Behind (almost) every musical superstar lies many long years of hard work and sacrifice. Nonexistent job security, red-eye flights, endless nights spent recording while your friends party… let’s just say the life of a hip-hop hopeful isn’t a walk in the park. On his first solo feature, DMV emcee Kingpen Slim (previously heard on PHZ-Sicks’ Make ‘Em Envy) explains that, when the going gets toughest, he’s sustained by the knowledge that at any moment he may be only “16 Bars away from greatness.” DJ J Buttah‘s midtempo bells and synths set an appropriately pensive mood as Slim pours out his heart, looking back on past troubles and forward to his impending success. Complete with a fresh, soulful chorus by Raheem Devaughn, this track has a real, introspective vibe that should strike a chord with listeners in the Booth, but does Kingpen Slim really have what it takes to break through to the big leagues? Only time will tell. If you think he might, you’ll most definitely want to check out his The Beam-Up mixtape (released in late ‘09, available online), as well as keeping it locked for the latest details on The Beam Up 2, dropping sometime this summer.