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With the entire Hip-Hop music industry being turned on its head due to the Internet and the decline of physical record sales, it's fair to say that general marketing rules no longer apply. Gone are the days when labels and music executives could guarantee the "next big star" or even pump the capital necessary into support every act they'd like to book. It's volatile out there and there's only room for stand-out independent acts. You know, cats that have developed their own following and marketing. Here (in no particular order) are four young guys that we're listening for and why.

Macklemore: Hailing out of Seattle, Washington and independent since 2000. We like this dude. He's fun. He's hard-working. He's grounded and conscious about his role as a musician and entertainer. Peep his Thrift Shop video and his documentary about the work that went into his debut album The Heist (debuted as No. 2 on the Billboard chart).

Bodega Bamz: This guy hails out of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City, also known as "El Barrio" (Spanish Harlem). Think A$AP Rocky mixed with Big Pun and a ton of neighborhood and Hispanic pride. Peep his My Name Is track and a BlowHipHopTV interview about his positive and not-so-positive influences. 

Trinidad James: This Atlanta-based, gold-loving character is the epitome of flash, pimp-talk and bravado. Think hipster meets Cash Money Records and the circa 1999 Hot Boyz. We really like this dude. Not only is he a border-line preacher/motivational speaker during interviews, but he also seems like a genuine cat that's in tune with his entertainer destiny. Kudos to that. Check out this All Gold Everything video and a behind-the-scenes look into his travels via his Gold Chronicles episodes.

Riff Raff: The last catch of the batch (and maybe the most bizzare) is the Houston-born Jody High Roller aka Riff Raff. This guy is just a little too crazy for us to even begin to describe. Just know that his viral buzz has been compared to the likes of Soulja Boy, Lil B, Kreayshawn and Chief Keef. He's actually a recent signee to Diplo's Mad Decent label. Peep Rabies and his Nardwuar interview to get a glimpse into his comedic scatter-brain psyche.

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