There are several handfuls of rappers/cliques who’re buzzing, who’ve got really great sounds and, unfortunately a lot of them will be left out of this list. (There are totally several obvious exclusions and that’s because you probably already know those fools. I’m trying to dig a little deeper here.) These five rappers/cliques have unique qualities that are bound to push them out and into the forefront.
The Shadowrunners Click consists of rapper Himself the Majestic and producer Froskees. The two are steeped in video game references, they ooze pop culture and well, they’re slimy. Playful lines, quirky samples, swagged-out personas and ’70s style printed shirts are the norm—they don’t take themselves too seriously, but you should definitely be taking their music seriously.The Californian hip-hop duo run with buzzing rapper ANTWON whose End Of Earth project ended up on a lot of people’s best of 2012 lists. Check out the visuals to the dope track “Japan” off of their album Cyberdine. Also, peep their Soundcloud and get more acquainted with the Nature Boy Gang lifestyle. SLIMY.
Kung Foo Grip
“Kirkland hip-hop duo Kung Foo Grip are singlehandedly bringing class to the Eastside rap scene, one that’s been needing a revamp in beats and rhymes for a long while. Between the onslaught of furious raps and devastating hoofbeats hide soulful and downtempo grooves that sink into your veins and force your hips to move.” [via] Way I see it, rappers Greg Cyper and Edward Brock II are making some great Seattle-based hip-hop—equipped with a dope ear for beats (Keyboard Kid, Stewart Villain, et cetera) and a personality to match, they’re on the rise. They released Growing Up In The Future this year with Fresh Selects out of Portland and it’s beyond dope. (They also call themselves the Indigo Children, which, I’m hoping is a least a little bit of a nod to the game Indigo Prophecy, though I doubt it.) Give these cats a chance, I think you’ll like what you hear.
Just watch the video. Forreal.
But, it’s not a one man show, the whole crew has skills and it’s evident in this 5 minute posse cut. (Damn sweet visuals too. Props to the team on this simple, yet effective presentation.) Keep an ear to the ground, Windy City on the come up. (!!!)
Fellow blog enthusiast and hip-hop head Andriana from Gluttony Is The New Black swears by these guys. She introduced me to the New York City crew about two months ago and since that time I’ve been pushing them onto other people. In December they released visuals to their track “Statues” off their EP Nothing Special and it further solidified (in my mind) how legit this clique is. “Phony Ppl are a collective. They are a rap crew, a songwriting/production team, a live band, and a group of friends who live to make music.” [via] They are also legit as fuck. Check these guys (DYME-A-DUZIN, SHERIFF PJ, ELBEE THRIE, AJA GRANT, BARI BASS, ELIJAH RAWK, IAN BAKERWOMAN, MAFF YUU, and TEMI O) out, now.
Sandlot’s Dugout is a crew of rappers and producers from the northwest quadrant of the US. They’ve all got different styles, but it it’s a melting between heavy, push beats with generous amounts of bass and gruff personas. KreamTeam, the group’s producers, are awesome. Leon Swanks brings it. I really hate using the word swag (especially since it has been bastardized by uncool people), but this group has an amazing amount of swagger that carries over into their music. Be sure to give them a listen and keep an eye out.
Marinate Media out. We workin.