I’m so behind on music but these are the artists, as a rapper/singer-songwriter I’m mostly checking for right now:

Maxwell (where the fuck is the rest of that trilogy dude???)
The Weeknd
Frank Ocean
Kendrick Lamar
Chance the Rapper
Danny Brown
Justin Timberlake (if he ever makes music again)
Kid Cudi
Jay Electronica
Ghost and Rae
Of course Nas, Jay, Ye’, Outkast, & Em
Interested to see what Janelle Monae’s follow up will be like
Same for Yelawolf
Badu (still ain’t heard the last album)
My main man Chocolate Drop (Droppa)
Yasim Bey (mos def)
Kinda interested in the new TI album…
Beyonce is King (that’s actually a dope album title)
Where the fuck Missy and T pain???
I didnt dig the last THREE Roots albums (I personally believe they Phenology and Game Theory are their BEST albums, miss me with that Mellow Shit)
Hoping Lupe finally has a true follow-up to The Cool on the new album
Swizzy, Diddy, Alicia Keys…
God help me, I’m still waiting for a Lauryn Hill album, and/or a Fugees reunion.

Umm… That’s about it. These are the people ACTIVE in the game right now who I feel are pursuing true excellence, and innovation.

Everyone else is just doing it to do it.

The closer an artist is to the top, the more excited I am about them, but I think these are all the true greats right now.

If you think I missed someone, I’m sure I did so on purpose…

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

I am coming to the conclusion that all kinds of Art, but in my case particularly the performing arts, is a service industry. We are called upon to offer the best, and most true and vulnerable parts of ourselves to make art that edifies humanity, and draws them closer somehow to the divine. If you are calling yourself an artist, and you aren’t doing this, I personally believe you are missing the mark. I say this also taking into account the basic belief that as an artist, if it means something to you, it means something to somebody else, and working from your heart helps to heal yours and theirs.