), the precocious rapper is finally getting the attention he so rightfully received. If you would have asked the average, casual hip-hop fan who Cory Gunz was a few weeks ago you would have likely received a blank stare. Ask anyone who Cory Gunz is today and they will likely light up as they recall the astonishing sequel to “A Millie”, “6’7” with Lil Wayne. Cory’s rapid delivery, compounded metaphors and similes, along with the currently impeccable team of YM are sure to guarantee him success in 2011.