coming kingsClass Act
There is no gray area when it comes to the Coming Kings recruitment process. It's a black-and-white issue. Whiter, this year, as the photos suggest. To be considered, your buzz must be stronger than LJ23 running suicides as a high-school sophomore. Others established in your market should shiver when your name is mentioned. You must be a threat—someone so exceptional you have the potential to put your competition in the red . Yes, success is colorblind. And that is why this year's Coming Kings class is decked in all-white attire. Aspire to one day join KING's invite-only soirée. If you can make it here, you'll make it anywhere. The rules of the evening: king starts a sentence, the coming king finishes the thought

Coming Kings TI

T.I.

Credentials
King of the South, Clifford "Tip” Harris, 25, has demonstrated a Jennifer Lopez-like ability to saturate different markets. This spring, he released his first major motion picture (ATL) and fourth solo album (King) within weeks of each other. So don't even think about quoting Biggie when alluding to his reign.An older woman will turn you out, if you let 'em. That's who I went after in high school. Girls my age were intimidated by my maturity and independence. I dropped out when I was 16, and had my own house. A girl my own age wasn't ready to come see some guy with his own crib.

coming kings djdrama

dj drama

Credentials
Courtesy of DJ Drama's best-selling Gangsta Grillz mixtapes, once-local heroes like Young Jeezy and Lil' Wayne have seen respect levels migrate way beyond traps and wards. Now officially signed under T.I.'s Grand Hustle/Atlantic umbrella, the 27-year-old is ready to test chain-store waters.I'm trying to make my album be the official Southern The Chronic. Mixtape DJs have put out albums before, but name one of those records that people still talk about . .

coming kings emmett harrell

Emmett Harrell

Credentials
A founder of the Akademiks line, Harrell, 33, has fashion in his genes, and a master plan for his jeans. Harrell's PRPS line, which he co-founded with his brother Donwan, is worn by Brad Pitt, Ludacris and David Beckham. The denim is made of the finest cotton in the world, grown in Zimbabwe, and woven in Japan on vintage looms. Nothing casual about that.The next step is letting people know that PRPS is a lifestyle. For example, take Ralph Lauren. When you walk into the Ralph Lauren mansion or the Ralph Lauren shop, you feel like you live that lifestyle. You might not have as much money, but you walk in there and you feel good. That's what we want to do with PRPS.

Coming kings Papoose

Papoose

Credentials
No crunk, snap or hyphy over here. This African-
born, Brooklyn-bred lyricist, 27, is the latest phenom to emerge from New York's mixtape scene. Currently unsigned but affiliated with DJ Kay Slay, he's negotiating with several labels—rumored to include Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records—to release his debut album, The Nacirema Dream.Everyone should read Sun Tzu's The Art of War. It really maps out strategies and ways to be successful in everyday life. Life is a series of challenges, and this [helps] you know the terrain.

Coming Kings Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo

Credentials
If not for Ne-Yo, 23, your little sister's favorite pin-ups would still be working the Disney circuit. A proven songwriter (Mary J. Blige, Ciara, Beyoncé), the Las Vegas native born Shaffer Smith has transitioned to recording artist with his Def Jam-distributed In My Own Words.After columbia dropped me, I didn't want to be an artist. I'm very much a believer in God and that everything happens for a reason. So me being that close to my goal and it not happening messed things up for me mentally.

 Watch the Coming Kings 2005 Coronation Here