It is a desperate situation, but then the Freshman awards come and make everything bearable again. Though there are often missteps (Future?), the list always provides a decent selection of new artists to explore. Here are my top 3 picks of this year's contestants:
1. Action Bronson
A New York native of Albanian descent, Action Bronson has been steadily gaining a mixtape buzz over the last few years. His voice and flow is eerily similar to Ghostface Killah, something Bronson both acknowledges and embraces. Scratch below the surface, however, and clear differences can be found between the two artists. Influenced by the fact he is a professional chef, his rhymes frequently feature metaphors and imagery based around food, utilising soulful and melodious instrumentals to lull the eardrums. Conversely the relaxing backdrop frequently gives way to dark and perverse imagery, a grimy contrast that creates a unique impression on the listener.With a steady catalogue of releases behind him, it is unlikely that Action Bronson will remain a hidden gem for much longer.
Download: Action Bronson - Blue Chips
2. Angel Haze
Gracing the XXL cover as the 'People's Choice' Freshman is a timely award, giving the young MC the exposure that she clearly deserves.
Download: Angel Haze - Reservation
3. Joey Bada$$
Download: Joey Bada$$ - 1999