Best New Artist (Unsigned/Independent) of 2011

Reader's Pick

Childish Gambino Artwork

Childish Gambino

β€œIs there room in the game for a lame who rhymes? / Who wears short shorts and makes jokes sometimes?” As far as Booth readers are concerned, the answer is a resounding β€œYes.” Unlikely a rap icon as the 28-year-old Community star may be, the combo of ferocious wit and heart-on-sleeve confessional lyrics (not to mention fresh, self-produced beats) he showcased on debut studio album Camp made Childish Gambino impossible to ignore in 2011.

Runner Up:
Odd Future

Staff Pick

The Weeknd Artwork

The Weeknd

When 2011 started the world was wondering who this new group The Weeknd was. By the end of 2011 we all knew. The Weeknd was in fact Abel Tesfaye, a Toronta based singer and songwriter who's brand of narco-R&B became an overnight sensation, catapulting him from complete unknown to one of Drake's main collaborators on Take Care. Having completed his mixtape trilogy - House of Balloons, Thursday and Echo of Silences - The Weeknd is primed to explode in 2012.

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