Goddamn, Anderson .Paak is all over this Compton album. Without exaggeration millions of people will hear Paak's voice in the next week alone, the vast majority of them for the first time. You know what someone should do? They should create this ongoing series that highlights new artists. Just imagine how many people would be able to say they'd been up on Paak for a full year before Compton if there was a series like that. Come to think of it, Top Prospects would be a dope name for a series like that. Yeah, Top Prospects, I like the sound of that. Hopefully someone does it.
Flexin. I'm just flexin.
While yes, it's true that we selected .Paak for our Top Prospects series way back in 2014 and I couldn't resist taking a victory lap, ultimately I don't want this to be about fame, the same tired, empty "who's next to blow" pieces we've all seen a thousand times before. If I've learned anything in my time spent watching the music industry, there's nothing more foolish than thinking you can predict how a new artist's career will shake out, and really, the least important part of any artist's art is their level of fame.
But what we can do, and what I'm proud to say we've done, is select artists who are worth your time regardless of co-signs or buzz or hype. So yes, of course we want to see our selections soar to great heights, but this isn't about hype or sales or label signings. This is about highlighting artists we genuinely believe are pushing music into new and unexplored areas, and they're doing it at a time in their careers when there's still that thrill of discovery.
So with that said, it's time to announce our fifth group of Top Prospects.
Noun: an apparent probability of advancement. Anticipation; expectation; a looking forward
Verb: to search or explore
More: Click here for more detailed criteria of what makes someone a Top Prospect.
Starting next week we'll be unleashing in-depth profiles of each artist, culminating in a Top Prospects EP comprised of exclusive music from each artist. We can't guarantee that any of these artists will one day become famous, but honestly, it doesn't matter. We can guarantee that all of them are worth listening to - after all this is music. What else matters?
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer/talker. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]