No one can exactly predict the future of the music industry. Even the best music execs have more hits than misses. Artists that seemed destined for stardom inexplicably fade; those who weren’t on any radars in January are stars by December.
Joey Purp: It seems like every year there’s at least a few artists from the Windy City who take the rap game by storm. As a co-founder of the SaveMoney crew, Purp has been there from the beginning. He’s waited patiently as artists like Chance, Vic Mensa, and Donnie Trumpet had blown up, and now it’s his turn. Like the others in his camp, his charisma and unique charm shines through, but what sets Purp apart from his fellow SaveMoney cohorts is his edge. A little more raspy, a little more grimy, Purp brings toughness and a gritty feel that is different from anyone else in his crew. Two-thousand-fifteen was a big year for SaveMoney as Chance and Donnie earned the national spotlight. Now it’s time for the other SaveMoney co-founder to get his due. Two-thousand- sixteen will continue to be a big year for Chicago, and Joey Purp’s going to be a big reason why.
Kevin Abstract: On April Fools Day in 2015, Kevin Abstract got kicked out of a local Texas supermarket for playing unreleased songs from his MTV1987 album over the loudspeaker. Managers of local Texas supermarkets may not be his biggest fans, but he has plenty more, and what they love about him is his willingness to break rules. Through interesting tactics like a 24- hour live stream, a Twitter-avatar “egg movement” (to promote judgment on content over looks), and an in-depth web-series, Abstract has built a sizable, passionate fanbase. It’s that kind of cult following that will account for album and ticket sales and most importantly, his music also reflects that adventurous, unique spirit. Sometimes pop, sometimes, hip-hop, sometimes R&B, Abstract is a master at blending all sorts of sounds and emotions, but no matter where he ventures sonically, his heart is always on his sleeve. He has the vision, he has the fans, now all that’s left is the album, and with his sophomore project, They Shoot Horses, slated for a 2016 release, next year could be his year.
Sparkz TlmB: This is a rapper who has come a long way- From dancing with the likes of Selebobo(From Triple MG) and produced a couple of records, it is obvious that Sparkz has come from humble beginings. in the past this rapper/singer/producer has got a lot of attention to himself by opening for the likes of Davido, flavour, Psquare on the Enugu road block stage and has recieved a lot of airplay all around the south-eastern part of nigeria. He went from having “Jewu soke” to having “Dangote” and finally “Ogini” which is a 2016 hit.
EarthGang: Hailing from the same city as rap’s last great duo (Outkast), Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot joined forces back in 2011 and have been turning heads ever since. After touring with AB-Soul in 2014, appearing on Mac Miller’s Major label debut in 2015, and releasing a handful of must-listen songs (like “AWOL”), 2016 will be the year EarthGang brings back the duo. We’re sure of it.
Boogie: Boogie’s shown the ability to get us moving, but he’s also shown the ability to move us. After his summer smash “Oh My Goodness,” his 2015 album touched on topics like fatherhood, race, and faith, ones which most rappers with a catchy single are afraid to touch. Boogie connects all that’s great about the way music makes us feel with the thoughts we need to have, and that’s why he’s primed for a huge year.
Futuristic: Back in September, Funk Volume head honcho Hopsin took to Twitter to announce that his thriving independent label had signed a new artist. Unfortunately, he didn’t reveal whom. Still, it’s smart to put money on Futuristic. The Arizona based rapper is an expert at blending fun, at times raucous, content with tremendous technical ability, and at times they have already taken him under their wing: Futuristic toured with Dizzy Wright and has been known to team up with Jarren Benton. Regardless of his label situation, we remain confident Futuristic is destined for a big year. He has already demonstrated he knows how to succeed on his own, and has too much charisma and talent to let anything get in his way.
Noname Gypsy: For a while, Noname she didn’t even consider herself a rapper: she was more focused on slam poetry. That’s how she got her start, but it was a guest spot on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap tape that introduced the world to her rapper side and boy did we want more. She delivered in 2014 when she appeared on Mick Jenkins’ breakout tape The Water [s], and in 2015 she appeared on the Social Experiment’s Surf project. She’s sprinkled in a few of her own tracks here and there, but her appearances on those highly-successful tapes has garnered her a curious fanbase seeking a project of her own. It looks like they will get it in 2016 as her Donnie Trumpet- produced Telefone mixtape is expected in the coming year. If she can put together an entire album as good as her guest spots, she’ll be one of this year’s acts to blow.