After an exciting and eventful NBA draft, we figured it’d be as good a time as any to have a look at some of the most promising rap prospects out there. These guys aren’t all household names just yet but that’s only a matter of time. They’ve been making their mark through the mixtape circuit and the industry has taken notice. So without further ado, here is 30Rap’s 2013 draft class.
1. Joey Bada$$
Hailed as rap’s great hope, Joey Bada$$ has to deal with some lofty expectations. At 18-years old he’s to carry the torch for hip-hop lyricism at the time when words seem to become less and less important with every passing Waka Flocka Flame mixtape. His DNA is put together from a nineties New York rhyming template and could easily make him this generation’s biggest star.
2. Freddie Gibbs
Gangsta Gibbs might be the hardest rapper out right now. What sets him apart from other thugged out rappers is the fact that he’s also firmly positioned in the ‘skilled emcee’-bracket, having both flow and bars to spare. His work with legendary left-field producer Madlib allowed him to exponentially increase his fan base and transcend the confines of the gangsta rap subgenre.
3. Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire
Don’t forget the muthafuckin’, without that it’s nothin’.
Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire is a many facetted emcee able to put out an ode to drunk driving (Huzzah!), reminisce on more innocent times as a kid (I should be sleepin’) and vividly describe a sci-fi fantasy caper (The Maltese Falcon pr.1 and pt.2) on one tape. And that’s just scraping the surface. On follow up mixtape Kismet the psychedelic possibilities of the rhyme game are explored even further.
4. Action Bronson
About 85% Ghostface Killah and 15% Raekwon, Action Bronson takes the crown as the most bugged out, over the top rapper in the game. Check any one of his videos for proof. His rhymes are laced with what at first glance appears to be nonsensical imagery and pop-culture references, some more obscure than others and requiring several listens before they fully reveal themselves.
At his best Logic brings to mind Illmatic Nas and Reasonable Doubt Jay-Z, both obvious influences for Young Sinatra. The mixtapes of the recent Def Jam signee have been all about beats, rhymes and live. If he can carry over that classic vibe to his major label debut, he could very well end up with a record mentioned in the same breath as the above-mentioned classics.
6. Chance The Rapper
What if The Fresh Prince really did get in some trouble?
Answer: Chance The Rapper.
Chance manages to convey that same ‘looking for a good time and finding trouble’-Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince vibe. His career basically kickstarted after a 10-day suspension from high school, an event that inspired his debut mixtape. There’s more death and despair (and drugs) in Chance’s world than Will Smith could ever rhyme about but his enthusiasm is just as contagious.
The Black Hippy posse, consisting of Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, is the most talented and influential West Coast rap collective since the Hieroglyphics camp. Lamar and Q already broke into the mainstream and Ab-Soul appears to be next in line. Both wild and insightful, Ab has charisma in spades. His look would make Eazy-E proud.
8. Fat Trel
Fat Trel always looks dirty, dangerous and intent on doing whatever he has to do in order to survive. That’s what he sounds like as well. Part of Master P’s Louis V Mob and the most prolific member of the Slutty Boyz camp, Trel recently inked a deal with Ricky Rozay’s Maybach Music Group.
Ar-Ab is your standard looking portly Philadelphia rapper with a beard. With hood credentials that come by way of getting shot ten times, driving himself to the hospital and getting to rap about the incident afterwards. Never venturing too far off the street-level track, his hustle is all about the hustle; Ar-Ab is the grimy heir to Beanie Siegel’s throne in the city of beardedly love.
10. Lil’ Dicky
Lil’ Dicky wears his outsider status like a badge of honor. A Jewish (still an exceptional characteristic in hip-hop) rapper concerned with something other than the trap, like the pressure that comes with trying to lay pipe to the perfect girl after you find out her ex is hung like a moose. He balances a fine line between comedy and skill, walking it with great bravado. His debut mixtape, So Hard, is quite possibly the funniest album out right now.