I, like you, listen to a lot of hip hop. So as I sail on Spotify and Soundcloud I thought it worth sharing my finds with all you beautiful people. So fortnightly-ish I’ll post the top 3 tracks I have come across. The focus of this series will be on music with only a few thousand views that’s been overlooked by online communities, aka /r/listentothis and /r/hiphopheads. Mostly it’ll be recent stuff but occasionally I’ll throw in something older. Some stuff might be more mainstream but if dope enough I’ll throw it in too. ‘Cuz fuck you my series my rules.
🔥 – Jonwayne: Out of Sight
Jonwayne is a 26-year-old rapper and producer from Cali. He hasn’t been seen much since his second album “Rap Album One” released in 2013. This year he released the soulful and melodic single “Out of Sight” as a precursor to his third album “Rap Album Two” which is set to drop February 17. As of writing this the song only has 4,019 views on YouTube and a few thousand on other platforms. So if this blows up I want a check.
I love the song for his stark depiction of life. His depression, his struggles and his inner mental workings; all come through in pretty vivid detail. His brutal honesty lets you feel his self-introspection. The almost poetical flow juxtapositions with simple lines that keep the piece feeling grounded. It makes for good repeat listening as there is stuff you can understand first time “isolation slowly feeling like it’s house arrest” and then more complicated verses that will have you musing. I must have listened a dozen times over and it hasn’t gotten worse which makes it iPod worthy. Look forward to his coming album if it’s as good as this.
🔥🔥 – Gang Starr: Love
Gang Starr is a 90’s hip hop duo from the East Coast consisting of MC Guru and DJ/producer: DJ Premier. They produced seven albums between 1989 and 2003 achieving moderate success. They had a rocky history with multiple breakups (aka producers leaving). Eventually, despite being at their sorta peak, they broke up for good after their 2003 album “The Ownerz.” Looking through their discography they seem to have pioneered dumb text speak before it was “cool” or necessary with titles like “JFK 2 LAX,” “What I’m Here 4,” and of course “Werdz from the Ghetto Child.” Love Sick is a largely overlooked song that didn’t even make it onto the Billboard Top 100 although it did reach no. 11 on the US Rap charts.
So this isn’t a recent song but I stumbled into it on the radio and it’s been on my playlist since. Love Sick (yes it is officially two words) verses are classic early 90’s greatness. Simplistic explanations of mild relationship drama with a slow rhyming scheme. This kinda rap doesn’t exist much anymore as the genre has gotten much faster with more sophisticated lyricism. However, I do love this vintage style. “93 ‘Till Infinity” is of a similar vein as Love Sick; so if you’re a good Hip Hop Head and bump that you should bump this. The classic trumpet hook tops it off and makes you feel like your walking into the sunset down a 90’s New York street. The memorable and fun chorus “and now I’m lovesick” is the best part of this track.
🔥🔥🔥 – The Last Artful, Dodgr & Myke Bogan: Pop!
Pop! is a collaboration between two artists who have an awful online presence. Researching these guys was not easy. The first artist is The Last Artful, Dodgr a “bleu collar retrosuperfuturist here to save the glo” and the second artist is Myke Bogan a “lyrical architect.” Despite the hipster bullshit they both have picked up some success with moderate Spotify play time on some music. The Last Artful has released one album “Fractures” in 2015 but her multiple singles from 2016 are what’s getting played. Myke Bogan released his first album “So Long, South Dakota” in 2012 and then four others since, over which his style evolved significantly. He has a stoner rap vibe to his music.
Pop! has one of the sickest beats I’ve heard in awhile. You’ll be humming this shit in the shower. The rap has a good flow repeating the chorus “onnnnnneeeeeeee hunnit” enough times that it’ll stick in your head but not too much to get annoying. The self-described “blunted trippy musical experiment” is dope, although I wish it was longer then 1:46 because it’s done by the time you get into it. It’s a bit difficult to make out much of the lyrics from The Artful, but that doesn’t matter, it’s usual rap stuff well delivered. On Pop! the vocals serve as an instrument for that bomb ass beat.