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Key Players of the Game

by Odienne Dina Chisolm
So who has next on the mic? Can the All-Star players stay off the bench and keep the game going for the rest of the year?

Only time will tell, as well as record sales, but let’s briefly reflect on some of 2012’s movers and shakers...

French Montana, Moroccan "coke boy," has definitely made his imprint in the music world in a short time. PopThat is undoubtedly the modern day Uncle Luke homage and whether young or old, you can easily feel intrigued to pop something once the beat drops!

Rick Ross is a certified BOSS in so many ways. He had heads nodding ever since he was "whipping it real good, whipping it, whipping it real good!" Since creating Maybach Music Group, MMG, his empire grows daily with artists like Wale, Meek Mill and yes Omarion, to name a few. The brand is on fire and will soar into 2013.

YMCB...Weezy, Drake and Nicki! These artists are the main ingredients in the family. While all members might make the label what it is, every boss knows, numbers don't lie!! (Tyga did shake things up a bit though.)

Lil Wayne came off a little lukewarm to some of his fan base on some of his feature verses for a short point, but he threw back his latest mix tape, Dedication 4, and HE AINT GOT NO WORRIES.

Love him or hate him, Drake continues to have a steady impressive grind. Featured on everybody and "their mama's" song, his verse is usually the part of the song we all wait for. Nicki's last album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up, didn't have the most earth shattering numbers, but show me another female MC who has experienced her level of success in this male dominated field.

NAS, Life really is good. He has proven that his lyrical skills are like fine wine and only get better with time.

The Game has revealed more of his private life this year with new reality show, Marrying the Game, but that didn't get in the way of his already classic stamped album, Jesus Piece. Celebration, featuring Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Tyga, Wiz Khalifa kicked off the album right.

ASAP Rocky, crazy pretty boy swagg, never disappoints. From Goldie to "Problems" the Swagg is spilling over and his skill has been honed.

There are so many notables this year, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, T.I., Kanye, J. Cole, Chief Keefe and last minute break outs like Trinidad James & more. Time will tell us who has the stamina to keep pumping out the hits because in this business, you're only as good as your last hit.

2013 R&B notables: Chris Brown, Rihanna, Miguel, Usher, Brandy