10 New Artists You Need to Know: February 2014

Meet the rising stars of rock, hip-hop, EDM, folk and more acts shaping your tomorrow
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Mike Miller

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Sounds Like: G-funk for a new generation, YG is nothing less than the reanimation of West Coast gangsta rap, with the bluntness of an Aftermath Records foot soldier but the smooth, intoxicating swagger of Snoop Dogg.

For Fans Of: Dr. Dre, King Tee, Young Jeezy

Why You Should Pay Attention: His creeping, crawling anthem "My Nigga" (that's "My Hitta" in it's equally excellent clean version) has held steady in the top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100 for months, a feat that is rarer for a rap song than it should be nowadays. The success of that track has paved a smooth road to his Def Jam solo album My Krazy Life, which hits stores March 18. Helmed largely by DJ Mustard, YG's longtime partner and current Hottest Producer in the Game, the album aims to tell a story of one day in the crazy of life of a Compton gangbanger. The parallels to Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city are obvious, and though the structure might seem unnecessary for a guy who primarily makes party records, My Krazy Life succeeds as something like a John Singleton storyboard. Still, the album works perfectly as a curated playlist of tracks to rattle your ride, as made clear by "Who Do You Love," a jabbing banger with Drake that could be YG's biggest hit yet. by JORDAN SARGENT

He Says: "I want the people to respect my shit as a piece of art, as a complete album with a storyline and all that… My whole thing is like, I want motherfuckers to respect me on some artist shit. I write about the lifestyle, the culture, where I'm from. If you ain't too familiar you probably won't get half the shit I rap about. It just probably sound like some other shit, but I'm really talking about the culture the whole time. I just want people to respect that… I bring the lifestyle, the L.A. lifestyle. The Bompton, all that. All these other artists can't bring you that… This hip-hop shit is really based off the streets. That's where it came from, the streets. I'm giving you that. 400 percent. I'm giving you that."

Hear For Yourself: The smash single "My Nigga," which will make you wish your body could transform into a lowrider.


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