Thanks to a certain Mr. West, Chief Keef is one of Hip-Hop’s most sought-after talents. The 17-year-old emcee has hardly been in the public’s eye for more than a couple of months, but he has some very big decisions ahead of him. With everybody from Birdman to Rick Ross preparing large, novelty checks to send his way, Keef’s future will be determined in large part by the team that drafts him.
As such, the following 10 rappers have all experienced some degree of success in rap without the bump of a major record deal. Call them employees of smaller, local labels, but technicalities aside, all share a level of success earned without the help of a big-name co-sign. And, since speculation is fun, we paired the artists with major labels that seem best-equipped to help the rappers thrive.
A&Rs, consider this your heads up.