I’m here today to tell you about the rappers of the future.
They go by Chance the Rapper and Big K.R.I.T. I’m not claiming they themselves are gonna dominate the charts in a few years (although they are well on their way and I think they’ll hit that point), but that rappers of the future are gonna follow their templates. Let me tell you why they’re the hip hop future.
Exposure over Earnings
Both of these dudes chose to come up by building a big audience before signing a deal (don’t expect Chance to ever sign a deal, by the way.) They did this through a bunch of free releases (mixtapes) and gaining a reputation for great stage performances. By giving people polished music for free, they got huge audiences compared to most rappers without a label.
Then, people would more easily spend money on tickets to go see them, feeling like they owed them for the mixtapes. By not directly going for money, both K.R.I.T. and Chance greatly increased their exposure, and ultimately, their success, including financial success. Considering that exposure is free and only takes effort, folks trying to come up now should follow a similar path rather than trying to sign a deal right away.
Reppin’ New Regions
Everyone knows the great East West rap beefs of the 90’s. Particularly NY (most famously led by Biggie) and LA (Tupac.) Hip Hop started in New York, and G-Funk started in Los Angeles, so that was pretty much it aside from the occasional Outkast. In the early 2000s that started to change with Nelly, Ludacris and some other rappers. Now, it’s anyone’s game.
Chance is from Chicago and Big K.R.I.T. is from Mississippi, so they’re coming out swinging for the Midwest and the South, regions long overdue for some hip hop recognition. The game’s pretty much been blown wide open now, and it doesn’t seem like NY and LA are gonna rule the game anymore. The rappers of the future will come from all over the country, particularly from the historically underrepresented Midwest and South. They’ll also probably start coming more from international backgrounds (just hopefully not any more from Australia.)
They’re Both Real Musical
Not that rappers before this have been monotone, but these dudes like to use their voices as instruments when they can. K.R.I.T. also self-produces most of his shit, showing his talent there. Chance likes to just straight up sing some of his shit, and rap can’t contain all of him. K.R.I.T. doesn’t sing too often (though he kind of does sometimes), but he’s very aware of his voice as a melody, considering how much he switches up the flow and tempo of his spit.
Since hip hop’s boundaries are just expanding from boom bap, the weird sound of these two dudes is gonna be more what you expect from future hip hop. Most rappers are gonna need to be able to rock the mic in multiple ways, and they’ll have to be able to either sing or use their voice as an instrument. Of course there will always be the purists, but future hip hop’s gonna sound more like some other genres. This may or may not be good, but it’ll definitely be interesting.
Check out their best mixtapes (free at Datpiff) and see what I’m talking about, and why the future’s looking bright.
They’re both mad dope but in different ways, so check them both out (they are free) and let me know which you like better!