HNHH's 'On The Come-Up' profiles rising rappers and producers that show strong promise but haven't necessarily seen much shine on the site. This could range from those deep underground to artists on the cusp of the mainstream that we've overlooked. You'll find their defining characteristics broken down by category.
"As the dove flew out the glove of the magician, it was just as I predicted - reality is prescripted".Â -Flash Gordon
For those of you still unfamiliar, meet Roc Marciano, government nameÂ Rakeem Calief Myer, one of New York's most promisingÂ underground producers andÂ wordsmiths.Â RocÂ grew upÂ on Terrace Avenue in Hempstead, Long IslandÂ in the midst of the crack epidemic, aÂ place he describes as "one of the worst blocks in America". The struggle is reflected in his verses, but there's alsoÂ an underlyingÂ perseverance.Â In anÂ era of hardÂ body Saabs and Beamer wagons, when you could still post up in front of theÂ ApolloÂ with a forty and a spliff, he started running with an older crew at a young age, andÂ quickly cameÂ to learn the ways of the street. It was a time soundtracked byÂ DJÂ Dirty Harry,Â SNS, Ron G, Kid Kapree and Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito.
Fast-forward later into the '90s, andÂ Roc joined Busta Rhymes'Â Flipmode Squad. Busta's inner circle afforded him great opportunities -Â heÂ met and chilled with J Dilla, for example. But heÂ didn't put out much material of his own.Â After a few slow years, heÂ left Flipmode andÂ formed TheÂ U.N., a groupÂ comprisedÂ of himself andÂ emcees Mic Raw,Â Dino Brave andÂ Laku.Â TheyÂ released an album (UN Or U Out)Â throughÂ Carson Daly'sÂ 456 Entertainment in 2004, but it didn't see much commercial success,Â and weÂ haven't heard muchÂ from the groupÂ since.
Marciano'sÂ career didn't start toÂ take off until the releaseÂ of his debut album Marcberg in May ofÂ 2010, which he followedÂ withÂ hisÂ sophomoreÂ projectÂ ReloadedÂ in NovemberÂ ofÂ 2012. Both were criticallyÂ acclaimed.Â He's since signed to independent New York record label Decon, which has backedÂ artists such as Aceyalone, Jay Electronica, RJD2, Pusha T,Â Evidence, Freddie Gibbs, Jurassic 5, Black Milk andÂ Goapele.
This is Roc Marciano, round two. He'sÂ successfullyÂ reinvented himself over the past three yearsÂ and hasÂ beenÂ gaining steadyÂ recognition for it.Â Read on for a breakdown of what the he'sÂ doing right.Â