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Which Rappers Are “One Hit Away” From Making It?

Submitted by on November 3, 2011 – 11:13 am3 Comments

Jay-Z forever immortalized Memphis Bleek‘s career when he spit “Bleek could be one hit away his whole career/As long as I’m alive he’s a millionaire/And even if I die he’s in my will somewhere/So he could just kick back and chill somewhere” on the remix to Kanye West‘s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.” The term “one hit away” has now become synonymous with rappers yet to breakout as certified stars, both on the charts and in the media. While this list could be exhaustive, we’ve focused on a few artists here in New York City in dire need of that elusive track to kick down doors on terrestrial radio, ensure TV appearances and solidify their star status all ’round.

Vado: Vado was deemed the golden child of Harlem (and New York in general) after he dropped his debut mixtape, Slime Flu. Fast forward a year later and his buzz has seriously been eclipsed by fellow uptown rapper, A$AP Rocky. Vado may have signed to Interscope Records months ago (with rumors he’s not with the major label anymore growing by the day) but lately we’ve heard nothing more than guest appearances on internet buzz tracks. A lyrical talent with style and charisma, let’s hope his team is spending important time working on strategy and execution for a bigger 2012.

Cory Gunz: Cory definitely got major shine from his feature on Lil Wayne‘s “6 Foot, 7 Foot” track, even touring the country with Weezy just to perform his verse. But when you have a dream team behind you like Young Money, plus Nick Cannon as your manager, expectations are high. The momentum was there for the 24-year-old when his reality show, Son Of A Gun, debuted on MTV to critical applause yet no major single has been released. After eight mixtapes, major industry co-signs (in addition to the aforementioned bigwigs, Jay-Z also had a hand in his career earlier on) and national television exposure, time may be running out for this Bronx-born artist.

Juelz Santana: Siiiiiiigh, Juelz. There’s no doubt in hip-hop fans’ minds you could have been one of the music’s biggest stars, had you actually worked for it. You definitely do have some mainstream hits in your catalog (“There It Go [The Whistle Song],” “Back To The Crib with Chris Brown) but your career is in desperate need of revival. While rumors of a collaborative album with Lil Wayne recently gave you some wind, the majority of us believe that project will never see the light of day. Taking a leaf out of fellow Dipset member Jim Jones‘ promotional book, you have your current girlfriend Kimbella about to parade herself around on the upcoming season of VH1′s Love & Hip-Hop series, with absolutely no mention of new music from you and your current label, Def Jam. You’re the epitome of an artist who had the world at his feet from the moment we met you (via Cam’ron’s “Hey Ma”) and thanks to your dedicated following, it’s definitely not too late for you to start flooding the streets with music should you finally decide to do so.

Q: Who is our list missing?

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