The LA/Vegas alt-hip hop collective, Skyqru, formed during the most uncertain months of the pandemic in 2020 to uplift the world while locking horns with socio-political issues and breaking the stigma of personal issues.
After the success of their debut album, Pollution, they’ve dropped their single, Let Go, which is well on its way to going viral with over 33k streams on Spotify alone since the recent release. The mellow indie trap track takes a compassionate approach to unshackle you from things that no longer serve you. Skyqru truly is the Elliott Smith of hip hop with their soft melodies, ethereal atmosphere and raw lyricism.
It is always perceptible how much artists throw themselves into their music; you’d be hard-pressed to find other rap artists that personally and honestly invest so heavily in their craft. It is no surprise that their sound is garnering so much attention.
Vincent Tesoro has released his indie emo alt-hip hop debut album, Shooting Stars & Broken Halos, which deserves to be as revered as Lil Peep’s legacy of a back catalogue for the way it effortlessly obliterates genre by putting cutting emotion to the forefront. Outliers or anyone that has been down beaten and found the light from the gutter will be sucked in by the standout single, Fix Me.
Fix Me is a hooky call for salvation that comes with sniping Blink 182-style pop-punk tendencies, contemporary hip hop beats and vocals that compel you to verse the lyrics before you have even memorised them.
Along with his ability to bring resonant panache to hip hop, Vincent Tesoro is also a mental health advocate and a certified substance abuse counsellor after years of recovery between his overdose in 2014. It all comes together in his compassionate wisdom-packed tracks that we can’t wait to hear more of.
Right from the outset of his career, NYC’s Daniel AMP has proven that he’s one to watch. His most popular single to date has racked up over 100k streams on Spotify alone; the dark, gritty decadence of the single leaves no room for you to wonder why.
His latest single, Hit Different, featuring Stu Stapleton, is a grinding ode to the old school that carries the same atmosphere as the pioneers but Daniel AMP aptly ensured that his single hits completely different. The trippy grooves, rapid-fire vocals that come right to the forefront of the mix and the slight Latin nods come together as an alchemic urban cocktail. If you thought Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice was something, prepare to get intoxicated on this high-fire hip hop hit.
Hit Different is now available to stream on Spotify.
After releasing a string of successful singles since making his debut in 2020, breaking rap artist, Sean Hampton, launched his debut album, Honorable Mention, on July 13th, 2021
The standout single, Pay-Per-View, is the perfect introduction to his high vibes, clever lyrical hooks, evocative indie textures and sun-kissed Afrobeat-inspired tones. Unless your soul is entirely defunct, you can’t help warming to Sean Hampton and his impassioned approach to contemporary hip hop. Any fans of Mac Miller, Post Malone, Juice WRLD and Machine Gun Kelly will want to save space on their radar for Hampton and his inevitable rise from the hip hop underground.
Sean Hampton’s album, Honorable Mention, is now available to stream and purchase on apple music.
US alt-hip hop trailblazer, Spitta Zay, is proving to be just as much of an aural force to be reckoned with as Saul Williams, especially on the basis of his latest evocatively experimental single TRST.
With the alt-indie guitars wrapping around the solid 808 snares in the atmospheric track that teases you through spatial effects and unpredictable downtempo rhythms, you can’t help but be drawn in by the refreshing sonic palette. Yet, it is the façade-less expression in the lyrics and downtrodden-but-still-soulful vocals that make hitting play on TRST an unforgettable experience.
Tracks like TRST mark a pivotal societal change in the openness in our trauma and idiosyncratic behaviour. If more artists found themselves with the same unfiltered motivation as Spitta Zay, I can’t help feeling that the world would be far more empathetic.
You can check out TRST for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Just as Amy Winehouse rocked the world with her intrinsic authenticity, alt-hip hop artist, Josh Bracken, is set to do the same with his soul-steeped experimentalism. His debut EP, Daydreaming at Night, offers an olive branch to any listener whose brain is as hospitable as a beartrap when their heads hit the pillow.
The title single is the perfect introduction to Bracken’s compassionate vocals and dreamily melodic indie hip hop beats. Any fans of Nick Drake’s vocal timbre will find themselves equally as enamoured with Daydreaming at Night. The soundscape effortlessly lulls you into a state of catharsis as you grasp at the poetry in the optimistic-in-spite-of-existentialism lyrics.
Daydreaming at Night is now available to stream on Spotify.
Haitian American U.S. Army vet, Henry Franck, has dropped his debut single, Focus, featuring Da Sckorpion. The market for trippy inspirational hip hop may be niche, but Franck has what it takes to dominate it with his colourful indie hip hop melodies and introspectively deep lyrics.
The Floridian artist has been producing music around his role as a financial analyst since 200; his debut release tells you how well invested his time was in his production talent.
With the complex instrumental layers that echo with plenty of old school tapedeck delay in the high-quality production, Franck easily stayed clear of assimilation and allowed his authenticity to blossom in the transcendently sweet soundscape.
Focus is exactly the kind of track that you would turn to in search of aural compassion and a sign that you are on the right path, no matter how stagnant things feel in the moment.
While plenty of artists rushed to drop their lockdown-inspired tracks in 2020, the lyrical hip hop luminary, Griegz, meditated on the causality between isolation and anxiety to create a cutting track that sympathetically validates any lingering feelings of fear and frustration.
If you needed any affirmation that you weren’t alone in the world as you questioned your sanity, you will find it in My Own Enemy featuring Aria & Nyukyung. The concepts explored in My Own Enemy couldn’t be darker, but optimism still shines through this contemporary indie hip hop release that will be a hit with any fans of Tyler, the Creator, Post Malone, Mac Miller and J Cole.
My Own Enemy is now available to stream on Spotify.
‘Hums’ is the latest hypnotically smooth soul-laden jazzy hip hop track from the Haiti-born, Brooklyn-raised up and coming artist Sydmac. His lyrical and narrative rap style perfectly complements his blissfully serenading reverb-laden beats.
Through each of his tracks, Sydmac aims to provoke his listeners into living in the present and living to the fullest; discernibly, he succeeds in his latest release. Hums is cathartic enough to take the mental weight from you and fill you with positivity while you’re open to shifts of perception. The airwaves are infinitely more soulful for this new addition. We can’t wait to hear what comes next from one of the smoothest new names in New York hip hop.
After the first muted guitar chords in the standout track, 2 Far Gone, in the UK alt-hip hop artist Hennerz’ 3-track debut single, Omega, any emo hearts will quickly fasten.
The urban pop-punk hit manages to throwback to the glory days of pop-punk while exuding a contemporary indie pop-style cool with the gangly indie guitars that create plenty of anticipation for the massive choruses. Beyond the infectious sonic appeal of 2 Far Gone, Hennerz is an artist that you can’t help warming to. The true to voice vocals leaves out pretence and opts for passion instead.
2 Far Gone is now available to stream via Spotify.