WHO WILL RULE 2012: Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey, Sleigh Bells and MORE!

I’m not a fortune teller. But as a lifelong music nerd, I’ve developed a knack for spotting the next big thing.

Don’t ask me how; it’s…a gift. And it’s one that I am more than willing to share (as long as you bitches cite me!).

Below are 5 artists that are going to be HUGE in 2012. Some you may know, some you may not. But I’m downright positive that these individuals will hit it BIG next year, just in time for the apocalypse.

So check ‘em out below. And if you’re feeling generous, let us in on some of your predictions, too.

 

Nicki Minaj

So I know what you’re thinking and NO, Nicki did not rule 2011.

Nicki Minaj had a breakout, star-making year. Big difference. Most people were just getting to know Nicki in 2011. And after selling almost 2 million copies, charting 7 singles, nailing an SNL appearance, winning a few AMAs, and touring with Miz Britney Spears, I’d say the American public knows Nicki pretty damn well.

2012 will be the year where Nicki goes in for the kill.

WHY EVERYBODY HATES DRAKE, and Why They're Wrong…

Drake is clearly the most divisive figure in Hip Hop today.

And I’m trying to figure out why.

Now the easy answer is folks just ain’t feeling his music. But I’m not convinced. I know so many Hip Hop fans that really just don’t like Drake. By that I mean the very idea of Drake. Half white. Canadian. Middle class. Kinda clean-cut. Child actor. Always crooning. And pouting. And emo and shit. He’s almost the exact opposite of what our concept of an emcee has always been.

And that’s what’s so interesting about him. Like it or not, he’s breaking the mold. And he’s winning.

So don’t fight the feeling. And get comfortable.

Because Drake is coming into his own; and he’s about to go to the next level.

And here’s why…

MUSICNEWS: Ice-T Doesn't Like Hip-POP, Record Execs Trafficking COCAINE, and Rihanna's New Album

Gangster-Rap-Godfather Ice-T is really unhappy with the mainstreaming of Hip Hop. And outside the premier of his new documentary “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation,” HE WENT IN.

On Rick Ross:

He thinks he’s [Freeway] Rick Ross, he thinks he’s Larry Hoover, he thinks he’s Big Meech, he thinks he’s MC Hammer, he thinks he’s Tupac. Like, who the f*ck are you really, dude?”

 

On Lil Wayne and Hip Hop Going Pop:

“Rap was a counterculture that went against pop. But when you have Rihanna singin’ on your records and you’re doin’ records with Katy Perry, that’s no longer rap. It’s pop music, pop using rap delivery. When you hear Lil Wayne sayin’ ‘I got a chopper in the car,’ you go, ‘Yeah, right you do.‘”

Dayum.

Hip Hop's Smoking Section: Room for Collective Dreams

 

Does anyone else find it so cool that Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa show love to each other on their songs? Every now and then, you can hear a Taylor [m/] joint beginning with “shout out to my brotha Spitta”; or, on the low, you can catch Spitta quoting Wiz like, “we aint trippin’ cuz we’ll get there in a minute”. And get this, these songs were not features, each a solo on their popular mixtape and album! Even seeing Big Sean and Juicy J in Wiz’s “Reefer Party” video contributes to this thematic change in the perception of Hip Hop. I’m talking about collectives here, the rhythmic equivalent of the Justice League. Normatively, Hip Hop heads, young and old, are used to the politics of beefs, but nowadays, with the help of video journals and marijuana legislation, us heads experience our favorite artists as a community.

Why You Should Be Taking Tyler, the Creator and Kreayshawn Seriously

Last Saturday night, Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob played a sold-out gig in Hollywood. And according to Spin Magazine, it was an insane show.

“…the audience rushed the stage where they proceeded to completely freak out — bouncing, stripping, cooking, and flipping into the crowd — until the music was done and they were forced bodily from the limelight by the venue’s security. It was intensely electric.”

The next day, she hit the VMAs, where she was nominated (and a favorite) for the Best New Artist Award. She lost to like-minded and equally controversial Tyler, the Creator. Like Kreayshawn, Tyler and Odd Future rose to prominence through YouTube, blogs and social media, don’t fit in any radio format, and have sharply divided critics and fans.

A lot of people aren’t taking Kreayshawn and Odd Future seriously. And that’s understandable. When something comes along that is so alien to mainstream standards and tastes, it always gets dismissed.

But don’t be fooled. Their success is organic and real; not some record label’s scheme. The rise of artists like Odd Future and Kreayshawn (as well as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame) is subversive to Hip Hop’s status quo. And it might end up being a big deal.

Hood Cinema: Hipsters and Cameras

There’s nothing cooler than a snap-back wearing sneaker pimp (Black hipsters) and anyone that wants to keep up with the cool will need to add a camera around their neck. Remember how Chris Brown’s video for “Beautiful People” made you want to create a cinematic collage of your greatest nights while you imagined that your friends were all celebrities? Now that I think about it, one of the coolest videos employed a visual style that was first dissed by Banksy in “Exit Through the Gift Shop”; describing such a piece as the creation of “someone with mental problems who just happen to have a camera.” Hipsters, Black ones in particular, are developing an aesthetic appreciation for randomly jig-sawed, but thematic, video clips. These hipsters—that end up contributing films to this breaking genre—are packaging young Black consciousness into art. In other words, they are expanding the space in which Blackness can be nurtured.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHxlzcAPbBE&ob=av3e

Tha Carter IV, And Why LIL WAYNE vs. JAY-Z Needs To Happen…

So Lil Wayne’s highly anticipated (and routinely delayed) Tha Carter IV leaked onto the internets earlier this week. And it’s pretty damn good. But thus far, all anyone can talk about is that Jay-Z diss.

Confused? Well, it all started in a 2009 interview where Birdman declared that Lil Wayne is a better rapper than Jay-Z because he “do the most and make the most money.” Perhaps you’ll recall Jigga’s response earlier this year on the song “H.A.M.”:

“Like these rappers rap about all the shit that I do daily/I’m like really, half a billi, nigga, really you got Baby money/ Keep it real with niggas, niggas ain’t got my lady money.”

Clearly, Wayne was not impressed with Jay’s not-so-sublte double entrendre. And that brings us to C4’s most controversial track, “It’s Good.” “It’s Good” is essentially a traditional, solid slab of hardcore Hip Hop, opening with a flawless verse from Jadakiss. Drake does his best to keep up before Wayne hits the ground running with a closing verse.

Then he says this:

“Talkin’ bout baby money?/I got your baby money/Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money”

This is a clear and direct jab at Jay-Z (and Beyonce, technically haha).

THE WEEKND Continues To Astound With New Mixtape "THURSDAY"

Our prayers were answered yesterday, people.

Last night, Toronto-based R&B mystery man The Weeknd unleashed his brand new mixtape Thursday.  You can follow the link below to snag the free download.

Things have changed drastically for The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) since the release of his first tape House Of Balloons earlier this year. For one thing, there was absolutely no pressure. But since then, House of Balloons has been the most positively-reviewed album of the year thus far. Tesfaye now releases his follow-up to an audience hungry for another dose of a dark, haunted and debauched majesty that we now come to expect (i.e. demand) from The Weeknd.

And our hero does not disappoint.