The constant flood of new artists is a blessing and a curse. Yes, it can make keeping up with every buzzworthy rapper and singer a nearly impossible task, even for those of us who literally spend their lives working on the Internet. But, on the plus side, how incredible is it that we get to constantly discover life-changing music? Is there any thrill bigger than hearing a new favorite artist for the first time? Those were rhetorical questions, but no, there isn't. Without further ado, here are the fresh faces who helped make 2014 great.
For a full breakdown of the 2014 Best of the Booth Awards, including nominees in every category, click here.
Best New Artist
Mick Jenkins has not-so-quietly racked up a number of Best of the Booth nominations over the course of the year, and established himself as one of Chicago's strongest new voices—no small feat considering the talent that's been pouring out of the Windy City of late. (Also, ahem, Top Prospect status.)
It all started with "Stronger Than Ever," a song that deserves to be called one of the year's best. From there, Ritchie's only continued to prove that he's a new artist who deserves to be watched.
The man was selected as a DJBooth Top Prospect for a reason. You're simply not going to find a more versatile artist in today's industry. Now that he's taken on a new name and once again reinvented his sound, we're calling him a new artist. So sue us.
The West Coast is experiencing a hip-hop renaissance thanks to a new generation of talented artists, and Luke Christopher is right there at the front of the pack. Who else this year had Asher Roth and BANKS on their project?
Your Old Droog
One of the rawest emcees to come out of NYC since Nas. Get it? GET IT?! Point is, he's dope.
This year, SZA emerged as the soulful female voice of TDE, meaning she's now officially part of hip-hop's fastest-rising crew. Other than that, you know, no big deal. Also, "Sobriety" is the jam.
One of the most original voices we've heard in R&B in a long time. She's like Aaliyah mixed with Madonna mixed with an awesome creative energy all her own. Watch, listen and be amazed.
You guessed it: yet another DJBooth Top Prospect. To learn why we honored him with that title, look no further than the "Y'all Trippin" video, to name just one of his many acclaimed features.