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Words by Vicky T

New year, time to blow out the cobwebs and refresh the playlists.

If there’s one thing worse than listening to people who know nothing about hip hop banging on about how rubbish hip hop is, it’s listening to people who haven’t bought a hip hop record since Blueprint banging on about how rubbish hip hop is nowadays. Well, next time you have to listen to this sort of nostalgic nonsense from a hip hop head, pull off their rose-tinted specs and slap them round the ears with some of this lot.

No Name Gypsy

No Name Gypsy is a female MC hailing from Chicago (a city bursting at the seams with exciting talent right now). She doesn’t have a huge amount of releases to her name yet but she’s added verses to tracks by Mick Jenkins, Chance the Rapper, Woo Park and Fe Raw amongst others.

No Name Gypsy – Hold Me Up (feat Kiara Lainer)

Mick Jenkins

Although he’s been around for a few years now, collaboration with Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper on Crossroads boosted his profile, and The Waters in 2014 is worth every penny of your money. Free Nation Rebel Soldier Part 2 and 11 are on solid rotation in my house.

Mick Jenkins – 11

Sa-Roc

Sa Roc is by no means new – she’s been around for a good while but over the last two years she’s been incredibly prolific and picked up support from Afrika Bambaata who named her as one of his top five rappers when he spoke in Leeds. Hopefully this year will be the year she blows up like she should.

Sa-Roc – Industry (End-Us-Try)

Choosey

Signed to US label Dirty Science, his free album, Left Field was released in October last year and there isn’t a duff track on it. One of the few free mixtapes that I’ve downloaded and played straight through.

Choosey – LeftField

Grab Choosey’s free album here

Configa and HaStyle

These two have been around longer than anyone else on the list, UK’s Configa has been producing for 14 years. But the collaboration with NY’s HaStyle is new: Calm before Hastility was released in January, which justifies inclusion on this list. It’s an instant classic, I think you’ll agree. Buy the album, it will help compensate Configa for being screwed by Epic (read about that on his blog).

Configa and HaStyle – Razor Bumps ft Rashawn (remix)