The boundaries between hip hop and pop are getting thinner, and that is all thanks to genre-melding visionary artists such as Midwest rapper PriZm.
His latest single, So What, featuring Jedimizz, is an evocative firestorm that doesn’t rely on prosaic delivery or melody-stripped harsh instrumentals. Instead, the sheer emotion in PriZm’s almost-dizzying harmonic pop canter will leave you sobered as you listen to the transfixing lovelorn track unfold.
It is undoubtedly one of the catchiest urban perennial pop earworms that you’ll hear this year, making it even more admirable that this track does plenty more than just lyrically scratch at the surface.
So What perfectly captures the devastation that comes from realising that there is no substitute for love, and sometimes, there is no filling the hole that some people leave. Although, hitting play would be a start for the recently romantically aggrieved.
‘Heartfealt’ isn’t an adjective easily affixed to cloud rap, but East Stroudsberg-based artist, SIxPortalz left us with few other ways to allude to the evocative and all-baring nature of his latest single, ‘YOUNG LUV’.
With melodic piano keys introducing the track and still running between the 808s through the verses, YOUNG LUV possesses all of the rhythmic pull of a sad pop ballad, but there’s no compromise to the raw and honest nature of the lyrics and the delivery. He’s set the bar for emo rap artists with his soulfully bruising approach.
You can check out the official video to YOUNG LUV for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
A cover of Sam Smith’s wistful hit ‘Kids Again’ has joined alt-pop artist Burniscous’ collection of original tracks; it’s safe to say he well and truly made the single his own.
By moving away from the archetypal contemporary pop ballad mould and veering into the realms of EDM RnB Pop with a melancholic cloud rap twist, the cover increases the potency of the evocative sting while introducing the heartfelt lyrics to a brand-new audience. The excessive use of vocal reverb might be a little too much for some, but not for the thousands of people who have Burniscous firmly affixed to their radar and appreciate the echo of his vulnerable and raw tracks.
Burniscous’ cover of Kids Again is now available to stream via Soundcloud.
Taking a set of playful, poetic lyrics and mixing them up with a watertight groove and bounce, and a chunk of metaphor-heavy imagery, and deliver it all with a non-stop energy and flow, and you’ve pretty much got the recipe for this serving of tea (sea). ‘Vitals’ is a tale of lost-love set to an R&B-tinged hip hop backbeat, equal parts Kendrick Lamar, XXXTentacion, Childish Gambino, and The Weekend.
There’s elements of old-school heroes in here too – Biggie, Dre, Mos Def, and Eminem all feature in Tea Sea’s quickfire wordplay, while there’s elements of soul and eighties street hip hop in the backing beats.
With an official video/visualiser steeped (geddit?) in eighties video effects and 8-bit arcade game visuals, Tea Sea brings us a nice little slice of retro-modern here in ‘Vitals’.
Check out the video for ‘Vitals’ on YouTube; follow Tea Sea on Instagram.
LA RnB singer-songwriter, Aisyah’s accoladed career may have started in the film music industry, but tracks such as her latest single, ‘Slow Down’ prove that her sound is just as evocative when it is hitting the airwaves instead of the big screen.
Slow Down was created in collaboration with RnB pop singer, Pisces Kid who brought an immersive duality to the soundscape. Anyone looking for tips on how to keep RnB pop contemporary should hit play on Slow Down and grab a pen.
Emotions may run high in the amorously intense mix which captures that all too familiar feeling of needing to hit the breaks and set boundaries in a relationship, but all in all, this smooth soul-filler boasts a rare cathartic potency which you’ll want to indulge in time and time again.
MADHAPPY is the electronic alt-pop project by bedroom producers, Adam Coe and Spencer Vann, with their influences combined, they’ve created the perfect formula for high-vibe EDM.
With nuances of pop, trap and punk grooving through their latest track, Freethrow, the earworm isn’t just fresh, it’s galvanising. After starting with muted staccato guitar chords, the track doesn’t hang around before revealing the infectious potency of the melodies. From there on out, the hooks will leave you ensnared until the dizzyingly subversive breakdown.
When dancefloors are accessible, Freethrow will undoubtedly fill them. If this is the future of EDM pop, colour us excited for the electronica of tomorrow.
Up and coming artist, Mookie, started out as an EDM producer, but if his latest pop trap single ‘Through it All’ is anything to go by, it would have been criminal to carry on leaving his melodies unpaired with his unfiltered heartfelt lyrics.
If lyrics as raw as ‘sometimes I get emotional but it’s all I have’ don’t leave a lump in your throat, you can safely assume that your soul checked out a while ago.
Lockdown may have inspired plenty of uninspired songs, but Mookie adds a unique voice to the conversation which allows you to see the beauty in the sadness. Through it All may have come from a place of deep isolation and longing for normality, but it’s impossible not to let yourself be consoled by Mookie’s sweetly affectionate slightly reverb-tinged vocals as they run in synergy by the deftly mastered beats..
Any fans of Lil Peep, Lil Xan or Juice Wrld will want to make room on their playlists for Through it All which is now available to stream via SoundCloud.
‘Goof Ball’ is the sticky-sweet Hip Hop drop from breaking London-based artist Wavier who definitely wasn’t afraid to wear his heart on his endearing sleeve in this playfully stylistic mix.
With harmonised Rap vocals, complexly intricate EDM beats and hints of grime bringing the perfect amount of grounding grit to the single, Wavier has undoubtedly succeeded when it came to stamping down their signature sound on the airwaves.
Any diehard romantics with an affinity for fresh curve creating Hip Hop will undoubtedly want the artist and label owner (3000 AUDIO) on their radars sooner rather than later.
You can check out Wavier’s latest drop by heading over to Spotify.
After the release of their 2019 debut single, ‘Beware’, Alt Māori Hip-Hop artist, FABLE, has amassed acclaim amongst critics and fans alike, with their uniquely intimate approach to producing contemporary Hip Hop, all pretence is lost, and nothing but delicate affable soul is delivered.
Their latest release ‘298’ perfectly demonstrates that experimentation and authenticity don’t need to detract from commercial potential, with enough talent and vision, obscurity can be avoided, and new avenues for passion-driven expression can be found.
The New Zealand-hailing artist has topped charts and made plenty of waves in their local circuit but it’s only a matter of time before he starts to be internationally recognised as the pioneer of urban evocative alchemy that he discernibly is.
You can check out 298 along with FABLE’s earlier releases by heading over to Spotify.
So Flawless (AKA Denis Dimitrijevic) has become somewhat of a Hip Hop legend for his contributions to the genre in recent years. The Sydney, Australia artist and producer has worked with the biggest names in the industry, now, he’s set to put his own in lights through hot drops such as “She Don’t Wanna”.
So Flawless teamed up with Izzy Locks to tell that age-old boy-meets-girl tale. But with their fresh sound which finds a way to squeeze new flavour from 808s by pairing the beats with ambient atmospheric tones, you’ve never heard the story unfold quite like this before.
Right from the intro, you’re assured that So Flawless delivers straight from the soul. Their humility-soaked lyrics fall into the perfect flow to make sure that they implant in your mind while the textured instrumentals throw everything from funked-up guitars to hammering Drill beats your way.
You can check out She Don’t Wanna for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.