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10 Best New Hip-Hop Artists of 2011

Big Sean has been patiently waiting in Kanye"s wings for years now. He signed to G.O.O.D Music in 2007 but only has a bunch of guest verses and two ominously titled mixtapes to show for it. Look for Sean to expand on his Finally Famous mixtape series with the release of a similarly titled debut sometime in 2011. Pharrell, No I.D. and Yeezy are on board for his debut album.

Preemo has been bubbling under the radar for most of his career. Despite dropping a stunningly impressive album, Concrete Dreams, and a brilliant mixtape, Flight 713, in 2010, he didn"t get the attention he deserves. The Texas native isn"t in a hurry to compromise his sound for a shot at fame. Preemo is so proud of his work he could die a content soul. And for good reason; Concrete Dreams is enjoyable from cover to cover. It’s the kind of music Kanye was making when he first broke out – dark, raw, personal. He"s going to be a headache if given the opportunity.

Chicago"s own L.E.P. (Lower End Professionals) Bogus Boys offers that rare blend of wild ambition, inventive videos, and creativity that"s often absent in street rap. Part of what makes the duo so charming is that they continually strive to connect with the listener, even while rapping about some of the grimiest crime in South Side Chicago. Common and Lupe Fiasco may speak for the thinking man, but Count and Moonie are the voice of the streets. 

K.Dot tried. He really tried doing the safety dance and all he got was an empty soul. When that approach left him with an unsettling feeling, he changed his rap moniker and vowed to only make the music he can be proud of. Once he made that leap, Kendrick Lamar effectively placed himself on the path to greatness. His mixtapes bump harder than most albums. He raps like he"s fighting a cold, but once your ear adjusts to his voice you"re in for a hella ride.

Cyhi da Prynce was already sitting on a Def Jam deal, but one freestyle altered his musical journey forever. Kanye West caught a whiff of the Atlanta MC"s

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