Leaders of the New School 2012


The next generation of really, really dope rappers is starting to emerge. Thank god. I was getting worried, but it makes sense that these guys who were born during the 90’s when shit was so pure and rugged are coming around full circle to make the same type of shit. Their parents probably played Wu-Tang and Nas and shit like that when they were in the crib (literally) and it soaked in to their brains or something. As a parent, I know I try to put my kids on to the ill shit, even though they’re both under two. Fuck it. My older son Luca feels beats. He bops his head hard and all that. It’s hysterical.

The first guy who really caught me by surprise is Wiki, who’s from Uptown and spits like a young Eminem but with an NYC flair. His video for “Wikispeaks” is excellent, and it’s apparent with this one song that he’s one of the most talented young rappers out right now. It’s actually mind-boggling how nice he is. And he’s definitely on some throwback shit. He looks like a kid from the movie Kids, seems to have a preference for beers and blunts, and “Wikispeaks” sounds like something from an old Stretch and Bobbito radio show. Watch the video above, and then check out his EP 1993.

Somehow, as I explored Wiki’s Twitter page and other posts on the net about him, I came across another young rapper from NYC, Brooklyn to be exact, named Joey Bada$$ (picture above). Yo. This dude is sick. He reminds me of my boy Nef from the BX that I went to Maryland with, who I always tell people is the nicest rapper I ever exchanged bars with. Anyway, Joey Bada$$ is down with Smoker’s Club (Smoke DZA, Johnny Shipes is his manager, etc) and is only a Junior in High School, but is super duper dope, with smart, clever lyrics, tons of flow, and a great rap voice. His song “Waves” is my favorite shit out right now hands down. Listen above, and then watch his video for “Survival Tactics” with his boy Capital STEEZ below…

Kid is nice, right? Finally, Cali collective Odd Future, who I admit I was never the hugest fan of, is back at it, especially with the return of Earl Sweatshirt, their most talented and lyrical rapper who had been missing in action for the past year. Check the video for their posse cut “Oldie” led by Tyler, The Creator and featuring their whole crew (off their new album coming soon), including a top notch verse from Earl towards the end. These kids are off the chain (they basically just fuck around at a photo shoot in the video), and the beat is straight boom bap…

Finally, I never really posted A$AP Rocky’s shit, but him and his A$AP crew from Harlem are making a lot of noise, and it would be irresponsible of me not to include them in this post. He covered the last issue of Complex, and has lots of new material starting to surface. My favorite shit of his is easily “Peso” which you’re probably up on by now since they play it on Hot 97 and the video’s been on every blog in the world. He’s not the most amazing rapper, and is more on some next shit than some throwback shit, but for good measure, I’m including him here, because this song/video is hot and he’s for sure one of the leaders of the 2012 new school…

Yes, the next generation of spitters is here, and they’re ready to make their mark. We’ll have to see how far they can take it. Regardless, it’s nice to see that the hip-hop community is embracing that realness again. Enough with the party and bullshit, right? Cheah.


Odd Future vs. Joey Bada$$ (MTV Rap Fix Live)

Peter Rosenberg interviews Earl Sweatshirt for the first time since his return

Nardwuar vs. A$AP Rocky (and A$AP crew)


Watch this mini-doc Vice Magazine did with Joey Bada$$, where they visit him at school and kick it with his crew too. Dope…

ALSO, MUST READ: Who is Wiki? | Complex

4 thoughts on “Leaders of the New School 2012

  1. GREAT ARTICLE…and yes, it is encouraging to see creative rap again, although its been out there all along, these guys are moving front and center. Odd Future is dope.

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