You’ve probably heard of the rising star, Young Thug, but have you heard his music? Well, he’s a West Coast rapper who has released several albums in the past five years, including his newest, Slime Season. Like Curren$y, Young Thug’s sound is reminiscent of that of his lyrical inspiration, Nas. Dom Kennedy is another young artist who has been making waves in the rap game. In fact, he released his first project, a mixtape, in 2008 and has since gotten his first big break. J.L.J is an iTunes charting Houston based artist who you should check out. His latest single Keep It Krunk charted on iTunes in the UK in the top 15. His latest album The Introduction is making waves as well.
Ovrkast is an Oakland-based producer and rapper who made his professional debut on Earl Sweatshirt’s “EL TORRO COMBO MEAL.” His new album reflects the hazy lo-fi hip-hop trend that has swept the internet in recent years. The album features guest verses from MAVI, Pink Siifu, and Navy Blue.
Ovrkast’s lyrics are reminiscent of the contradictory nature of the 21st century. He acknowledges false progress mantras and explores the ramifications of that belief. It doesn’t feel like an album review, however; instead, the lyrics form a series of thoughts that follow a common theme. In this way, Try Again is a reflection on artistic growth and personal self-acceptance.
While most rappers strive to rhyme with precision, Ovrkast’s approach is unique. Instead of writing lyrics, he simply enters a recording booth and raps over the beat. His winging it approach to the production process is part of what makes his songs stand out. Aside from showcasing the talent of Oakland’s rap scene, Ovrkast has a large following in New York City.
Having spent a few years working as a part of the Oakland hip-hop scene, Ovrkast has found a home in the production world. In 2016, he began sharing his affinity for beat production with his online fanbase. Soundcloud flips and original scores on Bandcamp led to an online fan base. He has since collaborated with Mavi and Earl’s Feet of Clay.
Omar Gilyard is one of the unheralded innovators of the electronic beats-and-bass scene. The artist has produced a diverse range of music under several aliases, including Shape of Broad Minds for his 2007 avant-rap opus Craft of the Lost Art and Willie Isz for his Dirty South sounds from Georgiavania in 2009. He is also a collaborator of MF Doom and has collaborated on two albums under the moniker JJ Doom.
Omar Jarel Gilyard began his career as a rapper in Houston, Texas, in 1992. He performed with local Houston notables and formed the Slum Kids, otherwise known as Rhythmic Crew, in 1994. He later freestyled with the likes of The Pharcyde and The Prodigy of Mobb Deep, but soon afterward he scouted for bigger waters.
Known as the Original Jiggalator, Sam I Am was the first rap artist to release a “jig” record. The song, “Jiggalate,” praised the euphoria of jiggas, or what is commonly known as ecstasy. Jigga was a phenomenon in Baton Rouge. The term “jigga” is a term that carries both a cultural and a religious meaning.
Joshua McNeal specializes in sound reviving, and his goal is to create a vibrant atmosphere and energetic track. His rap style is heavily influenced by R&B/Rap, and he invests his eclecticism in his music. His cross-cultural upbringing and experience in music has influenced him to create a unique sound. While some people might not be fans of his rap style, Jigga has a unique perspective on how to create a unique sound.
Known for his unique lyrical style, Aceyalone is an indie rap artist who is practically invisible in top 40 urban music rotation. However, he started his career at Capitol Records, a label synonymous with crossover rap superstars. His solo debut album, “Aceyalone” (released in 2010), was poorly received and sold, fulfilling Q-Tip’s “industry rule #4,080”: releasing a mixtape that doesn’t have any mainstream radio play is unprofitable.
Elcamino’s self-titled debut is a boring mess. It’s hip-hop without the hip. It’s an album that lacks emotion, inspiration, and any other element that might keep the listener interested. Unfortunately, this lack of variety and originality may not be Elcamino’s fault. He doesn’t have a unique sound, and his cliches and clichés are easy to spot.
His upbringing is filled with hardship, and his art is closely related to his life. His versatility sets him apart from other hip-hop artists, and he can paint bleak tales as well as violent escapades without having to change styles. Despite his unremarkable versatility, Elcamino’s voice and delivery are soulful, and his dark lyrics paint a clear picture of struggle.
While Buffalo’s hip-hop scene is flourishing, the city has long been underrepresented in hip-hop. Fortunately, Griselda Records has helped to change that. Elcamino, who recently released his self-titled solo album, has also been featured on other popular hip-hop albums by prominent artists. It’s worth noting that Elcamino’s debut was recorded while he was under house arrest.
The name Shootergang Kony is a nod to the California gang that is named for the fallen brother of the rap group Tekashi69. The group is composed of a diverse set of artists, including OMB Peezy and ALLBLACK, who have all collaborated on songs. Other tracks feature alternate production styles and the Oak Park ethos. Second Hand Smoke, a piano-driven album, is the band’s best work yet.
A veteran of the underground scene, Kony has a long resume and ten projects under his belt. His latest album, Red Paint Reverend, was released in February and features OMB Peezy, Nef, and Mozzy. While Kony has gone through a lot to get where he is today, he’s never shied away from sharing his story with his fans. He reveals the pain and triumph of growing up in a tough neighborhood and hustling to make it.
While his albums feature songs about the hardships of life on the streets, they don’t have the “street” feel of traditional rap. Instead, they include the memories of calling friends while incarcerated, and a seen-it-all attitude reminiscent of the Jacka. ShooterGang Kony raps about the effects of life on his family and the streets, and his rise and fall are echoed in his lyrics.