The Five: Underrated Hip Hop Artists

Under appreciated musicians on the rise

It seems like there are an infinite amount of rappers in the world, most of which go unnoticed. Those stuck in the bottom 90 percent find themselves stuck in the Soundcloud realm with their unnoticed mixtapes. It is the top 10 percent that we listen to. But in that 10 percent are underdogs that have the potential to blow up at any second. Here is a list of five amazing hip-hop artists that are on the verge of exploding. Enjoy and check out these guys so you can tell your friends “I’ve been bumpin’ (insert artist here) since wayyyy back!”

Honorable Mention: Syd, Saba, Jonwayne, Taylor Bennett, and GoldLink.

5. Noname

(Noname’s Twitter/Lede In Illustration)

Noname probably has the coolest name in the music industry and she is also from Chicago (where some of the greatest hip-hop artists come from). On top of that, she creates ridiculously soothing music by mixing soul R&B with a smooth hip-hop style flow. Telefone, her debut album, is an amazing set of tracks that you can literally play anywhere: church, work, daycare, or the club. Her beautiful soft voice juxtaposed with her mean flow really gives you the best of both worlds. So if you do not hate yourself, you should probably give her a listen.

4. Smino

(A&R Report/LedeIn Illustration)

A combination of funk, jazz, and soul is the perfect way to describe Smino’s music. Best known as a rapper-singer, Smino came out of St. Louis to start his hip hop journey. Dropping singles every now and then, he eventually released his first LP, blkswn. The best way to describe blkswn would be if you were able to combine an Andre 3000-esque flow on top of weird groovy phat beats that your parents can also awkwardly disco too. Overall, this album is very soulful and will most likely put you in a great mood. I suggest you listen to blkswn during your daily morning commute or when you are looking to relax.

3. Hodgy

(HYPEBEAST/Lede In Illustration)

Hodgy is an ex-member of the former rap group Odd Future which included Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator. Fortunately, many of these former members have found success as individual artists. After the Odd Future break-up in 2015, Hodgy was finally able to release his debut album Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide. As Hodgy projects a calming flow along with poetic rhymes, it’s safe to say that this album is a soothing playlist for your ears. Also, if you are a true hip hop fan, his album features legends Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne. Hodgy seems to have found himself with this album and it should be exciting to see what he has in store for the future.

2. Mick Jenkins

(Into The Urban/Lede In Illustration)

Another under appreciated artist is Mick Jenkins. The Chicago native is one of those rappers where you have to look up his lyrics to understand what the hell he is talking about. Just FYI, he also raps A LOT about “water”. He references “water” in almost every track he’s released. He tends to use this reference as “knowledge” to represent deeper meanings and spread powerful messages. Nevertheless, Mick Jenkins is a freakin’ genius and he will probably have you shook once you understand what the hell he is rapping about. So not only do you have to listen to his music, you also have to study it. Go on, drink this water and listen to his highest-rated project, The Water[s].

1. Isaiah Rashad

(Blare Magazine/Lede In Illustration)

In 2013, Isaiah Rashad signed with Top Dawg Entertainment alongside rappers Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. The following year, Isaiah released his first EP, Cilvia Demo. Rapping about topics like suicide, God, and love, Rashad has allowed young listeners to feel a genuine connection to his music. In 2016, Isaiah Rashad released his first official album, The Sun’s Tirade. All I have to say is that this album only continue’s to connect Isaiah to his listeners. He has continued to speak about relatable topics like being broke, love, and fatherhood. In these tracks you will find yourself bopping your head to every beat. The Sun’s Tirade contains a perfect dynamic of bangers and relaxing tunes. You can workout to his music, fall asleep, or just dance; Isaiah provides a versatile set of tracks, so go and enjoy.

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