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- K.Mean’s STL Artists To Watch in 2021 - Tuesday, January 19, 2021
As we move into a new year, I’d like to shed some light on a few acts that might be worth taking a look at before the lights get brighter. Many of the acts you might know or may have heard of but never took the time to check out. Here are some notables going into the new year/decade.
My first and safest bet for a big 2020 is Compton’s next phenom, Roddy Ricch. After two successful underground mixtapes, he released his debut album in early December, Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, or as he often shortens it to, Antisocial.
He has several buzzing songs for the latest release including my favorite, The Box. He’s also up for a few Grammys this year from his feature appearance on Nipsey Hussle’s final solo single before his untimely death, Racks In The Middle. And had a fan favorite for the fall with his song for Mustard’s Perfect Ten album, Ballin’. With the resume he has going into this year, we could argue he had the best year of his career last year. I think it’s only the beginning.
While she’s been around for several years and became nationally recognized for being the first winner of Jermaine Dupri’s competition show The Rap Game, Mulatto is a very different artist today. First and foremost, she’s an adult and has shed the good girl/clean teen act. Her progression has been paced well and now she is prime for a bigger impact on her own terms. She’s released 2 EPs & an album about the last 18 months. All with viable hits on them. Last month she released the aptly titled, Hit The Latto.
The 6 track effort is straight to the point and over before you can realize you haven’t skipped anything. She has a great ear for choosing her production, a strong voice and most importantly a vicious pen. She is able to rap about simple, even ratchet, things in complex & unique ways. The pressure for her star has been building and it’s prime to burst this year.
While I am not particularly fond of him, Rod Wave may have the biggest buzz going into the new year because he’s relatively new and we haven’t hear as much from him. He’s essentially a street singer. His music depicts trap tales. He does have some raw singing skills, especially in comparison to the rappers that are strictly singers via autotune. However, he has drawn most of his criticism for having a sound that mimics many other acts. He released Ghetto Gospel late last year.
On some tracks he sounds like Kevin Gates. On others he’s been likened to Derez Deshon. His content is similar to NBA Youngboy & fellow Floridian Kodak Black. He is better at singing than many of them but I’m just not sold. Time will tell.
Many have tried, few have succeeded. Pardison Fontaine is most famously known as a staff writer for the current queen of hip-hop, Cardi B but trying to carve his own way. He’s been apart of her team since before the major label backing for either of them and is largely credited (by her as well) as being a huge part of her massive success. He was moderately successful on his own debut single, Backin’ It Up with Cardi’s assistance. His other single releases haven’t connected but have been good. In November, he released his debut album, UNDER8ED.
Pardi has a keen pen and a one of a kind voice. His songs vary in topic but his favorite is women. He make songs that are clearly aimed to impact the opposite sex either by trying to convince them to leave their current partner for him or to dance in clubs. He also gives a peak into his struggle of balancing being kind of famous but not really being fully where he’d like to be financially and professionally. I’m sure his writing skills are in high demand and Cardi is gearing up her 2nd album. Even if the songs don’t say his name, he could have an exceptional year.