I first started doing this list last year for HipHopCulture. It got a lot of comments and attention. So here I am again at the end of another year to tell you who to look out for. I'd say that 8 out the 10 rappers I put up went on to have big years. Having Charles Hamilton on last years list made it look less credible. The criteria for this list are rappers that have yet to put out an album.
Really, I wonder if he'll ever really get on. I've been a fan of XV for a while. Seems like he gets no credit for what he puts out. He dropped one of the better mixtapes from last year with "Everybody's Nobody" (which is appropriately titled) and was left of the XXL Freshmen cover. Not sure he'll get it this coming year either, but he did drop "Vizzy Zone" this year which is growing on me. Maybe if he drops his long delayed album "The Kid With The Green Backpack" his buzz will get bigger.
Recent Song: The Flying V
9. Cyhi Da Prynce
There's no question for whether he can spit or not. Because if you've heard him on "So Appalled" or "Take One For The Team" you know that by now. For him to really become more popular he needs to drop some of his own tracks though instead of guest verses on Kanye tracks. He did drop "Royal Flush" which was a decent listen. But I feel like he's just getting started.
Recent Song: Hero
8. Show TuFli
He's probably the least known rapper on this list, but Show's been working hard lately. Before this year he was pretty much known as Charles Hamilton's protege, but in this past year he's dropped 2 mixtapes "Soldier of Love (Music Inspired by Sade" and "Keep In Mind That I'm An Artist And I'm Sensitive About My Shit (Music Inspired By Erykah Badu)". Also he currently has a music series going called TuFli Tuesdays. I'm unsure of whether an album is coming in the near future, but he's making a name for himself.
Recent Song: Unbelievable
7. Meek Mill
This one might be a long shot, but Meek is starting to finally gain some buzz outside of the Philly area. He dropped two good mixtapes this year with "Flamers 3" and "Mr. Philadelphia". He's still signed on T.I.'s Grand Hustle label and has definitely gotten the co-sign from Rick Ross and was featured on his latest tape "Ashes To Ashes". Maybe it's not such a long shot.
Recent Song: Play Your Part
I know this is a bold statement, but he has the best flow in the game for any one coming up. Since last year he's been putting out consistent quality material from "Broken Headphones" to "How Thoughtful". He's currently on his way to releasing "The Reason: A Defense Mechanism". He's one of my favorites but I'm pretty sure he won't have the commercial success that some of the other artists on this list will.
Recent Song: The Samba Thelonious Theory
5. Kendrick Lamar
I feel I just caught wind of this dude recently. But he just brings a new style to the game. He's no where near the best. He's got average lyrics, but he's doing something different. His "Overly Dedicated" mixtape is one of my favorites of the year. He's also gotten the co-sign from Dr. Dre. I'm interested to see which move he's going to make next.
Recent Song: Look Out For Detox
4. Big Sean
Look who's on the list again this year. Since he didn't drop Finally Famous: The Album this past year he makes it again. At this point, everyone knows what he can do. He's got serious potential to be the next big thing it depends on what does next. He put out one of the best mixtapes of the year with "Finally Famous Vol. 3" and his number of fans keep growing. Seems like he's next to blow up.
Recent Song: Too Fake
3. Jay Electronica
He's the oldest on this list by far. But he and J. Cole probably have the best chance of putting out a classic hip hop album. If Act II ever drops like it was supposed to this past year then it will be a force to reckon with. He's obviously on his way up, even he is already in he's 30's. He was just recently signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label. All we can do as fans is wait for the album to drop.
Recent Song: The Shiny Suit Theory
2. J. Cole
It's just about that time Jermaine. He's been signed with Jay-Z for over a year now. He's put out a quality single with "Who Dat" a follow up to "The Warm Up" with "Friday Night Lights". He's been featured on radio hits from artists like Miguel, Sean Garrett and Keri Hilson. It's time to put out that album we've been waiting for. It is expected for a first quarter 2011 release but release dates are always flexible.
Recent Song: 2Face
1. Wiz Khalifa
His time definitely is now. He's been featured on magazine covers. He's had a gold selling single with "Black & Yellow". "Kush & Orange Juice" was my personal favorite mixtape of the year. All he needs to do is put out the expected album. He's already big now. I wonder how big he'll be when the year is over.
Recent Song: Black And Yellow
Alex Da Kid the producer of the latest song of Dr Dre up incoming album "Detox", the song is called "I Need A Doctor" which is from Dr Dre and Eminem it leaked on the internet a while ago. Well the producer Alex Da Kid spoke to hip-hop website SOHH and spoke about Nas next album he working on with him. He said Nas still on the early stages of his next LP and Nas gave him props for the song he worked on with Dre "I Need A Doctor".
Below is what Alex Da Kid said
"I was actually with Nas [recently]," Alex told SOHH. "We were talking about different stuff and I played him a few things I was doing. Actually, on the way to the studio, he heard 'I Need A Doctor,' the new leaked Dr. Dre single and he was telling me how much he loved [it] and we were just talking about stuff. I don't think he's started recording yet or if so, he's super early in on the process of working on the album. We were talking about [linking up] and I'm sure we're gonna make it happen at some point but it's really just talking [for now]. I'm really getting to know him more and more as a person so I can really give him something personal that'll make sense. I'm sure we'll get it in before his album drops." (SOHH)
KING: History has shown that acting is the likeliest transition for rappers. Considering your background, do you want to dabble in Hollywood?
NICKI MINAJ: Of course.
What would be your dream role?
I’d like to play someone in a Tim Burton movie, where I get dressed up and painted and crazy.
You kind of do that now.
Then I want to be able to do some action stuff, like Angelina Jolie.
Like in Salt?
Yes! And then I’d like to just play a regular girl who, you know, is facing the world. Something really sentimental and organic, that girls all around the world can identify with. You know, how Jada Pinkett Smith did in Jason’s Lyric.
Classic film. You did mention earlier how everything has been time consuming. But when that time frees up, what kind of guy do you look for to be sentimental and organic with?
Um, I look for someone who is calm, someone who is strong enough to not have to win every argument, someone who allows a woman to be her crazy self and someone with a conscience not to feel less of a man. You know, someone who is able to honor his woman but also bring out the freak in his woman.
How should your Ken bring out the freak in you, Barbie?
Just being super aggressive when the time is right.
Are we talking about Mortal Kombat–style “Come here” aggression?
Just something that makes me feel like they’re in control, when we are behind closed doors
Febuary had the Grammys recap as it was on the last night of January. It had Jay-Z winning a few awards and Eminem with a couple. The performance of the night was "Forever" & "Drop The World" which has Lil Wayne and Eminem starting off with there song together and Drake came out after to do Forever with them. But Kanye West was not there to perform it and Travis Barker was playing the drums for it. With YoungMoney artist Lil Wayne putting his album out called "Rebirth" which had more rock to it than hip-hop some said. After leaving Aftermath a few years ago Game rejoined Dr Dre label.
March had Lil Wayne start his prison sentence which was thought to be a year long. Which had the artist filmed 30 Music Videos before he went to jail. It was the oppoiste for T.I he left jailed and started to record and work on his seventh album. Lloyd Banks put on his twitter his next album would be called "Hunger For More 2". Luda had an album out for the females called "Battle Of The Sexes". Other notable albuns were from Snoop Dogg , Method Man Ghostface Raekwon, DMX, Tech N9ne.
April had the first hip-hop artist to have a number one in the Hot 100 charts which was from B.o.B "Nothin On You". Dr Dre said in an interview Jay-Z was going to feature on "Detox" first single. Guru from Gangstarr died at the age of 47. Weezy album "Rebirth" went gold. Eminem put on his twitter there no "Relapse 2" as he changed the name to "Recovery" and set a June release date. A mixtape from Wiz Khalifa came out and B.o.B debut album called "B.o.B Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray " came out.
June was the month were Eminem album "Recovery" debut at number one. Luda single "My Chick Bad" and Lil Wayne's "Drop The World" both went platinum. Drake has his debut album out in June called "Thank Me Later" which sold 449,000 copies. Drake's debut album Thank Me Later sold about 449,000 copies in its first week giving it a #1 debut on the Billboard 200.
July this was the month were rumors of Kanye West new album tracklist hit the internet which was a fake copy. Eminem album went past a million copies sold in the second week and his second single "Love The Way You Life" which featured Rihanna hit number one in the charts. Rick Ross and Big Boi had the biggest albums to come out this month. Also "Pilot Talk" came out from hip-hop artist Curren$y.
August had had Kanye West and Nicki Minaj name were albums titles which were "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and "Pink Friday". Both music videos for Kanye West song "Power" and Eminem song "Love The Way You Lie" came out on the same day. Drake hosted Ovo Festival were it had VIP list of artists the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem, Rick Ross etc. This year hip-hop cash kings 2010 came out which had a order of this Jay-Z, Diddy, Akon, Lil Wayne, Dr Dre. Eminem album Recovery had 2 million copies sold now.
September had the music video for "No Love" and Young Buck album "The Rehab" came out early in the month. Black Milk put out an album called "Album Of The Year". Weezy had an album coming out called "I Am Not a Human Being" and featured alot of Young Money artists. The Eminem and Jay-Z shows were this month and it was called The Home and Home Tour.
October was the month were not much happened T.I changed the name of his album to "No Mercy". And he was sentenced to 11 months in prison. Diggy Simmons second mixtape called Airborne came out. Lloyd Banks album artwork came out and BET hip-hop awards wasd in this month and it had the years Cyphers. One of the hottest albums of the year came out from GOOD Music artist KiD CuDi called ""MOTM2: The Legend Of Mr. Rager". Songs off Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Lloyd Banks albums started to leak on the internet.
November had Lil Wayne release from prison and Dr Dre first single of Detox called "Kush" which featured Akon and Snoop Dogg. Around 22/23 of the month albums from Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Lloyd Banks all came out and got postive reviews. The late rapper Big L had an album out of his music which no one has heard before. Slaughterhouse member Joe Budden put out a mixtape which was succesful.
December had T.I and Redman with albums out in the first week of the month. Wiz Khalifa hit "Black and Yellow" went gold and DMX was sentenced to a year in prison. Last week Ghostface Killah has an album out. Also many mixtapes came out this month from the likes of B.o.B , Diggy Simmons, Rick Ross.
Could you tell us abit about yourself and how you got the name Curtains?
You recently released your mixtape called "Killer Tape" is there anything you like to say about it?
"Killer Tape is an audio manifestation of inspiration and motivation. I'm just tryna inspire those ears out there to do better and reach beyond whats infront of them."
Is "Killer Tape" different to your other mixtapes if so how come?
"Yes. I get way more personal into my life than I have on any project in my career."
There a song on the mixtape called "Maniac" and it featured Kendrick Lamar and Chace Infinite what was it like working them?
"That record was amazing getting done. Kendrick emailed me his verse back and Chace came thru like 4 in the morning and dropped his verse. I actually got to see his process and it was super dope, seeing him hearing the song to laying his verse down. Chace been like my big bro for almost 8 years now so I look up to him, Kendrick is absolutely one of my favorite rappers of the now."
Its still early days but are you happy so far how well the mixtape is doing?
"I'm beyond amazed at the response its been getting from the people and the media. The response has been insane."
On the internet I read you quit music a few years ago and was working one day, your friend Lupe Fiasco came in to the store you was working in did that have affect on you to back to music?
"Yea, just seeing him happy doing what he loved and making a living, getting his message out there and doing it his way, that motivated me to get back in the ring and contend."
Is there any artists and producers you would like to work with in the next year or so, if so is there any reasons why?
"Pusha T cuz he raps really well."
Do you feel you could ever get on to the XXL Freshman list, as you never put out a offical album before under a label so you still could make the list?
"I feel that I am a good contender for the list. Who knows."
So what does the next year hold for Curtains?
"Tour, Album, & more #Killer"
Is there anything else you would like to say?
You saw the mixtape of the year post by Nas, so I thought I would do my top albums of the year.