GWOP Staff has put together a list of the top emcees under the age of 30 years old in Hip Hop. (in no particular order) -2011
Bow Wow & Diggy Simmons
AGES: 24 & 16
In 1993, Bow Wow performed at a concert in Los Angeles, and was noticed by rapper Snoop Dogg, who subsequently gave him a stage name, “Bow Wow”. He now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Diggy Simmons released his highly anticipated and first mixtape “The First Flight” a few years back and The second mixtape “Airborne” dropped on July 29, 2010. Diggy was signed to Atlantic Records in New York on March 21, 2010 on his fifteenth birthday.
From Philadelphia, Mill has been signed to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group and previously T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records. Mill hails from North Philadelphia, however he was born in South Philadelphia
Raised in South Jamaica, Queens, he dropped out of high school in 1998. G-Unit released two albums, Beg for Mercy in 2003 and T.O.S. (Terminate on Sight) in 2008. Banks released his first solo album The Hunger for More in 2004 with the top ten hit single “On Fire”. He followed with Rotten Apple in 2006 and left Interscope Records 2009. In 2010 G-Unit signed with EMI to distribute Banks third studio album H.F.M. 2 (Hunger for More 2), which was released on November 22, 2010.
Vado officially released his long-awaited debut mixtape Slime Flu on October 12, 2010 under Diplomat Records/E1 Music.
Wale was born to Nigerian immigrant parents. He rose to prominence in 2006, when his song “Dig Dug (Shake It)” became popular in his hometown. Wale became locally recognized and continued recording music for the regional audience. Producer Mark Ronson discovered Wale in 2006 and signed him to Allido Records in 2007. While signed to that label, Wale released several mixtapes and appeared in national media including MTV and various urban magazines. In 2008, Wale signed to Interscope Records for $1.3 million, and his debut album Attention Deficit was released in 2009 with the singles “Chillin”, “Pretty Girls”, and “World Tour”. As of now, Wale is signed to Maybach Music Group, courtesy of Maybach’s own Rick Ross.
B.O.B. is currently signed under the labels of Grand Hustle Records, Rebel Rock Entertainment, and Atlantic Records. His debut single “Nothin’ on You” reached number one in both the United States and the United Kingdom. “Airplanes,” B.o.B’s second single, emulated this success, peaking at number one and number two in the U.K. and the U.S., respectively. His third single, “Magic,” became B.o.B’s third consecutive top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. B.o.B was named the ninth Hottest MC in the Game of 2010 by MTV.
Wiz released his debut album, Show and Prove, in 2006, and signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2007. His eurodance-influenced single, “Say Yeah”, received urban radio airplay, charting on the Rhythmic Top 40 and Hot Rap Tracks charts in 2008. Khalifa parted with Warner Bros. and released his second album, Deal or No Deal, in November 2009. He released the mixtape Kush and Orange Juice as a free download in April 2010; he then signed with Atlantic Records. He is also well-known for his debut single for Atlantic, “Black and Yellow”, which peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His debut album for the label, Rolling Papers, was released on March 29, 2011.
Tyler the Creator (oddfuture.com)
He is the leader of the alternative hip hop collective OFWGKTA. He has rapped on, and produced for, nearly every OFWGKTA release.
In May 2010, Big K.R.I.T released his album, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, digitally, garnering critical acclaim. That same month, former president of G-Unit Records and current Senior VP of A&R at Def Jam Records, Sha Money XL, signed him to the label.
He first gained major attention after the release of his debut mixtape A Kid Named Cudi. In 2009, his single “Day ‘n’ Nite” reached the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. “Day ‘n’ Nite” is part of Cudi’s debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. Cudi has also worked with Kanye West, Common, David Guetta and other artists signed to the GOOD Music label.
Born in Trinidad, Nicki Minaj moved to the Queens borough of New York City as a child and graduated from LaGuardia High School in 2003. She released her first mixtape Playtime Is Over in 2007, which was followed by Sucka Free and Beam Me Up Scotty in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Minaj was discovered by fellow American rapper Lil Wayne and signed a deal to Young Money Entertainment with distribution from Universal Motown in August 2009. Her debut studio album Pink Friday (2010) became a commercial success, peaking atop of the U.S. Billboard 200 and being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a month after its release. She became the first artist ever to have seven songs within the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Her second single, “Your Love”, reached number-one on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart, making Minaj the first female artist to top the chart unaccompanied since 2002. She also became the first female artist to be included on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List.
Lil B & Soulja Boy
AGES: 23 & 20
Lil B iz from Berkeley, California. He has recorded both solo and with the Pack. In addition, Lil B is noted for his extensive use of social media Web sites such as MySpace and Twitter to build an online following similar to Soulja Boy.
In September 2007, Soulja Boy’s single “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was initially self-published on the internet, and it later became a number-one hit in the United States for seven non-consecutive weeks starting in September 2007. On August 17 Way was listed at #7 on the Forbes list of 2010
In June 2009, Drake signed a recording contract with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment. In November 2009, Lil Wayne released a statement announcing that Drake’s first studio album, Thank Me Later, had been completed. The album was released on June 15, 2010, and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album has since gone platinum.
Cyhi Da Prynce
He is signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music Label and Def Jam Recording. Cyhi has made appearances on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and has released four mixtapes, with the latest being Royal Flush.
He was born in Santa Monica, California but was raised in Detroit. Big Sean signed with Kanye West’s GOOD Music in 2007, and then in 2008 signed with Def Jam Recordings through his label Finally Famous.
He rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his critically acclaimed debut album, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor.
Raised in Chicago, Fiasco developed an interest in hip-hop after initially disliking the genre for its use of vulgarity. He adopted the name Lupe Fiasco and began recording songs in his father’s basement, and joined a group called Da Pak. The group disbanded shortly after its inception, and Fiasco soon met rapper Jay-Z who helped him sign a record deal with Atlantic Records. In 2006, Fiasco released his debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor on the label, to commercial and critical acclaim. He then released his second album, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, in December 2007. The single “Superstar” became a hit, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. His latest album, Lasers, was released on March 8, 2011 after several release date delays.
Lil Tunechi is without doubt numero uno on the list of top rappers under the 30 mark.
At the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.’z, with B.G.. In 1997, Lil Wayne joined the group Hot Boys, which also included rappers Juvenile, B.G., and Young Turk. Hot Boys debuted with Get It How U Live! that year. Lil Wayne gained most of his success with the group’s major selling album Guerrilla Warfare, released in 1999. Also in 1999, Lil Wayne released his Platinum debut album Tha Block Is Hot, selling over one million copies in the U.S.
His most successful album, Tha Carter III, was released in 2008 which went on to sell over 1 million copies in the U.S. its first week of release. It included the number-one single “Lollipop” and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Lil Wayne released his debut rock album, Rebirth, in 2010 to primarily negative reception from critics. The album eventually went gold. In March 2010, Lil Wayne began serving an 8 month prison sentence in New York after being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from an incident in July 2007. While in jail he released another album entitled I Am Not a Human Being in September 2010, featuring Young Money artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Twist.