Ok well here it comes, part II of my thoughts on the XXL Freshman Class. These artists are the ones who I have heard of, but never really listened too. This is just a disclaimer to let all you guys know that I listened to 3 tracks from each artist and read some articles about them to get a feel for their sounds and styles. Using this, I’ll do my best to give my opinion on their music and potential for success.
Songs listened to (Sag My Pants, Ill Mind of Hopsin 4, How You Like Me Now)
Armed with white contacts and an unexplained amount of anger, Hopsin definitely goes hard on every single track. He definitely aims to offend and holds nothing back in his lyrics, which mind you, are definitely NSFW. I don’t know if I personally could ever get into this music, not because of Hopsin’s flow, but because of the content. He is clever, have no doubt about that, but he is constantly calling out other rappers, and in my opinion, is riding the wave of obscene, shock rap that Tyler and the Odd Future Gang received so much acclaim for. Give it a shot and click play on Ill Mind of Hopsin 4
Songs Listened To (Blunt after Blunt, Monopoly, Black & Brown)
If the first thing you notice about Danny Brown is his hair, the second will definitely be his raspy/chirpy voice which he switches up on every track. The Detroit native has been releasing music for awhile now, but his rise to his XXL Freshman status was achieved through his mixtape XXX and the help of his label, Fool’s Gold Records. The rap itself is a mix of grungy electro, dirty production, and a witty gritty lyrical flow that keeps the listener entertained. The music definitely has a more natural feel to it than most artists, and this could be a product of Browns age (30). Even so, the man makes some interesting music. Check out Monopoly below and if you like it, you can download XXX for free from Brown’s website.
Songs Listened To (I Just Want It All, Time of Your Life, Cali Dreaming)
Out of all the tracks from the three artists I’ve listened to, this one is definitely my favorite. I might just not understand Hopsin’s brand of offensive, angry rap, or Danny Brown’s style and sound, but Kid Ink’s sound is a lot more conducive to the type of music I normally listen to. His flow is smooth, the production is laced with a more radio/club friendly sound, and the use of fancy production tools is clearly displayed, but it all comes together to create a great sound. Out of the 3 artists I listed tonight, I believe that KiD iNk’s mainstream potential is the highest. Now obviously this is not the best way to judge artists, as there have been way too many who have fallen victim to the machine that is the record industry and lose all sense of how they got there (Rolling Papers anyone?) but this guy is definitely getting some of the coveted 8gigs on my ipod touch. Check out his website and the rest of his music
If you didn’t read part I, check it out here
Check back tomorrow/wednesday to hear my thoughts on French Montana, Roscoe Dash, and Future
And look out for friday’s piece on the guys who missed the cut