A few artists that have struck a chord with me in some way amidst the vast number of indie/underground hip hop mixtapes that are released. I really feel that any of these sing/songwriter/producer/rappers could get a big breakthrough in 2010.
Bobby Ray aka B.o.B. is well on his way to mainstream success at the age of 22. Releasing several successful mixtapes is building hype for his debut under T.I.'s Grand Hustle label. He has a fantastic flow and a voice that's easily recognizable and memorable. Check out his last couple of mixtapes and get excited for the potential of this Atlanta rapper/producer's April 27th release.
Novel is a proven talent in songwriting/producing/singing. Although having written for multiple stars including Talib Kweli, he's not attained much solo success. I've really enjoyed listens of his recent mixtapes "Suspended Animation" and collaboration with Joell Ortiz, "Defying the Predictable". Look out for his upcoming release, "The Audiobiography".
"Soon You'll Understand" is a mixtape by L.A. hip hop artist, Diz Gibran. This is a solid, under the radar release that caught me by surprise and has stayed in my itunes library while other mixtapes have faded to the trash. I love the production work by Moonshine and Diz has a passion for the music that is obvious in the tracks.
Chiddy Bang is a duo of college friends from Philadelphia with a pretty entertaining mixtape that has samples from all sorts of wild places such as Sufjan Stevens and Mary Poppins. Check out their recently released video for "Opposite of Adults". Love it.