Texas rapper WhoisBama dropped of some visuals for his track Run It Up. Directed by Leke Laflair (one of the best out rn), this is one of the cleanest videos I’ve seen in the underground, for one of the catchiest tracks I’ve heard in a minute. Bama is super commanding on the song, projecting his presence all over with a lot of energy and confidence. Watch the video below, check out Bama’s music here, and see more work from Leke here.
The chemistry of artist and producer is arguably the most important thing in rap right now. Like, everybody wants to work with Metro, but not everybody can even fit with what he brings to the table (cough, Nav & Big Sean, cough). More than ever we just hear artists rapping over beats sent to them, sounding good to the ear but lacking true depth, and it’s honestly become rare to hear something that sounds truly organic. Sometimes though, if you look hard enough, you might find collaborations that fit like a glove.
Members of the Backyard Noize collective, Lona and A.K.A. are no strangers to working to together, yet this project is the first time everything has felt so tight knit. A.K.A.s vibrant, bouncy production style is in full force, matching Lona’s voice and delivery very well, whether he’s holding a melody or delivering a verse. He has a talent for remaining distinct with his sound while keeping each beat unique in their own right, with their own life and style. A.K.A. steals the show with his feature on LUV 4 U as well, his R&B pseudonym Alvynne showing serious melodic ability. Lona’s versatility is one of his best qualities. Being able to transition between rapping and singing with ease is a highlight, his singing standing out on Precious Tyme, and 1998 Freestyle showing he can rap with the best of them over a classic feeling bounce.
Neither of these guys ever disappoint. Serving as an appetizer until Lona’s 346 album drops, Moment’s Notice is the blend of artist and producer connection that the game needs more of. Listen below.
It really be the artists around you with the most genuine and authentic sound. Jay$teez and Eddie B linked up for Diamonds, and it’s one of the best underground songs I’ve heard in a minute. The laid back, soulful, and jazzy instrumental is so infectious you could listen to it by without vocals, and both artists know how to ride, Jay$teez bringing the melodies while Eddie B hitting with bars like “put the ring on the game like it’s Smeagol” for all my nerdy niggas. Listen to the track below.
San Marcos rap collective The PNTHN is back at it again with Vigilantes, once more hitting you upside the head with some straight quality. The Por Vida instrumental is super smooth, nicely samples some orchestral sounds, and knocks very hard, serving as the perfect playground for 2 top notch MCs to spit that shit over. The back and forth repertoire between DC and RA on impeccable, showcasing a strong chemistry that is replicated in almost every PNTHN track. Listen to the new heater below.
One of the most underrated producers out right now, A.K.A. just dropped some new off for us, this time with a very different style. Performed by Keevee, Wanderlust is an ElectroR&B track that vibes really well and takes you to a different place. The pairing sort of reminds me of a young Aaliyah and Timbo collab from back in the day, a sultry voice and space age prouction that was the first step in redefining a sound. Peep the track below.
Production is one of the most important parts of hip hop culture right now, easily. Producers are flourishing, with so many unique sounds and styles, becoming artists in their own right, but continuously fail to get the notoriety that they deserve. Niggas could spend all day going in depth on what certain rappers bring to the culture, and the impact that they had on the game, but when it comes to those behind the boards putting in work to make the songs what they are, nobody seems to pay attention. Rappers don’t just make the songs by themselves, you know? To truly appreciate somethings value, you gotta pay respect to all the pieces that make up the whole. There’s so much more beyond the horizon besides a Metro beat, but people don’t notice hidden gems til everybody is already on the wave. Once again, if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself, so of course I gotta take matters into my own hands. I spent hours listening to dozens of tracks, trying to find the most unique and creative sounds and find the minds who stand out and bring something new to the table. These 10 have some of the best work you’ve never heard, and continue to redefine the what being a producer really means.
What impressed me about AKA is that at his age and experience he already has a much better ear for music than more established artists, and it comes through in his work. There’s a lot of layering and intricacies with his style that contributes to his sound, and you can hear a great amount of variety in his beats. Like, his project TEARS delivers a somber sadness throughout, while something like Everybody Eats packs a lot of high level energy. Although I can’t show off the unreleased stuff he’s played for me, trust when I say it is NEXT LEVEL. Showing growth with every track he puts out, AKA is a big one to look out for.
An Austin native, Sketchy basically lets the music speak for himself. His social media is bare, and there’s little known about him outside of his music. Even though he keeps it lowkey, his music packs a serious punch. I found him after a youtube video lead me to a bunch of “type beat” recommendations, and I was taken aback by the fully developed sound that he had. Each beat has a clarity that’s usually found in the big names producers, and his work as an artist is super catchy in itself. Even when I was already a fan of his work, I recently found that he had a placement on controversial rapper Tay K 47s album on the track Saran Pack, which in my opinion is one of Tay Ks best tracks. I feel like it’s only a matter of time before we hear Hella Sketchy a lot more often.
I found frumhere off a soundcloud repost a while back, and it’s been interesting to watch his development as he gears up to drop his first album. He has a more laid back, lofi sound that you can really vibe to. His Amerie mix we lie there & she says im trippin is certified bop, put a chillhop twist on a track that’s already a classic. What I love is that I instantly feel the emotion he conveys through his beat, dropping songs perfect to break up and make up to. His album is done and on the way, so don’t sleep on it or you’ll be missing out big time.
Discovering Khawaja was just a matter of running in the same circle. In simple terms, he’s an artist that just ended up producing to give himself something to flow on, but he’s really honed his craft and come into his own. When I heard the 6 Rings beat I was honestly surprised he didn’t have more clout, and his new track Que Quieres showcases a diversity in cultural background and influence that is rare to see within a lot of other producers. He’s on his way to becoming a serious heavy hitter in the scene, with some of the most impactful content out.
A few weeks ago, searching for music for a project I was working on left me to drown in an almost never ending sea of generic “type beat” videos. Izaks beats were most of the few that even stood out, but they stood out by a large margin. To lay it all out, the shit just knocks. The simplistic style insanely catchy, so much so that he just landed a deal with Atlantic records just last month. He just knows how to use sounds effectively and make anything he does sonically pleasing. If you keep your ear to the ground, you’ll 100% hear “Izak made this one!” on your favorite soundcloud rappers tracks.
Por Vida has been at for a minute now. He started producing at the age of 15, having blown up on SoundCloud in highschool under the name “Raava” and just recently making a comeback a new moniker He recently released an EP titled Only Nineties Kids, which is full of Vibes and has reworks from some of your favorite artists, is a member of the DIY stronghold Bassethound Collective, and a member of San Marcos based rap crew The Pnthn. Peep his shit on soundclound and bandcamp.
Another soundcloud find, visual artist and producer Lovibe has vibe in his name so you know he stays with the heat. All jokes aside, the Ukrainian(wow hip hop is universal af) producer is bringing some serious sounds to the table. His kicks pack serious punch and add that perfect amount of texture and don’t overpower, his melodies are crisp, and he deserves way more credit. Almost transcendent, his tracks deliver you to a new plane and leave you floating on sonic clouds of sound.
Lil Purpp has finally blessed our trap. Hailing from Miami, Smokepurpp has been steady on the rise since he first blew up with Ski Mask, and we finally have his debut mixtape, Deadstar, after a ton of delays. On the first listen, the tape has varying from aggressive trap bops to crooned songs of drug binging late nights. With features from the likes of Chief Keef, Juicy J, Lil Pump, and D.R.A.M., and a clear and crisp quality, it’s clear that Smokepurpp is playing zero games with the industry. Give the tape a listen below.
Houston’s Dylan Cohl is a new artist with a sound and style that has roots in Hip Hops classic down south era. His latest body of work, Death Proof, takes me back to the earlier 2000s with his flow, and the laid back southern sounds he brings forward remind me of early UGK or Geto Boys, but blends it with a modern swag to create something timeless. He’ll definitely be one to look out for, bringing back the Texas Trill sound in a way that would make Bun B proud. Check out Death Proof below.
Endlessly underrated, ATLs Nessly is one of those artists who consistently drops quality content. Today he dropped a heater of a freestyle that shows off his flowing ability and introduces a degree of aggression not really seen before from him. The TM88 is super clean and clear, serving as the perfect canvas for Nessly to paint his words over. Nessly is still with the shits, so here’s to hoping we get more music soon. Peep Shopping Spree below.
I’m just gonna come out and say it, this track is really good. Like, really damn good. I was straight caught off guard by the amount of energy and aggression when I first heard it, and ZOTiYACs flow is almost never ending. The production from H E A L is very raw and matches the mood of the song very well, with 808s so heavy they could put you through a wall. I may have just found the next big thing on accident, as this shows a lot of promise from a new artist. Check out the track below.