Artists to Watch: 2006

by Winston "Stone" Ford


2005 was probably one of the most interesting times for underground music in a while. With the evolution of MySpace and cheap music software, everyone and their mother can produce a track and drop it on the internets for all to see.

Even so, you still need media and label promotion to make it in this world, and these three acts might have enough internets buzz to actually make it on to a Clear Channel-owned station near you XM Satellite Radio (let's not front!) in '06.

J*Davey – What more can we say about J*Davey that has not been said? (We profiled these dudes back in April, by the way.) In '05 the duo of Jack Davey and Brook D'Leau got college radio, message board, and MySpace buzz, but in '06 the duo will finally release their full length album, Beauty in Distortion, which will hopefully not only continue in the footsteps of such innovators as George Clinton and Outkast, but will set the bar even higher for Black music in America.

Lupe Fiasco – Unlike J*Davey, Lupe Fiasco has the backing of such Jay-Z and Kanye West. Fiasco has been in the background making moves in '05, dropping verses on Late Registration and on the Fort Minor mixtape in addition to constant underground promotion. In '06, Lupe is set to drop Food & Liquor, hoping to capitalize on his next big thing status.

El Pus – El Pus dropped their album in 2004, but I added them to this list becaue I truly think that “black rock” (yes, we all know the term is an oxymoron) will break out in 2006. Why? Because I think that it's no longer a stigma for Black people to say that they like Rock music. (So break out your Coldplay CD's and let's have a pow-wow, bitches.)

El Pus is unique cause they combine that Atlanta crunk sound with straight out punk music. It's having the best of both worlds and although I hate to say this: It's “highly marketable.”

In 2006, we might finally see Black music break out of the BET/MTV “Bling” box and break new ground. But it will take hundreds of thousands of individuals to think outside the box and reject the corporate structure of the music industry. Will 2006 be that year?

  • Jerome

    It'll take millions (in sales) to turn the corner on black music in '06. The G Unit machine and influence will have to die down and people will have to start taking interest in artists and groups that are independent of what radio tells you is the “urban” genre.

    I just want Lupe to go 2x plat, Kanye and Just need to look out for dude.