Sixteen St. Louis Hip-Hop Acts to Watch in 2014

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Network

Network - Network is a true and living East St. Louis rap group. This is trap-rap with a a fun feel to it. Its members aren't about killing and selling drugs as much as they are about having fun and enjoying yourself through the turmoils of life. They are regular guys that come from the Eastside, naturally hilarious yet energetic and rachet at the same time. If Network is on the bill you can bet it will be the life of the party. Tek the Midwest Messiah and SD the Dizzleman have one of the most entertaining stage shows in St. Louis at the moment. They are both members of Nick Menn's Doorway Crew and are sitting on an endless stash of unreleased songs. Funny story -- last year at SXSW Dizzle found himself so drunk he magically appeared on the Def Jam stage in front of thousands of people dancing and throwing T-shirts. No one from Def Jam asked him to leave because the crowd assumed he was a famous rapper or a drunken member of the Def Jam entourage. In 2014 I'm looking forward to even more ridiculously hilarious stunts and entertaining music from these two.

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JBJR

JBJR - A St. Louis based hip-hop producer that can cut and slice samples in a style reflective of old-school greats such as 9th Wonder and Pete Rock. JBJR is the undefeated three-time beat battle champion at Slumfest. He decided after this year's victory that he should retire and focus more on strengthening his production catalog. Most of his beats are driven by samples and soulful loops; in this regard he is a true Renaissance man. In about a year the price tag on his beats will likely rise and his notoriety as one of the leaders of the St. Louis sound will be cemented. In 2014 I am certain we will hear more music from JBJR and his beats may even make their way into the hands of a few national hip-hop acts.

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M-Eazy - Having the ability to rap alone doesn't make you a star. Yet having the ability to rap while combining swagger, personality and an original sense of style does make you a true contender for the crown. M-Eazy is the right hand man to famed St. Louis rapper Saint Orleans. He is a St. Louis based MC, but he is originally from New York City. I honestly didn't listen to much of Eazy's music until I got to know him on a personal basis while touring with him and Saint O this summer. He is a natural comedian, so his music is filled with energy and slick talk. For the last couple of weeks his AVG crew has released two songs a week (one from M-Eazy and one from Saint O). This has quickly grown into a online trend followed closely by hip-hop fans such as myself. Eazy easily spills his east coast dialect over southern-based production. In 2014 I am hoping to see the rest of the city recognize his potential as a songwriter/ hitmaker.

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Family Affair
Keegan Hamilton

Family Affair - Everyone loves this group. One of the most adored hip-hop groups in the history of St. Louis music Family Affair is twin brothers Rep and Q.B., whose soulful sound is filled with tales of drugs, girls and long nights of bad decisions in the name of living the rockstar lifestyle. Over the course of the last year the two have recorded three or four albums worth of unreleased material. The twins are currently sitting on a released collaboration with Curren$y's Jet Life Recording artist (and southern rap legend) Fiend. This is soulful hip-hop with a hardcore edge to it. Family Affair has a style of its own and you instantly recognize it when it touches your ears. In 2014 I am hoping this group will return to its glory days in the push to take St. Louis underground talent national.

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