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Charles Hamilton, 22, Rapper
This time last year Hamilton was the next big thing, with a record deal at Interscope and a spot in XXL's "Class of '09," but as the hype reached critical mass he disappeared. Recurring problems with abuse and addiction make him the most emotionally affecting rapper of his generation, but also very unpredictable. Interscope dropped him in September, but not before leaking the shelved album This Perfect Life to bloggers' delight. Feeding off that buzz, Hamilton is releasing a new mixtape, poignantly titled Normalcy, December 9. We don't envy him his issues, but they could help make him the most moving rapper since 2Pac.