“New Orleans born songwriter Christopher Francis Ocean is set to finally establish himself as a solo artist of Worldwide acclaim in 2012. The 24 year-old OFWGKTA member moved from Louisianna to Los Angeles following hurricane Katrina to work on his first album, and legally changed his name from Christopher “”Lonny”” Breaux shortly after.
In L.A. the singer soon hooked up with the Odd Future collective and began work writing for the likes of Brandy, John Legend and most recently Beyonce on I Miss You. Ocean was also called up to work on two tracks from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne.
Collaborations aside, it was Ocean’s solo work which garnered most praise. Signed to Def Jam in 2009, Ocean delivered his debut mixtape nostalgia,ULTRA earlier this year, winning fans on both side of the Atlantic, including Zane Lowe, who debuted tracks from the release on Radio 1 in November.“
“Rakim Mayers was born in Harlem in 1988. Named after fellow New Yorker and legendary Eric B collaborator, young Mayers first remembers rapping at the tender age of eight. By 20 he’d taken in the influences of Bone Thugs-n Harmony, DMX, Wu-Tang Clan and Houston rap to form his own style apart from his New York contemporaries.
By then Rakim had joined the A$AP (Always Strive and Prosper) crew, taking on the name A$AP Rocky. Amongst this group of producers, designers and MCs he created debut released Pe$o and Purple Swag, capturing the attention of Fader Magazine, Stereogum, influential New York radio station Hot 97 and a host of leading rappers, most notably Drake, who invited Rocky on tour.
It wasn’t long before RCA-distributed Polo Grounds had snapped the rapper up on a combined $3m deal for his solo work and A$AP Worldwide. This afforded the ambitious Mayers the opportunity to sign artists of his own. In October 2011 he released the much lauded mixtape LiveLoveA$AP, which Rocky claims is “better than a lot of people’s albums”, and we await a full longplayer in early 2012.“