Age: 20
From: Saint Paul, MN
Essential listening: Future Memoirs

Pros: He's backed by Plain Pat—the man behind Kid Cudi—and also a skilled producer.

Cons: His eccentricities might tie him to a small niche.

Not one to follow trends, Allan Kingdom has made some serious noise in 2014 for a kid from St. Paul, Minnesota. The latest Plain Pat protégé has already proven himself worthy of the co-sign, carefully crafting a unique sound he began building years ago on his latest project, Future Memoirs.

The 12-track EP continues Kingdom’s exploration of alternative hip-hop. His vocal quirks and cluttered, heavily reverbed beats shine, from the strange but catchy hook on “Evergreens”, which expresses Allan’s affinity for the freedoms of the forest, to the sleek, spacious “Wavey,” featuring budding Internet sensation Spooky Black. His flows are weirdly syncopated, his subject matter shows no limits, and he has a formidable team behind him. —Alex Siber