A week before the release of his new album, Deadstar 2, Smokepurpp is sitting in Complex's Midtown Manhattan offices, reflecting on the height of the SoundCloud rap era.
"I think SoundCloud rap changed music in a lot of ways," he says. "I think it changed music in a way where people didn't need to master the tracks anymore for it to be a hit. People didn't need to overproduce their songs for it to be a hit. It simplified things a little bit, and I think that's good, because if you feel like your music doesn't need to be overly produced, it's your art. People should make their art however they want to."
Smokepurpp points out that the DIY nature of SoundCloud rap opened doors for new types of artists. "There are people who probably wanted to [make music], but couldn't do it, because they're like, 'Aw man, everybody's going to think my shit is like too simple,'" he explains. "I think that opened doors for people who make it simple. You can make a song on your phone, and just upload it to SoundCloud. Younger kids and people who don't have access to a studio can just make a song and upload it, and change your life."
Before getting into the details of his new album, which is out today, Smokepurpp took some time to share his personal list of the top 5 songs to emerge from the SoundCloud rap era. He listed the songs, which he says made the biggest impact on the era, in no particular order. Watch the full interview at the top of the page or check out his picks and explanations below, in his own words.
XXXTentacion, “Look At Me!”
When "Look at Me!" hit SoundCloud, it was just crazy. The energy on it was crazy and it's just a legendary song. I think X is a legendary artist also, and that's kind of what popped him off.
Post Malone, “White Iverson”
Post Malone's "White Iverson" is definitely up there because it was the first song to really hit SoundCloud and blow up and go mainstream like that. So I feel like that definitely needs to be top five because that is SoundCloud in a different way.
When "Audi "came out, it was crazy. I feel like it is the "Faneto" of SoundCloud. When shit comes on, everybody just goes crazy. And it's the same thing for a song like "Look at Me!" When that shit comes on, people go crazy. It's just high energy tracks. I made "Audi" probably like a whole year before it came out, and I wasn't going to drop it. When I got signed, my label was the one that was like, "Yo, I think we should drop this." And I was like, "Nah, I don't fuck with this shit." I don't want to drop it, and they actually dropped it without me wanting to drop it. I was like, Oh shit. It just did what it did. Everybody started going crazy. I started playing it at shows and it was going crazy. DJs were making all type of remixes—EDM remixes and shit like that. It just hit the game crazy. It's crazy to me when a song is in English and then it goes crazy everywhere.
Lil Yachty, “Minnesota”
When Yachty came out, he was just flowing with new music. [Sings hook: "Cold like Minnesota."] Everybody went crazy, bro. That shit hit the streets crazy, bro. That shit actually probably had Atlanta going dumb for real.
Lil Pump, “Gucci Gang”
"Gucci Gang" is just one of those that just SoundCloud and then blew up mainstream like that. The same way "White Iverson" did. Shit went from SoundCloud to—I don't know if it went number one or number two on Billboard. But it was definitely up there.