MTV calls them the ones to watch, XXL calls them the freshmen, and I call them musicians I like to pretend I’ve listened to for years. Anyway, these are next big things. Iggy Azalea, despite her racism was on all of these lists. Chance the Rapper and Earl Sweatshirt were on these lists too.
This year, along with names like Dej Loaf and Tinashe, are three artists I would like to talk about. Their names are Kehlani, GoldLink, and Anderson Paak.. Kehlani, if you haven’t figured it out, is our generation’s reincarnation of TLC and already has a Grammy nomination under her belt. Anderson Paak., if you haven’t heard, is Dr. Dre’s new project, and has the voice of an angel. Well, an angel who smokes a lot. And GoldLink is in a league of his own. His music sounds like nothing else, he is known for being pretty weird and illusive, and he has creeped up on the hip hop scene pretty fast these last couple of years.
As I mentioned, I think Kehlani has somehow summoned the ghost of Left-eye and has so much more time on our hip hop radars. But this makes me think, if Anderson Paak., and GoldLink remind me of anyone. By golly they do. Behind only persons like Chance the Rapper and Dej Loaf these guys are what are pushing the hip hop industry, and I think they eventually will take it over. So, stay with me here, as I make a prediction that might make you want to hit me right in the face. But before I make this prediction, and you somehow find my face so you can hit it, I want you to listen to Unique by GoldLink featuring Anderson Paak..Then after you listen to this song, please listen to Barry Bonds by Kanye West ft. Lil’ Wayne released in 2007. Yes, I am comparing GoldLink and Anderson Paak. to Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne.
First of all, I am talking about the Lil’ Wayne that owned the game right after Jay Z married Beyonce and realized that after you marry Beyonce nothing else you do will ever matter. I am not talking about the creep crabapple-looking Lil’ Wayne that thinks he is a skateboarder and may or may not be dying. Second, I am talking only in innovation, not in sound or personality. I do not think that GoldLink is a sexist piece of s%*t like Kanye West. But stay with me here. If you listen to Kanye West and what he has done for hip hop, it’s all in his beats and creativity. Sometimes he goes too far, and sometimes he makes a beat that is incomparably fantastic. GoldLink is very similar. He is by far one of the most experimental rappers coming up, and he undoubtedly done it his own way. His beats are fire and new, and his lyrics are a little controversial and powerful. A very similar sentence I would have used for Kanye in 2007.
Now, my comparison to Anderson Paak. is a little tougher to argue. But where I find basis in my argument is, that Anderson Paak.’s voice. Yes, they both are raspy, but I think their similarities go further. These two artists sound weird. When I first hear Lil’ Wayne I had mixed emotions of wanting to pull my ears out, and only wanting to listen to Lil’ Wayne for the next 20 years of my life. I actually still feel that way about Lil’ Wayne. My other comparison is the way that they came up in the game. Lil’ Wayne came up through a lot of mentorship from Bird Man and as he got bigger Jay Z. Anderson has come up faster than any other hip hop artists this year and it is because of his association with Dre.
Now, if you look at my argument, it isn’t that strong, and you could easily say that the hip hop game is running in such a different direction, that there will be no new Kanye or Wayne. You could also easily put some other names in place of GoldLink and Paak., like Vince Staples, Vic Mensa, BJ The Chicago Kid, or Chance the Rapper who is arguably bigger than Wayne right now. But give it some time and listen to both Anderson Paak.’s latest album Malibu, and GoldLink’s album And After That, We Didn’t Talk and I think you’ll start seeing what I am saying. If not, you can send me angry emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I write this article in pure excitement to see GoldLink and Sango’s sold out show at Neumos on Saturday March 5th only 3 days after seeing Vince Staples. The last time I saw GoldLink, excluding the time I saw him open for Mac Miller, was the Redbull Select show at Barboza, and I think that Neumos is much better space for him. If this show is even close to how fun the Barboza show was, I will be sore for weeks from how hyphy I will get. My rap dreams are coming true.
MARCUS SHRIVER | The Pizza Prophet | KXSU Head Reporter