As a refresher, here's what's what. Over the next few days, Twaan and I will be presenting our 12 Artists to Watch in 2012. These are the guys we believe are poised to make big breakthroughs in the coming months. Forget about XXL's list, everybody knows those dudes were selling spots. Forget about MTV's list, everybody knows they were smoking angel dust the entire time. Kids Wasting Time's got you.
We get it popping, after the jump.
Puts on for: The LYFE Music
Dope Interviews: Kids Wasting Time x GhostWridah (Interview)
Essential Listening: American Alien
Get Familiar: "Window Cracked" (feat. Freeway)
I'd be lying if I told you these past two months and change went the way I thought they would for Ghost. With Roc Nation rumors swirling everywhere, we'd all been expecting a major announcement at the top of the year, but we're still waiting on that. Has that affected the confidence I have in Ghost? Not one bit.
I'm a firm believer that talent will win out over time, and Ghost is truly one of the most talented young rappers going. He's a great writer, which has made him notorious for his slick and witty punchlines, but more importantly, it means he provides tight, focused songs with strong hooks. He got his start ghost-writing for some of rap's biggest and brightest; I can't emphasize enough how great it is to listen to an artist with such a command of language and concepts. Outside of his writing, he brings some of the most polished flows in the game. Yup, I said it, and if you give him a listen, you'll come to realize I'm right.
2012 didn't start off the way we imagined it would for Ghost, but let's not fret over it just yet. The year is young, and this guy's talent is undeniable.
Hails from: Vancouver, BC
Essential Listening: Where's Waldo
Get Familiar: "Bedtime" (feat. Saigon)
I was definitely late to SonReal, which is a shame, because my brother had been touting him for ages, and he came up rapping in my backyard. But hey, one day you stop ignoring what somebody says, you hit play, and you're pleasantly surprised by what you hear.
Listening to SonReal, it becomes quickly apparent that he has aspirations outside of blog love and 100 shows a year. He spits it raw (listen to that ditty with Saigon above for proof), but also, it's clear he wants to make songs that jam. Which is more than fine with me. Not everybody wants to grow up to be the gem of the underground.
Why keep an eye on SonReal in 2012? For a variety of reasons. Because he spits it positive and uplifting. Because Vancouver is due for their own major MC (not every rapper in Canada wants to sound like Drake). But most importantly, because he's a genuine talent, and he makes the type of songs that get stuck in your head, and end up becoming summer anthems.
Artist: Main Attrakionz
Consists of: Squadda B & Mondre M.A.N
Twitter: @squaddabambino // @MondreMAN
Essential Listening: 808s and Dark Grapes II
Get Familiar: "Perfect Skies"
Definitely the most avant-garde of these three choices (and maybe our entire list, you'll have to wait and see), Main Attrakionz is fresh, exciting, and innovative. Squadda and Mondre come with the drug and gun talk, staples of the genre, and it sounds dope in their raw and woozy flows. But they also come with so much more. There's the obvious sadness over what they encounter everyday, but more excitingly, there's the sheer optimism and hope they exude. It's captivating, and honestly, it's infectious. Add that to the fact that they deliver all of this over some of the finest lo-fi beats the burgeoning sub-genre has to offer, and you have yourselves a duo you can't help but obsess over.
It's weird, hazy rap for rap fans that can't fuck with Lil B, and are burnt out by Odd Future's shock tactics and yell-rap. It's youthful exuberance, condensed into three and four minute snatches of glowing music.
Rap is these guys' ticket out of their harsh reality. 2012 is the year they do it, and in a big way.
Updated: 12 Artists to Watch in 2012 (Part 3) | Part 4
Previous: 12 Artists to Watch in 2012 (Part 1)
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