Updated: Oct 30, 2020
In a musically diverse, and exceedingly unpredictable, musical landscape that changes and rematerializes faster than you can blink, it is extremely difficult to stay up-to-date, or even minutely in-the-know, about new artists of any genre, Hip-Hop or not. 'Playground' rappers like Nicki Minaj, a term coined for those mainstream figures who are lacking in originality, as well as authentic connection to the genre in which they reside, and her sonic entourage / musical interlocutors have become the immovable façade of the 21st-century American Hip-Hop scene, but I rebel against the designation's credibility as a sacred title to be venerated and protected. Rather, why don't we replace the Kings and Queens with their people?
In my attempt to bring to you the Hip-Hoppers of tomorrow, to use KRS-One's term, I present to you a 10-track curated Playlist which takes the listener from the emancipated, self-determined grunge vocals of Kamaara, to the newly released 'Suge Knight' which depicts Cxrpse's interior mental struggle and disgust at human nature. Track no. 7 is, by far, the most important of the 10 to cognitively 'experience,' as $NOT deals with the highly tenacious topic of police brutality and the subsequent unjust actions taken against African-American participants involved. Utilizing a hypnotic ostinato beat, paired with a contemplative, temporal intonational aesthetic, $NOT should be publically regarded as one of the harbingers of rap's future. No longer are audiences satisfied with baseless displays of wealth and grandeur, their visuals paired with music of little to no originality, let alone any signs of Puhskinian depth, textual psychologisms, or declamatory variances.
Tracks like 'Kids These Days' by Egovert, which takes the idea of provocation, satirizes the notion of 'being offended,' and spits it back out in a mass of angulating forces, one of sexual desire, and one of societally-emancipated desire, not only for himself, but for his listeners, perhaps more so the latter. In this list, it would be wrong to not represent Lil Darkie, however, as his multi-tiered group, labelled, "Spider Gang," has taken the underground rap scene by storm ever since rising in popularity in 2018 thanks to Tik-Tok. His song 'BATSHIT,' released this September, again depicts rap coming back to its roots but in a textually metaphoric perspective. Lil Darkie has a proclivity towards using allusions and textual correlations, and these morphological choices transforms the auditory experience from a passive action, to an almost sonic treasure-hunt of 'guess what I mean.'
The SoundCloud that each song can be found at and where the artist can be researched are linked below the track name, as well as the YouTube link where you can hear the songs in succession. These 10 artists are only a subset of the 1,000s of artists out there waiting for you to discover them! All you have to do is simply go on Soundcloud, do a URL search, or scroll around Instagram. But let me tell you that they are there. The 'Hip-Hopper' version of Nicki Minaj is out there, the psychological Drake is there somewhere too, the reinterpreted stylings of Tupac, embodied in a new face could even be there as well, who knows? But that's the fun part for you! You don't have to listen to mainstream artists, and no one is forcing you too, so don't act like it and hear some contemporary FIRE.
1. Bully: Kamaara
2. Kiwi: Fukkit
3. if the world exploded: David Shawty
4. SUGE KNIGHT: CXRPSE