Sleeping on songs is a normal thing. It happens to the best of us. For someone like me, who’s spent hours on Soundcloud and Youtube finding new music to listen to because I don’t like to get out of bed, I often stumble upon some gold that others might never get the chance to hear. Since I’m a man of the people, it’s my duty to put you all on to some heat you might’ve missed. All these tracks are super hard, so I want to finally give them some long due recognition.
- T-Pain – You Don’t Know Shit
T-Pain is highkey a legend, and in some ways a pioneer of the modern sound. It’s been like 10 years since he single handedly reintroduced autotune into the mainstream, a sound that hadn’t been touched since like the 80s, and now it seems like almost everybody has used it at some point. Even though he lost his mainstream buzz, the effect he had on the culture is gonna continue to linger for the foreseeable future. Being out of the spotlight hasn’t stopped him from dropping hits though. You Don’t Know Shit is a soundcloud loosie from earlier this year I stumbled upon, and in all honesty I can’t understand why it’s not a top 10 hit. It’s T-Pain at his best, showing he’s still the best voice to use autotune, and features some hella bold lyrics that catch you off guard in the best way possible. In what can only be described as a trap love song, Pain sings about the stress a man goes through when he’s not getting enough attention from his lady while the whole time shes accusing him of infidelity. Lines like “Sitting at the crib with a dry dick, I can’t think of nothing more awful”, showcases him saying what other men might be afraid to, and his delivery makes it that much more authentic and entertaining.
2. Brockhampton – Star
The Brockhampton collective is the brainchild of Texas native Kevin Abstract, who I’ve been following for a minute because he was local to my area when I started college. One post on the rap forum KANYETOTHE.com looking to form a “boy band” lead to the formation of the games hottest and most talented up and coming groups, and each and every member has something to bring to the table. The album they dropped last month, Saturation, is a contender for AOTY for a lot of people, and Star is undeniably one of its best tracks. Lyrically themed, the crew spits bars riddled with film references and celebrity metaphors. One of the most memorable lines for me is from Ameer Vann, who starts the second verse off hard out the gate with “I’m the black Tom Hanks, you can call me nigga Banks. Secret Agent Cody Banks, quarter pound of the dank.” The track is absolutely murdered by Kevin, who’s known to be open about his bisexuality, with extremely bold lines like “Heath Ledger with some dreads, I just gave my nigga head”. On top of wild lines, the Star beat is one of the best on the album. Even after such a strong release, the crew is already prepping to drop Saturation II in August.
3. Treez Lowkey – No Hook & Not At All
Out of all the artists on this list, Treez Lowkey is easily the most underrated. I mean, he’s just so dope that I couldn’t put just one song on the list. I found him from a feature on Ski Mask The Slump Gods Drown in Designer mixtape on the track Kate Moss, which led me to dive through his soundcloud. Let me tell you, dude us a damn hitmaker. Hard production, catchy choruses, entertaining lyrics, and a voice that’s made for it, what more could you ask for? Not At All is an entertaining, braggadocios, super flex party track that should’ve caught as soon as it dropped. While that’s a certified gem, No Hook show cases he can rap incredibly well too. Personally, I love when artists do tracks that just scrap everything else and just let them flow. From songwriting to rapping, dude has an incredibly strong pen in every sense of the word. With tracks like this under his belt, his time is coming very soon.
4. Pollari x Larry League – Wave
Pollari is a name I heard about for a good minute before I checked him out, but once I did, I was addicted. He has tracks with artists like Lil Yachty and Father, but holds his own very well on his solo tracks. His voice is infectious, and he straight up glides over any production you give him. Wave is easily one of the examples of how good he is, and just may be one of his best tracks period. The chorus is super catchy, and the verse from Larry League is great, with the line “I move the work without touching it, I just ouija board it” especially entertaining to me. I’m not the only one who sees where Pollari is headed, as he’s signed to independent label Kroseii records, which is headed by legendary producer Rick Rubin.
5. CHXPO – Super Splash Bros.
Chxpo is a Cleveland artist that might be one of the most enigmatic characters of the underground. His verses are always super funny, and he has one of the best production ears out, but Super Splash Bros is on another level. The entire song mixes trap bars with Nintendo and anime references seamlessly. Bars like “Take yo bitch just like Bowser, these niggas like Luigi cuz these niggas be cowards” are great because even though they seem random, they’re actually thought out and accurate as to the meanings. I mean, if you grew up playing Kirby games or even just playing Super Smash Bros., of course hearing “keep the hammer just like King Dedede” or “Got a glock with the red dot, just like Star Fox” is gonna crack you up.
6. Mulatto Beats ft. Warhol.SS – Plotting
I first stumbled onto Mulatto Beats production a few years back when he was a part of the Chicago based group Hurt Everybody. Probably one of the hardest groups in the Chi, it sucks they folded, but that’s a different story. Earlier this year he did an interview where he revealed he was working on an album with mainly Chicago artists, which piqued my interest, and now that it’s finally dropped he’s definitely exceeded my expectations. Mulatto’s .22 Summers project is one of the Chicago’s best keep secrets, with immaculate production and features from some of Chicago’s premier artists. While every single artist definitely showed out on their tracks, Plotting is one of the standouts because of the energy Warhol.SS always puts behind his verses. The dark production, one of the best beats on the album, paired with Warhols signature style is a perfect match. With Warhol on the rise himself, this track has the capability to push both him and Mulatto further into the limelight.
7. Kodie Shane – A Ok
Kodie Shane is a star. I had the opportunity to see her perform at SXSW this year and she put’s on a fantastic show. A member of Lil Yachtys Sailing Team collective, shes already scored a record deal of her own with and is on the path to forge her own. Her catalog is super strong, but A Ok is a super smash. Off her Zero Gravity EP, it’s a party banger with super catchy lyrics and a great chorus. This is another song where I’m surprised it hasn’t caught on and blown up, or at least charted on the billboard. Plus, her line “throw it back like a durag” is just hella funny to me for some reason. Hopefully she has another track like this in the chamber somewhere, because it’ll catapult her to the next level.
8. Baka Not Nice – Live Up To My Name
When word got out that Drake had signed his former bodyguard Baka to OVO Sound, it was a kinda of “Huh?” moment. He’d mentioned him a couple times in his raps but I didn’t even now he was an artist like that. Since I didn’t know what to expect, I was definitely surprised by how solid Live Up To My Name was when it dropped. While imagining the dude in that picture in the studio with some autotune recording this is pretty damn funny, the song itself is pretty groovy. His line “She say I look like Usher when I’m trapping in the rain” just might be a top 10 bar if you get the reference, and he knows how to hit the beats pocket right on point.
9. Smokepurpp – To The Moon
Smokepurpp honestly has a pretty diverse catalog. I first found his tracks Ski Mask and 25/8, your typical trap bangers, but as he’s found more success, his sound has really grown and progressed, which to me is really important for an artist. His production skills have grown exponentially, as well as how he crafts his songs. I don’t know what it is about To The Moon, in my opinion it’s the best song he’s ever done. When you actually break the song down, his musicality is truly level I love the production on it, and how he uses the autotune and does his vocal patterns paired with the reverb and echoing. Lyrically, he’s just describing the party life style, but the atmosphere and how he makes it sound is what really puts you there and makes you feel it.
10. Duwap Kaine – Santa
While people are too busy on that Matt Ox wave, Atlanta native Duwap Kaine has had that young trapper spot for a minute now. Only 15, he dropped hard tracks like the spongebob sampling Pouring Codiene over a year ago, and with Santa he’s finally starting to get the recognition he truly deserves. The Pierre Bourne beat goes dumb, and Duwaps autotune laced flow make his lyrics just stick with you.
Bonus: Supa Bwe – Portage Theater
I was just gonna do 10 tracks, but I just remember this song, and it’s way too hard to leave off a list like this. Supa Bwe is one of Chicago’s best, and never disappoints when he drops something. Founding member of the now defunct group Hurt Everybody, the artistic value he puts in all of work is very evident from all his mixtapes and EPs that he’s put out, and Portage Theater is no exception. It’s been out for a minute now, at least a year, but it never loses its impact. It opens with that classic mixtape style, showing a small section of the song before letting out the sound of a machine gun and starting from the beginning, the only thing that could be missing is a “Damn son, where’d you find this?” drop. As soon as it begins, you’re met with pure energy and aggression. Near the ending there’s a jazz production transition later that’s incredibly smooth and seamless, almost feeling like a completely different song. Every track he drops is an event, and after you listen to this, I highly recommend you go through his Soundcloud and peep the rest of his music.