Six months in, Billboard has selected its list of their nineteen top 2012 Brightest Stars (So Far). From pop princesses and down-home folk bands to controversial rappers, EDM masters and catchy boy bands, new acts have stormed the charts this season, selling out tours and wiggling their way into our ears, and
(of course) two of them are Harlemites.
Azealia Banks (explicit)
Azealia Banks is a Harlem firecracker with an exuberance of talent and confidence that’s impossible to ignore. This rising femcee has stole the hearts of hip-hop and indie fans alike with her feisty 2011 debut single “212,” and her recently released “1991″ EP continues to impress. Prepping to release her anticipated “Fantasea” on July 4, Banks never hesitates to speak her mind — smoothing that female rap rivals Lil Kim and Iggy Azalea know all too well. While her attitude and foul-mouthed rhymes might turn off some listeners, Banks’ star is expected to burn brighter than ever when she drops her debut album “Broke With Expensive Tastes” later this year.
A$AP Rocky (explicit)
A$AP Rocky, who ascends from Harlem, made his mark on the music world this year after appearing as the opening act for Drake on his Club Paradise tour. He then wowed audiences this April at the Coachella festival, where he played opposite Radiohead. He recently dropped his debut single, “Goldie,” from his anticipated major label debut, “LongLiveA$AP,” which is due September 11, 2012. Rocky has also made his mark with featuring appearances on tracks by Theophilus London, Swizz Beatz and Usher, and video cameo’s (Lana del Rey’s “National Anthem”). A$AP Rocky is showing can’t-stop-won’t-stop attitude that may allow him to Always Strive and Prosper, like his name says.
By Tyler K. McDermott