Black Cobain

Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Twitter: @blackcobain
Pros: Versatility; international exposure; good production.
Cons: Sounds too much like Wale.
Essential Listening: Young, Gifted & Black

The first signee to Wale’s BOA (Board Administration) imprint, Black Cobain understood that he’d have to distance himself from Folarin to avoid his shadow. The association is enough, but sounding similar to someone whose label you’re signed to can be an obvious problem.

Regardless, the Northern Virginia native put out two solid mixtapes with Now or Never and Now before dropping his most complete project, Young, Gifted & Black, last year.

Black Cobain got some excellent exposure as the opening act for Wale’s 53-city Ambition tour last year, and crucial international exposure as the featured hip-hop artist for Mark Ronson’s Royal Ballet Production last month.

Wale made a similar move during the summer of 2007, and it worked wonders for him in terms of establishing an international fanbase. He also dropped his latest, Cheers, last month, was an XXL 2012 Freshman Class candidate and he’s already been featured on this site.