People are always asking me who I'm listening to, who I think is the next big MC, etc. So, I've decided to put together my version of XXL's freshman class.
For those of you who don't know what this is, earlier this year XXL Magazine came out with an issue of who they believe are the top 10 young artists to watch this year. Over the next 10 days I'm going to do the same. Some of the MC's I name may not be as young as the ones in XXL, but they are up and coming, and mad talented.
The first artist I'd like to discuss is a man by the name of Jay Electronica. Jay is blowin' up on the internet, and people such as NaS and Just Blaze have co-signed him. In 2007, Jay got a significant amount of attention from a mixtape he put out called Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge).
The music comes from Jon Brion's soundtrack to the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Most interesting is the lack of drums on this "hip hop mixtape." However, once you listen to it you'll see why perhaps that's the way it should be.
"I took eternal sunshine and I looped it... no hook, no drums, just new shit."
"I ain't got time to argue with a rapper bout he ain't got rhymes that fuckin with mines. I'm tryin' to kill lucifer, so if i have to break cause a rapper in my face tellin' me that he the great, you can bet a shiny nickel i'll blast his mothafuckin' ass why past jupiter, couldn't be stupider. Fuckin' with the nucular mayan, aztec lion, aziatic black man from Zion."
The next mixtape worth noting is the "What the Fuck is a Jay Electronica" mixtape which came out back in 2008. Jay showcases his lyrical abilities, and the beats are a perfect backdrop for his voice.
*I had a few quotes I wanted to write down from the first song "Spark It Up (Intro)" but then I realized that I would have ended up quoting the entire song.
However, if there is only ONE song to check out, it is by far and away "Exhibit A: Transformations" produced by the legendary Just Blaze. It came out towards the end of '08 and I still have not heard a hotter song since. It's that ridiculous. Line after line after line of quotables.
"I spit that wonder rhymer shit, me and my conglomerates, shall remain anonymous, caught up in the finer shit... get that type of media coverage obama get, spit that kurt vonnegut... that blow your brain, kurt cobain, that nirvana shit..."
"It's the most poetical, Nat King 'Unforgettable', Clarence 13 extra large, rhapsody from Bellevue..."
I could probably quote this entire song, it's absolutely absurd. Check it out. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.