The Top St. Louis Hip-Hop Artists to Watch in 2013

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Saint Orleans - I am proud to say that I've watched this guy grow immensely over the last couple of years. His single "We Don't Luv Em" has morphed into a classic STL hip-hop club jam. On any given night of the week you can go out to a packed club anywhere in the city and witness an over-crowded dance floor grooving to this record. His stage show is extremely impressive and he's lyrically capable of going toe to toe with the best of them. As I said before, the best and most capable artists are typically hybrids of multiple styles. This means they can zone in and out of any lane without hesitation. Nas is a hybrid. Tupac and Lil Wayne are hybrids -- Saint Orleans is also a hybrid. In the the renaissance era of Saint Louis hip hop Saint O. will play a very important and critical role. St. Louis artists are known for bringing quality club jams to the table, but when an artist also brings lyricism and substance, things can suddenly blow up quickly.

Allen Gates - Of all the people on my personal radar for next year, Allen Gates is definitely the one who would best be described as a "newcomer." You probably haven't seen him perform before. You're probably unfamiliar with his catalogue. But I believe he has enough of the "it" factor to become a contender for this town's hip-hop title belt if he chooses to do so. His music is overflowing with passion and his stage show is flooded with over-the-top energy. If partnered with the right producers, he's more than capable of making waves -- certain artists are intriguing enough for the public to fall in love with effortlessly. All Gates needs is a solid ground-level awareness campaign and this year will be huge for him. He makes honest music about his life experiences and has confidence oozing out of his pores. As a fan I'd love to see him put ten toes in the dirt and mash on these sucker MCs. Gates could definitely become a forerunner for bringing the realness back to Saint Louis music.

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