If you've ever spent some time looking the rap map
, or know even the slightest about hip-hop for that matter (which I assume given you're reading this), you know how important birthplace is for a rapper trying to chisel a reputation in the rap game. New York, Los Angeles and Detroit have historically harbored--and to an extent defined--the most dynamic hip-hop traditions both musically and culturally (loosely referred to as the East and West coast schools). But as hip-hop took off over the world through the 90s, Atlanta (The Dungeon Family), Chicago (Common, Kanye), Philadelphia (The Roots) and other cities started to make names and spaces for their unique dialects of hip-hop too. With each new crop of freshmen hip-hop artists, including 2010's, hip-hop dialectically snowballs as new and under-represented places grow and support upcoming artists and in turn, cultivate hip-hop reputations of their own.
This year, quite a few new spaces became legitimate hip-hop destinations. Gadsden, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; London, Ontario; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Meridian, Mississippi each took on new worldly reputations thanks to their home grown stars that have been busy making names for themselves in 2010. Shad, Yelawolf, and Big K.R.I.T in particular, paint vivid lyrical stories of their experiences, and people of their home soils, bringing their hometowns along on their rise to the top. In 2010, the rap map got a little more worldly.
Honorable mentions go to Nicki Minaj who dropped her debut record Pink Friday
and broke a slew of billboard records, the Californian phenomenon Odd Future (OFWGKTA and in particular Tyler, The Creator), who enjoyed a moment as trending topic during their highly hyped debut New York performance and scored a boatload of underground fans and a couple of major magazine co-signs, as well as Toronto's own producers Boi-1a and Rich Kidd, who are quickly on the rise to the upper echelons of major producer superstardom.
We Present: The Come Up Show's FAVORITE COME UP ARTISTS OF 2010!