We’ve all heard the statement “New rap sucks!” once in our lives. Like all genres over time the sound progresses and changes. Many people praise acts like Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, and much more but there has to be modern artists out there representing the sound right. Stay tuned after the jump and we’ll open your eyes to the wonderful world of modern rap.
The current census of rap is that it’s all nonsense and the content relies on talk about money and degrading women but every genre has this brand of lyricism one way or another. We are here to show you some of the most intelligible and thought provoking rappers out today and also just some bangers that you can listen to at your party.
1. Denzel Curry (pictured in the article heading): Gaining popularity faster than normal thanks to the wonderful world of memes this Florida rapper blew up after his hit song “Ultimate” made it’s way into everyone’s retweets, revines, and Facebook posts. But he is not just a one hit wonder. With three releases under his belt he has a discography worth diving into.
What makes Denzel stand out? Throughout his catalog he is consistent with tight flow and outstanding hooks, he doesn’t have one flow type in his arsenal either. Songs like “ULT” and “Zone 3” have a steady and aggressive flow that only lets up for the hook, on the flip side he has songs like “This Life” where he approaches the mic with a more gentle and melodic style. Long story short, he has something for all. If you’re into hard rap he has that, you wanna chill out and vibe he has got a song for that as well. If Denzel isn’t in your playlist let us help lead the way.
2. Bas: Not to be confused with Nas, funny enough from the same exact place as Bas, this Dreamville rapper is coming off a successful album release in 2016. If you are unfamiliar with the Dreamville label it was founded by highly successful rapper J. Cole. Considered highly underrated by most fans Bas’ biggest hits came from his latest album “Too High To Riot”.
With a flow actually similar to J. Cole his delivery often switches from rapping to more of a RnB style singing. This makes his music extra catchy, you get hard hitting verses with a catchy hook that will get stuck in your head for days. Notable hits are “Clouds Never Get Old” and “Dopamine” in fact the whole “Too High To Riot” is excellent with no filler.
3. Ab- Soul: One of the main appeals of Ab-Soul is that his music is very intellectual, he has lines that will make you think and lines that you won’t catch until after multiple listens. He puts EVERYTHING on the track when he releases something. Rapping about government corruption, troubles of the world, racial issues, and personal battles his music is not for the faint of heart. Music is art and Soul puts everything out there with no holding back. If you want something that makes you think look no further. Below is one of my favorite Soul bars:
Watch with the internet alone I enlighten the whole globe/
That’s iTunes from a nigga with astigmatism/
I got it from my moms, thank you Steve Jobs/
You took my grandpa job and you gave me a job/
Not just a physical but digital way of displaying my rhymes
He is acknowledging that the internet plays a big part in his success and he thanks Steve Jobs for iTunes where his albums sell but his grandfather owned a record store and with the increase of internet piracy and streaming physical purchases are on a steady decline.
4. Kendrick Lamar: You can’t talk about modern rappers without mentioning Kendrick Lamar, it’s just not possible. If you’ve been near a radio at all you may have heard songs like “Maad City” or “Poetic Justice”. Kendrick Lamar Duckworth embarked on his rap carrer under stage name K-Dot with his first release coming out in 2004 at the age of 16.
Fast forward 13 years later and he has three albums with the latest being “To Pimp A Butterfly” which is arguably one of the best modern rap albums of all time. Also one of the most matured rappers out there. From Section .80 to TPAB his sound has improved and his delivery has sharpened. If you are a fan of old school rap but need some new music Kendrick is THE source for this kind of music. “King Kunta” is a funky upbeat dance type rap song that will get stuck in your head then you have songs like “Institutionalized” that literally leaks of Outkast. While it’s highly unlikely you haven’t heard of Lamar we are hear to push you a step further to dwelling into this talented artists’ discography.
5. Logic: Sir Robert Bryson Hall II also known as “Logic” is a Maryland rapper that has been at it since 2009 and has two gold albums under his belt and well, only two albums at all so both times at bat have been great successes we’d say. Making a big name in the Call of Duty community this rapper was featured in a lot of montages of the popular game Modern Warfare 2 before getting known in the rap community as a fellow artist. But Logic wasn’t always Logic, only with one release under the name he was originally known as Psychological before going with the shorter variant.
With nods to A Tribe Called Quest and old Tarantino movies Logic approaches his music with his own style and a little old school added in. One of his most popular songs “Under Pressure”, which is also his debut album, features the first half of the song being heavy hard rap with intense bass followed by the second half being a chill old school vibe. He has something for literally everyone. Growing up mixed, he was exposed to a racist mother that led to a lot of his music describing the battle of being discriminated against by both races. But not all music he has is this serious he has plenty of “turn up” songs with a whole mixtape called “Bobby Tarantino” that is nothing but these party type songs.
In conclusion: While being looked at as a dying genre hip-hop is in fact doing the exact opposite. With new talented artists popping up daily we hope that we helped point you to some of these rappers and maybe even changed your opinion on the modern state of rap.