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New Guard, old guard... and Childish Gambino
Going into 2012, there's no shortage of newer faces on the hip-hop landscape. This guard of rappers are co-mingling with the veterans, sometimes mentored and nurtured by those who just had their comeuppance just a couple of years back. Some have even been around for a minute, but now their time has come.
More than trying to complete this picture, this list is a barometer of MCs and producers, a general sense of some of those new rappers already firmly established as serious players for this new year. Check out these voices.
Who are you going to be watching in 2012?
To start, here's Childish Gambino... to fans of the TV show "Community," you know Donald Glover. As a rapper, his brand of comedy is the most marked trait of his almost sing-song voice. He's wordy, nerdy, punny, funny, self-aware, one-lining and independent, using lyrical whiplash over electronic and sometimes glitchy beats. Whether he's just doing it for fun, or it just sounds that way, Childish Gambino has already had a headstart on the New Year, having released his premiere full-length "Camp" on Nov. 15.