SA via ATL rapper King Khali has been on my radar ever since his exceptional last effort Poor Decisions, Good Intentions(which you can read about here), and has yet to disappoint. His latest record Dummy Flow is 2 minutes worth of proof he’s hungry, determined, and can plow through anybody who get’s in his way. He’s definitely gonna be one to look out for the rest of this year into the next. Listen to Dummy Flow on Apple Music here
At this point San Antonio is becoming a breeding ground for artists who want to carve their path creatively. Since day one, Static Kiwi has aimed to drop nothing but hits, and has pretty much stuck to it. Their sound packs a major punch, and instantly hits as soon as you press play on any track. Their latest In My Bag is energetic, aggressive, and hard hitting, with members Landxn and Dino showing they’re no slouches when it comes to lyricism, and deserves to be on everyone’s radar. Check it out below.
I spend way to much time just going through soundcloud and Apple Music looking for the latest releases from any and everybody, just because you never know what somebody has to offer. There’s so much new music dropping, it’s easy to just get caught up in whatever’s hot on the TL, and way too many new artists, or even established ones, drop something super hard that goes almost unnoticed. With Under The Radar, I’m trying to give some shine to the hard shit that may not be getting the right amount of attention.
Good Gas Vol. 1 & 2
I love producer projects. Producers are such a vital part of the game, as they have always been, and it’s really important to hear them they display their art just like any rapper. Good Gas is a type of “playlist” or compilation curated by producer FKi 1st, known by most for his work with Post Malone and Larry June(Good job 1st!). Each volume is short, like 4 songs a piece, but features names like 2 Chainz, Smooky Margiela, UnoTheActivist, and really showcases 1st’s versatility as a producer, making a club hit in Lil Nigga ft. Kash Doll and a west coast anthem in Ooh with G Perico and 03 Greedo. Check it out here.
Standout Tracks: OOH ft. G Perico & 03 Greedo, Birfday ft. Key!
NGeeYL – Tales of YL
South Carolina’s NGeeYL has been a blip on my radar for a minute now, finding his track Front Page Gang on soundcloud. He provides a dark aggressive aesthetic to trap, his new mixtape under 300 Ent. enscapsulates that to a T while still showing his progression as an artist. Listen here.
Standout Track: Trip Gang
Choker – Honeybloom
Choker is one of the best new artists out if we’re being honest with ourselves. His first project Peak was one of my top projects of 2017, and he’s 2 for 2 with his latest. He kind of just picks up where Frank Ocean left off, delivering a Hip-pop style that sees him raising questions on mortality, relationships, and a journey of self discovery. All self produced and engineered, he’s a multi talented kid who actually has a lot to offer, unlike some others who make the same claims(Fuck Russ). Honeybloom is packed with emotion both lyrically and sonically, and is truly a project that should not be skipped. Peep.
Standout Tracks: This whole mf slaps tbh
Avantdale Bowling Club – Self Titled
A share from a friend that I may have missed on my own, A.B.C. is an avant garde jazz rap project that explores a mans desire to provide for himself and his family, while trying not to mull into complacency. I may be a little different than want most are used to, but its a passionate project that delivers on what it’s trying to execute, going against everything that modern rap portrays. The instrumentals are beautiful, recorded by a live jazz band which artist Tom Scott fits perfectly over as he raps about trying not to lose himself as he works to provide a better life for his family. Check it out here.
Standout Tracks: Years Gone By, F(r)iends
Reek – Recliner
Fresh off dropping one of the best projects in the city this summer with Chapter 2wo, Reek dropped off a new loosie a couple weeks ago with production from Fritogang’s Dubb. Recliner is a smooth track that places lyricism and flow at the forefront with a soulful foundation from the beat. A lot of the lines require a double take, so don’t let this go over your head. Peep here, playarrrs.
Jack Harlow – Loose
A cosign is a powerful thing when it comes from the right person. Signed to DJ Drama’s Generation Now imprint through Atlantic, Jack Harlow has been in my sights since his I first heard his track Dark Knight off his last project. Loose takes everything good about his last, and pushes it even further. What I like about Jack is he has good songwriting capabilities and all the features act as complements and have their own place, all the while he never compromises his bars. I mean, dude has a strong voice and can really rap. He has a seriously bright future in the game. Check out Loose here.
Standout Tracks: PICKUPTHEPHONE ft. K Camp, Sundown
Coi Leray – Huddy
Hailing from Jersey, Benzino daughter is actually super hard. she’s got a great amount of confidence in her flow, which is rare among newer artists. A random twitter find made her an artist I really wanna follow. I’ve never experienced somebody who has rapped about taking niggas girls AND girls niggas in the same verse. Amazing. Check out the video for Huddy below.
SAs Southsidehoodlum has been getting big looks since he dropped Korner Store in early May. Following a cosign from New York Times Best Selling author and fellow Texan Shea Serrano, Hoodlums new found momentum helped him even get a Chopped Not Slopped remix from OG Ron C himself. Be on the lookout for more soon, and give a listen to both versions of the project below.
Dallas’ Arthur Black came through with one of his smoothest drops in a minute. Glaciers is a laid back, minimalistic yet aggressive track that gets its point across with ease, and is as cold as the title suggests. Arthur’s voice and cadence makes even his hardest lyrics glide like it’s nothing, especially with his own production. The feature Drip shows out as well, really fits in the pocket with his flow. Check it out below.
Hailing from Long Island, NY and New Jersey, MHCSB is a blend of several different styles. These guys always bring a high amount of energy, great production, and bridge the gap between hyphy rap and actually spitting bars. From the self proclaimed Suburban Superstar Ab Flexinn (Long Island, NY) to the talented producer/rapper Spaceman Labonte (NJ), Money Micc (Long Island, NY), Brown Boi Pachino (NJ), and others, MHCSB has all the tools necessary to level up.
We had an opportunity to link with them during SXSW 2018, as the group made their first trip to Texas and attended the annual week long festival showcasing some of the best up and coming acts from around the country. MHCSB certainly stayed busy that week, hopping on Wane’s World SXSW and opening up for G.O.O.D Music’s Valee, as well as 3 other shows. For new artists SXSW can be intimidating. Streets full of dirty mixtapes stepped on by thousands, the smell of old beer and the previous nights escapades lingering in the air. MHCSB did it right, hitting numerous stages with the heavy energy that is lacking by most new acts. You can hear more about their Texas experience, 4 Loko diet, and what inspires their work below.
Building off the success of their 2017 single “Blue” the group drops off a new @NimbusNine directed visual for their new single “Top Shelf”. The Pvt Joker and Manzo produced beat offers the perfect assist for MHCSB to float on. With the groups ability to blend styles while keeping their verses original, pairing it with tripped out visual creates an enjoyable experience for listeners.
With production placements, solo projects, and more group projects, MHCSB is one of those names to keep an eye on. We’ll keep watching over here at Popped Cherry and keeping you updated on the latest releases. Let us know what you think!
Rap can be so exhausting sometimes. The constant need for eyes and validation. A timeline so busy that you must be fully engaged in order to keep up with the constant conversation. A culture that shifts daily at lightening speed. Timeline’s that are filled with comparisons and hate, reactions and opinions. I’m tired. I’m worn out. June 18th 2018 slightly after 3PM, was unbearable. It would last late into the night.
Yesterday XXXTentacion was gunned down in his car, not far from where he grew up. In many ways X represents rap’s tumultuous history. One that is hard to escape from, especially when it is repeated over and over again. Abuse, rape, violence, and murder. A sickening cycle glorified by some, demonized by others. It seems from the outside that X’s life was a direct result of his childhood. His mom kept him at arms length, he didn’t know his father, in and out of juvenile facilities for years. He experienced things a majority of his fan base never could imagine. A persona that was so strong and powerful, suburban white kids couldn’t help but be attracted to it. His brand was dangerous, loud, unrelenting. I was so repulsed by the allegations of his ex-girlfriend I couldn’t be a fan. But I couldn’t help being captivated by his rise to prominence. His music wasn’t afraid of anything, so why should he? He literally came from nothing, from the bottom. His music was sad, painful, angry, beautiful, and incredibly tarnished.
What makes rap important is how many different stories can come from it. Much of what is commercialized is beautifully packaged, consumer addicted, high fashion rap. A facade of the imagery we glorify on our timelines and our Instagram stories. Very rarely do we get an artist so painfully transparent as X which is why his death is so sad. The 20 year old was definitely wise beyond his years, and yet still had so much growing up to do. Many around him talked about how that transition was taking place recently. He was more at peace then ever.
I felt the need to write this, a tweet just didn’t seem like it could do this justice. I’m not even sure where I’m going with it. I think we need to do a better job at how we handle cases like X. I genuinely feel that musicians are a special breed. More vulnerable than most, depression and anger has given us a look inside some of the worlds most iconic and influential artists. It’s safe to say that X is one of those influential cases, right or wrong.
The accusations of abuse, assault, and rape should never be forgotten, because the victim most definitely will not forget them. There is something to be learned from every person’s story. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to learn from X’s yet. Maybe time will tell. Until then I’m exhausted. Because this feeling that I have is stronger than anything the music has given me lately. And that is sad.
Anybody who’s seen AJ Bray knows. He’s full of life whenever he performs, commanding the audience and coming with an energy and presence that rivals that of some of the biggest artists. He separates himself, not defined by his hometown or his influences, but by his music alone. His latest project, aptly named Enigma, encompasses all of that energy to produce his most clear cut and impactful project yet.
Start to finish AJ Bray comes at you with a whole new clarity, and has set himself up to reach a new level. The opener The ReUp really sets the tone for what you’re gonna experience on the rest of the project, from a better mix, harder beats, and endless flows. Each track to track transition is smooth, with every song fitting together but standing on its own to be an interesting listen.
Song quality and structure are good, poignant and super catchy. AJs calling card is his quirky and effective lyrics, flexed in a way that really makes them stick with you. She Hates My Hoes should be all over nightclubs(wassup Club Rio), FrFr tells these boys the needa stop cappin out here, and Play Around is probably a personal for me on the project. As he continues through his career, AJ has yet to disappoint. We’re watching first hand someone who’s dedicated to his shit and refuses to ease up. True to his projects name, AJ Bray is a real life enigma.
Dallas rapper Big Ace is making major moves. With help from Mel of TheOutfitTx, he dropped off the visual for his new track Gabby Douglas, and it’s definitely not something to sleep on. The Icedoutjit production is smooth and lowkey, while Ace approaches it with huge swag and charisma and Mel comes in as a perfect compliment. Watch below and look out for more from Big Ace soon.
Houston artist Lona has really prided himself on his versatility. Whether he’s rapping about his own self reflection, growth and flaws, or singing songs of love, passion, and pain, he’s constantly shown himself as a mixed bag of emotion and mindset. As he prepares for the release of his next album 346, he dropped 2 songs that truly encapsulate his duality. Let U Tell It is a transparent look into the mindset of a young nigga on the come up, letting the naysayers speak with he forges his own lane, while Have U has Lona reflected on the pain of failed relationships. Listen to both below, and be on the lookout for 346 this July.