Welcome to the continuation of my listening of influential artists I’ve discovered in 2016. Originally the post numbered more than 3000 words. For readers that asking a lot so I decided to make them smaller. So here’s part 2 of the artists I found myself listening last year.
Clicking on each artists name will open a new tab to the song listed. Thus you can enjoy the songs I’ve chosen to represent them.
The songs listed aren’t necessarily their best but one of my favorites to give you sample of their impressive talents. So grab a drink and take a seat. This list is a I created from a year’s worth of countless hours looking and listening.
This part is more hiphop focused as that genre is also very important to me. So here are the special individuals you should listen to and follow.
This young rapper hailing form Boston is someone whom you might label a vaporwave rapper. In truth he chooses his targets to extend his skill set. One of my favorite songs involves a somewhat familiar tune. He raps about life being similar to living underwater.It can be subdued at times but more importantly it’s yours(his) to live. He manages to do this with well a executed flow and lyrics.
I think I’ve left this song on repeat for hours honestly. This young man is a rapper by name but he’s also quite the storyteller. Here he raps about that weird space we find ourselves at in the middle. It’s a myriad of thoughts and feelings that often leave us thinking what’s important or what should I do. I know artists shouldn’t be labeled but I file him under lyricists.
D-Real’s raps are clever and rather creative. This shouldn’t be surprising considering he’s from Atlanta, Georgia. Seeking influences and inspirations from life, he celebrates an awesome beat with some well executed catchy verses. The song is an upbeat country rap recognizing his geekdom. It’s a real toe tapper and he body work follows the trend.
Do you know of any artists that have a song tribute to the children of the Syrian War? I’m guessing the answer is a hard no. He often creates vivid imagery of hard truths and harsh realities with his ability to rap and sing interchangeably. He messages maybe be heavy but compositions are light, rhythmic, and smooth. His music has a special place as powerful poetry.
Stationed out in St. Petersburg, Florida Alec is a rapper that uses his influences with Florida to push his present forward. Here he raps about the pursuit of money and sure you’ve heard it before. However you’ve never heard about it with verses infused with nods to the Carribean islands and nerd culture. Alec reminds us people just want their cash and damn everything else. His motto – you always have love and yesterdays
Natsu is a busy producer with his eye on expanding his portfolio constantly. He regularly seeks different sources and genres of music as inspiration. With Mirage Saloon he took an existing track with Sonic Mania and put his own spin on it. It then becomes something different and evolves if you will. From making a modern day trap beats of yesteryear’s anime to remixes of chart toppers, no task is too great for the youngman. This young Belgian is a musical workaholic.
This DJ celebrated his 21st birthday with the release of his latest album. That’s how I came across his brand of music. It’s clever, in your face, and invokes a message of no sitting on the bench mentality. He often raps about a positive outlook on life. At the same time he juxtaposes that with his desire to level up himself. DAX is contemporary, modern, and high energy.
You may find vaporwave everywhere but rarely will you hear it composed with funk. River is a creative with his beats and tunes. Unlike others, this Paraguayan producer creates songs that are more melodic and highly rhythmic. With uwu(ohh) the song is contains that popular synthesized background but is also smooth beat to dance to. It’s a song that could fit in the 1980s but that’s what makes River’s music fun. I look forward to his releases
I first heard saywhat from this Baltimore producer I kept thinking; how do you make a song like that? Then I listened to his other songs and the answer is was apparent; he’s a consummate creator that never let’s his skills dull. He tackles any and all genres of music. Saywhat is a remix of Donell Jones You know What’s Up feat. Left Eye. Here he’s able to make it into something new, more uptempo, a little more bass, thoroughly thumping, and modern. He work isn’t just remixes he’s an avid creator of new jams as well. He also does shows..so where does he find the time?
Gamer not a gangster is the motto of this MC and spells out exactly what he does. Others romanticize violence, money and etc — the safe notion of hiphop. Maverick decide to buck that trend and rap about his love from videogames and anime. With that in mind his rhymes and tunes aren’t just nerdcore they are well…passionate and fierce. With Kaine he introduces listeners to the Libra Complex (his latest album & a nod to the Saint Seiya anime). He raps with confidence on the direction of his musical career. Of course he drops movie,anime, and comic references pay attention or you’ll miss it.
Innanet James seemingly came out of nowhere with his music. The up and coming rapper from Maryland released hit after hit on soundcloud. His raps are high energy, clever, and weave fun narratives. Compared to his musical peers he can’t be cloned. So with the jam Summer (prod. The Kount), James delivered a song for the Summer for ages. He raps of seasonal romances and situations that you would only find during vacation time. James’ music is hard to not enjoy and vibe along to — at the end of the day that’s all you need.
This young MC from Eugene, Oregon has a sound all his own. His lyrics are laced with deep thought and his output feels very private. Listening to Capriisun feels as if you’re in a small lounge and the local talent delivers some highly impressive stuff. No one can replicate it and you sure as hell aren’t going to hear this elsewhere, no matter how hard you look. With anise he speaks of a series of surreal imagery as he thinks of life and genuine euphoria. It maybe early to say but he feels like a hiphop outlier.
Well I hope you enjoyed this list of artists. I honestly think in their own way they are pushing their respective genres forward. They are the future to be honest where music, rhymes and beats can express anything. Of course if you have mastery of it you should show the competition too. Hey don’t go anywhere the last entry is up next.
*I don’t own nor claim the rights to the track artwork used in this post*