I have to admit I am a huge fan of artists who can incorporate popular culture into their work at appropriate times. That is why we are sharing Tim Gent’s King Sh*t music video. The video starts out with a snippet of dialogue from the 1998 film, The Man in the Iron Mask, as Tim is standing on a stage – spotlight on him. We get the hint that Tim Gent has the heart to be a king. A majority of the music video alternates between Tim on stage, a corner store, and in front of his home in Clarksville, Tennessee. The video and production is simple, because Tim Gent is telling a story. Touching on a bit of various topics such as ObamaCare and his mother’s prayer, Tim tells us he is a King through his determination to survive. Enjoy the smooth jazz-like production and get hip to this youngin’ on the come up!
As a student at Syracuse University, I have had the pleasure of being exposed to a lot of artist from Upstate New York. Diverze is one of those artists, that I have seen grow and continuously strive to make better music with every release. Hailing from Buffalo, New York , Diverze just released the first track off his upcoming The Mixtape B4 The Mixtape project, which we can expect in the near future. With the Nova produced “Oh Lawd,” Diverze is working to make “moves that’s out of this world.” Diverze has a unique flow that at times is reminiscent of legendary artists that to this day create music that people love to play in their whip, such as Big Boi. The song makes the scene pretty clear. Diverze is riding through the city of Buffalo with a lot on his mind, and of course, he’s dealing with doubters and women who are not quite sure whether to hop on the bandwagon just yet. If Diverze keeps grinding the way he has, the bandwagon may be full sooner than later. Once you start nodding to this cut, you’ll know what I mean. You can purchase “Oh Lawd” on iTunes here.
C Wells is an upcoming artist out of the Boston, MA area who just released a new music video for his introspective single, “Made In America.” I saw an image of him smoking in front of an American flag, and I thought, “hmmm, this is going to be interesting.” The Kris Roller directed video captures C Wells in front of an American flag, as he spits candidly about himself and our society. He gets pretty deep in this music video and I’m glad I gave this kid a listen because it was refreshing to hear someone actually challenge society, and not just brag about being a rebel like some hipster rappers tend to do. With dope word-play and a memorable voice, I’m looking forward to more music from C Wells. Watch “Made In America” below!
Strypez is the 18-year-old Philly native that is archetype artist to reference when discussing hope for a second golden age of hip-hop. From his cadence to his 90s nostalgic production, Strypez is surely a student of artists such as Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim and Nas. His fun-loving attitude, and style could be best described as a modern Kid ‘n Play. This kid may have been born in the wrong era, or we could argue that his purpose is to represent everything that hip hop is currently missing. In his new music video, “Sicker Than Your Average,” (title inspired by Biggie Small’s “Hypnotize”) Strypez hits the streets of Philadelphia with violinist, Galen Guindon. The L.O.B. produced cut originally appeared on Strypez’ God Level EP, so if you like what you hear, there’s plenty more tracks to vibe out to. Watch the Luke Nowell directed music video below!
KasFlow is a 20-year-old Atlanta MC that has never hesitated in telling his loyal listeners how he feels. Well, with his latest cut, “Waiting 4 The Blow Up,” Kas is fairly pissed but mostly focused and prepared. Standing in the forefront of his TNC (The Nayborhood Clubhouse) crew, the dread-headed artist probably faces a lot of pressure. He has had countless tracks with plenty of plays and receives good blog coverage. Of course there is much more to being an artist, but for the most part this kid is checking off all of the necessary boxes needed to actually “blow up.” Therefore, it makes sense that KasFlow addresses the fact that he hasn’t quite taken off in a slightly aggressive, but ironically patient manner. His new offering is produced by David Greene and features fellow TNC artist Mal Pacino. The two artists get a bit introspective as they discuss their come up, and keep the essence of hip-hop by spitting some braggadocios bars that will be sure to give you quote for you Twitter bio. Stream KasFlow’s dope new single below! theRUNNA mixtape is coming soon.
19-year-old Florida rapper John Doe recently dropped some new heat, that just might become your favorite song. The cut, entitled “Favorite Song” has that down south bounce that will have listeners imagining John Doe swangin’ in a classic whip with his friends. John says the track is something fun he decided to throw out to see who is checking for his music. Well, I’m definitely excited for more music from this kid, especially if “Favorite Song” is a sample of what’s to come. John’s upbeat tone compliments the Redd production perfectly as he spits some care-free lyrics that essentially tell us to love this track as much as he does. Redd also contributes some vocals to record on the hook, singing “This right here your favorite song/Sum for you sing along.” The track ends with a much appropriate trippy, chopped and screwed John Doe; a final blow of extra southern flavor. Stream “Favorite Song” above!
Today we have some new sounds from the heavy voiced Aurora Anthony, who hails from the Lower East Side. “Sunny Side Down” is the second single from his debut LP Day Of The Lone Wolf which should be dropping sometime soon. The dark, Pyrex Kid produced track features Jet Life’s own, Mary Gold. With her lovely New Orleans accent she starts the track off by rapping a menacing hook that will be sure to be stuck in your head for days to come. This is definitely a play no games, do what you got to do record that is for the streets, that is still pretty catchy. Stream Aurora Anthony’s latest work and don’t forget to follow them below!
I saw Rip City Rick freestyle at a couple events at Syracuse University and I was pretty impressed. I had never listened to any of his music until recently, but it didn’t take much for me to realize that he is a talented MC. The 21-year-old rapper/producer is from Boston, but is currently a senior at Syracuse University, focusing on sound engineering. Rick just released the first cut from his upcoming Rise & Shine mixtape, which is set to drop October 7th. “Letting You Know” is that care-free, at the barbecue track that makes you feel like Summer is far from over. The hook is pretty infectious and will probably cause you to replay this a couple times. After a slight hiatus, its pretty clear that Rip City Rick wants to hit the ground running. Stream the upbeat L.O.B. production here.
Don Canova is a recording artist coming out the DMV area. Before adding the the name “Canova,” he was known to many friends as Don C. The last name came from a 19th century artist/sculptor named “Antonio Canova.” Because Don considers all of his music to be a great art, “Canova” was a perfect installment that was fitting to his persona. At a young age Don Canova found a passion for music but didn’t get 100% serious with it until he was 19. Since then Don has released plenty of bangers and managed to gain a following throughout the DMV area. The raspy voiced Don C, flexes plenty of flows on his latest ADOTHEGOD production, “Billions.”
We have some new music from 19-year-old Bronx rapper/producer Eli Saf. On this latest offering, Eli calls upon XXL Freshman alumni, and fellow Bronx native, Mickey Factz. Mickey nonchalantly spits some pretty dope bars and Eli follows suit on this chill production. Needless to say, it almost feels like Mickey is saying, “hey, this kid is next.” Eli makes it clear that the track is special, even referring to Mickey as a legend in his verse.
Once a troubled senior in high school, Eli almost failed because of his dedication to music. Now, as a student at Bronx Community College, Eli has shown growth and is currently releasing cut after cut. Fans can expect a follow-up to the KID mixtape (which was a project dedicated to Eli’s father and deceased uncle) in the near future. In the meantime, sit back, and stream Eli Saf’s “Vice.”
Havana Seoul is a 21-year-old artist that hails from the West Coast, but considers the DMV her home having spent most of her life in the DC Metropolitan area. Havana Seoul’s name is derived from, and in homage to her heritage. Her mother, of Korean and Black descent, was born in the capital city of South Korea, Seoul. Her father’s family escaped Fidel Castro when he came to power, and from there she pulls inspiration from Cuba’s capital Havana. Lastly, Seoul when you remove the “e” shows respect to her Black roots. With this new project, Vigilante, Havana puts on her metaphorical cape in hopes to be a savior to her friends, family, but perhaps most importantly, to herself. Havana tells us Vigilante was supposed to be a series of remixes, and that she has been coping with finding out her grandmother has stage 4 cancer. Also noting that the EP is “not well polished,” Havana is more focused on sharing music that reflects how she feels at the moment.
The opening track, “The Explanation” appropriately begins with an audio clip of Phoenix Jones, leader of the now disbanded costumed-activist group in Seattle, Washington – known as The Rain City Superhero Movement. This new 4-song EP almost feels like a continuation of her most recent mixtape, This Is Not A Cigar Club, because Havana is starting to develop her own sound as an artist. In her own eclectic way, Havana consciously addresses issues in the world, talks her shit using various flows (and at times languages), all while reminding us she is a college student. Give Vigilante a download and enjoy the sounds of Havana Seoul.
Eli Sostre (Rich Flyer) is a 22-year-old rapper and producer, hailing from Marcy projects, NY. He got his start as one of the emerging producers in the New New York Renaissance, and is now stepping out and delivering a whole new product. Eli has released two tracks “Maui” and “For The Night” both off of his debut project named “All Good Things“. He now releases the third single off the project,“With The Homies. The infectious hook compliments Eli’s lyrical skill as he reminds listeners he is holding down Marcy.
21-year-old NJ rapper, Money Willz returns with some chilling visuals for his latest cut “#SocialMedia.”
Willz takes a break from his typical subject matter to give us something with a bit more depth. We all know the dangers of social media, but many of us say “oh, that won’t happen to me.” With so many advantages, it’s hard to believe that using social media could have any negative outcomes. In this dark visual, Money Willz plays a creeper who has his eyes set on the girl of his dreams. This music video, which feels very much like a short film addresses the terrifying truth: in this digital age, we are more connected than ever.
Squid Mchale is a rapper/producer from Philly that just dropped the first track from his upcoming project, Undecided. “Presidents” is an introspective cut, where Squid acknowledges how being an outcast a majority of his life, actually helped him become creative. Squid also uses the MG production to open up about family issues and some of the gritty things he has seen. Without question, this kid has a lot of potential and may be the next hot artist to blow from the Philadelphia area, especially because he is also a student at West Virginia University – and everyone loves a good college rapper. I’m looking forward to Squid’s Undecided mixtape because as a college student myself, I can empathize with the dichotomy of staying in college and making your family proud versus pursuing your dreams.
Jacksonville, Florida artist, YT just dropped a new introspective cut with his patna Butch Dawson. With a smooth, in the whip just thinking sound, the track will grow on you. In the hook, we hear a very airy yet direct YT speaking to his parents. We can all relate to having different expectations for ourselves compared to our parents, and having to balance the great advice from our elders, with growing up and formulating your own opinions. Sometimes you go against the grain. “I don’t wanna be no doctor,” YT says to his parents.
Stream YT’s new project Lectures From Pops here.
It’s rare to see underground artists dropping high-quality music videos, and remaining consistent but Mike and Eli do it effortlessly while providing dope track after track. With that being said, we just got some pretty sick visuals for Mike O’Leary and Eli Green‘s “Big Spender” cut. The actual song was released about a year ago, but no worries – This video makes up for the wait. Mike O’Leary and Eli Green have been rapping since their freshmen days in high school, and now, at they’re early 20s, they aspire to make positive music, while remaining the genuine, fun-loving musicians that they are. Over the years they have grown a fan base from their wicked flow, smooth lyrics, and a variety of music videos. The rap duo from Syracuse, NY have plenty of fun as they spit some cold bars in their new, fast-paced music video, directed by James Domroe.
Kembe X is one teenage rapper you want to look out for. Hailing from the South Suburbs of Chicago, Kembe X broke onto the scene with his debut mixtape “Self Rule” that was featured on sites such as 2dopeboyz, Illroots and Forbes as well as Impose Magazine. Him, Alex Wiley and his crew The Village have gained attention with their hit single “Dollar Please” from their group EP titled “Can I Borrow A Dollar”. Kembe X was also featured on Wiley’s recent, The Village Party project. Here is the Chicago MC’s latest cut, “Hydrocodone” with production from The Antydote.
Okay, so obviously the title of this article is a hint at Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill’s “Levels” record. Why? Multiple reasons. The first is that I have spoken to plenty of Philly artists that say something along the lines of “if you’re a rapper in Philly, you either sound like Meek Mill, or you sound completely different.” I recently heard a white rapper from Philly spit on stage, “so the black rappers sound like Meek, and the whites sound like Mac (Mac Miller)?”
Despite the constant debate of who sounds like who, I wholeheartedly believe Philadelphia has and will always be a unique space for music. Black Thought, Eve, Fresh Prince, State Property (Beanie Sigel Freeway, Peedi Peedi, Oschino, and Omillio Sparks and the Young Gunz), and Cassidy are some of many artists to pave the way for acts that are coming up from the 215 today. Now, this article was originally going to be a list of 10 artists, but while doing research and speaking with my peers in the Philadelphia scene, it became difficult to only have 10 artists. In my opinion, a majority of Philadelphia rappers can blow up, or have the potential to. One challenge I faced when creating this list was the fact that there are a lot of rappers that have reached great heights, but aren’t necessarily HUGE. For example: having a blue check next to your Twitter name doesn’t mean you’ve blown up…it just means you’re verified on Twitter. That leads me to this disclaimer: This is NOT a list of the most talented, or BEST in Philly, but merely a list of unique artists that are either making noise, deserve to be heard, and/or at that awkward stage where a shit ton of people know who they are… but they really aren’t mainstream yet – another reason why there’s levels to the Philly music scene. When constructing this list I had assistance from Chanaiah and Tiffany. Thank you. #FreeMeekMill