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.
Soundcloud can be overbearing, the amount of links we normally sift through is endless. The beautiful thing about the app is the same thing that makes it tiresome. Anyone from anywhere can share music where quality is usually an afterthought and styles come and go in waves. Sometimes in my downtime I like to open up the DM’s to the willing, and artists from all over the country came with some heat last night. Here’s some of the best.
LuKe 4K – StarPower ft. Swan Ivy (prod. by ok boi)
My favorite record of the night, Texas artist LuKe 4K comes with the heat on “StarPower” featuring buzzing Ivy Music Group artist SwannyIvy. Produced by ok boi and mixed/mastered by San Antonio’s G Clef, this song is top notch radio quality. The autotune laced record is catchy as hell and the two bring some serious star power to the track. LuKe 4K has been dropping lots of good music lately, his 2018 can be very bright. In the meantime, play this extremely loud.
Lil Sef – Flexing Up (prod. by Cormill)
I’ve been familiar with Lil Sef for awhile. The Atlanta native has been grinding and working on his sound for awhile now. He finds a good formula with “Flexing Up”, you can hear the southern influence in the classic trap beat, catchy chorus, and grimy ad-libs. Atlanta’s musical history has been written by catchy records and artists who blow up overnight. Sef’s putting in that work, excited to see how he builds on it.
SamDoes – Naked ft. Brandon Allen & C02 (prod. by Serge Crown)
Hailing from Maryland, SamDoes sent me a few songs but “Naked” really stuck out. The off-kilter beat with heavy 808’s leads the vibe but the verses really standout on this song. Each artist brings their best. Sam tells me he’s been rapping for 7 years and the experience shows, he can flow with the best of them. Sometimes when you have so many artists on a track it can come off forced, but “Naked” is cohesive and each verse feels natural. This one is going straight to the playlist. Check out Sam’s other work, his catalog from 2017 is impressive.
A2 – Tarxan (prod. by A2)
The Austin native has a tendency for wavy records and party anthems. His recent single “Tarxan” is really good. The record is as good as it gets on Soundcloud; short, catchy, about xanax, and well produced. If he can deliver more fun songs like this, I will definitely keep listening. This one should be played at every frat party in Austin. Most impressively, everything was produced and engineered by A2 himself.
Dylan Cohl – 007 (prod. by Wolfe De Mchls and Dylan Cohl)
Houston will never have a shortage of artists making good music. Dylan Cohl really caught me by surprise. “007” is a vibe! Reminds me a lot of TDE’s Isaiah Rashad, this dude can really rap. The laid back vibe was perfect to smoke to and his flow was 10/10, he raps his ass off nearly the whole song. This is definitely one you plug the AUX in and drive to. He’s dropping another project soon and I’m very excited to see what he can do.
As the Houston sound continues to flourish with more and more people aiming to differentiate themselves as artists, but it’s only so many who are going to make the cut as far as getting to the next level. One artist in particular, Ca$h Fendi has been growing all this year and he plans to make his big splash with his debut project, Creme De Le Creme this winter. In process of releasing his project, Fendi unleashes the flawless visual for his single, “Shy Bitch”.
The Lil Wayne sampled record displays Fendi being surrounded by beautiful women and large masses of blunt smoke. The Northside bred product is poised to be one of Houston’s promising acts in this upcoming year, stay tuned for what he has in store. Check out his video below and stay plugged to Popped Cherry for an upcoming interview with Ca$h and his debut project dropping December 7th.
Houston’s Lona is on a wave to the next level. His grind and commitment to his art paired with his levelheadedness translates very smoothly into his music. Stay Sleep is his latest single from his upcoming album 346, telling all those who aren’t rocking with him to keep that same energy when he’s at the top. The A.K.A. production is dark and aggressive, perfectly matching Lona’s energy as his spits about his come up and the ups and downs that come with putting your all into this shit. People might think the game is all about the limelight, but Lona shows us not everything that glitters is gold. Listen to Stay Sleep below.
Austin rapper Kenny Gee has made some noise around the area throwing parties all summer. Now that it’s Fall he returns with some music and grabs Houston frontrunner Maxo Kream for his latest single “Rollin Up”.
Whoever produced this did a great job, chorus sounds really well mixed and creates the vibe for the whole track. Maxo shows some respect for the Austin rapper and mimics Kenny’s flow to start his verse.
Dope to see major Texas artists linking with some of the young kids. Can only hope that continues, as that would go a long way to bringing Texas back to rap’s dominance.
Khawaja has been putting in a lot of work recently. From dropping collab projects and singles, a solo project, and a handful of loosies, he’s had a busy year, and with this new track, he might just have a hit on his hands. His latest offering Sabr, arabic for patience, pays homage to his cultural roots, and shows us what it’s like to hungry, trying to make it in the game at any means necessary, and you can really feel that hunger come thru when you listen. He’s tired of being patient, he’s kicking the door down and forcing his way into the game. Khawaja has a seriously high production quality in his tracks, so you know the tape he’s got in the chamber is about to be major. Give Sabr a listen below.
Texas City rapper Yung Fuji dropped off a visual for his track Lxner. The hazy xGod.Lifex x Pa$tor Herb$ production nicely complements Fujis flow and style, which he uses to prove why he’s easily up next. Once of the best voices in underground, his consistency and confidence in each of his tracks is steadily pushing him towards success. Check out the video below.
Khawaja just can’t be stopped. His production is impactful, and he continues to push himself artistically, which shows with each new release. Linking with Arthur Black on the production, Picture Perfect shows Khawaja catering more towards his pop sensibilities with the structure, the production knocks like straight hip hop. The synths are soft and light, but the 808s kick you in the chest, in a good way. I love to see an artists versatility, and with Khawaja, you never know what’s coming next. Arthur Black is making a name for himself as well, and this is a huge step in the right direction. Picture Perfect is sure to get the parties jumping all fall. Check it 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.
Houston songstress, Damaria, drops her debut EP tonight at 9pm. Following up on the successful release of “Never Find Another”, she drops another cut off the album with “Friday Night”. R&B doesn’t always need to be full of Chris Brown dance moves, and catchy choruses. Classic R&B is a vibe, it’s a feeling, it’s addicting. Produced by Soulful808s, “Friday Night” is a fresh rewind on that classic feel. Damaria is one of my favorite artists right now, and we’ll be posting her EP Love Overdxse as soon as it drops tonight. Take a listen and let us know what you think.