Obscure Side Of Rap

By Guarionex Martinez
Rap Journalist

Though many know and listen to rap nowadays as rap is the leading genre at the charts, I feel as if rap is being seen as simple-minded with mindless trap beats and interchangeable lyrics.

This simply isn’t the case, music that makes the charts doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what a genre like rap has to offer. This is comparable to how google only searches 4 percent of the internet as a whole. People tend to miss incredible artist that tend to blur the lines of what rap actually is.

Often being in a lane of their own these artists push the envelope further than most by having incredible and unique production while having strong personalities to compliment such music. They tend to tell things like it is and often have very unique and obscure tastes in music themselves. This often bleeds into their own work whether it be in the delivery or production itself. In the past such artists would be hated or simply remain in the shadow of the many hits.The internet age has been able to let artists prosper without ever changing anything from their sound and presentation and having loyal fans who love such artists for who they are. Here are some of my own personal favorite artists that I’ve been able to find over the years who have been pushing the envelope of what the hip hop genre has to offer since their inception.

Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks better known by his stage name JPEGMAFIA was born in Flatbush, New York and living there for the majority of his childhood. He then moved to Alabama which was a pinnacle place for shaping Hendricks’ views on the world as an artist. Through his music, JPEGMAFIA often speaks on controversial subjects and people such as Tomi Lahren and fox news as a whole in some of his earlier works. Later on he joined the military where he experienced many hardships, however, he did not allow it to phase him or stop him from continuing his journey as an artist. While deployed in Iraq he often worked on beats. JPEGMAFIA now resides in Baltimore. He moved there because he loved the music scene and wanted to become a part of it. Off the tracks of his latest album “Veteran,” he has been getting constant support and rising up as an artist and becoming a name for himself in the more niche area of hip hop along with the other artists on here.

A rap group akin to Injury Reserve originating from Los Angeles, California, have been a very interesting group to follow over the years. Consisting of Daveed Diggs on the mic, with William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes handling production. The group has often been considered a reaction or rejection to mainstream hip hop but they consider themselves as truly being a part of hip hop as it has always been. With an intense and abrasive sound stemming from the production as influences from harsh noise artists tend to bleed and form an interesting mix of harsh noise and hip hop. They have been slowly gathering a very dedicated fanbase since the release of their sophomore album, CLPPNG, which was their first album released after being signed to Sub Pop. They are often praised for not only their incredible production but Daveed’s phenomenal talent to be able to ride any beat he’s being put on and give a performance and verse like no other. At the same time, he is able to tell a cohesive story with his verses and the many things that go into their songs.

This rapper, producer and songwriter, Quelle Chris, has an incredible resume as an artist being a jack of all trades. His work ethic is that of an artist like BONES who has released a great amount of projects in a very small amount of time. Quelle has released a total of 15 albums over his years of being active as an artist. Often behind the scenes of rap as a whole, whether it be producing or songwriting, Quelle has incredible talent. His most recent collaboration project was with his partner, Jean Grae, and is an excellent display of his style. “Everything is Fine” is presented as a game show, and continues with that idea throughout the whole album with unique and expressive production handled by many musicians. It is a style of it’s own with nothing to compare to other then Quelle’s own past work. Tracks such as “Ohsh” provide a clear example of Quelle’s style. Showcasing his fast delivery over an incredibly layered beat from a talented musician playing from his heart.

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