What artist would you bet on continuing to be great?

The A.V. Club published an interesting article last week where they asked various staff members to name an artist/filmmaker/writer/game dev who they confidently believe will continue to be great for their next 4 projects. You must commit to purchasing and consuming these next 4 works no matter what, just to make the choice a little more stressful.

The question is tricky to me since it differs a lot from just asking someone who their favorite is, but makes you focus more on an artist’s track record of consistency and future potential. The writer’s answers ranged from Kanye West to Supergiant Games, and I’m curious to hear picks from this community!

To kick it off, a few of my picks would be BADBADNOTGOOD, a jazz/instrumental hip hop band from Canada who have over the last 6 years released 4 excellent albums, all of which I still listen to consistently. All the members are also quite young, and they said that no one over the age of 21 was involved in the making of their second album, so they’ve got plenty of time to hone their talents even further.

As far as video games, I bet on Playdead as my pick for continuing greatness, even with only 2 games developed. Inside is nothing short of a masterpiece in my opinion, and the absolutely ridiculous attention to detail in that game in regards to animation and environment design puts them in a league of their own as far as indie devs go, for me at least. It might take like 25 years for them to release 4 more projects, but they can count on my support all the way.

Who do you place your bet on?

recently got into a band from Liverpool in the UK called “The Beatles”. think these guys might really hit the big time soon


Hideo Kojima has released nothing but great games over the last 30 years. Even his objectively worst game, Metal Gear Solid 4, is still pretty good by general video game standards. I have little guess as to what Death Stranding is going to end up being, but I would bet that it’s gonna be pretty fucking great.

Makoto Shinkai is a writer/director that I’ve been keeping an eye on for many years now, and each film he makes is better than the one that came before. And now that his most recent film, Your Name (Kimi no na wa), is an international success, hopefully he’ll be given an even larger budget and amount of creative control for his next project.

Since the A.V. Club thing already mentioned Kanye West, I’ll pick Kendrick Lamar as the other ultra-prominent hip hop icon who I don’t think is going to fall off anytime soon. I didn’t love DAMN. as much as GKMC or TPAB, but it’s still one of the best releases of 2017. He continues to mature as an artist and I have faith that he won’t disappoint with future releases.

EDIT: Also, Radiohead.


thank you very much


I think Björk can’t help but put out highly skilled, innovative stuff while stabilizing it with a sincere need to express the philosophies she develops as she lives her life. She will never put out anything that is not a masterpiece, but sometimes it takes me a few years to catch up with her developed sensibilities.


In a tight race between Do Make Say Think and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, I’d probably have to go with DMST. Or maybe Wynton Marsalis. One of those.


I can really only put my faith in comics and music these days. Film is subject to so much meddling these days and games change teams so much it’s hard to pin down who makes what for who and when.

In comics this is relatively easy as companies generally know when they have a good thing going and like keeping creatives who work well together together. There are two really good choices for me. Mark Waid (Writer), Chris Samnee (Pencils, Inks, Writer), Matt Wilson (Colorist), and Joe Caramagna (Letterer) have been a dynamite quartet on two fantastic Marvel books in the last couple years, Daredevil and Black Widow. Anything that these guys do next is probably going to be amazing. They start on Captain America in November and I’m hyped. The other choice is the married duo Declan Shalvey (Pencils, Inks, sometimes Writer) and Jordie Bellaire (Colorist, now a Writer) who just pump out beautiful work after beautiful work together. From Moon Knight to Injection to Savage Town, these two are kicking ass every single page. So yeah I would bet on one of those two sets of folks making great work.

In music I have faith in a few. Chance the Rapper has gotten better with every single release. Coloring Book is one of my favorite hip hop albums ever and ACID RAP is so damn good (Good Ass Intro is so smooth it’s like a high-energy lullaby.) I am confident in Chance the Rapper creating amazing music and making the world a better place, especially in his next 4 projects which will probably be out by like Christmas. The man works fast. Carly Rae Jepsen is on fire and I’m so excited for what she does next. E-mo-tion and E-mo-tion: Side B are a Lisa Frank unicorn’s magical, sparkly, funky pop music tears pressed into compact discs and code for us to enjoy. I would bet good money her next projects are great too. Speaking of upcoming CRJ projects, Vulfpeck! They’re a funk band/collaboration project/way of life from L.A. and they are tapped into the crowd-pleasing funkospheric cosmos. Their two 2016 albums, The Beautiful Game and Thrill of the Arts, are simply amazing, offering crunchy groove after crunchy groove. They’re already teasing their next album which features such funky collaborators as the legendary Boosty Kollins, David T. Walker, Charles Jones, James Gadson, and Michael Bland, among others. Plus CRJ said she wants to do something with them which set my brain on fire. Vulfpeck is so funky, Vulfpeck is so funky.


I have my money on Courtney Barnett.


Hence the nod to the small indie studio, I suppose.

In prose-world (insofar as it overlaps with my world), a lot of the ones who have demonstrated consistency do so through short fiction, and short fiction purchases are… complicated? Either you read it by buying the entire magazine/anthology (which means it’s no longer about the reliability of the author), or it’s an online magazine that allows free reading (which means you aren’t putting down monetary stakes). I guess there are a few authors that run a Patreon on the side and release short fiction to patrons early/exclusively (I’m thinking primarily of Kameron Hurley – I know N. K. Jemisin has a Patreon, I just don’t know how she structured it), but even with that, I believe it’s more common to go with a monthly schedule than with a per-work thing, right?

Anyway, I suppose I’m noodling. Say, Zen Cho. There you go, that’s someone whose next four written thingamajigs I would be willing to bet on and buy sight unseen.

…I mean, a lot of people buy books without reading them first anyway, don’t they? I usually don’t myself (and have already made exceptions for Zen Cho), but I’m given to understand that’s not the commonest mode.


For TV, Ryan Murphy. I love the camp of American Horror Story and have thoroughly enjoyed American Crime Story, Scream Queens, and Feud. Nothing he does particularly blows my mind, but I have faith that it’ll be entertaining regardless.

For games, I really don’t know. I want to say Terry Cavanaugh (because Don’t Look Back is one of my all-time favorites), but he puts out so many micro games that I haven’t played most of them. And most studios eventually put out games that are too long for me or I just don’t get into. I always like Devolver Digital’s stuff, so maybe I’d say them.

I think Skating Polly & Sylvan Esso both have things up their sleeves that will surprise people.

In games I have to say Insomniac still has it. We might see more Ratchet & Clank but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

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Run The Jewels. Briggs has been on a roll lately as well.

To me, that isn’t a question of if their stuff is gonna be consistently good, more… will they even release four more things?


There is this Japanese photographer named Rinko Kawauchi who has done nothing but hits so far. Her work is amazing and feels so magical and timeless that I cannot imagine it ever being bad.

As far as music goes, I think James Blake/Frank Ocean will continue to be amazing for the rest of their careers. They’ve been really great artists to watch develop, and I’m so excited to see what they do next.

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Music - Brockhampton
Art - Simon Stålenhag
TV - Donald Glover
Film - Jordan Peele


Run the Jewels
KC Green


Pre-DAMN Kendrick would have been one of the first people to pop in my head for this question, but I really dislike that album quite a bit. I’m with you on Kojima, I can only imagine the ideas kicking around in that guy’s head at all hours of the day

Hideki Naganuma is incapable of putting out a track that isn’t the most bangin shit ever. Some non Jet Set Radio highlights from him:

Super Monkey Ball 3D - Rockin’ Commander
Ollie King - Brother Goes Away
Hover: Revolt of Gamers - NEVER 4EVER
beatmania IIDX - LUV CAN SAVE U
SAKATSUKU - Get It 2 Win It


For games it has to be Yacht Club (the Shovel Knight devs). I don’t even care that they’ve only ever made one game; that game is not only incredible (as are its two expansions), but it’s been so well-managed first as a Kickstarter and since as a property that it’s clear those devs know exactly what they’re doing.

I have trouble coming up with many for other mediums. For film, probably Edgar Wright? I have yet to see Baby Driver (though I plan on remedying that this weekend), but as someone who appreciates his writing and directing style, I’ve found his films to be consistently excellent.

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Add me to the Run the Jewels and Kojima wagon for sure.

Also if UFO 50 is as good as it looks you can throw Derek Yu/Mossmouth in there as well. I mean Spelunky is an extremely tough act to follow but that trailer has my mouth watering.

Edit: I wanted to add in the Night Vale Presents collection of podcasts. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything I didn’t like from them and I’ve come to expect nothing but the best.

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After Hellblade, I’m genuinely excited for the space Ninja Theory could carve out in the (hopefully) rising AA industry.