The last 12 months will be hard to top for hip-hop's new crop. Kendrick Lamar had a storied breakout year, while Big Sean continued to prove that Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music crew is no one-man show. At the top of 2012, no one knew who Trinidad James was and Ca$h Out was barely a blip on rap's map, but by the year's close, they had both made their mark with powerful southern-fried singles.
Lamar, by many accounts, had the rap album of the year with the gold-selling good kid, m.A.A.d city, but don't expect the Compton MC to rest on his laurels in 2013. "Really just staying consistent, consistency," Kendrick told MTV News of his plans for the new year moments before he took the stage at Power 106's Cali Christmas concert back in December. "We had the first album, you have great songs but you know you're never better than your last material, you gotta always leave an imprint no matter what you do."
Sean was able to buy his mom a house, his dad a car and earn himself a few 2013 Grammy nominations for his Cruel Summer contributions. While the Detroit lyricist lists all of those moments as personal 2012 favorites, he is eagerly anticipating what's to come. After all, he is getting set to drop his sophomore LP Hall of Fame in the coming months. "I'm excited to bring on the new year, we got so much more history to make, so many lives to change," he said. "It was some good times in 2012, it's gonna be some better times in 2013."
While Sean may have some significant rap experience under his belt, his Def Jam labelmate Trinidad James is just getting started. The Atlanta rapper released his debut mixtape Don't Be S.A.F.E. in October and in December he announced that that he signed a joint venture for his Gold Gang imprint. "The best part of 2012 was actually getting a chance to be successful and signing with Def Jam Records," he said.
So what's the "All Gold Everything" swag champ looking forward to in 2013? "Crazy collaborations," he revealed.
While 2012 brought us a ton of unforgettable jams like G.O.O.D. Music's "Mercy," and Rick Ross' "Hold Me Back," newcomer Ca$h Out made his mark amongst the veterans with his catchy #1 Billboard rap single "Cashin' Out." This year the L.A. Reid-backed rapper looks to continue his hit streak when he drops his debut album Patience later this year. "What I'm looking forward to being the best part of 2013 is staying consistent with these records like 'Cashin' Out' and 'Hold Up,'" he boasted. "Keep hittin' 'em in the head."
Whom are you most excited to hear in 2013? Let us know in the comments!