2011-08-09T11:00:56-04:00 2011-08-18T22:03:36-04:00

Top 10 Famous Faces in 2012 [Hip-Hop]

Really hot thumbnail for this article post!

Chalk this up as a homage to every real Hip-Hop fan. The ones who love more than just what's on MTV and go further than their favorite blogs. This is for the fans that are eager for the debates, have an eclectic perspective, the history and the intellectual side of the music they love. Your chance to have your voice heard is now.

2011 marks a strong climb for hip-hop, and in my opinion, a revitalization in the popularity of witty lyricism (I'm not devaluing the necessity of great production, and I think due to the advent of home setups production has increased). It's a great thing; no disrespect to Soulja Boy, Waka Flocka and rappers who are known to have fans that rely on the beat to get them in the mood for the song, it's a cool thing thing to see what's popular in hip-hop becoming a little more intellectual and witty though. The internet particularly has given us access to millions of artists and within that billions of songs and only a strong few now survive with the internet campaign, and blog hype of today. That's why we began the plans for what we call the Famous Faces of 2012.

A few things to clear up though. This is not a reincarnation of the XXL Freshman list; it doesn't list artists based on their accomplishments in the past year (although it praises them for it and often serves as a foreshadow) and it focuses on a lot more than their history  and what they have gained. The list is based on opinion yes, but from a more objective standpoint it relies on what upcoming projects they have, who their working with for production, even down to their geographic location and what sub-genre of hip-hop they are producing. It is more than who we think is "hot" or "dope" but rather who we think, based on as close to objective qualities as you can get, will gain the biggest fan base and hype in the coming year.

The exciting part of this list is your participation! Every three days we will release a new artist from #10-#1. On the comments, post who YOU think the artists included in  the Famous Faces for 2012 should be, you can also tweet me at @ThomasKWelker or email me at [email protected] to give your input. You're opinion will be taken into consideration and quotes from you guys will also be included in citing reasons for each decision! Now read below to eliminate as many questions as you probably have.

The rules aren't too complicated and it's subjective as far as who has "blown up" yet and cannot be included now, but hopefully hip-hop's true fans can recognize when an indie artist has blown up beyond the scope of this list. The only concrete rule we have is that the artist cannot have a studio album under a major label (although they may be signed to one presently or in the past) and a few artists are lucky enough to have blown-up without it! Prepare for a list built by the people and prophetic for 2012 hip-hop!


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  • Looks Dope T-welks. good Job

    Avatar Ronnie August 9, 2011 11:04 AM Reply
  • Childish Gambino's gonna be huge

    Avatar Tucker August 9, 2011 11:23 AM Reply
    • childish gambino is huge

      Avatar Nick August 9, 2011 7:22 PM Reply
  • Saying myself would be a little cheesy, so I'd have to say HOPSIN is gonna make another impact this next year.

    Avatar serisony August 9, 2011 11:32 AM Reply
  • theophilus london. he's maaaddd dope.

    and i predict that kreayshawn will be big in 2012.

    Avatar hector August 9, 2011 11:40 AM Reply
  • childish gambino, dom kennedy, chiddy bang, cory gunz should be huge in 2012

    Avatar bss9 August 9, 2011 12:23 PM Reply
  • childish gambinoooo

    Avatar fouzzman August 9, 2011 1:00 PM Reply
  • Phil ade, black cobain, pusha t (as a solo artist) and I gotta agree with childish gambino

    Avatar Alex August 9, 2011 1:04 PM Reply
  • rockie fresh is gonna blow up.

    Avatar antoine August 9, 2011 1:05 PM Reply
  • Theophilus London! His everything is just so different and brilliant. True HipHop is finally coming back.

    Avatar Rebecca Cupcakes August 9, 2011 1:53 PM Reply
  • Childish Gambino has a chance. Pusha T if he complies with the rules i feel like hes already pretty big. uh Chiddy Bang definitely hell jay even gave Xaph a shout out on WTT. uhh fuck mac miller... hmmm who else uh XVXVXVXVXV. Royce da 5'9" should delete all of his previous albums n start over so he can be on this list. Hopsin is a yes.

    Avatar Cameron August 9, 2011 2:10 PM Reply
  • XV deserves to blow up best rapper in the game today i aint jokin wit yall look up any of his mixtapes, got 300 songs of his on my ipod and i can pick 50 that i would take as my favorite song of any artist XV DONOVAN JOHNSON FOR TOP 10 FAMOUS FACES 2012

    Avatar dequan August 9, 2011 2:14 PM Reply
  • black cobain n cory gunz even tho i dont like cory

    Avatar jsarge August 9, 2011 2:14 PM Reply
  • XV is my choice and hopsin too. both are super underrated and have crazy talent

    Avatar lamont August 9, 2011 2:15 PM Reply
  • i'd say as for new upcoming artists probably XV or chris webby. lovin both of these guys. very underrated

    Avatar Steve August 9, 2011 2:16 PM Reply
  • XV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FAV RAPPER RIGHT NOW

    Avatar JJ August 9, 2011 2:17 PM Reply
  • XV chris webby chiddy bang hopsin oncue MGK nuff said

    Avatar matt August 9, 2011 2:19 PM Reply
  • hopsin dirty and he finna blow up same wit my boy xv dat nugga bout to blow up kid wit da green backpack 2012 his yr........ also watch out for dat nugga J COLE yall where yall heads att?????

    Avatar pretti boii juannn August 9, 2011 2:22 PM Reply
  • XV!!!!!

    Avatar DJ Bomb digital August 9, 2011 2:22 PM Reply
  • Pusha T! He is the Metaphor King.

    Avatar SWAGNONYMOUS August 9, 2011 2:29 PM Reply
  • Tyler the Creator and Odd Future I am suprised nobody said tha yet, XV is also on the rise

    Avatar UKnowWha August 9, 2011 2:37 PM Reply

    Avatar Scotty August 9, 2011 2:37 PM Reply

    Avatar EJG August 9, 2011 2:38 PM Reply
  • Cole i figured was too big. but yeahh Cole, XV, Chiddy Bang, Pusha-T, Hopsin. I like that group. fuck chris webby.

    Avatar Cameron August 9, 2011 2:39 PM Reply
  • Jon Connor, VIZZZZZZZY, chiddybang, Cory gunz

    Avatar Dferg August 9, 2011 2:52 PM Reply
  • Rahiem Supreme !!!!

    Avatar ll Cool August 9, 2011 3:26 PM Reply
  • Rockie Fresh , Rahiem Supreme , Show Tufli

    Avatar Truth August 9, 2011 3:28 PM Reply
  • ! XV , Chip Tha Ripper , Theo London, Rahiem Supreme !

    Avatar Justin August 9, 2011 3:32 PM Reply
  • Rahiem Supreme is too ill!!!

    Avatar GCam August 9, 2011 3:34 PM Reply
  • Avatar Mr. Music August 9, 2011 3:35 PM Reply
  • Rahiem Supreme ! Dc's great hope

    Avatar Cameraman August 9, 2011 3:38 PM Reply
  • Childish Gambino as well!!

    Avatar Mr. Music August 9, 2011 3:38 PM Reply
  • Jhene Aiko , Tiara Thomas , Rahiem Supreme , Erik Arc Elliot

    Avatar TT August 9, 2011 3:41 PM Reply
  • Rahiem Supreme and Fuck whoever else!

    Avatar Buddy August 9, 2011 3:45 PM Reply
  • That bol Rahiem Supreme from the DMV

    Avatar Radio Personality August 9, 2011 3:46 PM Reply
  • Woo - liking the push for Childish Gambino, but I'm not so sure if he's really going to stick around for long... Got to love him though!

    Avatar The Internet Garbage August 9, 2011 3:50 PM Reply
  • Childish Gambino, Rahiem Supreme, WAX & EOM, and more WAX people look him up!

    Avatar ReptarDick August 9, 2011 3:52 PM Reply
  • chip tha rippppppeeeerrrrrr

    Avatar Anonymous August 9, 2011 4:02 PM Reply
  • Rahiem Supreme is the best rapper you've never heard! He will be on your itunes sooner or later

    Avatar Soup August 9, 2011 4:04 PM Reply
  • hopsin spit serious shit he just gotta get out of that damn contract. fuck eazy-es wife. Childish if he actually focuses on rapping will definitely blow up hes known in a lot of different media circles already. i wouldnt mind Wale goin to another level though he reps hard. and of course XV! somethin about his flow i love

    Avatar kmoooney August 9, 2011 4:06 PM Reply
  • Rahiem Supreme! I expect to see a lot from him in the up n coming year

    Avatar EV August 9, 2011 4:25 PM Reply

    Avatar homicide August 9, 2011 4:34 PM Reply
  • rahiem supreme should definately not be on that list itll take him more than next year to get big

    Avatar dferg August 9, 2011 4:45 PM Reply
    • you lost your mind smh

      Avatar Anonymous August 10, 2011 12:21 AM Reply
  • personally i wouldnt mind mackelmore getting out there a little more...i like his flow sometimes....others he sucks

    Avatar kmoooney August 9, 2011 5:05 PM Reply
  • I would have to disagree with dfreg. I think there's a reason Rahiem Supreme appeared multiple times on this list. He has gained many fans in short period of time, faster than many brand new artists. I've followed him for about a year now and Im pretty impressed. I also like Kendrick Lamar and Mikey Rocks

    Avatar DJ August 9, 2011 5:19 PM Reply
  • K.i.T!!!!!!!!!

    Avatar csantos August 9, 2011 5:49 PM Reply
  • Cole, Dom, Kendrick, Chip, Rockie, Pusha T, Gambino, CyHi, ChiddyBang, XV, Theo

    Avatar Morris August 9, 2011 5:53 PM Reply
  • prince EA, the weeknd, cobe obeah

    Avatar cee August 9, 2011 6:33 PM Reply
  • Huey Mack, Devin Miles, Phil Ade, Rockie Fresh, Young Scolla, Cyhi THe Prince

    Avatar Mike Mantone August 9, 2011 10:17 PM Reply
  • Young Scolla, Devin Miles, Phil Ade

    Avatar Tecknowledgy August 9, 2011 10:21 PM Reply
  • hahahahaha huey mack?!?! no wayyyyy

    Avatar dferg August 9, 2011 10:24 PM Reply
    • huey mack is a fugggin puss hahahah

      Avatar Anonymous August 10, 2011 11:30 AM Reply
  • Great feedback guys, we're using it all so keep it coming!

    Avatar ThomasKWelker August 9, 2011 10:57 PM Reply
  • Skewby, Young scolla, Phreshy Duz'It, Machine Gun Kelly, Kendrick Lamar, Tayyib Ali

    Avatar Mike Mantone August 9, 2011 11:00 PM Reply
  • YEAHHHHHHH Young Scolla is gonna kill 2012! #TheRLES I love him

    Avatar KellyLovesHipHop August 9, 2011 11:03 PM Reply
  • Young Scolla will be runnin' 2012!!!

    Avatar Steen August 10, 2011 12:10 AM Reply
  • Hopsin!!! and J. Cole for sure

    Avatar esteez August 10, 2011 1:21 AM Reply

    Avatar ERICHEWY. August 10, 2011 3:59 AM Reply
  • Hopsin- the content of his rhymes could do some work. He’s good but nothing really special so idk why he’s going around tryna dis other rappers talkin all that ish. He claims to be/should be on top of the game but has yet to prove anything. And idk about this goon dressing up like a girl in his video with all that make up n ish on his face. WTF is that? That ish is suspect and is up there with Lil Wayne making out with Birdman on BET a ways back. Plus he got some other dude SwizzzzZZ (idk how many z’s this goon has in his name but its too damn many) that’s always with him. SwizzzzzZZZZzzz is to Hopsin as Arab is to Soulja Boy. At most I say he’ll get on the radar in 2012, but def not runnin shit

    Childish Gambino- Lyrically he’s there fo sho. He has a lot of potential and should do big things in 2012. I’m interested what he has in store for us in the future.

    I like J.Cole for the same reason white ppl love country music, cuz I can relate. Cole is one of the few rappers out there (nowadays) that forreal keeps it 100. His rhymes are ill and the content of his songs are real. Jus listen to any of his mixtapes, especially Friday night lights. And he should release his damn album already. My ass is getting impatient.
    Wale- I have been a big Wale fan for years and I’m expecting big things from him in 2012. Him going MMG changed his sound a lil bit but he’s still solid. As long as he stays to his DC roots its all good. Aka keep making dope go-go songs. His rhymes are dope too. Idk why he doesn’t get much credit.

    Chocolate Drop- REAL.RAP.RAW. nuff said
    I became a HUGE Phil Ade fan ever since I saw him in concert a few years back when “Starting On JV” first came out. He’s been doin his thing with his #PhilAdeFriday joint goin on. He’s on point with his lyrics too

    I see Charles Hamilton getting jayed in the face a couple more times by more hood rat bitches.

    I have a feeling Pusha T aint ever gonna make it crazy big but still gonna be a raw mofo. I heard a few things bout Kanye ghost writing for fear of god but he’s always been dope with him n malice as Clipse.

    I’m not worried about kreayshawn’s career as much as her life. The Game pulled an ak47 right to the little white girls face just for dropping the “n-bomb”. Smdh

    Mac miller can suck it.

    Of course Im expecting something legit from XV along with everyone else.

    Los should deserve some more respect. As far as him doing big things in 2012….im not too sure bout this one but I hope he gets something done. All his mixtapes are dope. He has great remakes and freestyles along with his own music he makes.

    Avatar scheme116 August 10, 2011 4:01 AM Reply
  • Phil Ade and Tayyib Ali, two favorites at the moment. can def vibe to both of these artists

    Avatar HereAndThere August 10, 2011 7:29 AM Reply
  • XtotheV

    Avatar YOMAN August 10, 2011 8:08 AM Reply
  • Gotta say Childish Gambino, just as everyone else, but Phil Ade and Swedish rapper "Prop Dylan" will probably make a huge impact on the Hip-Hop scene next year!

    Avatar Isak August 10, 2011 8:39 AM Reply
  • no one is saying j.cole cus his album didn't drop yet! after his album drops im tellin you he gonn be on this.

    Avatar aaron August 10, 2011 11:12 AM Reply
  • Chuuwee deserves more daps for sure. Also paying attention to Cities Aviv... his release, "Digital Lows" is just about my favorite album of the year.; raw flow, lyrics and production.

    Avatar TRANNYDAN August 10, 2011 10:44 PM Reply
  • STS, Phil Ade, Ab-Soul, Childish Gambino, Its The Deans List..

    Avatar Singhpin August 11, 2011 12:03 PM Reply
  • stalley, blue scholars, KUNG FOO GRIP.

    Avatar sam August 12, 2011 10:13 PM Reply
  • Guerilla Warfare Tactics

    Avatar RM87 August 16, 2011 11:51 PM Reply
  • Also Hoodie Allen, Dumbfounded, and Hood Internet for mashups

    Avatar RM87 August 16, 2011 11:54 PM Reply
  • Fureal i think it will really be Grieves, Hoodie allen, and Chip tha Ripper making waves next year

    Avatar Mitch Lopez August 17, 2011 12:17 AM Reply
  • i know he i'snt and mc, but Apollo Brown is a sweet producer and should definitely be mentioned

    Avatar Anonymous August 17, 2011 9:22 AM Reply
  • Macklemore... When his LP is released in Autumn it will blow him up to stardom, and the same with Gambino when his is released.

    All the best to Hoodie, HMM, and GWT

    Avatar balt August 18, 2011 4:25 PM Reply
  • My suggestions would be Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-soul and Stalley. But I really have been impressed by Kris Kasanova, his mixtape is just a great piece of work for someone so young.

    Notable mentions to Grieves, Phil Ade and Rhapsody.

    Avatar Hayoji August 24, 2011 6:55 PM Reply
  • Macklemore and Action Bronson.

    Avatar Matt C August 25, 2011 9:26 PM Reply
  • when did everyone jump on the Gambeezy tip? he's Been dope.
    OF don't count, they are Already big.
    My vote's Childish, Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky, Tyga, Wax, and Chiddy Bang (they qualify cuz they are STILL unknown and deserve more recognition than The Cool Kids IDGAF)

    Avatar snow August 26, 2011 4:39 AM Reply
  • j. cole for sure

    Avatar ju August 27, 2011 2:04 PM Reply
  • curren$y

    Avatar matt rodder September 9, 2011 10:19 AM Reply
  • j. cole, childish gambino, hoodie allen, skewby, kendrick lamar, macklemore, Chip tha Ripper, dean's list, chiddy bang (no order)

    Avatar Matt September 9, 2011 10:41 AM Reply

    Avatar Lihockey December 26, 2011 6:36 PM Reply

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