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10 rappers changing the face of hip-hop

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posted by alias stephenmj12 on Thursday 30th of July 2015 04:52:21 AM

The genre of hip-hop has long been associated with big money spenders, thugs and gangsters, and frankly, an over abundance of simply having fun. The 2 Chainz, Future's, Jeezy's and Fetty Wap's of the game certainly will not be going anywhere anytime soon. However, a new breed of hip-hop artist has emerged within the last several years. Set to redefine what the genre means, and what it stands for. Artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Childish Gambino and Logic have stepped into the game, doing something different than the average rapper. Whether it be giving a solid dose of intelligence, or getting in the producer chair and orchestrating a masterpiece of sound, they are hip-hop artists with a mission to elevate the genre. And whether you're a fan of them or not, these "weirdos" are definitely here to stay, not going away or dying off anytime soon. 10 - Logic His name is Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, but he simply goes by his stage name Logic. Born in 1990 in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Logic spent his childhood with both his African-American father and Caucasian mother who suffered from crack addiction and alcoholism. However, he has never let the harsh reality of his upbringing stop him from rising above it and delivering a positive message in his music. Logic started building a following at a young age, even before the age of 18. Logic does use his platform as a hip-hop to talk about his life and some of the things he has gone through, particularly on his debut studio album, Under Pressure. Sheldon Pearce of HipHopDX found a lot of depth in the album's storytelling saying "There are a great many moments that make Under Pressure feel like a feature film about Logic’s life, and when at its best, it is creating that sort of imagery." AllMusic (source 2) praised the production and Logic's storytelling throughout the album saying, "Under Pressure is an autobiographical and odds-beating debut that arrives more fully formed than expected." 9 - Tyler, the Creator Tyler is absolutely a controversial person in the music scene. But earlier this year, the young producer did a pretty revealing interview with Hot 97 radio station. Tyler went into detail about how general music fans view him and how he views himself overall as an artist. Tyler emerged onto the hip-hop scene as part of a collective group of rappers who called themselves Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All - or just Odd Future for short. They were a very controversial, outspoken and rambunctious group of young adults, with vulgar and violent lyrics, who proudly carried that "we don't care" flag throughout their discography. Tyler came out the other end being the leader, the most offensive and outspoken, and the most creatively ambitious, having spawned 4 solo projects along with many other entrepreneurial endeavors. Tyler is young and is very much enjoying his success, vehemently revolting against the idea of settling. He isn't even 25 years old, and has already worked with a legend such as Roy Ayers, on his latest album Cherry Bomb. Rachel Chesbrough of XXL give the album an XL rating, saying "Cherry Bomb is his greatest achievement thus far, solidifying his place in the game, with or without the conspicuously absent Odd Future crew." 8 - Mick Jenkins In 2014, a young rapper from Chicago released his fourth project out into the world, a mixtape called The Water[s]. In July of that same year, Mick was gaining a lot of attention after he released his single "Martyrs" which took harsh truths about our modern culture and society, and blended them with a catchy chorus, establishing a very insightful song with many layered messages and subtle bits of social commentary. Within the music industry, major artists and producers - including Virginia born Timbaland - have given praise to Jenkins and his music. The Water[s] has since been regarded as one of the best mixtapes to have been released in 2014, receiving high praise from a number of different hip-hop publications. 7 - A$AP Rocky Mr. A$AP Rocky is a young hip-hop emcee from Harlem. In fact, he is part of a big group of hip-hop artists from the same area, they call themselves the A$AP Mob, cleverly enough. He first got really interested in rap when he was 8 years old, and after the death of his brother, he began to take it much more seriously. Moving around different shelters with his family in his teen years, he managed to survive, releasing his debut single years later, "Peso". In October of 2011, A$AP Rocky released his mixtape Live. Love. ASAP which caught some critical acclaim, leading him to sign a two-year, $3 million record deal with RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music. Fast forward to 2015, and the rapper has debuted his sophomore album, At. Long. Last. A$AP - which takes a lot of inspiration from psychedelic music. It is more expansive than his first album, more experimental and more confident. "I don't want to be cliche," he says. "I don't like doing anything anyone else is doing. If leather's popular this year, I'm just going to have to go with suede. If you want to consider my shit alternative, so be it. I just look at it as eclectic." 6 - Big K.R.I.T. Justin Scott, also known as Big K.R.I.T., is not only a rapper, but also a producer from Meridan, Mississippi. In a time when a majority of southern rap pushes partying and money, K.R.I.T. has always been a standout emcee. Since 2005, he's been releasing mixtapes, hard at work, getting his name out there, and he finally got some big buzz in 2010 with his K.R.I.T. Wuz Here mixtape. Very shortly after, he was signed to Def Jam. In the first quarter of 2011, Big K.R.I.T. was featured on the cover of XXL as part of their annual Top Freshmen of the year, which included Meek Mill, Cyhi the Prynce, Yelawolf, Mac Miller, YG and Kendrick Lamar. While he disappointed some fans with his debut studio album, Live from the Underground, he aimed to make amends with his late-2014 sophomore release, Cadillactica. The project is a concept album, taking the listener to another planet where K.R.I.T. uses G-Funk and gives homage to ATL legends OutKast. Michael Madden of Consequence of Sound said, "What makes Cadillactica arguably his best full-length to date is that he’s never sounded more determined to chart every foot – or every layer of atmosphere – in between." 5 - Childish Gambino Childish Gambino, who's real name is Donald Glover, is somewhat of a multi-layered threat. He raps and sings, and acts, does stand up comedy and is also a screenwriter. Glover grew up in the south, moving over to the East Coast for his college education at NYU, and shifting over to Los Angeles where his acting/rapping career really began to blossom. He has been able to build quite the cult following, from those who were first introduced to him through his online comedy sketches, knew him from his work on 30 Rock/Community to regular hip-hop heads who really liked his sound. Gambino released his debut studio album, Camp, in 2011 - which discussed things like racial expectations and cultural ostracism. He is able to speak to a small demographic within the black community. With his sophomore project, Because the Internet..., Gambino went with a concept album, telling a fictional (and loosely autobiographical) story. The entire album is experimental, from industrial noises, to pop-sensibilities and jazz influences. 4 - Kanye West This next rapper really needs no introduction. Kanye West has been changing and evolving the game ever since he first stepped foot onto the field. His first major studio album, The College Dropout, set a new precedence for hip-hop and producing over a decade ago. Kanye only continued to grow and evolve as an artist, changing his sound with Late Registration and Graduation. The death of his mother shortly after was probably the most painful experience of his life, resulting in his 4th studio album, 808s & Heartbreak. On this album, which was very pop-influenced, Mr. West detailed some very personal trials and tribulations he was going through, and reflecting that through his creative production. It was something that no one else was doing at the time, and it is an album that has had a tremendous impact on what future artists could and can do within hip-hop. His 5th album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is regarded as easily his best project and one of the single greatest hip-hop albums of all time. The Guardian included it at number two on its list of 2010's top 40 albums and commented that West "remains, on record, one of the most compelling artists of our time." And still continued to receive universal acclaim for his most polarizing project to-date, Yeezus. 3 - Chance the Rapper Another bright and positive young rap artist hailing from the city of Chicago is Chance the Rapper, who's real name is Chancelor Bennett. While in high school, Chance did not get a whole of support from teachers in regards to his desire to become a musician. After he received a 10 day suspension, he recorded his first project, a mixtape entitled #10Day. It made it's way around and caught some attention. Chance released his second mixtape Acid Rap, on April 30, 2013. On DatPiff it has been certified double platinum after being downloaded over 900,000 times. Acid Rap was listed on multiple 50 best albums of 2013 lists, including 26th for Rolling Stone, 12th on Pitchfork's list, and ranked 4th by Complex. It was also listed as one of NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013. Bennett is known for his highly syncopated and complex flow patterns, his fusing of rapped and sung vocals, and his accomplished lyricism that tackles personal growth, highly symbolic storytelling and political and social criticism. 2 - Run the Jewels Not since N.W.A. or Public Enemy has their been a group devoted to unapologetically telling the truth and refusing to play by the industry rules. Run the Jewels is a rap duo which consists of New York emcee/producer El-P and Atlanta rapper Killer Mike. Of the 2, Mike has been a bit more outspoken and politically active, having recently thrown out his endorsement for Bernie Sanders for President. But Killer Mike and El-P's first collaborative project was Mike's 2012 album, R.A.P. Music. In 2013, they formed the due Run the Jewels and put out an album together, with the same title. That project made it onto several publication's best of the year lists. But the two emcees managed to outdo themselves on their follow-up project, Run the Jewels 2, a sequel to their previous and critically acclaimed album. Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times stated, "Run the Jewels is the team of two indie titans, El-P and Killer Mike, who have upended convention by remaining idealistically true, artistically adventurous and creatively emboldened well into their second decade as rapper-producers. The pair's second album, released as a free download last week, proves it 11 times over." 1 - Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton, California, and has seen his fair share of gang violence, while even seeming to insinuate that he has been involved in some of it. Lamar made some waves within the underground hip-hop scene with his 2011 project, Section.80. The concept album features lyrical themes delivered by Lamar such as racism and medication tolerance, and received critical acclaim from music critics, and remains a classic to many hip-hop fans in general. But he broke boundaries and exploded into the mainstream with his next album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. The album appeared on several year-end top albums lists by music critics. It was named the best album of 2012 by BBC, Complex, Fact, New York, and Pitchfork Media. As of January 2015, the album had sold 1,400,000 copies. The project is a concept album, pulling stories from Kendrick's own life. But he has only grown as an artist, as his 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly will undoubtedly showcase. In Rolling Stone, Greg Tate hailed To Pimp a Butterfly as "a masterpiece of fiery outrage, deep jazz and ruthless self-critique" that, along with D'Angelo's third album Black Messiah, make 2015 "the year radical Black politics and for-real Black music resurged in tandem to converge on the nation's pop mainstream." Related articles across the web Chance The Rapper surprises Chicago youth with epic field trip 2015 MTV VMAs Nominees Include Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift And Beyoncé Kendrick Lamar steals show at New Look Wireless Best-selling artist Kendrick Lamar is facing a lawsuit over a photo he used Sia nominated for Best Female Video at the 2015 MTV VMAs but faces Beyoncé and Taylor Swift Stream Wireless Festival 2015 With Performances From Drake, A$AP Rocky, Travi$ Scott, and More

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