Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that XXL magazine just announced the freshman class for 2012. This is their attempt at identifying some promising MCs who will gain recognition in 2012. Although being on this list doesn’t always lead to success, there is a positive effect of being named one of the 10 artists to watch out for. So out of the 10, Im going to split them into groups and give you guys my thoughts. I won’t claim to be an expert, and some of this is going to be based on personal opinion but overall, when you are through reading, you should have a better idea of what 2012’s Freshman Class has to offer.
1. The Artists I Like
Macklemore Machine Gun Kelly Don Trip Iggy Azalea
Out of the 10 artists on the list, these are the four that I listened to before the list came out, and these are the ones I know I will continue to follow as their careers progress. First up is…
For me, this video perfectly sums up what Macklemore is, a rapper who focuses on what is real. The emotion in this track is incredible because the lyrics ring true about events that actually occurred in Macklemore’s life. This video is the 3rd reiteration of the track, the first featuring an original beat, the second featuring some news clips about the death of pimp c and also a chopped up beat comprised of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers song “Otherside” and finally this version featuring a chorus from Fences and a haunting music video. All this would seem to lead you to believe that Macklemore is so emotionally charged that he doesn’t know how to have fun, but that notion is easily dispelled on plenty of his tracks, but none more so than And We Danced. Sad to say, Macklemore released the majority of his work before CMB came into existence, so here is a link to his youtube , facebook and website and I recommend you download his mixtape The VS. EP and also check out the songs Wings and My Oh My which is a tribute to Dave Niehaus the legendary Seattle Mariners announcer. I see big things for Macklemore this year, and I look forward to hearing more of his music.
Machine Gun KellyIf you haven’t been told to Lace the Fuck Up you better get ready to hear it alot in this upcoming year. Hailing from Cleveland, Machine Gun Kelly is coming hard in 2012. The recent Bad Boy/Interscope signed artist is tearing it up with two big tracks, Wild Boy ft Waka Flocka Flame and Invincible ft Ester Dean, which was featured in the HTC Rezound Commercials. Its really easy for us to just categorize MGK as another Eminem or Yelawolf based on his skin tone, anger and tattoos, but if you overlook that and instead listen to the music, you can hear the raw passion in every bar. His style will bode well and continue to develop with Diddy’s guidance (Diddy owns Bad Boy for those of you who didn’t know) and he will continue to carve out his place in the music industry. His first album, Half Naked & Almost Famous will be dropping in 2012 after three successful mixtapes (100 words and Running, Lace Up, and Rage Pack) As an added bonus, here are two videos that shows the true character of Machine Gun Kelly What Lace Up Means & Lace Up:The Message Behind the Movement If these two videos don’t make you feel something, then you probably don’t have a heart.
Let’s just say CMB has been supporting Don Trip for awhile now and telling you guys not to sleep on him, and obviously it looks like everyone has woke up because Don Trip is part of the Freshman Class. I feel like I’ve said this alot of times, but I like when rappers talk about what they know and have lived rather than fancy cars and all the things they haven’t actually done (cough Rick Ross cough) This is why I really like Don Trips track A Letter To My Son I personally don’t have any kids (and don’t plan on having any any time soon) but you can feel the emotions that Trip is going through as he bares his soul on the track. The newer version of this song as got a hook from Cee-Lo Green, another step towards Trip becoming a more famous artist. He also gives us a drug anthem in Lawyer and a track about his life, aptly entitled The Life. The man has also released a few mixtapes and is currently signed to Interscope records, so expect his debut to drop in the later half of 2012. You can check out more of his work at his website here.
I am going to be a little lazy here and just link you guys to my post about Iggy that I did at the beginning of the year when I said she was a Name to Know for 2012. As I said there and I’ll say it again, Iggy has a chance to tear into the female side of the rap game which is currently being manhandled by Nicki Minaj. Although Nicki has Wayne and the rest of Young Money on her side, Iggy isn’t going in empty handed, she just recently signed to T.I’s Grand Hustle Label and will release an album produced by T.I later on in the year.
Look out for Part 2 of my XXL Review later in the week – The Unknowns (to me anyways)