Hailing from Harlem, Wiki is one of the most exciting New York City out rappers right now. As one-third of Ratking, Wiki came through with heavy, gritty flows injecting life back into the once dead sound of 90’s hip-hop. Pulling heavy influence from classic Harlem rappers like Cam’ron or Nas, Wiki bounces over Sporting life’s beats with a flow that, though reminiscent of Slim shady, is oh so gritty, oh so in your face, oh so Harlem. Wiki comes through on his debut solo project Lil me with that classic Wiki flow and timeless NYC flavor. Lil Me is a project that plays close to Wiki’s roots in Ratking while also exploring a very different sonic palette. While including beats from Sporting Life Lil Me is also a project that includes production credits from heavyweights like, Kaytranada, Black Milk and even Madlib.
Breakout Project (Ratking) – So It goes
Latest release – Lil Me
Mixing cloud rap with boom bap, Antwon is the greatest hip-hop act to ever come out of San Jose, California. Antwon’s music to put it simply is just fun. It’s playful, it’s loud it’s able to be all of these things while exploring themes of loneliness, depression and suicide. This is especially apparent on his latest full-length release HEAVY HEARTED IN THE FUNCTION (Depressed Teenager Remixes) 2013 – 2014. This was an album that went as far as to sample motivational speeches about self-hate into depression into the fabric of the album, occasionally serving as an interlude or bridge. Antwon’s genius is in not only juxtaposing motivational speeches with lines about “pussy doing that rain dance” or building “a wall to have somewhere to hide / But anxiety’s coming from somewhere inside” but being able to create such an enjoyable record.
Brooklyn’s very own Flatbush Zombies are arguably the biggest name on underground hip hop right now. Their style essentially consists of what would happen if you took 90’s hip-hop and washed it in LSD and shrooms, from Meechy Darko’s deep guttural rhymes to Zombie Juice’s energetic boom bap flow to Erick Arc Elliott’s sharp talent for lyricism and storytelling. The trio comes together to form the incredible, psychedelic mix of styles known as the Flatbush zombies. This is especially apparent on their debut album though a short 10 tracks the Zombies manage to create a really solid consistently great album. (Though, personally, Better off Dead is still my favorite project thus far)
Break out project – Better off dead
Latest Release – 3001: a Laced Odyssey
Your Old Droog
Your Old Droog is easily the greatest lyricist of our generation, If you fuck with 90’s hip-hop then you’ll love Droog. Hailing from Brooklyn, New york Your Old Droog is a Ukrainian MC, originally gaining recognition after his debut tape (Dropped without any indication of his physical appearance) was mistaken for a for a secret Nas project underneath another alias. Your Old Droog consistently comes through with a grimy new york flow, so reminiscent of the golden age of hip hop, that he was mistaken for one of the greatest. He also is able to bar after bar delivers some of the clever bars in the game. Bars like “She knew that I was smashing Little Debbie And I still bagged a Hostess” strike one after the other without sacrificing storytelling. Droog is able to paint incredible of portraits of life with rhyme after rhyme, an interesting different look into New york hip hop.
Breakout project – Your Old Droog EP
Latest Release – The Nicest ep
Lil Yachty is trap’s answer to the bright nursery rhymes of our youth, but instead of simple wholesome rhymes Lil Boat spits rhymes about “copping big booty bitches” or bitches “eating his dick up for breakfast” and it’s fucking awesome. Lil Yachty rap-sings over candy-coated beats and for some reason that shit goes hard as fuck. I don’t know if it’s the super Mario samples in the background or the fact that this music makes me think of cartoons sippin’ lean, but the kids are fuckin with it, and if you aren’t by now then you should be.
Debut Project – Summer songs ep
Latest release – Lil Boat
Denzel Curry is not afraid of anything, a quality that shows in his music, describing his own as style as “Mixing that slayer with that tupac shit.” With the sonic delivery of a junkyard dog on acid, Curry’s bars paint a morbid portrait of south florida, from the perspective of an enlightened kid, raised in the seedy underbelly of carol city, struggling to navigate his way in a dark world filled with violence, police brutality, crackheads and his own search for god. On his debut album he even goes as far to sample media coverage from The Trayvon Martin case, revealing that Trayvon was actually someone Denzel personally knew.
Breakout project – Nostalgia 64
Latest release – Imperial
Rejjie snow is evidence on the incredible impact Hip hop music has had on the world. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland Rejjie Snow grew up on the rhymes found in the soundtrack for Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, absorbing Grand Puba’s bars before memorising Aesop Rock verses. Three years ago Rejjie snow dropped Rejovich a strong debut EP filled with Rejjie’s distinctive irish drawl portraying his own journey through sex, drugs, life in general. Despite his two year break from music he is expected to come through with a full length debut project this year.
Debut Project – Rejovich