Name: Jasiri X

Where he's been: Since bursting on the scene with "Free The Jena 6" in 2007, he's toured colleges and universities across the country, linked up with rappers ranging from Brother Ali to Rhymefest and delivered hard-hitting news rap-ups via his groundbreaking web series "This Week with Jasiri X."

Where he's going: For listeners sick of mainstream rap monotony, Jasiri X just may be the antidote. While commercial rappers drone on about Molly, money, sex and sometimes nothing at all, the Pittsburgh MC is busy reviving hip-hop’s activist roots with tracks about Occupy Wall Street, immigration and the murder of Trayvon Martin. Highlights from 2013 include the release of his album “Ascension” and a stirring tribute to Nelson Mandela. Though outlets like AllHipHop.com, Huffington Post and BET Rap City have already taken notice, look for the raptivist to have a breakout year in 2014 as listeners increasingly seek out alternatives to radio rap's ridiculousness.

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