Twitter: @Thurzday

Pros: Has a built-in fanbase thanks to his work with U-N-I

Cons: Is his voice distinct enough to stand out in a crowd?

Essential Listening: L.A. Riot

Thurzday is not a new face to those who were fans of the now-defunct west coast rap group U-N-I. As one half of the former duo, Thurz was known for his lyricism and demonstrated reverence for hip-hop’s roots.

His solo debut L.A. Riot was a thematic concept album that explored the 1991 beating of Rodney King by the LAPD and the events that lead up to the six-day-long civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 following the officers’ acquittal. Now that he’s striking out on his own, he’s hoping that fans will provide him with a second, individual listen. Something L.A. Riot definitely deserves.