Head over to XXL's website and check out a cool feature on the Pro Era crew, made famous by frontman Joey Bada$$ and their mixtapes "1999" and more recently "Summer Knights." The Brooklyn conglomerate consists of something like 16 rappers and producers, all of them in their late teens or early twenties, making some great music and spearheading something of a New York hip-hop renaissance. XXL compiled a nice list of each of the members along with a short bio, excepts from their best lyrics, and a few choice cuts of their mixtapes and features. Get to know them so you can say you did before they really blow up (although they kinda already did).
You might recall a shocking headline from May about Araabmuzik being shot in an attempted robbery. Thankfully, the MPC whiz is well on his way to a full recovery, and was healthy enough to play a set at Bonaroo a few weeks ago. Araab recently sat down with XXL to talk about what's next for him. That long rumored collaboration with A$AP is apparently still in the pipeline, although is delayed for now due to schedule conflicts. He's currently working on a few things right now, having just put out a remix album, and is currently doing some stuff for Slaughterhouse. Good to hear that he's back on track after what must've been a crazy couple of months.
"Amerikaz Most Wanted" covers XXL with their summer tour... umm... "Amerikaz Most Wanted" set to kick off this month. Wayne, Tip, and 2 Chainz all have individual covers as well below. Chicago is also represented with what looks like a feature on Chance The Rapper!
The freestyles and cyphers have concluded; now it's time for the roundtable discussion. Watch above to see the 2013 freshman class talk about what it's like to be on the cover, what influences them, their fans, and where they see themselves in the rap game. Interesting talk if you want to get to know more about these upcoming emcees.
Did XXL save the best cypher for last? Dizzy Wright, Logic, and Angel Haze all do their thing over Jahlil Beats production in the 3rd of 3 cyphers for the annual freshman class (DJ Drama on the 1s & 2s). Dizzy impressed me with some thoughtful rhymes about his come-up and just on this rap alone, he's a little brighter on my radar now. If I haven't already, I'll go on record and say that Logic is my favorite emcee of this freshman class and he definitely saved some of his most hard-hitting bars for this one. The end of his rhymes are my favorite of the video as some clever scientist references lead into the official, in-your-face disclaimer that he's half-white, half-black. See how he delivers it and more, with Angel Haze's intensity continuing the flow nicely for a fitting conclusion.