Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His newest project War Machine 2 was released on June 5th and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.
I believe the new year gives artists a chance to re-evaluate our momentum. It also gives the fans and music lovers a chance to press reset and take heed of the new trends and new artists that are likely to shape the course of the next 365 days. As a writer, this gives me a chance to test my psychic abilities and forecast a few predictions about specific artists in the upcoming year. I think about the music and the culture combined and I try to keep a finger on the pulse of where things are going. This week I want to talk about a few artists I believe will make a powerful impact in 2013. My opinion isn't the end-all-be-all concerning St. Louis hip-hop, but as a fan of music these are the artists I am personally paying attention to this year.
Kenny Knox - St. Louis hasn't had a universal street-music scene that appeals to all genres of the culture. We haven't seen a gangster rapper from Saint Louis create a movement that is also inclusive of the backpackers and hipsters. Some have tried, and many have the crossover appeal / talent / lyrical ability / image needed to get it done, but for some reason it just hasn't resonated. The most successful emcee's are hybrids, and Knox could potentially become one of the greatest hybrids our city has ever seen. St. Louis loves street music and it's only a matter of time before one of our very own home bred MCs becomes iconic on these levels. I think Knox's last album was extremely slept on, but recently he's been making a series of power moves that will help him leave a large footprint on 2013. His music is loud and aggressive, but his approach is also realistic. He makes gangster rap with just the right pinch of honesty to it.