Home > Editorials, Hip-Hop, Lists > Editorial: Leaders of the New School -The Truth League

Editorial: Leaders of the New School -The Truth League

A few weeks ago, while working on the remix for “I’m Beaming”,  Lupe Fiasco tweeted that he was in the studio with The All City Chess Club. Now I’m sure an album will never surface with the artists he listed, but the names on the list were very similar to the new artists I’ve been praising over the last few years who are finally getting their shine. It’s been said over and over again that Hip-hop is dead, and sometimes I find myself wondering why “I used to love H.E.R.” However, if you look and listen you will find some exceptional talent in hip-hop. Artists who are saying something in their music and bringing back the vibe of times past.

About two years ago, I was talking to a friend and I was telling him that I wished I could create a label that had all of the new underground artists that I loved and surprisingly a few of those names are reaching the level of success I knew they would with the proper backing (I really think A&R was my calling lol). Anyway, below is the list of  artists I consider to be the future of hip-hop. Those who I feel are saying something and represent the art the way it should be.

SN: You won’t find Drake on this list. Even though I respect the commercial success he’s had, the verdict is still out for me.

If you’ve never heard some of these albums/mixtapes/songs.. please act accordingly.

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Coach: Lupe Fiasco

Logic: Lupe is by no means an new artist. He was the inspiration for this list and opened the door for a lot of the artists listed below. He’s also hands down the best lyricist I’ve ever heard pick up a microphone. His resume speaks for itself.

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MVP: Wale

Albums – “Attention Deficit”

Mixtapes – “The Mixtape About Nothing” & “Back To The Feature”

Standout Collaborations/Appearances – “Thank You” & “O Lets Do It Freestyle”, “Breakup Song”, “Rising Up” – The Roots

Logic: “Attention Deficit” may be one of the most slept on albums of 2010 (I bought it the day it was released and didn’t give it a good listen until about a month ago). I’m not surprised Wale Folarin delivered a classic album (yes I said classic). His “mixtape about nothing” already set the stage for what was to come and he delivered with his debut LP. The freestyles he’s dropped since have been solid and I expect great things down the road.

“Thank You Freestyle” – Listen

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Point Guard: Kid Cudi

Albums – “Man On The Moon: The End Of Day”

Mixtapes – “A Kid Named Cudi” & “Dat Kid From Cleveland”

Standout Collaborations/Appearances – “Welcome To Heartbreak” – Kanye West, “Already Home” – Jay-Z

Logic: Cudi may be my favorite artist on this list behind Lupe. I remember seeing an interview with Cudi a little after Kanye’s “Graduation” was released and I could tell by the way he talked about his music he was going to be great. His songwriting skills are amazing and he’s never afraid to deliver a personal record. I believe he’s working on his sophomore album now.

“Soundtrack To My Life” – Video

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Shooting Guard: Blu

Albums – “Below The Heavens”

Mixtapes – “HerFavoriteColo(u)r”

Standout Collaborations/Appearances – “Therapy” – The Alchemist, C.R.A.C. Knuckles album

Logic: I stumbled across Blu on accident back in 2007 after reading a review on “Below The Heavens” online. That was probably the best accident of my life. With Exile on the production, Blu delivered a classic album that most have never heard.

“Soul Amazing” – Video

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Small Forward: B.o.B

Albums – “The Adventures of Bobby Ray”

Mixtapes – “B.o.B v. Bobby Ray” & “Who the f#%k is Bobby Ray”

Standout Collaborations/Appearances – “On Top of the World” – T.I., “Hood Dreamer”

Logic: I remember reading about B.o.B. in an issue of Fader magazine back in 2008 and at the time the only song of his I heard was “Haterz Everywhere” and I didn’t really recall where I had heard it lol. After he released his first mixtape I wasn’t sold, but I have become a huge supporter of Bobby Ray over the last year. He is a true artist and I’m glad he is getting the shine he deserves. His new album is in stores now.. pick it up!

“Generation Lost” – Video

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Power Forward: J. Cole

Albums – Unreleased

Mixtapes – “The Warm Up”

Standout Collaborations/Appearances: “Just Begun” – Reflection Eternal, “Beautiful Bliss” – Wale, “Gladiators” – B.o.B, “Dead Presidents Freestyle”

Logic: Like many of the other artists on the team, I read about J. Cole in an interview with Jay-z. He was speaking on his first meeting with J. Cole and how after hearing “Light’s Please” he signed him. I downloaded his mixtape right after reading it and I can see why Hov backed him. I’m interested to hear what direction he goes in for the album.

J. Cole “Lights Please” – Listen

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Center: Jay Electronica

Albums – Unreleased

Mixtapes – Unreleased

Standout Collaborations/Appearances: “Exhibit C” – Jay Electronica, “Just Begun” – Reflection Eternal, “The Pledge”, “Hard To Get”

Logic: There is not much to say about Jay Electronica. Usually with certain artists I get a feeling that they will be great. I don’t know what it is about Jay Electronica but I get that feeling with him. I haven’t heard a lot from him, but what I have heard has blown me away. Sometimes I can tell how great someone will be just by reading an interview or watching them perform. I haven’t anticipated an album this much since Lupe’s first release. I’m still waiting on the mixtape he promised us a few months back, but I’m sure whenever it does drop it will be worth the wait.

There is no denying the energy of “Exhibit C” – Live Video (This was a classic performance)

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6th Man: Asher Roth

Albums – “Asleep In The Bread Isle”

Mixtapes – “Greenhouse Effect” & “Seared Foie Gras with Quince & Cranberry”

Standout Collaborations/Appearances – “Change Gon’ Come”

Logic: There have been plenty of white MC’s in hip-hop and many haven’t had a lot of longevity in the game. After hearing “Greenhouse Effect” I was on board. Asher has spit some of the most witty, weed filled, lyrical rhymes and can stand on a track with your favorite rapper any day of the week. I think his first album could have been a little better, but surprisingly he still established himself as beast on the mic.

Asher Freestyle Video Asher Roth “Lark In My Go Cart” Video

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Bench: Pac Div, The Cool Kidz

Pac Div Mixtapes: “Church League Champions” & “Don’t Mention It”

The Cool Kidz Mixtapes: “The Cool Kidz Mixtape” & “Gone Fishing”

Logic: Pac Div and The Cool Kidz have put out some great music over the last 2-3 years. I expect great things from both of them when their albums hit the shelves. They both have an original sound and bring a breath of fresh air to the game.

Pac Div “Mayor” Video The Cool Kidz “We Can Do It Big” Video

Pac Div Feat. The Cool Kids “Shut Up Video

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1st Rd Draft Pick: Diggy

Stats: None, well a few freestyles. Including this one over “Made You Look”.

Logic: Rev. Runs 2nd youngest released a few freestyles and a few weeks later signed his first record deal. If you haven’t heard this kid yet..  you will.

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Categories: Editorials, Hip-Hop, Lists Tags: ,
  1. April 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    If you wanna hear some epic, ambitious hip hop, you should check out my Spaghetti Western Concept Rap album, called “Showdown at the BK Corral.” It’s basically an epic Spaghetti Western over 9 hip hop tracks – very influenced by Wu Tang and Morricone. You can download it for free at sunsetparkriders.com

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