Artist Watch, Immaculate

Artist Watch: Novel

We have recieved a lot of positive feedback about our Artist Watch series, and now, with the fourth installment of the series, we introduce Novel. After being around the music industry his whole life, Novel, a well-rounded musician from LA who does everything from singing and rapping to songwriting and producing, is finally starting to get the recognition that he deserves. Having penned tracks for big name artists such as Alicia Keys and Lionel Richie, Novel seems to have a strong network in the music industry which should help him as he tries to progress his own solo career. Recently featured on some highly publicized albums, such as hip hop super-group Slaughterhouse’s self-titled debut album and David Guetta’s One Love, Novel has a soulful voice and makes music with substance that people can relate to.

Below are some of my favorite tracks of his that demonstrate his well-rounded skill-set. You can preview the songs and find the download links for them (and more) at the bottom of this post.

Sky Might Fall (Soul RMX)

^You can watch him produce this track here. Pretty cool stuff to watch.

Fuck Wit My Mind

^Watch the video for this here.

Mad World (RMX)

^Inspired by the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant by police officers in Oakland, California on New Years day in 2009. The beat picks up at around 1:50 into the track for a nice change.

Novel – Mad World
Novel – Sky Might Fall (Soul RMX)
Novel – Fuck Wit My Mind

Download his free Suspended Animation mixtape here.

Audiobiography, his debut album which was originally set to be released this past March, was pushed back and a new release date has yet to be announced.

Previously: | Los | XV | J. Cole |

Artist Watch, Rudolph

Artist Watch: LOS

In our third installment of the Artist Watch series, we bring you LOS. Unlike our previous two artists in the series (XV, J. Cole), it’s going to take a lot for LOS to blow up. He’s got mad talent, but he recently decided to part ways with Diddy’s Bad Boy label in order to take the independent route.

LOS has a similar flow to Wayne, with plenty of punchlines to go around. Check some of these songs to see what I mean.
Los: Say Yeah (Freestyle)
This blows Wiz Khalifa’s original out of the water.
Now I’m about to Philip / fill up banks like I’m the Fresh Prince
Los: A Milli (Freestyle)
Some sick flow on this joint.
I’m so out of this world, I make telescopes squint”
If we beef, and bring your armor ‘for I knock a pothole out you, take that beef, bring some shells, make a f*ckin’ taco out you
Los: It’s Me (Freestyle)

And this, this is just ridiculous.
Frat whore, frat whore, the b*tch was a frat whore
The basketball team tapped that like a backboard
Frat whore, frat whore, she loved Iota
So she gave me head first
Then I told her I owed her
Then I told her bye bye now, see ya soon
B*tch I’m so fly I gotta look down to see the moon
Contrary to what he, or she assume
you still feel my swag in the air when I leave the room
B*tches still feel the dick in her when I leave the womb
That being said, as cool as these tracks are, they’re all freestyles. The dude has no stand out originals, and even when there is some potential on the verses, the hooks are weak.
LOS, if you’re reading this, which I know you are, my suggestion to you is to get into contact with some dudes like Colin Munroe, Robin Thicke, etc. and get a real solid hook, and then just do your thang on the verses. THEN you might have something.
Artist Watch, Rudolph

Artist Watch: XV

With our second installment of the Artist Watch series, we would like to introduce XV. With clever wordplay like, “Then I started playin’ in her Bush, but she screwed me out my seat, so I guess I’m Gore,” XV can’t possibly remain unsigned for much longer. The rapper out of Kansas has a lot going for him, including guest spots from Ne-Yo, Colin Munroe, and Wiz Khalifa on his most recent mixtape ‘Everybody’s Nobody’. Look out for him in 2010, because there’s no way he won’t be a big deal by then.
Check out a few highlights from ‘Everybody’s Nobody,’ or download the whole thing.
XV – Awesome (Preview Above)
Artist Watch, Hip Hop, Immaculate

Artist Watch: J. Cole

Although he may not be a household name (yet), J. Cole is certainly an artist to watch as his first two mixtapes have left listeners wanting more. His clever wordplay, lyrical substance, and smooth flow earned him the first spot on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label and one of the only featured verses on Jay-Z’s most recent album (next to Kanye West and Young Jeezy). J. Cole is a breath of fresh air in a hip hop industry that has recently been filled with dumbed down lyrics and repetitive voice effects. He has speculated that his debut album should be out next Spring and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

Hear for yourself: J. Cole – Lights Please
Want to hear more? Get his most recent mixtape here: J. Cole – The Warm Up (Mixtape)