It seems like every other year, one or two cities has a flock of young, new artists that all blow up simultaneously and take over the game. In 2012 it was New York with A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, etc. and Los Angeles, with the powerhouse that was TDE with releases of Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Ab-Soul’s Control System, and Schoolboy Q’s Habits & Contradictions. 2013 wasn’t the same, which was just a year full of big hitter releases from Kanye, A$AP Rocky, Drake and J.Cole, to name a few. In 2014, it was Atlanta. With the unstoppable force that was Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, Rae Sremmurd, Peewee Longway, etc. However, in 2015 you can expect the next city in the cycle to be Chicago. Everyone had a taste of the fresh raw talent from the Windy City in 2013 with the breakout releases of Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap and Vic Mensa’s Innanetape. While both of them have been working on their upcoming, much-anticipated releases, 2014 was a relatively quiet year for Chicago. With many of these artists on the list bubbling beneath the surface, expect many of these artists on this list to breakout and have a huge year.
Tink is a very fresh female presence in the new wave of up-and-coming artists coming from Chicago and in the industry in general. With the ability to excel in both rapping and singing, she is for sure going to be HUGE in 2015…and oh wait, did I mention she currently has one of the strongest co-signs from Timbaland? No big deal, right? Look out for her debut project this year and expect heavy amounts of Timbaland production (and an Andre 3000 feature?).
After bursting onto the scene last summer with the release of his introspective and critically acclaimed debut project on Cinematic Music Group, The Water[s], expect Mick Jenkins to come back in 2015 with another spectacular project (debut album?)
This unique duo consisting of the members of Lil Ceno and Lil Trav are definitely one of the most abstract rappers on this list. Since their release of their fun and energetic single “Fiesta” last year, they’ve had A$AP Ferg remix the song himself and released their mixtape, Super Saiyan Vol. 1. Look for them to drop another unique banger in 2015 and for their new tape, Super Saiyan Vol. 2.
Some might have known him before in the Chicago rap scene, but when fellow breakout Chicago MC, Chance The Rapper dropped his breakthrough Acid Rap tape in 2013, the internet got their first listen of Saba on the funky track ‘Everybody’s Something’, spitting one of the best guest verses on the tape. Since then, the PIVOT GANG member dropped ComfortZone, a free album that shows off his true potential to drop an even more notable project in 2015.