6: PUSHA T – One of the most tricky parts of New Skool Hip Hop in these 2010s is, to match your 00s flow and concepts with these Trap beats. Some of the older emcees who are hot right now have transitioned from the 00s. That is because while Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, DMX, Ludacris, and Nelly were running the scene back then, Lil Wayne, Baby, UGK, Outkast, and a few other Southern rappers like Yung Joc, and Shawty Lo were inspiring this era. Some Hip Hop heads argue that Joc rapped about nothing. Think about it; his Snap style a refined version that Lil Jon put his “Okay!” and “Yeah!” to.

With his new album, “King Push” on the horizon, the Pharrell Williams and Kanye West affiliated emcee from Virginia remains relevant in a time when scores of hiphoppas simply can’t adjust.”

E40 and Outkast had always held the essence together which was the effort that the Kulture needed to make a turning point. I know I forget someone influential, but we all know that the Clipse came in hot with “Lord Willin.” Today, Hip Hop is not about that kind of street cred. Mainstream rappers do not even need to have a sic flow to debut at number one on the charts anymore. Now it’s about the artist’s following on social media. Except, surprisingly enough, we have a few lyrical emcees in the mix. The good thing here is that Pusha T has street cred and his sic flow is an excellent fit with these new times.

Photo credit: passionweiss.com

Times have changed. For example slang like “hatin’” now have a new meaning. It used to suggest someone who is jealous of someone who does everything correctly and wins. Today, people use the slag against anyone who opposes them. It does not matter if they are doing the right thing or not as long as there is an opposition that opposer is a “hater.'” Like Drake rightly suggested in one of his songs, we don’t dress alike, talk alike or have much in common. All the Ol Skool guy has on the New Skool cat is his “time difference.” Nevertheless, as I’ve stated earlier with Curren$y, you have a few old school emcees who have adjusted pretty well to this era.

I know I’m forgetting someone influential but we all know the Clipse came in hot with “Lord Willin”.”

Many didn’t have to change much. It was merely a matter of using the right hook, punch-line and a slight adjustment to the 5X t-shirt or baggy jeans. Pusha T hunkered down and released, “Fear of God,” “Cruel Summer” and “My Name Is My Name.” With his new album, “King Push” on the horizon, the Pharrell Williams and Kanye West affiliated emcee from Virginia remain relevant at a time when scores of hiphoppas can’t adjust. One of the challenges of a dope emcee is the ability to either match their flow with a new sound or invent a unique sound that everyone is happy to adopt. Pusha T has risen to the top ten statuses because he did just that.

Photo credit: idolator.com

7: IGGY AZALEA – In 2015 we can assume that the young emcee has listened to their Ol Skool critics? The lollipop rap is slowly transitioning to a mature sound that has Ol Skool heads digging it a little. Well unless you were a girl rapper in which case a lollipop rap about how well you have sex is precisely what will bring you instant attention. Is Iggy the female Eminem? Can’t say! Em is too sic. We know she loves black men which are a plus for white girls.  Kewl!

An emcee has to have street cred from living the life, experiencing the struggle etc.”

Iggy’s rap can be best described as a fast-paced Pop influenced rap with an Ol School Hip Hop feel. When it comes to female rappers in this era, modeling, singing and sex appeal are must have qualities. Lyricism is a byproduct when you factor in the Pop influence in today’s female rap. You may also be surprised to see blonde damsels with protruding hips, spitting hard flows as if the hood is their bedrock. This eye-popping Australian has arguably become the Marilyn Monroe of Hip Hop!  The “New Classic” girl is making heads turn, every white girl in high or middle school are so“Fancy”!

Photo credit: hotnewhiphop.com

Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you may have no need to ask how this damsel landed a rap record deal. Let’s be real, Hip Hop has its racial credibility issue. An emcee has to have street cred from living the life, experiencing the struggle etc. Since white women generally do not face the same difficulties as colored women, it can be twice as hard for a struggling white girl to be stamped in the hood.

You may also be surprised to see blonde damsels with protruding hips, spitting hard flows as if the hood is their bedrock.”

White girls can’t claim racial profiling, economic disenfranchisement or even say that they never had other options besides rap. In fact, the mere instance where one can get in the game without street cred and still excel commercially is a testament to the availability of opportunities for white women. Such is the viewpoint of Hip Hop. Though it’s unfair to say white women have not earned their spot in success it comes as no doubt that Iggy is on the top right now. 

Photo credit: runthetrap.com

8: KENDRICK LAMAR – The West Coast is one of those turfs where Hip Hop Kulture is totally indistinguishable from inner city lifestyle. I was delighted to see that Snoop Dogg is the undisputed king in the West. Ice Cube’s beats banged hard too but Snoop is so sicced out there, every other song on the radio is a Snoop song. As a die hard Snoop fan You know I was happy to see that. California is amazing!

Kendrick Lamar would be much higher on this list had he released one more album after his debut classic.”

Coming from where there is no real Hip Hop radio shows let alone a mainstream all Hip Hop radio station in Toronto, it was a breath of fresh air to hop in the ride and just tune in on the FM dial and listen to through joints. To me, when you talk West Coast Hip Hop the first name that comes to mind is Ice Cube, then Dr. Dre and Snoop. True, the list of dope emcees from the West is ever so long with The Game, Kurupt, Mac 10 and a host of sic get holding it down.

Photo credit: passionweiss.com

In 2015, you have Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. With Kendrick though, you get that raw originality that the West is known for. It is a place where no two rappers or emcees sound alike. The “Good Kid M.A.A.D. City” emcee represents Compton’s version of this New Skool era, be it Trap or that straight West Coast sound. This is an era of subtlety, yet, young rappers rap about big money and banging Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks type models as if they grew on trees. In its own way, Kendrick’s vibe is more on the conscious side.

To me, when you talk West Coast Hip Hop the first name that comes to mind is Ice Cube, then Dr. Dre and Snoop.”

Kendrick Lamar would be much higher on this list had he released one more album after his debut classic. The street is thirsty for Mr. “I” to drop that next classic so his name can be sealed in Hip Hop’s virtual Hall of Fame. However, with just one studio album and a slew of mixtapes, the monumental collaborations he has done has kept the “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” emcee in the game. You cannot deny his lyrical superiority nor his impeccable flow. If you’re making a 2015 Hip Hop playlist, Kendrick Lamar is already on it.

Photo credit: xxlmag.com

9: CURREN$Y – Hip Hop is heavy in the South right now! If you’re looking for some up to date rap songs it will have to come from the South. East Coast rap is dope, I still freestyle with a bunch of brothers who’s been nice with that ’03 flow. The West Coast is maintaining the game. Up North, Canadian Hip Hop is undiscovered but that’s mainly because the Kulture is suppressed in Canada due to discrimination against Hip Hop as a lifestyle. We also have a fair share of dope emcees in Europe and Africa is killing it as well!

Right now, rappers are hanging up the white gold, platinum or even rose gold jewelry for that yellow gold everything.”

Generally, the whole world is super nice with dope emcees right now. Hip Hop Kulture has become the number one way of life. It really doesn’t matter how many people discriminate. Funnily, when Eminem and 50 Cent took over Styles P and Ghostface were already a staple. That was when the hottest female emcees were Missy Elliott, Trina and E. V. E. Back then, because of Outkast and UGK, the South was still heavy in the game. Back then, Nelly and Luda killed it, who knew the game was about to change so drastically?

Photo credit: YouTube.com

The game has changed so much, every Ol Skool hiphoppas sank their faces in their palms because the New Skool cats are nothing like Rakim and em. They’re not even close to what Biggie and Ice Cube did. However, if you’re looking for new Hip Hop in 2015 and you wanted that Ol Skool feel then Curren$y is your guy! His easy going demeanor is humble even. This rapper is not too flossy at least not just yet. He seems to talk about real shit. Of course, as a rapper, you’ll see that nice ride – the chain and watch the game. But hey!

Right now, rappers are hanging up the white gold, platinum or even rose gold jewelry for that yellow gold everything. This “Pilot Talk” emcee is one to take you on a lyrical ride on a New Skool tip. His most recent album “The Stoned Immaculate” is one that will surprise the inquisitive Ol Skool hiphoppa who is trying to connect with rap in this day and time. This 504 Boy from No Limit Records is a taste of Ol Skool rap in a New Skool era. He reminds me of Guru.

Photo credit: GBEnt.

10: FREDDY WILL – I put myself at the bottom of this list because I don’t want anyone to say I’ve put myself above more accomplished artists. Do I have a hot single on the radio? Nope! Do I have an amazing new video on YouTube? Neh! What about the bread? Like I’ve said, the pat down in Canada is one that causes many real Niggaz to hide their street cred so… what you see is what you get.

I’m doing something never done before – pushing the Kulture in literary and rap at the same time.”

What about the social network? Well, yeah I have tens of thousands of followers on social network, however, that is super low when compared to the millions who embrace today’s most famous rappers. So, what makes me know that I should be on this list? I’m doing something never done before – pushing the Kulture in literary and rap at the same time. This groundbreaking move has elevated me to the status of a Hip Hop artist and author. I manage to drop a consistent book and album – without a ghost writer.

Photo credit: Sai Kit-Chu

My only album that wasn’t released with an accompanying book is the City Of Kings: RELOADED, my 12 – 12 – 12 E. P. That album is being re-released this year with an accompanying book. That’s solid work! My latest album, ‘Laboramus Exspectantes Vol. 1’ has no shortage of dope tracks and its accompanying book ‘Hiphop KruZade …Path Of A Legend’ is getting a rave reaction so much so, I’ve secured a digital album plus an eBook distribution for them respectively.

Not to mention, by the end of this year, God willing, all of my books will be available as eBooks as well.”

This will bring my book to thousands of more fans. I’m confident that many of the concepts on this project will be the next popular ideas in the next 5 years. Not to mention, by the end of this year, God willing, all of my books will be available as eBooks as well. So without, tooting my horn I will leave it there. If you disagree with me, at least we can agree that this is my list and I’m free to put myself on it.” *

Sound off at the bottom.

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