This year, several noteworthy new artists have been pushing boundaries and creating groundbreaking music that has often defied genre classification. Like it or not, the traditional definition of hip-hop is getting old and restrictive. Rap these days is often mixed with some other genre like rock or electronic. Here are some rappers that aren’t your typical badass gangster wannabes.
Shake and her 070 crew from New Jersey have been racking up thousands of plays on Soundcloud. YesJulz put her on and ever since they have been performing in major cities such as NYC, L.A. and doing shows with Sonny Digital and Atlanta artists. She also appears on Fabulous mix tape “Summertime Shout out 2” and absolutely kills it. Don’t sleep on 070, She is self-made, genuine and a dope chick all around — going to be a face in the game very soon.
Must listen to: “Honey” and “Stayin’ alive’
Sounds like: Hazy trap beat, genre warped, category of her own
Best Enjoyed: Straight chilln’
No one knows who he is, what he looks like, or where he came from. This mysterious artist from Atlanta appeared out of nowhere with a ton of hits. His songwriting, hooks, and melodies give him the potential to be huge. He dropped the Open EP back in April, also released 12:AM and is continuing his work with APEX.
24HRS also just appeared in a song with Gucci mane, “Not Impressed” and “Only you” starring Ty dolla $ign and Roy Wood$. What I like about him is that he focuses solely on his music, not his looks, not who he is, but just his music. When people listen to him they focus solely on that, which is what it is all about!
Must listen to: Open EP album
Sounds like: PartyNextDoor/Weeknd vibes
Best enjoyed: Chilin with your boy/girl, late night feels
Repping both Brooklyn and Detroit, this artist has true expression and will change your perspective on finessing love. Co-signing with Drake, he still hasn’t seen his popularity grow on the internet, but he is constantly creating and putting out new songs that will connect the world. His first mix tape “Detrookyln” from 2014 has perfected progressive sound and his great storytelling skills. After his debut with PARTYNEXTDOOR single “truth for you” this artist dropped his latest album “Happening in the grey area EP.”
I’ve been bumpin’ this guy since the phreshy days, the fact that this guy co produced Star67 by Drake, means a lot. *Inserts 1000 fire emojis *
Must listen to: “Before The Vomit” and “Drugs and Cam’ron”
Sounds like: The future
Best enjoyed: Relaxin and smokin’
From the city of Boston, Cousin takes the spotlight, quietly. He is one of the few underground artists that’s worth listening to. After his track “Shoutout,” he got signed by OVO and then released his follow-up mix tape “MONDA” in July. His recent track debut “Suffolk County” gives visuals of his life experiences and shows off his ability to create his hypnotic hooks. Mad respect for this ambitious, internet-savvy rapper.
Must listen to: “Shoutout,” “500 Horses,” “Wanted to Live,” and “Dirty Bands”
Sounds like: A mix between Isaiah Rashad and Jazz Cartier
Best Enjoyed: Rollin’ a blunt or cruising in the car with your homies
Another rising rapper from Toronto, Nav already accumulated over 1 million listens to each of his songs on Soundcloud. His latest auto-tune self produced track “Up” is co-produced by Metro Boomin and his previous single “Fell In Love” has made a splash and dope introduction to his style. He is definitely proving that less is more and is slowly making his way up.
Nav is still a bit of a mystery but recent rumors suggest that he is affiliated with the Weeknd’s XO. More information will come out as time goes on. For now he keeps a low profile.
Must Listen: “Fell in Love” and “Up”
Sounds like: Mixture between Travis Scott and post Malone
Best enjoyed: A chill pregame or listening in the car