It is hard not to notice but hip-hop, in general, is divided into kingdoms. There are seats of power in the Midwest, the South, the East Coast, and the West. Over and over we hear T.I. refer to himself as King of the South and Jay-Z (although he has yet to say it) could be considered King of the North. I bring all this into prominence to point towards another title. Despite never saying it we are avidly looking for the next great white rapper to break through to success. Now, for the first time, we have options.
The current (and in many minds undisputed) titleholder is one Marshall Mathers, that eloquent and often controversial rapper known to the world at large as Eminem. Ever since his signing by Dr. Dre he has been breaking new ground with every LP. Many of us will never forget the deep, eerie narrations within hits “Stan” and “Cleaning Out My Closet”, his flair for social commentary in “Mosh” and “White America”, or his sense of humor with “Without Me” and “Just Lose It”. Yet the thing about being at the top is that are always those on the rise. The same could be said if you’re King. Behold his heirs:
YelaWolf: Michael Wayne Atha, better known by his stage name YelaWolf, is a definite contender. He is currently signed to Shady Records (along with Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment and Interscope Records). His delivery is akin to the tongue twisting style of Twista or Bone Thugs-N-Harmony with his Southern heritage (born and raised in Gadsen, AL) laced throughout. In the past three years he’s been featured on remixes and numerous tracks, working with artists ranging to Eminem, Travis Barker, and Big K.R.I.T. Recently his debut album Radioactive has been released to rave reviews. That’s quite a resume, honestly.
Mac Miller: Malcolm McCormick (that’s Mac Miller to most) is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is signed to Rostrum Records and released his debut album Blue Slide Park on November 8, 2011. Mac has been associated with such rising stars Rapsody and more established artists such as Wiz Khalifa. His philosophy of appealing to a wide audience and connect with them is seen in his fun lyrics and the visual representations he chooses to show.
Machine Gun Kelly (MKG): To be completely honest, until the BET Hip-Hop Awards I had no idea who Machine Gun Kelly (often called MGK) was. Now, after hearing a few songs from him, I am well aware. A lot like YelaWolf he is known for a rapid fire verbal delivery (one of the reasons for his stage name). MGK, was born Richard Colson Baker on April 22, 1990 in Texas, has signed to Bad Boy Records and Interscope Records. His style has seen him collaborating with Waka Flocka Flame as well as XV. Based purely upon his excitement and his intensity, MGK will be interesting to watch.
I cannot say with any certainty which will be the greatest to watch in the near future but I’ve got my iPod and my laptop at the ready.
ANOTHER TO WATCH: Rittz
Here are some videos: