A-Trak, DANNY BROWN

No longer is it a crime to mash a hip-hop acappella into a techno track. In this arena, A-Trak, aka Alain Macklovitch, leads the pack. The 27 year-old Montreal native rides the line between hip-hop and electronic beats in a refreshing hybrid of everything ass-shaking." (BPM Magazine, issue 86)

Very few DJs can jump from club sets to high-profile festival performances, to Kanye West's larger-than-life stadium shows with ease. In today's DJ culture, A-Trak holds a truly unique place. He and partner Nick Catchdubs founded America's most trendsetting new label, Fool's Gold, launching the careers of artists such as Kid Sister and Kid Cudi. Fool's Gold's mission to merge all aspects of club music was already outlined in Trizzy's original mix tape manifesto, Dirty South Dance (2007), which set the tone for his own production. He is now one of the most sought-after remixers in electronic music, and his remixes for the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Boys Noize have become undeniable mainstays in DJ sets the world over. 2009 saw the release of two critically acclaimed DJ mixes, Infinity +1 and Fabriclive 45, as well as the birth of Duck Sauce, his collaboration with Armand Van Helden. The duo's radio smash "aNYway" cemented itself as the dance anthem of the year, A-Trak's first true chart-topper with two videos in international rotation and across-the-board support from Pete Tong to Busy P, David Guetta to 2manydjs.

Not bad for a kid whom many viewed as a 90's turntablism prodigy. Indeed, Alain's career began at age 15 when he won the 1997 DMC World Championships and proceeded to take home every other DJ title known to man. He then toured the globe, first alongside Q-Bert's Invisibl Skratch Piklz and then with Craze and the Allies. In 2004, he was handpicked by Kanye to be his tour DJ. A near decade of youthful meanderings was captured on his acclaimed DVD Sunglasses Is A Must.

Somewhere along the line, A-Trak also became a streetwear culture icon, collaborating with Nike, New Era, Kidrobot, Zoo York and pretty much every designer worth his salt. And all the while, his brother morphed into the lead singing lothario in the acclaimed electro-pop sensation Chromeo. The last couple of years have seen Trizzy headlining tours and festival stages the world over. Add to that scratching on Common's classic Be, Kanye's Late Registration and Graduation, and Kid Cudi's Man On The Moon, as well as producing Kid Sister's debut album Ultraviolet, songs with Lupe Fiasco, and original releases with Stones Throw and Kitsune.

After years of schlepping vinyl, accumulating air miles and dressing smart, A-Trak has finally become the man to call to make the kids dance. Ask him and he'll tell you that this is the moment he's been waiting for his whole career.

DANNY BROWN

In an era of industry-obsessed MCs, interchangeable hashtag raps, and "viral" everything, it has become increasingly difficult to find a true original in the rap game, an artist able to ignite a buzz without calculatedly chasing it down. Yet ask anyone who's been paying attention and they'll tell you: Danny Brown is that dude.

Recording since his teens, 2010 was Danny's breakout year, with his self-released The Hybrid showcasing a hypnotic, unique flow that Pitchfork called "the most peculiarly infectious voice since Dizzee Rascal," while the LA Times praised it for "punch lines like Conan O'Brien if he'd come up selling crack." He built a rabid online fanbase, stole the show on collaborations with everyone from Tony Yayo to Das Racist to the late J Dilla, and covered the Metro Times as the most acclaimed underground Detroit MC since a certain blonde fellow named Marshall. When it came time for Danny to take the next step and find a real home for his new music, it was only right that he would find a perfect fit with Fool's Gold.

"When we first met, we really didn't talk about doing business; we talked about music the whole time," says Danny of what endeared him to Fool's Gold. "That was the illest thing to me, because I sat down with a lot of labels and all we were talking about was, 'How can we make this project work?' and this and that. Fool's Gold was all about being fans of music, and 'How can we make Danny Brown better?' I didn't know they were such huge hip-hop nerds. A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, you think of dance music, but they're real knowledgeable with everything."

"Fool's Gold is thrilled to bring Danny Brown into our family," says A-Trak. "We've been supporting his music on our blog for a long time, so we're fans of his before anything else. Danny Brown represents a return to raw, gritty rap. His skills can't be questioned. He sounds and looks like no one out there, and that's something that appeals to us. We share the same grassroots values, and we can't wait to get behind his new album!"

SuperDuperKyle

Rapper Kyle is, frankly, more than just a rapper. A cursory tour of the 21-year-old's wildly eclectic confections invokes touchstones of dance, pop, R&B, hip-hop and a cavalry of other genres, making for a broad sonic palette that defines him as one of the most compelling MCs on the rise.

"My potential as an artist is to blend all genres of music, which is something that's just universal, that everyone on earth is going to appreciate," says Kyle, who originally hails from Ventura, Calif. and is currently based in Los Angeles. "I feel like that's what I'm capable of as an artist—is making a song that everyone in every genre can love.

His versatility shines on his upcoming sophomore album, which primarily features production from M-Phazes (Eminem, Kimbra) and Sunny Norway (Bun B, Juicy J) as well as guest appearances from artists including Chance the Rapper and Yuna.

Eclecticism is a consistent theme in Kyle Harvey's life. As a kid, he was raised on a diverse collection of artists, from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to Incubus and Weezer. But it was when he discovered hip-hop when he hit double digits that he realized his true calling, gravitating towards likeminded genre-benders like Kid CuDi and studying East Coast rappers including Jadakiss, Big L and Ol' Dirty Bastard.

Their influence is evident on songs like recent single "Don't Want to Fall in Love," where he opens up about a cracked relationship over a electro-zapped pop-rap beat. The humility on the track, coupled with his jocular flow and whip-smart rhymes, serves as a testament to his mission as an artist to have his audience identify with his experiences. "Throughout my career, I just want to peel back more and more layers of who I am, and get deeper and more connected with people and tell more relatable stories," he says. It's that honesty, coupled with his trademark buoyant personality, that distinguishes him in the hip-hop arena and drives his authentic message to be yourself, whether you're fun or charismatic—both traits that exemplify who he is. "That's how you relate deeper: by further exposing yourself."

Kyle, who initially went by the name K.i.D., spent his teen years refined his skills as an MC, turning to the Internet to upload covers and originals to YouTube and spread his music through social media networks. After releasing Beautiful Loser via current label Indie-Pop in August 2013, his career took flight. The video for "Keep It Real" got nearly 700,000 YouTube hits in its first week, while the mixtape, whose songs generated millions of listens on Soundcloud, got press from The New York Times, Complex and BET's 106 & Park. Single "Fruit Snacks" won over fans like Jaden Smith and Childish Gambino, who used the track in his short film Clapping for the Wrong Reasons, and landed him shows with Chance the Rapper and G-Eazy prior to a headlining tour earlier this year.

With his sophomore album set for release later this year, Kyle is readying a project that will show just how capable he is of breaking the limits on what rap can be. "I want to be an artist who can get my music out to the world and have it be interesting," he says. "I want to express my music on the highest platform in the world—and spread my message as far as possible."

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