Browsing Tag

Independent Hip Hop

Raw candour and cadence collide in South London rapper LKS’ single, Say My Peace

If you thought the titular metaphor in the South London rap artist LKS’ latest single, Say My Peace, is something, wait until you feel how the introspective wisdom grips you through the fluid cadence it is delivered through

The gentle and melodic guitars spill accordance under the luminary artist’s soberingly raw bars that compel you to lean so deeply that you will feel every syllable crawl under your skin. Based on Say My Peace, no one could ever accuse LKS of not keeping it real. The candour in his admissions of creative mental friction sounds so much sweeter when you hear what a luminary he is. He’s undeniable.

The official music video for Say My Peace is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

MHE is stratospherically ahead of the curve in his rap hit, On Me

Rapper MHE is so stratospherically ahead of the curve it’s barely in his eye line in his LP MHEvsMHE, which dropped toward the end of 2022. The fiery fusionist standout single, which melds old-school with the new, On Me, sets the pace for the future of trappy atmospheric rap tracks.

While the cleverly layered backing vocals galvanise, his fluidly dynamic verses pull to the front of the mix to exhibit his ability with wordplay, which is right on par with his ability to contort his bars into a rhythmically hypnotic canter.

The candidly confessional hit lays it all down on the line while keeping on the luminary artist’s on-brand cheek and swagger that hits with the perfect mix of attitude, intellect and charisma. In short, he’s a triple threat with a bright future ahead of him in the industry if he sticks to tracks in the same vein as On Me.

Check out On Me via Apple Music & YouTube.

Follow MHE on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

What Friedrich Nietzsche is to philosophy, Vontred is to hip hop with his dark and gritty single, Nihilistic Deathbed

Starting with the question, do you ever feel like you have overslept your life? Vontred’s standout single, Nihilistic Deathbed, from his 2022 album, Dark Corners of a Broken Mind, is definitively a release that will comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.

For hip hop fans who feel like their life can be defined by the voids in it, the up-and-coming artist is bound to bring a world of resonance and nihilistic solidarity. I, for one, can fully get on board with the bars that breed solidarity with every line delivered in the snappy, dominant, no holds barred track.

Stylistically, Vontred’s sonic signature in Nihilistic Deathbed isn’t worlds away from the gritty, grime-y, bass-heavy dark hip hop vibes in DMX’s more visceral tracks, but clearly, his sound is of his own making as it wraps around his lyrical themes that Friedrich Nietzsche would be proud of.

Nihilistic Deathbed is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Brooklyn beats meet southern trap grit in Superstar Freddy & Low Patcho’s alchemically dynamic collaborative single, Move

Alone, Brooklyn’s Superstar Freddy and Southern Trap artist, Low Patcho, are forces to be reckoned with. With their contrasting sounds sparking urban sonic voodoo while they pay homage to their Haitian roots in their joint LP, The Curse, they are inexplicably hot.

The standout single, The Move, carries all the motivation of an archetypal hustler hip hop anthem and none of the cliches that usually revolve around motivational tropes. The high-octane hit permits the instrumentals to conjure urban devilry about the blazingly dynamic bars that will leave you galvanized before the first verse has stormed through.

Fans of Travis Scott, Pop Smoke, and Pierre Borne won’t want to miss the colossal track that came to life in Anchour Studios in Maine.

“The Curse album is a collaboration of Superstar Freddy’s upbeat hip hop style with Low Patcho’s Southern trap music. The mixtape was inspired by our Haitian heritage. Voodoo and magic are always associated with people from Haiti.

I wrote the song Move after a trip back from my hometown, Brooklyn, NY. The song illustrates my desire for continual success and elevation. It shows you can’t fall off, no matter what. You’ve got to love what you do and flaunt it when necessary but never sell out. I love the cash sound when my phone dings and I know it’s coming in all day. If you ain’t moving toward your idea, then someone else will manifest it so get going today.”

Stream The Curse on Spotify, and follow Superstar Freddy on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to stay up to date on his future releases that are set to mark a shift in his sonic style from this ground-breaking LP.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Numb up with Poppa King Oats’s trap hit, Painkiller

Driven by the inspiration of Jay Z and LL Cool J, the Massachusetts-born and raised trap artist Poppa King Oats started rapping at 15. By the time his latest single, Painkiller, arrived, he was primed to unveil a killer of an atmospheric rap track that encompasses the human proclivity to numb the pain.

The minimalistic yet efficaciously melodic beats create a solid platform for his rap bars that carry an old-school sense of conviction. Nothing about Painkiller feels inhibited. Not the lyrics that get to the crux of the issue. Not the energy of the rap style. And certainly not the authenticity demonstrated that will see the up-and-coming artist go far in the trap scene.

Painkiller is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Zinc XD cuts loose in his melodic experimental hip hop track, NO TIES

Northern California hip hop artist and producer Zinc XD used our innate incapacity for honesty as the muse for his stormer of a latest single, NO TIES.

NO TIES breaks boundaries with its intricately exotic instrumentals and sniping lyrical wit that puts the independent 100% DIY artist leagues above the rest. Few push the experimental envelope further than Zinc XD with his melodic electronic sequencing that effortlessly complements his vocal style, which allows you to bask in the charisma in his expression.

After playing around with drums, guitars and lyrics since the age of 6, Zinc XD waited until he was 17 to launch his debut. Many would believe that is still too early to boast a matured sound; to that, I would say just press play and drink in the colourful mellifluous flow of this new wave hit.

Stream NO TIES on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

BEKAH heated up the UK rap scene with her wit-deep single, Shots

British-born artist Bekah was perceptibly also born to be a rapper based on the fluidity of her wit-deep bars in her latest single, Shots. As the daughter of a Montserratian father and Pakistani mother, she ensured the flavour of Eastern rhythms packed a punch in this serpentine-ly melodic mellifluous hit that sticks to the synapses like super glue.

Between the beats, her charisma and the intellectual wordplay that would leave any sane artist fearing a rap battle, she’s evidently a triple threat. The way she pulverises ideas of what women should be is nothing short of electrifying. She’s picking up where Lady Sovereign left off with her unapologetic defiance of normative feminine stereotypes.

The official music video for Shots premiered on September 24th. Check it out on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

IAMJALEO sent the notion of genre further into extinction into his jarringly dark triumph of a sophomore single, Soul Food

Subversively to its title, IAMJALEO’s sophomore alt-hip hop single, Soul Food, throws you into an old-school melancholic orchestral score before the gruff distorted verses allow you to peek behind the curtain into a schizophrenic mind and a life that is rife with systematic injustice.

The intensity of Soul Food isn’t easy to swallow, but the sombre result of the dark rap bars meeting the emotionally heightened instrumentals is a testament to the up-and-coming artist’s talent as a songwriter. That is something that artists can go ten albums without creating, but pretty much straight off the bat, the DC-born, Maryland-raised artist proved his capacity for evocatively striking art. He’s definitely one to watch.

Soul Food is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Clint Cash speaks for the financially disenfranchised in his latest dark trap single, Ballin

Jackson, Tennessee-hailing hip hop artist Clint Cash has allowed music to take him from rock bottom to a place of passion and creativity. His fourth self-produced album, Cold Heart, captures much of his struggle, especially the standout single, Ballin.

The dark and atmospheric trappy beats in Ballin reflect the extreme lows that he has endured as well as the lyrics which viscerally run through relatable struggles, with a focus on the difficulty of relationships with money when you’re contending with a scarcity of it. It’s a sombre single, but the overarching energy is nothing short of vindicating for anyone that could never relate to hip hop tracks that are braggadocios about lavish excess.

Ballin is now available to stream on YouTube.

Follow Clint Cash on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Yoyo Sumz has released her addictively authentic pop-rap track, Red or Nah

Authenticity may be a rare commodity in the hip-hop scene in 2022. Yoyo Sumz still managed to bring it by the smorgasbord in her latest pop & trap-tinged single, Red or Nah, which has appeased critics as much as her international fanbase.

Between the strong melodies and equally as robust harmonic resonance from the soulfully unfuckwithable vocals, Red or Nah is a fierce urban earworm that demands repeat attention from the first hit. Any fans of XXX Tentacion, Lil Durk and Yung Bleu won’t want to let his artistically produced release slip them by.

Red or Nah is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast