Who Do We Like In 2013?
There's no real science to these posts. We honestly have no idea who will end up on our year-end lists in 12 months, no insider info on what rapper will emerge out of nowhere and 'save hip-hop,' not much more than a slightly-educated hunch on who or what will deliver that great LP that stays in rotation for months on end.
Nonetheless, this is the Internet and that comes with expectations, so here are five artists and groups to watch in 2013.
Widowspeak - Not brand new but certainly poised to breakout, Brooklyn dream-poppers Widowspeak have a unique weapon in the hushed, super-sad vocals of Molly Hamilton. Their new album, Almanac, expands the band's sonic range while maintaining the romantic, late-night vibe that made me fall in love.
Joey Badass - With his 1999 mixtape, Joey Bada$$ threw his hat in the New York rap game. Now comes the time to cash in those chips. His recent Peep The Apocalypse was a good placeholder, but it's time for Joey to capitalize on the lush, wordy, '90s-obsessed clarity that showed so much promise on tracks like "Waves."
Ex Cops - For all the amateur '90s indie worship of the past couple years, very few groups have shown as much promise and real-deal talent as Ex Cops. Their upcoming True Hallucinations is a masterful lap of indie-pop with guitars majestic enough to make the nostalgia into reality.
Brenmar - This NY-via-Chicago producer showed a real knack for turning some of our favorite pop songs into bootleg bangers with sputtering dance dynamics and enough R&B and rap-related thump to push towards a club future where genre matters a lot less.
Earl Sweatshirt - Now that the great hype of 2010 feels like a bad fever dream, we settle into the reality that Earl Sweatshirt is the best MC in Odd Future. His single "Chum," released last year, was exceptional, showing a deep emotional reservoir over a gurgling, soulful, piano-based beat. If Earl does more of that on his official debut LP, then we'll have something major. No pressure at all.