Every year marks the ascendance of a new crop of emcees, eager to make their mark and stake their claim among hip-hop’s inner-circle. Some rise quickly only to fall just as fast. Others will make you believe they’re here to stay. It often seems as though the latter emcees pop up overnight, but the reality is often years of hard work and steady progress before they get a share of the spotlight. We at The Come Up Show looked back on 2013 to pick out our favourite artists who burst onto the scene this past year. Some you’ll know. The rest, you’ll want to get to know. One thing is certain: if you haven’t heard of these artists yet, you’ll be hearing all about them in 2014. Without further ado, we present The Come Up Show’s Favourite Come Up Artists of 2013.
“Add-2 put out two quality releases this year: More Missed Calls and Between Heaven & Hell with Khrysis, the latter of which also gets my nod for one of the best free releases of the year. Most impressively, he caught the attention of producer extraordinaire 9th Wonder, earning a highly-coveted spot on his stacked Jamla roster – the end result of which was the aforementioned Between Heaven & Hell.
The Chicago emcee possesses two crucial traits that separate him from the rest of the crop: top-notch lyrical skill and rare, endearing sincerity. Call it the Shad factor: you can’t help but want to root for him. Since Add-2 hasn’t disappointed yet, and everything 9th Wonder touches turns to gold, I’ve got high expectations for what Jamla’s newest signee will do in years to come.”
“Kicking off the New Year right, 20-year-old Casey Veggies released his 13-track free album, Life Changes. It’s been a long journey for CV, having released 7 projects since 2007 but the hard work is starting to pay off. With his debut album on the horizon, I’m excited to see what he’ll bring to the table.”
“It took me a long time to grow into this. I feel like this whole time I was searching for something and now I finally found it. Life really does change. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But in the end I feel like we all shall find what we are truly here to do.. stay gold through it all.” – Casey Veggies
“Saskatoon’s Dayda Banks really impressed me with his Roy Meets World mixtape. If you haven’t taken it in yet, start with “Bring Boots.” I was also able to reach out to him for our Don’t Sleep On Me feature, and his story is pretty incredible. It’ll be exciting to see what he puts out next.”
“I remember hearing about Dayda Banks. My friend asked my if I had heard his Roy Meets World mixtape. When I said “no” his eyes lit up, and he immediately threw his bag open, took out a laptop and sent me a link to download the tape. I knew this tape would be special because I’ve never seen someone in such a rush to share music with me. After listening to Roy Meets World once over I understood the hurry to show me. His unique flow and tales of his life make Dayda Banks one of the most predominant come ups of 2013.”
“Having two mixtapes being nominated for the best of the year via Rkulture, Dillan Ponders is a beast from the jungles of Toronto hip-hop and he’s ready to emerge. His projects Overdose and NUMB were both released this year and Dillan preformed opening acts for Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller and Flatbush Zombies. My favorite tracks are “HXMMER” and “Drown.” ”
“GQ’s story is incredible: having come from playing NCAA basketball at North Carolina and winning a championship, he only decided to make hip-hop his career after injuries derailed his chances at playing professionally. That being said, it isn’t fair to call him a “basketball player who raps” – just one listen to his Jamla debut, Death Threats and Love Notes, will prove that he’s got what it takes.
If 2013 marked GQ’s debut in the eyes of many – with stellar verses on songs like “The Town,” “World Turns,” and his guest feature on Add-2’s “The Ugly Side of Beautiful” – then 2014 should promise to bring bigger and better things for the Bay Area rhymer as he preps to release his next project, Rated Oakland, sometime this year.”
“What a year 2013 has been for Jhene Aiko. Amidst collaborations on Big Sean’s “Beware” and Drake’s “From Time,” the LA native also released her debut EP, Sail Out, which features Vince Staples, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, and Ab-Soul. This will act as a prelude to her debut studio album, Souled Out, set to release sometime next year. Possessing the voice of an angel, I’m excited to see Jhene’s career flourish even more so than it already has. Having seen her perform twice this year, I was thoroughly impressed. The possibilities for this young artist are endless.”
“I saw Jimmy B as an opening act for Joey Bada$$ & Pro Era this year. He grabbed my attention with his track “Blackwoods x Arizonas.” I remember people around me asking who he was when he brought out Raheem and they preformed their collaboration, “All Day.” I downloaded his mixtape Jimmy Eats World that night. Jimmy B is from Toronto, he is 21 and musically influenced by Kid Cudi and Nas.”
“Sean is from Toronto and was probably one of my favorite preformances of the year. I saw him for the first time performing at Manifesto. His music is his autobiography and his transition to his new artist persona is ingenious yet flawless. What really stood out to me was his body language and how he moved around the stage and owned it. My favorite track is “Maui Slim.” ”
“One day when I was surfing through the net, looking for old mixtapes I had lost on a previous computer, I discovered a mixtape: 500 Autumn Nights: Side B. I always give new music a thorough listen and instantly off track one “The Love III” I was hooked. Going on with “It’s My Time” and “S.O.L.E (Someone Love Effects)” you’ll see what I mean, every track is so well-thought out, and T.Y. is a humble person who just speaks his mind on and off the record. Just discovering him this year, he has grown to become one of my favorite up and coming Canadian artists.
Having to go back and research his music more, 500 Autumn Nights: Side A quickly became a favorite, and the whole movement he is trying to push is really positive; unity is key and that’s what he’s all about: spreading messages of love, friendship, and trying to do good things but in a way that’s so different from the norm. Nowadays you can find a lot of negative music, but they’re just speaking on the environment they experience daily, whereas T.Y. puts a total 360 on it and does it in way where you get the best of both worlds. Every time I get to talking hip-hop with someone new, I always have to show them T.Y. If you haven’t heard him yet, check his 500 Autumn Nights series out – I advise doing so soon.”
“The Underachievers win my heart. I saw this Brooklyn duo for the first time at The Smoker’s Tour with headliner Joey Bada$$. I fell in love with them after I heard “The Proclamation.” Their mixtape, Indigoism defines their self-title “psychedelic renegades” and delivers perfection for the intelligent stoner. Their new mixtape, The Lords of Flatbush features production from Lex Luger; my favorites are “Leaving Scraps,” “N.A.S.A,” and “Fake Fans.” ”
“I’m very excited to see what The Underachievers will accomplish in the coming years. Indigoism had some great moments (just listen to “The Mahdi”) and The Lords of Flatbush was a solid follow-up. My favourite 2013 offering from The Underachievers, though, has to be “The Proclamation.” The “Gimme Shelter” sample just works, and AK has one of my favourite voices in all of hip-hop right now.”