SOHH teamed up with ReverbNation to select 20 unsigned rappers with "True Grit" --that rough, authentic swagger and determination to win at all costs. After weeks of deliberations and debates reviewing hundreds of worthy (and simply wack) contenders, the SOHH.com team countsdown the top 20 grittiest rappers on ReverbNation with a hustle so hard and rhymes so raw, they can't go unnoticed.
The SOHH True Grit Artist #1: "KWESTA", JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
It's been a trail blazing journey, but finally, we've reached the truest of the grittiest by the way of 22-year-old Kwesta. Although his secondary alias is "Mr.Cool", Kwesta's presentation is South of the Equator hot! Kwesta truly defines "True Grit". His confidence, swag, hustle, grind, flow, production and look had us locked in from the first listen, first glance at his profile, first perusal of his local buzz and initial review of his eye-catching music videos.
With nearly 6,000 fans on MySpace, this South African emcee pulls in the majority of his supporters in the 18-34 age range. Can you blame them? Signed to Buttabing Entertainment, Kwesta's international cross-appeal exudes from his lips to the wax, as heard on tracks like "Pump It" ("Tell that girl to come chill with a star, you with me/If not, then you better get with me/Hi Bobby, I'm only trying to get you with Whitney/This party is the sh*t, I need to see the names on the guest list.") You can't tell Kwesta that's he's anything less than a lone star. Braggadocio forever on high, tracks like "Stomp!" makes you think he the indie lyricist got hold of a Drumma Boy track for cheap. His ability to mesh his native tongue with English phrases makes him a double threat that you have to hear to believe.
We aren't the only ones bumping cuts by Kwesta around the office. Acclaim for the rhyme slinger has come courtesy of publications like Music Industry Online, who warn, "if you don't already know who Kwesta is then you are about to be schooled." He's also been heralded as one of the best rappers to shoot out of South Africa. Kwesta's image cannot go unnoticed as well. Although he may not be rocking eight-pack abs, his lean frame and model-like features are sure to compliment various magazine covers galore. But while he awaits his mention in The Source for the release of his Special Rekwest album last year, you can catch Kwesta holding it down at local spots like The Zone, Tut, Sabc Radio Park and the University of Johannesburg (that is, if you got that frequent-flyer mileage!)
All of our True Grit artists have what it takes to achieve success, but this rookie is well on his way toward completing his quest. Congratulations!