It’s time for another edition of the Underground Report, which highlights some of the best independent Hip Hop songs that are flying under the radar.
The latest entry in the Report looks back at January and displays how the Underground Hip Hop scene got 2018 off to a good start. Check out these seven tracks and maybe you’ll find your new favorite artist.
Brian Brown – “Stoop Kid”
Nashville’s Brian Brown might be the South’s best-kept secret right now. Much like fellow Tennesee native Isaiah Rashad, he has all the potential to go from relative unknown to overnight stardom with a TDE (or other high-profile label’s) co-sign. Brown hasn’t released a project since 2014 but that’s supposed to change later this year. In the meantime, he’s stayed busy with a string of high-quality singles, and the latest is no different. The TIGGI-produced “Stoop Kid” is filled with relatable rhymes packaged in the form of a smooth flow with extra crisp writing. Hop on the Brown bandwagon now and brag about how you knew him before he was famous later.
Crimeapple – “Crab Cakes”
If the Underground Report is gonna prove anything, it’s that the East Coast still has plenty of artists carrying the torch for the glory days of dusty samples and grimy bars. New Jersey’s Crimeapple made a strong debut last year, dropping his Metralleta EP in September. He’s been releasing a string of dope loosies ever since, but January’s contribution is the best yet.
“Crab Cakes” sees him linking up with frequent producer Buck Dudley, kicking a bevy of witty punchlines over a beat that sounds like it came out the basement (in a good way). Although Crimeapple’s humor is the main hook here, the complete package makes it truly well-rounded. Check out Metralleta if you enjoyed “Crab Cakes” as an appetizer.
Caleborate f. Big K.R.I.T. – “Soul (Remix)”
Let me keep it 100 — I’ve been looking for a reason to feature Caleborate ever since I resurrected this series. The Berkeley, California rapper first caught my attention in 2016 with an album called 1993. His latest work, Real Person, is an incredibly revealing album complemented by soulful production. Months after its release, Caleborate revisits one of the standout tracks, “Soul,” for a new remix featuring Big K.R.I.T. The opening verse from K.R.I.T. perfectly captures the motivational vibe, making him an excellent addition to the song. Caleborate follows Krizzle with two verses (one new to the remix) that make you want to root for him like he’s your favorite ballplayer. The original “Soul” is strong, but the remix takes it to another level.
Sleep Sinatra – “B.I.E.”
Lincoln, Nebraska rarely comes up in Hip Hop conversations. Sleep Sinatra could be the man to change that, especially if he continues releasing songs like “B.I.E.” The jazzy production is infectious, eliciting a strong performance from Sinatra on the mic. His wordplay is incredibly slick, bolstered by his effortless maneuvers in the pocket of TCOR’s beat. Let “B.I.E.” send you into the wormhole of his discography, which includes his newly released XMXTHXST EP. And if you ever find yourself in the Heartland of America, try to catch one of his GOODGOSPEL events.
Gabriel Garzón-Montano f. Junglepussy – “The Game (Remix)”
Brooklyn’s Junglepussy has suddenly popped up with some new music, which is a welcome development since she hasn’t dropped a project in three years. Her recent reemergence comes in the form of a guest appearance on singer/multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s remix of “The Game.”
The original cut appeared on Garzón-Montano’s Jardin album, which dropped in 2017 via Stones Throw Records. This new version retains the beat but replaces the original’s vocals with Junglepussy’s spin on the groove. She spits a little game by adding her “sauces and juices” (her words) to Garzón-Montano’s formula, and it works like a charm. Hopefully, this song and her solo track “State Of The Union” are signs of a new album on the horizon.
Prince Wiser – “Blackyardigans”
Elsewhere in New York, Bronx spitter Prince Wiser dropped a new EP titled No Sound In The Jungle. The three-track release packs a punch, with none harder than the AlbumKutz Productions-produced “Blackyardigans.” Wiser unleashes a relentless stream of bars on this certified banger, which features some striking cymbals. This cut is all about Wiser flexing his lyrical muscles, making listeners scrunch their faces as each intense line hits home. The entire No Sound In The Jungle EP is worth listening to, but “Blackyardigans” is must-listen material.
Moe Dert – “MOE DERT”
DJ HouseShoes’ Street Corner Music imprint gave listeners a preview of what’s to come in 2018 with a SoundCloud compilation called #SCM2018. While the collection provides plenty of reasons to be excited for what the label has in the works, one song really stands above the rest. Detroit MC Moe Dirdee and Los Angeles-based producer DertBeats combined forces to become Moe Dert, introducing themselves to the world with a self-titled track. The hard-knocking boom bap cut is “punch you in your face” music, which fits Dirdee’s braggadocio like a glove. The duo’s opening salvo should spark excitement for their full-length album due out later this year.