Breaking Through in 2013

Reader's Pick

BJ the Chicago Kid Artwork

BJ the Chicago Kid

In 2012, music-lovers watched, captivated, as Miguel, Frank Ocean and The Weeknd each rewrote the R&B script to fit his singular artistic vision. Meanwhile, slightly lower on the radar, a Windy City native by the name of Bryan Sledge achieved a similar feat with debut album Pineapple Now & Laters. Though his style is more steeped in the soul classics than any of the aforementioned artists, the fresh and forward-looking way in which BJ the Chicago Kid blends the old-school with the contemporary makes him worthy to stand alongside his genre's best and brightest emerging voices. If your votes are any indication, he'll get the chance to do just that in 2013.

Runner Up:
Jhene Aiko

Staff Pick

Emilio Rojas Artwork

Emilio Rojas

He may not get the widespread recognition he deserves, but Emilio Rojas spent 2012 as one of hip-hop's most consistent emcees, turning out a highly-acclaimed project, Breaking Point, in addition to an onslaught of dope tracks and videos. We think this year will be the year Rojas finally truly gets what he deserves, but whether or not this is finally when the masses truly recognize his dopeness, one thing is guaranteed: more consistently great music from Emilio.

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