Top 5 Independent Artist
It can be hard to keep up with artist at times with it being the way it is today. It seems like there is a new artist that pops up every day. Sometimes, one needs to rediscover what is already been around instead of looking for something new. However, the newbies are the future of the industry and it good to see that some of them are heading into a fresh and exciting direction.
You have heard her name from somewhere, but you can never recall exactly where. This omniscient rapper is Rapsody, who has been around for quite some time. Her breakthrough was in 2010 when she released Return of the B-Girl, working with Big Daddy Kane and Mac Miller. Her philosophy “Culture over everything” has been the backbone throughout all her work. The 34-year old rapper currently has an EP out titled Crown It’s surprising and sad that many people still don’t know her work, but it is not too late. She is not chasing the money and fame like many of these young rappers in the game.
Not throwing any shade, because they are still contributing to the hip hop culture and music industry; however, Rapsody just has a different quality and focus in her sound, focusing more on how to influence, and inspire. It is more giving than taking. Crown has a total of 10 tracks, featuring Anderson Paak., Moonchild, Ab-Soul, and Raphael Saadiq. It is very soulful, powerful monologue openings, sampling Solange’s song Mad ft. Lil Wayne, and it is pure good storytelling
just hits the spot. It is a sound that is good to play any day.
All the way from the DMV (meaning DC, Maryland, Virginia, not domestic motor vehicles), the 34-year-old rapper and producer is another rapper that gives us good old school vibes. Although he is from DC, most of his influences is from the East Coast. Eric B. & Rakim and De La Soul are two of many rappers that influenced him, stating in an interview with NPR, that these rappers were not talking about drugs and violence. He was able to relate to them. That is the difference between older rappers and the new ones. Their focus and content are polar opposites. His sound has more substance and meaning.
The only way to enjoy his sound is to listen and understand. His latest album, The Iceberg was released February 24th, 2017. Like Rapsody, it has a feel-good vibe throughout. Some track has a lot of soulful sounds with brass instruments, others are very retro, all having his crafty wordplay voiced over it. The sound overall is very cohesive. You can put this whole album on shuffle and it will still sound good. No song is out of place. The album has a total of 12 tracks featuring Tonie and Olivier St. Louis.
The Brooklyn born rapper has worked with a number of legends such as Jill Scott, Dr.Dre, Jadakiss, John Legend, and many more. Growing up listening to Big Daddy Kane, N.W.A, and Eric B. & Rakim, introduced him to hip hop. The music video, Age Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Number, by Chi-Ali is what propelled young Gregory Skyler Taylor into starting his music career. Skyzoo like the other artist above, is another story teller. The nickname Skyy, given by his parents, came from a disco song. Also, his middle name, Skyler has some inspiration behind his stage name. He started releasing his mixtapes in 2002 in New York.
In his recent 8 track EP, Peddler’s Themes, it gives you story after story. Having his hit single, Finesse Everything, his sound is definitely for an old hip hop lover, who actually like to listen to words and what he has to say. This EP is all him, having no features. The composition behind most of the tracks is very jazzy and chill, with his original lyrics and scripted monologues. It incorporates the theatrics and poetry. You can hear the influential sounds that made him want to be a rapper since the beginning.
Chance The Rapper
What has this young Chicago rapper not do already. Constantly turning down major record labels, Chance has worked with a multitude of artist, such as SZA, Childish Gambino, Future. His is a contemporary independent rapper, song-writer, producer, and philanthropist. He recently won the BET Humanitarian Award, for his notable work that he does to give back to Chicago communities and others. His third mixtape, Coloring Book, which won Best Rap Album on the Grammy’s this year, is the most current music he has released. Coloring Book has made so much history though streaming. However, there has been some videos that Chance dropped, giving his loyal fans a treat, of Chance and Future working together. Captioned #mypeak under the videos, one can only anticipate what these two will release together.
Coloring Book is great, which goes without saying. He is one of the few contemporary rappers today that has created a bridge with the old school story tellers and the trap music that many people love today. The fusion of the two is what produced Chance’s sound. He is a rapper of today, talking about things other than sex, drugs, money, guns, and violence. Chance is a young man, steadily rising to greatness.
For a while, no one was really sure what label Yung Thug is signed to, but through all the confusion, it did not stop him from producing his original sound. He is definitely one of the most eccentric contemporary rappers of today. His album Slime Season showed off his endless talent of rhyme, rhythm, and flow. It was weird, but a good kind of weird that keeps you listening. He really banks out on his individuality. He is not trying to sound like everyone else and he does just do the basic trap music. His stuff is hard and it does have trap music qualities, but it is less corny and predictable.
He is such a character through his music making weird sounds and slurring his verses from time to time. It’s not only his sound, it is also the work that he puts in. He is known for having a fast working method. He has also entered into the fashion world by storm. He really does not care about the living up to anyone else’s image or standard and truly embraces himself through what he wears. With his facial piercings and painted nails, he is definitely one of a kind; a jack of all traits.
The new and the old school sound of music are coming together. A lot of create artist who use storytelling as their backbone are notorious for using samples of old classics, to bring it back home. It is something that makes the old folks smile and the new school kids jamming. A lot of new artist focus on the production, making new wacky and trippy sounds that go hard. Either way, each of those sounds are being produced at an immense rate by the old and the new generation. These artists do not only exemplify the diversity of sound among one another, but also shows what the future will hold.