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10 Buzziest Crossover Black Rappers

Lilian Min |
February 11, 2014 | 12:05 p.m. PST

Music Editor

If you watched the Grammys this year, you might have been under the impression that Macklemore's the king of the popular rap world.

FALSE. Instagram apologies aside, the Seattle rapper is right in thinking that the night's honors should've gone to Kendrick Lamar, the Compton MC whose debut major label record "good kid, m.A.A.d. City" pleased critics, rap fans and just plain old music lovers alike.

In the spirit of Black History Month, we're rounding up 10 of the buzziest, on-the-rise black rappers who are making waves beyond the rap world:

ALSO READ: Macklemore Shares Text Message Apology To Kendrick Lamar Via Instagram

Kendrick Lamar

This man needs no introduction. Whether he's slaying the stage alongside Imagine Dragons or making everyone freak out over a really not that incendiary verse, Kendrick's set to join the ranks of nicknamed greats like Hov or Yeezus. It's really only a matter of time.

ALSO READ: Hip-Hop Hometown Hero Kendrick Lamar Returns To Club Nokia

Angel Haze

She rapped "Drunk In Love," gave her record label the middle finger by leaking her own album after its release was pushed back yet again and also rewrote the lyrics to Macklemore's "Same Love" so it'd actually express a queer identity (in her case, as a pansexual). Badass? Badass.

Chance the Rapper

James Blake's roommate collaborated with the British singer on a remix of "Life Round Here" (which was covered by Ellie Goulding and the aforementioned Haze, above), but also did work on his '13 mixtape "Acid Rap." Sure, he also collaborated with Justin Bieber, but nobody's perfect.

Danny Brown

The affable rapper crossed paths with Purity Ring last year, resulting in PR's "Belispeak II" and Brown's "25 Bucks," but he's been releasing his uniquely weird tunes for a while, only finding some more mainstream accolades now.

Childish Gambino

Donald Glover's a stand-up comedian and TV actor ("Community," "Girls," "Adventure Time"), but his Tumblr-savvy sad Internet boy schtick appeals to pretty much anybody with ears.

ALSO READ: Childish Gambino: 'Because The Internet' Album Review

Pusha T

Critics love him, rap fans love him, but more importantly perhaps, Yeezus himself is a total Pusha stan -- for better or worse.

Meek Mill

"There's nothing meek about Meek Mill!" Terrible trite puns aside (sorry), really though -- the rapper's on the same label as Rick Ross and Wale and took aim at Kendrick, and though he hasn't quiiite tapped into more mainstream success the way those two have, perhaps that will change when "Self Made Vol. 3" drops.

A$AP Ferg

He's not the flashiest member of the A$AP Mob (that'd have to be Ser Rocky), but A$AP Ferg's debut studio album "Trap Lord" showcased a talent easily comparable to his fellow's. Next up: an appearance in a Lana Del Rey music video?

Earl Sweatshirt

Another rapper who's sometimes overshadowed by the crew he runs with (in this case, Odd Future ringleader/living caricature Tyler, the Creator and R&B sweetheart Frank Ocean), Sweatshirt's gotten over his boarding school blues and has proved himself to become one of the best young'uns in the scene with "Doris."

ScHoolboy Q

He's on Kendrick's label, but Q's got the potential to break out just as far as Lamar (see: "Hands on the Wheel"). We'll see just how far he goes when third album "Oxymoron" drops later this month.

Reach Music Editor Lilian Min here; follow her on Twitter here and on Google+ here.



 

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