Hard to believe its still possible in this age of low-budge videos and WSHH fuckery, but theres actually such a thing as an underexposed rapper. The problem is no longer about getting your **** out there, its about getting your **** heard when theres millions of other **** dropping daily. Too many choices, not enough time. Inevitably, some good MCs fall through the crackslike our boy Wiz Khalifa, whose new album, Deal or No Deal, is out today (buy it now). The Pittsburgh rappers been around for a minute, but doesnt get nearly as much buzz as many inferior peers.
Well, we at Complex are here to change all that. In honor of Wiz and other unheralded artists, weve put together a list of the 10 most underrated new rappersand by new, we mean relatively new. Dudes like Curren$y and Peedi Crakk are definitely overlooked, but theyve already had a moment in the spotlight. We looked specifically for MCs whove consistently flown under the radar. Read on to sample 10 rappers you need to know now
FROM: Pittsburgh, PA
LISTEN: Take Away
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Young Khalifa has a well-defined lanecelebratory anthems about weed x money x hoesand he stays in it with admirable gusto. Hes got the infectious hooks of Weezy combined with Snoops happy-stoner-swag, all over some dope, laidback, synth-heavy beats on his latest, Deal or No Deal. You might as well call it Life of Auto-Tune, cause the **** sounds great.
DOWNLOAD THIS: Prince of the City 2 (click HERE)
FROM: Huntsville, AL
LISTEN: Diamonds & Cadillacs
WHY WE CO-SIGN: The half-Korean MC was definitely on the verge of something when he dropped Rollin (and mad remixes of it) last year, but for some reason he kinda fell by the wayside. We wont let his buzz die, though. Aside from an awesome name (and hairstyle), we give props to J.C. for being one of the unlikeliest would-be rap stars in recent memory. Hes one of those carefree Southern dudes whose M.O. in life is simply to get fucked up and have fun. His rhymes are funny, straightforward, and always listenable. Now its about time he had a video with a budget bigger than a used-car commercial.
DOWNLOAD THIS: Fear the Future (click HERE)
CHIP THA RIPPER
FROM: Cleveland, OH
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Hailing from the same St. Clair streets as Bone Thugs, Chip first gained exposure on records alongside fellow Ohio native Kid Cudi, including Man on the Moon standout Hyyerr. But where Cudi is all suburban angst and left-field lyrics, Chip is more of a conventional rapperand thats not a bad thing. In both theme and wordplay, he kinda comes off like a Midwest version of Young Dro, and you already know we fucks with Dro. Check Chips blog for his upcoming The Cleveland Show mixtape, dropping December 1.
DOWNLOAD THIS: Cant Stop Me (click HERE)
FROM: Little Rock, AR
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Jones, who was first introduced to the world by Killer Mike, came up bangin in Little Rock, but Crip ties arent the only reason to ride for his music. With an analytical mind and lyrical dexterity to go with impeccable flows and harmonies, he brings a complexity thats rare for both Southern and gang-affiliated rap. Look for his new mixtape, YSL, in early 2010.
DOWNLOAD THIS: C.O.L.O.R.S (Bangin on Wax) (click HERE)
U-N-I (Thurzday (left) and Y-O)
FROM: Inglewood, CA
LISTEN: Land of the Kings
WHY WE CO-SIGN: California rap is more than gangsta block tales and jerkin anthems. Seriously. This duo from Inglewood blends breezy soulful beats with witty, conscious verses that has them sounding like the West Coasts answer to Little Brother. Only without all the rhymes about how wack rap is. Now thats refreshing.
DOWNLOAD THIS: A Love Supreme (click HERE)
FROM: Brooklyn, NY
LISTEN: Computer Love
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Theos spacey, electro brand of hip-house might confuse your average rap fan, but anyone whos open to Kanye and Kid Cudis more experimental work will feel right at home.
DOWNLOAD THIS: This Charming Mixtape (click HERE)
FROM: Richmond, VA
LISTEM: Let the Bass Go
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Most people know Nick F because of his pre-So Far Gone affiliation with Drake. We know him because hes able to conjure up vivid street stories as well as he can laugh-out-loud mixtape punchlines. Thats a win/win.
DOWNLOAD THIS: Thank You (click HERE)
FROM: Gadsen, AL
LISTEN: Pop the Trunk
WHY WE CO-SIGN: The white boy from the Bama has been popping up on hooks lately (Juelz Santanas Mix It With The Medicine, Slim Thugs I Ran), but hes actually a multi-dimensional artist in his own right. His nasal, rapid-fire flow has developed an underground following in the South, and it looks like his upcoming mixtape Trunk Muzik might be the one to finally break through nationwide.
DOWNLOAD THIS: Ball of Flames: The Ballad of Slick Rick E. Bobby (click HERE)
FROM: Detroit, MI
LISTEN: Brothers Keeper
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Rap from the D usually gets categorized as either Em-affiliated or on some ICP/Esham crazy ****, but not enough props are given to the citys legit underground scene. Finale is a key figure in that world, and his debut barely made a ripple when it dropped last April. Time to take another (or a first) listenits got dope beats (including **** from Dilla, Black Milk, and the above track from Nottz) and some rap for people that actually like rap, an audience that seems to be dwindling by the day.
BUY THIS: A Pipe Dream and a Promise (click HERE)
FROM: Bay Area, CA
LISTEN: Dopest Forreal
WHY WE CO-SIGN: In the post-Hyphy world, its a good thing the Bay still has artists like The Jacka, a gritty lyricist who can do it all, churning out radio-friendly hits and going line-for-line with East Coast rappers like Cormega and Freeway.
BUY THIS: Tear Gas (click HERE)