You might already know him as the guitar player from ‘The Internet’ who jams alongside Syd Tha Kyd, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II and Christopher Smith, but have you heard his solo project yet? Released this past March, his EP simply titled ‘Steve Lacy’s Demo’, is only 13 minutes long, but packs a powerful melodic punch. It’s one of those projects you keep on repeat for awhile and get almost every infectious chorus and hook stuck in your head.
While 2017 is being considered his breakout year, let’s not forget the work that brought him here. Not only is he apart of the group ‘The Internet,” but he also was the co-executive producer on their third album “Ego Death,” which went on to be nominated for a Grammy. Oh yeah and then shortly after this he GRADUATED high school and went on tour with the band…
He also just recently produced the song “Pride” on Kendrick Lamar’s album ‘DAMN’.
Similar to: old school Pharrell (“She Wants to Move” days), jazz, soul and funk
Best listened to while: taking a road trip on a summer day
Dua might be doing things in reverse. She’s about to drop her debut album on June 2, but already has hit songs out with Wale and Miguel while also completing a fair amount of live sets, one being at Coachella (NBD).
The pop scene has had it’s fair share of women vocalists, both living and dead, and Dua seems to be bringing in a new fresh take on things and is rapidly building a reputation as the ‘anti-pop star’, which is good in our book.
Similar to: a mashup of Katy Perry, Gaga and MØ
Best listened to when: you need some feel good girlpwr tunes in your lyfe
His rise into the SoundCloud Rapper scene was one marred with controversy after allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend at the time. He did his time in jail for it and still maintains his innocence claiming the girl who accused him of the crime was lying. While in jail he sustained his fan base who patiently waited for the rapper to be released. Before he could even get his career off the ground officially, yet another controversy was attached to his name arose, this time involving Drake. According to XXXtentacion, Drake and his people discovered his music and really liked his style of rapping and flow on his song “Look at Me.” They asked to meet with him, but before this could even happen Drake ended up releasing his album “More Life” and one song in particular had XXX and a lot of people heated. The song was “KMT” and it clearly sounded like he was biting the rapper’s style. The beef never left Twitter, but it seems like fans drew their lines in the sand between the two rappers.
With both controversies set aside (for now), XXX performed live at Rolling Loud Festival in Miami recently and finally proved he has the popularity and power to make his rap career pop off the internet. He seems to be flipping the script recently and has come out with a few acoustic songs and a more pop/synth tune “looking for a star” produced by Diplo.
He even dropped a surprise project without warning on May 17, called “Revenge.” It is an 8-song album that is available for streaming through Spotify.
Similar to: experimental screamo/ emo meets Lil Uzi, Denzel Curry and Ugly God
Best listened to when: throwing a house party
Finally a modern day woke goddess who can connect the power of music to convey a message worth telling. This sultry and soulful singer is on the rise and creating her own lane as a multi-instrumentalist who is not afraid to truly experiment with her neo-soul sound. Originally from Vancouver, she is also a reiki master and life coach, so add that to her already impressive resume.
Her debut single “Ouroboros” really paints a perfect picture of her relationship between nature, music and herself. Her music really captures all of her vocal ability and confidence, plus it’s music that makes you feel good on the inside and out.
Her album Medicines is out June 22.
Similar to: Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse and Tove Lo
Best listened to: while meditating and contemplating or after rolling up a nice J
This rapper from Toronto really has something important to say in his music. You could even consider him the resistance against the abundance of mumble rap that floods our timeline and brains. His lyrics cut deep and paint a picture about politics, religion, society and life from his point of view in a new and experimental way.
His newest album “Ilah” is a lot about self-reflection and introspection into the soul. Mixing his experimental sound with woke AF lyrics, you can’t help but to listen to the knowledge he’s happy to share.
Similar to: MF Doom
Best listened to when: moving about your day and being productive AF
This 24-year-old Chicago-born poet has been sharing her thoughts and provoking words for years now and is even featured on the song “Lost” by Chance The Rapper on the 2013 Acid ape. So she really has always had a buzz, but her breakout moment into the spotlight came this year came on SNL when Chance The Rapper brought her out during his performance of “Finish Line/Drown”. The performance was flawless and now we get even more of Noname after her debut project ‘Telefone’
This is certainly not the last we are going to be hearing from Noname so make sure to keep this chick at the top of your radar.
Similar to: Willow, Junglepussy, Isaiah Rashad, Lauryn Hill
Best Listened to: in the summer, on a Sunday, while making brunch