Trillmatic's Top 5 New Rappers To Watch (everything You Need To Know Plus Links To Music)

This is one for the hip hop heads. If you hate rap, click the back button now.

Big & Pac are dead. Nas and Jay Z still got it, but these and most titans of the rap game are pushing 40 and we can't expect them to carry rap forever. Who's gonna keep this hip hop thing going? For a while I didn't see many young MCs who could potentially carry the torch. Now I do. This is Trillmatic's top 5 Freshman to watch. In no order.

J.Cole -

From Fayettevile, North Carolina. Graduated magna *** laude from St. John's University, but was also super focused on breaking into the rap game in his college years. Used to lurk outside studios and wait for established artists in NYC, and so the story goes he tried to hand a CD to Jay Z, and Jay Z gave him a "GTFOH" look and ignored him. His free mixtapes series became extremely popular. I remember some rap websites would explode and crash from too many people trying to download his mixtapes the night they were released. Years later, he is signed by none other than Jay Z when Jay hears The Warm Up mixtape. J. Cole was featured on Jay Z's Blueprint 3 album and Cole dropped his debut album "Cole World: The Sideline Story" in September 2011. The album wasn't quite as good as his best mixtapes, but a solid debut. Next album titled Born Sinner out early 2013.

Best releases: The Warm Up, The Blow Up, Friday Night Lights. All free mixtapes here:[]=title&search[]=artists&search[]=keywords&sort=rating

Trillmatic's Jams by J.Cole:

next up...

Big Krit

From Meridian, Mississippi. Intelligent and introspective lyrics through a thick southern drawl. Catches some south-haters by surprise. He makes club and whip music too though. Krit makes that windows down, volume up, summertime soulful ridin music. Now I forgot to mention that J.Cole makes his own beats. It doesn't matter though because his beats are kinda mediocre. And while his stubborn determination to produce the beats for his albums is admirable, I think it's holding him back. He needs to call in the pros. Now Big Krit is the opposite. Krit raps and does all his own production and he makes incredible fcuking beats. If he didn't want to rap again I'm sure he'd be ok in the industry as a producer. But I'm glad he does both, because he's created his own sound. Krit too fell into the new trend of putting all your best material out on free mixtapes to gain a buzz, and then the album not quite living up to previous work. His official debut, Live From The Underground, dropped in 2012. It's a dope album. But I can name better Krit mixtapes. It is what it is.

Best releases: Return of 4eva (his best in my opinion), Krit Wuz Here.

Free mixtapes and official album for purchase here:

Trillmatic's Jams by Big Krit:

next up...

Kendrick Lamar

From: Compton, California. Dr. Dre, The Game, and Snoop Dogg have enthusiastically handed him the torch of the West Coast rap scene. I was not a fan of Kendrick for the longest time. Everyone kept telling me listen. I did, and I said he sounded like an overhyped fad with a weird voice and bad production. I heard section 80 and the other mixtapes and it didn't do much for me. But I became an instant overnight fan when I bought his official debut album 'good kid, m.A.A.d city'. This kid might be the future, along with the others mentioned here. good kid, m.A.A.d city plays like a movie, so if you hear it, listen to it in order from start to finish. It's rare that a rap album needs to be played like that, like a concept album (don't skip tracks on Pink Floyd albums!) but this is one of them. Listen to the whole thing and don't skip. It's a story and an experience.

Best release: good kid, m.A.A.d city

No free music links here, because I never got into the tapes and his album is his best piece of work. So find $10 ya cheap bastid!

Trillmatic's Jam's by Kendrick Lamar: the whole album, but here

next up...

Joey Bada$$

From: Brooklyn, New York. Finally, an eastcoast rapper who sounds like he's from the eastcoast. Joey Badass is 17 years old. Kid was born in 1995! I don't know much about him except that he's a beast on the mic and he has that NYC style that NYC seems to have forgotten. Also, his whole crew is nice, and there's a lot of them. Pro-Era (PE) is the group. They remind me of Wutang when they first came out. An unruly bunch of youngins with unorthodox style and way too many members for a rap group. I'll learn their names eventually, but I do think Joey Bada$$ is the best. Joey only has one mixtape aside from Pro-Era, but he's performing on late night shows as a result. He did Jimmy Fallon's show (I think The Roots had some pull). I don't think that's happened before.. getting late night performance spots off one mixtape, before you graduate high school.

Best Release: '1999'

Free mixtape here:

Trillmatic's Jams by Joey Badass:

Last but not least...

Jay Electronica

From: New Orleans, Louisiana. Jay Elect spits like he's from another planet. Occasionally it's nonsense mixed with Five Percenter terminology, but he spits truth too, and its always interesting and always sounds good. Where is he now? Nobody knows. If Joey Badass was found young, Jay Electronica was found old. Jay Z signed Jay Electronica to Roc Nation when they were both about 40. Jay Elect has lived a nomadic life of homelessness across the US. Jay Elect makes rare appearances and has an aura of mystery around his music. He's always moving. Rumors and mixtapes suggested that Jay Electronica was the coming of a great new rapper. But then he disappeared like Chappelle when he went Africa. He's even been spotted with Dave Chappelle chilling on London rooftops. WTF are they doing? not making albums or making us laugh. I'll be the first in line if it ever happens though.

Best release: 'What The **** Is A Jay Electronica'

Trillmatic's Jams by Jay Elec:

Trillmatic Trillmatic
22-25, M
11 Responses Dec 8, 2012

Warm weather is around the corner, you know what that means. New Big Krit on the way. I need that new KRIT fix for the spring time. New mixtape titled King Remembered In Time coming soon.

2 songs released so far. And he made the beats of course. Check that R.E.M video. Krit is really becoming my favorite out the new school.

Big K.R.I.T. - Shine On ( Ft Bun B ):!

Big K.R.I.T. - R.E.M. (Official Video) :

what about logic, flatbush zombies, the underachievers, raz fresco

not familiar with any except I been told about Flatbush Zombies and I'm supposed to check them out. I'll check the rest too.

Dizzy Wright ft Joey Bada$$ - Maintain

New song. West coast/east coast collaboration from Dizzy and Joey. Track is flames.

Pro- Era (Joey Bada$$ crew) Update:

They dropped a great mixtape showcasing the whole crew called Peep: The aPROcalypse. It's nearly as good as 1999 so I recommend it.

Here it is:

Also, one of the most talented rappers in Pro-Era, Capital Steez, killed himself on xmas eve after sending out a last tweet that said 'The End'. That's him in the 3rd Joey Badass video I posted (Survival Tactics). ****** up. Especially because all signs pointed to Pro Era having a breakthrough year in 2013.

RIP Capital STEEZ. Who knows what the kid was going through.

I agree with all of these, but where's Rocky? Azaelia Banks is a female MC I think might be promising, too.

If I did top 10 I'd include him.

I like A$AP Rocky's album, I bought it. He's got a cool cadence and always picks hot beats, but to me he's kind of average as an MC. Subject matter is basically limited to clothes, cash women. He makes good ridin music, I'm a fan, but in my opinion he's not better than anyone in that top 5.

I've heard of Azaelia but haven't actually heard her yet.

Kendrick Lamar could be the future if he keeps his momentum going. He has a good mentor in Dre, and I'm also feeling YelaWolf lyrically, I hope people aren't sleeping on some of these younger artists, there is some good talent out there, but mainstream keeps them quiet.

Well I know the bay area doesn't usually get national attention, but I gotta mention the Jacka, j. Stalin, and the Ohio homey ampichino. Some real solid artists out here nobody recognizes. Support the real and leave mainstream for the radio.

For once, i won't fight with you lol. I can pretty much agree with this whole list, specially Joey Bada$$ and Big Krit....funny I've heard aLOT about Kendrick, but I still have yet to actually sit and listen to a full song of his, I was feeling like he may be one of those that were kind of over hyped and wasn't as good as ppl claim him to be (ya know like how Drake was, I mean he aight, but that n*gga did a "freestyle" reading from his black berry, how you spect me to take him serious lmao) , but I think I may be wrong about Kendrick...I'm still too lazy to click on the link though haha!

But you're def missing a few other good one's. Sol is pretty dope, one of my fav Freshman so far.

pffft, I laughed when I seen the title 'Drake VS Tech N9ne'....that's no competition. lol

lmao i was laughing the WHOLE TIME..have you seen the vid of him dancing at the bar mitzphah with his lil jew fro?

his "freestyle" was horrible and he should feel horrible lol. And I think I seen that, in one of his other videos or something. I mean, his songs aren't terrible. But I just don't care for him too much. I do like the one with Rihanna though, but then it makes me confused, cause I'm like is this dude a rapper or a singer? lol

Drake is super weak. He lost his backbone when he started doing this R&B mess. He went mainstream and lost his fire. You can hear his talent in some of his songs, but it's falling apart.

lol yeah like..he can sit down and pen some **** just like i can pen some ****..but i dont try to go be a RAPPER. he cant freestyle for ****....that's a lot of *****.

3 More Responses

lupe fiasco?

Lupe is dope (half the time, dont tell Lizzee I said it) but he's not really new or up and coming. Dude is well known.

He's well known *now*, before Lasers people were still sleeping on him and weren't tryna hear him, hence the song 'Dumb It Down'. I still don't understand why you try to discredit my dude, I don't even know of one song of his that's utter garbage. When you find that song and show it to me, then I'll digress, until then You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself that you didn't add him. That was a bad move and you should feel bad about your existence on the face of this planet. lol, j/k. But really, he's been around prolly the same amount of time as Kendrick. So that argument is invalid, try again :/

oh i wasnt saying that he is up and coming. i was asking if u like him.

Lupe speaks the truth about the world, and most of the industry don't like that he does that. There is a reason why he didn't sign to Rock-A-Fella, and people don't see it. I'm glad he keeps his music true to himself.

wait, I totally didn't even read what you wrote about Kendrick the first time I saw this lol. I guess we feel/ or felt, the same way about him. But you also mention that his album is basically a concept album. Dude, Lupe's whole career does that sh*t lol. He always intertwines something he mentioned in one story/song from either a past mixtape or a past album into a future song/album. His whole The Cool album was one huge story/concept album. So once again, one Point for Lizzee! nada for Trill :(

lol lizzee you dont even need ARE points.

d'awww, stop it yewww :3 lol. Trill knows what he's talking about though, he just needs to stop denying his burning love for Lupe and just confess it already. He'll feel a lot better once he does ^-^

yeah man, when he comes out of the closet, he will feel so free....i will have glowsticks at the ready.

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cotdamn! the nigga ASAP Rocky managed to get half of these dudes on the same song: <br />
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safe to say KRIT won this round, he smashed that last verse like a Idaho potato.also, theres a crazy mf named ASAP Rocky who's coming up fast. He didn't make the top 5 but I'm a fan.

here's A$AP Rockys first video:;v=9NcI6XAVnnw#!

video came out today I think. Debut album out January 15, 2013

Yert, Big Krit repen tha Sip, Joey Bada$$ and the rest of Pro Era got more talent than a lot of these mainstream artists. There are a lot slept on artists its ridiculous, Translee, Sy Ari Da Kid, ect.