Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dart Adams presents 12 To Watch In '08

Below is a list of twelve emcees that I think will make some serious noise this year (Yes, this is a cosign of the below cats..some don't need it). Without further ado, I present the list:

Reps: Los Angeles, CA
Previous material: The Narrow Path, Lifted EP, Below The Heavens, Powders & Oils
Upcoming projects: C.R.A.C. Knuckles (w/Ta’Raaach) The Peace Talks, God Is Good (solo LP)

Blu had one hell of a 2007 after released the critically acclaimed “Below The Heavens” collaboration with Exile and “Powders & Oils” with Mainframe and 2008 is looking to be bananas as well. With the highly anticipated C.R.A.C. Knuckles collabo with underground hero Ta’ Raach and a Blu solo LP on the way there will be no way in hell that anyone who loves Hip Hop won’t know who he is (or how to spell his name). Catch up here

Jay Electronica
Reps: New Orleans, LA
Previous material: Style Wars EP, Act I: Eternal Sunshine, The Pledge
Upcoming projects: Act II: Patents Of Nobility and Abracadabra: Let There Be Light in ‘08  on Erykah Badu's Control Freaq label

I can’t write anything about this man that they haven’t said better on, Stuntin' On Prose or Classic Drug References already. I can’t give him a better testimonial than Just Blaze, Erykah Badu, Questlove or Nas have already done.

I’ve been playing his entire discography in my iPod for close to three months now and I’m still in awe as to what I’m hearing. At the risk of saying something that would border or Hip Hop sacrilege I’ll stop typing now (like I wish I did before I went overboard when I did one of these for Lupe Fiasco back in ‘06). Catch up here

Reps: Lawrence, MA
Previous material: Hood Politics Vols. 1-5, Out The Gate, 50 Bodies
Current project: ST The Squad (look for it now!)
Upcoming project: As of yet untitled solo LP dropping in ‘08

Termanology has been on radar for years but after his DJ Premier produced “Watch How It Go Down” hit the net, mixtapes and mixshows all over the globe Term hasn’t cooled off at all. Now that he’s made nothing but heat rocks over the past two years and his first proper solo joint is about to hit store shelves in ‘08 there’s no turning back for ST Da Squad’s top soldier. Watch how it goes down.

Reps: Brooklyn, NY
Previous material: Cloud 9: The 3 Day High, Cornerstore Classic
Upcoming project: As of yet untitled solo project in ‘08

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past two years and you’re a Hip Hop fan you should already be aware of Skyzoo. His collaboration with 9th Wonder open many an eye and his following mixtape and guest spots created a major buzz. So much so that Hot 97 declared him one of the top 10 living rappers right now. That just means that when his album drops there’ll be even more heads checkin’ for it.

Reps: Washington, D.C.
Previous material: Ambassador Of The Capital, Paint A Picture, Hate Is The New Love, 100 Miles And Running
Upcoming projects: A Mixtape About Nothing AKA The Senfield Mixtape in ‘08 and an as of yet untitled LP in ‘08 to follow.

Wale is an up and coming star from the nation’s capital and after several inventive mixtapes (Ambassador Of The Capital, Paint A Picture & Hate Is The New Love) a deal with Mark Ronson’s Allido label and yet another classic mixtape (100 Miles And Running).

What’s up next for Wale? Another potential classic mixtape inspired by the show “Seinfield” and a highly anticipated debut album in ‘08. He and his boy Tabi Bonney are on a two man mission to bring Maryland/D.C. Hip Hop back into the national spotlight for the first time since Section 8 Mob, Nonchalant and Questionmark Asylum were getting burn on BET.

Reps: Brooklyn, NY
Previous material: “Get It Done”/”Click” 12” prod. by DJ Premier, “Merchant Of Dreams” off of Dream Merchant 2, several guest spots on Justus League releases.
Current project: Daily Conversation

He’s called “The Young Vet” for a reason. After bouncing around the industry for years, Torae has finally found a home with his compatriots in the Justus League (Chaundon, Skyzoo, The Away Team, Little Brother). After just one listen to his new album “Daily Conversation” you’ll realize that this cat is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come in this game.

Wiz Khalifa
Reps: Pittsburgh, PA
Previous material: Prince Of The City Vols. 1 & 2, Show And Prove, Grow Season
Upcoming project: As of yet untitled LP set to drop in ‘08

Wiz Khalifa has created quite a large buzz with his mixtapes ever since he first popped up on the scene in 2005. After an eye opening guest appearance on Nicolay’s 2006 release “Here” (“What It Used To Be”) and his “Prince Of The City” mixtape he was receiving offers.

Eventually, he signed a deal and released his debut LP “Show And Prove” that was well received by vast majority of critics and reviewers. After he dropped a couple more mixtapes, it was time to get people ready for his upcoming sophomore LP. His new single “Say Yeah” is currently making the rounds online, in blogs and on mixshows nationwide. Is this the year that Wiz Khalifa makes some serious noise? We’ll see.

Reps: Bronx, NY
Previous material: Slow Leaks, Live From The 718, Ambitions As A Writer, Venom
Current project: Carnage

Chaundon has been , to paraphrase Kanye West (something I’ll try to never ever do again), has been killing the game very bad since 2003. As one of the Justus League, he’s been spitting over the production of 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Oddisee and Nicolay for years and after his previous four ridiculous mixtapes and guest appearances heads were looking forward to his debut LP. “Carnage” turned out to be a damn near flawless debut for a cat that will now get the recognition he so richly deserves.

Reps: St. Louis, MO
Previous material: “Last Time” on 9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant 2, “Yes Sir” Flying Lotus 12”, The Free EP, Megatron Majorz: The Sampler
Upcoming project: Megaatron Majorz in Spring ‘08

Vandalyzm first caught my attention from his guest spot on a Flying Lotus white label I heard through After that was his appearence on Dream Merchant 2 as one of the Midwest Wreckin’ Crew on the track “Last Time”. After I mentioned how impressed I was with his flow in my review blog somebody shot me a copy of Vandalyzm’s demo “The Free EP”.

Needless to say, I was even more impressed and I placed that on my blog as a Late Pass. Then, DJ Trackstar shot me a digital copy of the Megatron Majorz sampler. Ever since then I’ve been patiently waiting for the full length to drop.

Mickey Factz
Reps: Bronx, NY
Previous material: Back To The Future: Flashback Vol. 1, In Search Of The N.E.R.D
Current project: Heaven’s Fallout

I’ve been hearing tracks from this cat for more than a year now but I didn’t really start checkin’ for him until this past summer when I ran across his “In Search Of The N.E.R.D” mixtape on my boy A-One’s site Know Good Music. From there I went to his site and downloaded his latest mixtape “Heaven’s Fallout” I was thoroughly impressed with his flow and the creativity he exhibited in his beat choices. Mickey’s fearlessness is to commended in an age where so many emcees would be afraid to rhyme over some of these tracks but he more than pulls it off. Don’t sleep on this dude.

Reps: Toronto, OT (Canada)
Previous material: Room For Improvement, a gang of leaked collabos with Trey Songz and several Canadian singles
Current project: Comeback Season

A few of you readers are familiar with Drake because his government name is Aubrey Graham and he’s been a child actor for the past seven years on the popular CTV series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. Based on seeing him say some of the goofiest dialogue in the history on TV during his formative years (and his lack of a damn lineup for the first 4 seasons) people might try to write him off immediately.

They would be forgetting that some of the best emcees of recent Hip Hop history were also child actors, namely Lin Que, MF Grimm, Mos Def and Lauryn Hill. All I’m saying is listen to dude’s two previous mixtapes, his flow, lyrical ability and his versatility and then you’ll understand why he has record label execs all over Canada and the U.S. calling him in for meetings.

Reps: Atlanta, GA
Previous material: The Cloud 9 Mixtape, The Future, Eastside Takeover
Current project: My Name Is B.O.B
Upcoming project: As of yet untitled LP slated for ‘08

Of all the underground cats that are currently grinding on the mixtape circuit in Georgia, the most promising seems to be B.O.B. After raising eyebrows on tracks alongside down South heavy hitters like Bohagon, Young Jeezy, Killer Mike and a gang others he was poised to be one of the South’s best hopes to go national.

After his efforts on “The Cloud 9 Mixtape” and “The Future” labels started calling and music publications wanted to do pieces on him. All you need to do is hear his new mixtape “My Name Is B.O.B” to understand why he’s sharing the cover of “The Next” issue of Urb with Jay Electronica.

Thanks to my following blogging brethren for providing much of the info and putting me up on some of the cats and being some of the best sites in the bloggerverse:

4 All My Niggaz

What New In Dart's iPod #21 (Fat Ray & Black Milk "The Set Up", Amanda Diva "Life Experience" EP & Kidz In The Hall "Geniuses Need Love, Too") coming up tomorrow afternoon.



Anonymous said...

Do you know if Skyzoo has an album coming out soon? Cloud 9 is one of my most played.

Aaron said...

Blu & Mikkey are both "that dude." I suppose eventually I'm gonna hafta give in & see what the hubub with this Jay Electronica guy is all about. I'm not too tuff on Term. The rest I either just barely recognize the name or never heard of.

Dart Adams said...

I'll add on to this post as I was pressed for time. Tomorrow I'll add writeups, discographies, download links and I may add two more cats to the list...the frontrunners being Wiz Khalifa and B.O.B.


Animal Mother said...

Drake is that kid from DeGrassi. I saw his vdeo with Trey Songz. He's aiight but it's hard to block out that he's "wheelchair kid" and he's so herb-y on the show.

Anonymous said...


I've tried several times to check out Wiz Khalifa, being that he's repping my homestate. However, dude is just mediocre at best. His beat selection is ass, and he comes across like any other Southern bounce rapper.

Please sell on why I should give a crap about dude.

Also, if you like Skyzoo and Torae, check out my friend 2ew Gunn Ciz. He's the Philly version of both cats and he's done joints with them already.

FireBrand said...

Not mad at this list. If Yelawolf's latest mixtape is any indication, however...he's coming too.

Trackstar the DJ said...

Find more Vandalyzm on my recent mixtapes:

Boogie Bang 12, hosted by NYOil (who could be on this list as well in my opinion)

Boogie Bang 11, hosted by DJ Drama, Willie the Kid and LA the Darkman

And Boogie Bangs 1-10, including 7, hosted by Lupe Fiasco

Anonymous said...

This is Tef Poe signing in from the lou,Van is the truth..glad to see my dude doing his thing it's well deserved..Me him Chaundon,Gottabe Karim,Rockwell Knucklez and Finale March 21@Blueberry Hill in ST.Louis!!
Live performance with DJ Trackstar!!!

Z_Starfish said...

your west coast knowledge is weak, step it up, family.

Dart Adams said...

@ michael:

My West Coast knowledge is far from weak, the problem is that the overwhelming majority of dope West Coast emcees on the come up have been around for MAD LONG.

Due to bad label deals (The Row & Black Wall Street) or just being unfortunate enough to be under the thumb of Dr. Dre (Aftermath) none of these cats were able to release any material. Bishop Lamont, Glasses Malone, etc. have all been around for hella long and outside of years of mixtapes...nada.

You notice that True Life, Saigon and Papoose weren't on this list, right? Who do you think I missed that has shit in the works and an album coming out soon that I missed?


Anonymous said...

everyone is sleeping on bmore. peep out sonny gunnz on myspace. easily as good as any of these cats.

Anonymous said...

This is a nice post! I was glad to see Wiz Khalifa on the list. He has not being getting love from the Ravers on that "Say Yeah" joint. But Hip-Hop fans are staying true! can't wait to see how this dude grows artistically within the next couple years.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and what about the ladies? You didn't rep none!