5 On It is a feature that looks at five of the best under-the-radar rap findings from the past week, highlighting new or recently discovered artists, or interesting obscurities.
Matik Estrada – “Family Matters” (Prod. Childish Major)
“Family Matters,” the new single from Childish collaborator Matik Estrada, shows a beautiful, organic side to the Atlanta-based producer’s sound, tapping into the vibe of the Golden Era and the a different side of the south simultaneously without feeling stuck in nostalgia. It’s a style the two have been working on together for several years now, with “Family Matters” providing the greatest deliverance on their vision to-date.
“Family Matters” reveals a promising, world-weary emcee in Estrada and shows that not only can Childish produce, he can also sing (he handles hook duties).
Lais. – No Idols
The Toronto has only produced one true superstar in hip-hop (The Weeknd hasn’t reached superstar status and has charted a course beyond hip-hop), it has molded the landscape with a slew of talented producers and young creators who filtered the influences of various corners of the hip-hop atlas into a distinctive sound. In ten more years, it will be fascinating to look back on the factors that contributed to a Canadian metropolis on the east coast of the country—far nearer New York than Houston or Atlanta—becoming a hub of often-southern inspired hip-hop that developed an aesthetic unto itself. It is undoubtedly one of hip-hop’s quiet centers; perhaps it will never be celebrated in the same way as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, or Chicago, but its influence on rap’s last few years is difficult to ignore.
Toronto rapper Lais. draws inspiration from the sound of country rap (and not the sort that marries Nelly and Florida Georgia Line), warping an earthy sound pulled from the likes of Pimp C and Organized Noize into a Toronto-tinted canvas for reflection on a life of drugs and damaged relationships. Lais. occasionally taps into a cadence and tone reminiscent of Kevin Gates, half-rapping, half-singing, always emoting. Listen to standout “Home,” but check out the entirety of No Idols—it’s a well assembled project worth diving into in one sitting.
Boogie – Thirst 48
Daily Discovery graduate Boogie released his debut mixtape Thirst 48 this week, serving up an intriguing take on west coast hip-hop neither indebted to the current, unavoidable wave of Mustard nor the lineage most-associated with the coast. Steeped in cloud rap aesthetics and observational without being “conscious,” Thirst 48 is a strong first statement from the Long Beach, California native.
K9 – “Show Stacks”
Outside of Dizzee Rascal’s brief, brilliant U.S. invasion in the early 2000s, grime remained almost-entirely a UK phenomenon. But, as my esteemed colleague Constant Gardner noted in a Gchat conversation I can’t find, grime remains one of the most consistently exciting and innovative scenes in British electronic music—regardless of recognition elsewhere.
UK rapper K9’s “Show Stacks” rides a Dark0 beat that tweaks grime to sound like a grungy, New York club banger from the year 3000—a street hit if French Montana ever gets his hands on it. K9’s gruff street rap is compelling in itself, but married with Dark0’s monster beat, it’s a hypnotic combination that demands a packed club and earth-shattering speakers.
Conrizzle – “Carolina Waterz”
In spite of perplexing and sort of gloriously terrible cover art, North Carolina rapper/producer Conrizzle’s new single “Carolina Waterz” is absolutely thunderous, an ode to making it out of your surroundings that hits with in-the-red abandon. On top of trying to destroy your speakers, Conrizzle flexes an impressive energy and one of his sharpest flows yet.