Ten St. Louis Acts That Deserve To Be Famous Now


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Rappers sometimes are known for waging lyrical (or worse) war on each other. Not so with Doorway: These guys have made it clear that collaboration and positivity are the keys to good tunes. A collective of individually talented artists, Doorway takes advantage of its killer songwriting chops to explore relationships, social issues, cautionary tales and more with hooks that are a little bit throwback, a little bit street and a whole lot of jam. Throw in partnerships with local titans Rockwell Knuckles and Tef Poe (see next page), and Doorway has a deep, versatile song list that suits its energetic live shows well.



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How has Pretty Little Empire escaped soundtracking a cell-phone service commercial thus far? Beats us, but we can't help but feel that it's inevitable. Those harmonious vocals. Those plucky guitars. That urgent bass. Those snappy drums. That damn emotional songwriting that makes you want to scream your love for someone -- anyone! Hell, we'll even consider chatting to a Cubs fan on OkCupid if Justin Johnson sings his permission. With more songs than ever before -- and more live shows on the docket -- this might be the year that those advertising geniuses on the coast finally take note of Pretty Little Empire's versatility and persuasiveness.



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We debated including Tef Poe (an RFT Music columnist) on this list, because he's already had quite a bit of success. But despite a long winning streak on BET's 106 & Park Freestyle Friday and inclusion in national magazine features galore, this larger-than-life rapper deserves to be...well, even larger. He's a shit-stirrer in the best way, calling out those who divide St. Louis' hip-hop community rather than strengthen it, and he's shared a stage with some of the industry's biggest names, including Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco and the one and only Rakim. But what there's no denying that Tef Poe's two biggest draws are his lyrics and his intensity. Hit up one of his shows and be prepared for thoughtful, passionate verses accompanied by nonstop action and fierce conviction.


Continue for more awesome St. Louis bands that deserve to hit it big!

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