"Top Prospects" might be my favorite thing we do on DJBooth. No, I don't know why I'm hedging. Top Prospects is my favorite thing we do on DJBooth.
Of course it's fun to write about superstar rappers who are dominating headlines, and I can become obsessed with unraveling how the music industry works, but the most fundamental reason I love this job, the reason I used to spend hours rifling through records, is because there's no purer joy for a music nerd than sharing incredible music from a new artist, and ultimately that's what Top Prospects is about.
These aren't artists we're predicting are going to get signed to a major label or "blow up." If that happens great, and it has happened to some Top Prospect alumnni (see Anderson .Paak, who we selected back in 2014), but we honestly don't factor co-signs or buzz or any of those ultimately meaningless choices into our selections. The question isn't, "Are they going to be famous?" The question is, "Are they poised to make incredible music you need to be listening to?"
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.
So forget hype, forget the charts, these profiles are 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 new thrill of discovery. So with that said, it's time to announce our seventh group of Top Prospects.
This month we'll be unleashing in-depth profiles of each artist, culminating in a Top Prospects playlist comprised of new and 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.
What else could possibly matter?
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer/talker. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]