From: South Central, CA
Essential listening: N/A
Pros: A lyrically-inclined MC hand-picked by J. Cole as the new face of the Dreamville roster, has a powerful voice.
Cons: With just a handful of songs released, he's still an unproven talent.
Rappers getting signed to a major deal off one record isn’t a new trend. But unlike most who do, Cozz is in prime position to maximize his full potential. For one, the 20-year-old rapper from South Central has an unmistakable knack for lyricism, which shines through on “Dreams,” the song that brokered his record deal. Cozz illustrates his grind state of mind throughout, piecing together a visceral picture that feels so pure.
A similar narrative can be found on “Knock the Hustle,” a record that delivers boom bap throwback appeal without sounding dated. Just as imperative to Cozz’s eventual rise is his new home, J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, which operates under Interscope. He’s got the skills and the machine behind him, which means he'll have no excuses when he drops his debut album, Cozz & Effect, later this year. —Edwin Ortiz