It’s rare in hip hop for an artist to reemerge successfully after being off the scene for a while, but what’s even more surprising is when the artist comes back stronger than before. There’s only one exception currently to this rule and it’s Atlanta raised rapper Gucci Mane aka “East Atlanta Santa” aka “Guwop.” Some fans questioned the validity of the new and improved  Gucci saying he was a clone. This took place after Guwop served three years in prison and was released months early in June 2016.

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The general expectation of former Disney Channel stars is either a spectacular fall from grace or a fade into oblivion. Bridgit Mendler, known for her roles in television show Good Luck Charlie and movie Lemonade Mouth star, managed to escape the common pitfalls of childhood stardom.

In the last few months, grime and R&B songstress Ray BLK has been making headlines for her pulsating beats, sweet caramel voice, and most of all, her boldly candid lyrics.  The Nigerian born, UK-raised singer was recently named the winner of the BBC Sound of 2017, a list that is dominated by #BlackGirlMagic this year and a title previously held by artists like Adele and Sam Smith. Unlike her predecessors, Ray BLK is not yet signed to a major label, but that hasn’t stopped her from grinding and releasing music on her own terms.

In hip-hop, it’s commonplace to hear someone refer to themselves as a boss. The term in itself just sounds cool, and it’s pretty uplifting, but it can also be misleading. The true definition of a boss in the terms that we use it, is someone that puts others in position to succeed and become bosses. Not too many people have the wherewithal or the heart that it takes to be a boss. Of the handful of bosses in the game, or who’ve come up in the game and graduated to other endeavors, Stayve Jerome Thomas aka Slim Thug has managed to continue to stand out amongst them all.

Lyricism is somewhat of a lost art in the modern age. The music industry is enveloped with a legion of major recording labels and manufactured artists shoveling vapid lyrics to the public. Alas, there is a shining beacon of hope. Laura Marling’s complex use of mythology and folklore communicates innocuous subjects such as young love and heartbreak brilliantly. This English singer-songwriter’s silky vocals combined with her clever lyricism has made for a lasting career in Britain’s modish nu-folk scene.