5 Current Rappers For People Who Hate Current Rap

If you talk to any old school Hip-Hop fan in 2017, you’ll inevitably hear something along the lines of, “rappers today suck, I only like old-school rappers”. While I totally agree there is a TON of garbage out there right now, there are still a bunch of incredibly talented rappers out there who get unfairly dismissed. Here are 5 relatively unknown rappers out now who you should listen to if you “only listen to old-school rappers”.

(*Note – I intentionally left off stars like Kendrick, J. Cole, etc, because I’m assuming everyone already knows about them. This blog is to shine light on lesser known talented artists.)

1: Nick Grant

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27 year-old rapper out of South Carolina, Grant has already been endorsed by rappers like Killer Mike and Big K.R.I.T. He boasts some great socially conscious lyrics rapped over head-nodding jazz and R&B samples. This guy’s wordplay and ability to float over a beat will bring you right back to the great albums of the 90s. Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

2: J.I.D

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I really respect what J.I.D has been able to accomplish so far just by setting himself apart the recent barrage of Atlanta mumble rappers dominating the scene right now. He’s actually a former college football player with a unique, relentless flow. Check out my recommendations below to see for yourself:

 3: Kembe X

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Fresh out of Chicago, this kid is only 18 years old but has a strong influence from classic 90s Hip-Hop. He’s already worked with heavy hitters like Chance The Rapper, Ab-Soul, and Isaiah Rashad. Check out some of my favorite tracks of his:

4: Casey Veggies

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I was hesitant to put Casey Veggies on here just because he’s been pretty well known among underground hip-hop fans for a while, but has never really gotten the widespread recognition many thought he would get. As a founding member of Odd Future, Veggies left the group in 2007 before the group exploded to focus on his own solo career. Quite the risky move in hindsight, but I think it was the better move to not be grouped in with the Odd Future crew. A few of my favorite tracks from Casey below:

5: Mick Jenkins

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Probably my favorite rapper on this list, Mick Jenkins hails from Chicago and is, for lack of a better term, the “total package” for old-school Hip-hop fans. Intelligent lyrics and a powerful yet smooth delivery over jazz-influenced production makes Mick one of my favorite rappers out right now. I could go on and on about this guy, but it’s probably easier if you just listen to the tracks below:



Today’s Tunes – Monday, August 7th

Pete Yorn – “Lost Weekend”

Perfect song for a rainy Monday, fresh off the Sunday scaries. Love this laid back tune from Pete Yorn. Pete rose to indie-rock prominence in 2001 with his debut LP, musicforthemorningafter. Somewhat similar sound to other indie solo artists like Ryan Adams or bands like Dispatch, Yorn has that sound to get you through the rainy day. Other songs to check out are ““On Your Side” and “Strange Condition”.

Name UL – “Falling”

Name UL is a rapper hailing from Australia and who has drawn some early comparisons to Drake with his blending of hip-hop and R&B. I personally think it’s a weak comparison, only because Name UL does not nearly as much singing as Drake does.  If you’re looking for an artist to get into before he gets huge, look no further. UL has opened for acts like Schoolboy Q and Vince Staples when they hit Australia. With a strong flow and production featuring lots of funk-influenced horns and flutes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this dude blow up in 12-18 months. Other recommendations are “My Side” and “Choice(s)”.

AZ – “Rather Unique”

I’ve always thought it was a shame AZ’s hasn’t panned out the way most people thought after Doe or Die was released. Showing off one of the most recognizable voices partially due to his appearance on Nas’ “Life’s a Bitch”, AZ lyrically one of the most underrated rappers. One could argue that the failure of The Firm took away some momentum from AZ’s career, and we can only speculate what could have been done differently. He’s still certainly no slouch and if you want to hear more heat from AZ, check out “Sugar Hill” and “The Format”.

Action Bronson releases second single & video, “The Chairman’s Intent”

Known for his creatively absurd visuals, Action Bronson gives us a video for his second single off of Blue Chips 7000. Bronson is shown here kicking ass in a typical old-school Kung Fu style video.

The song itself falls a little flat for me personally. Action has always had an unconventional style and delivery, but something about his verses on this just feels too off-beat to me. In my opinion, his first single “Let Me Breathe” is way better than this one. Either way, after the most recent delay it looks like we are FINALLY getting Blue Chips 7000 on August 25th.

Today’s Tunes, July 25th

“All Nite” – Clams Casino feat. Vince Staples

Clams Casino has been arguably one of the most consistent producers over the past 5-10 years. When he came out with “All Nite”, Clams Casino proved he wasn’t just riding off A$AP Rocky’s success on Live.Love.A$AP. There’s also a great video for this track you can check below.

“Rather Unique” – AZ

AZ gets overlooked a lot when talking about great rappers from the 90’s. Most casual fans know him from making a guest appearance on Nas’ “Life’s a Bitch”, but AZ’s album Doe or Die can hold its own against other classic hip-hop albums from the same era. If you’re not familiar with AZ, check out other songs like “The Format”“How Ya Livin'”, and “Gimme Yours'”.


“Sometimes A River” – String Cheese Incident

One of the catchiest jam band songs out there. I love that strong bluegrass influence, and String Cheese Incident blends that with so many other genres perfectly that it’s impossible not to enjoy. The ability to blend blues/funk/rock/bluegrass together so seamlessly makes these guys so enjoyable. Other tracks to check out are “Get Tight”“Sirens”, and their cover of “War Pigs”.

New Song From Mobb Deep, “What You Think”

With the unfortunate recent passing of Prodigy, we’re starting to slowly see the release of previously unheard Prodigy verses. Which is exciting as a fan, but the circumstances obviously suck.

DJ Absolut blesses us here with “What You Think”, which features verses from both Prodigy and Havoc, and an awesome Biggie sample on the hook.

If you missed it, Alchemist recently dropped his last song with Prodigy which you can check out below.

3 New Songs From Joey Bada$$

Fresh of the premiere of episode on Viceland’s The Therapist, one of my favorite rappers in the game right now dropped 3 new tracks on us just before Steez Day Festival this weekend in NYC. Joey teams up with Statik Selektah for 3 brass-friendly beats with a jazz-influenced vibe. Check out “Too Lit”, “Love Is Only A Feeling”, and “500 Benz” below.


Wu-Tang Clan releases new song, “Don’t Stop”

I’m always cautious when hip-hop legends I grew up listening to release anything new, but I was relieved after giving this one a listen. Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, and RZA get together for “Don’t Stop”, a single off the season 3 soundtrack of Silicon Valley, and are able to successfully channel just the right amount of 90’s hip-hop nostalgia. They even have a few kung fu samples in there as well as some C.R.E.A.M references.

For what it’s worth, Method Man absolutely FLAMED this verse. Holy shit this man can still bring it. Just such incredible wordplay with lines like, “Hakuna Matata, no Mufasa, I’m not lyin”.

Hip Hop is not going anywhere.

4:44 Confirmed as Next Album From Jay Z

After a ton of speculation due to 4:44 subway posters popping up all around NYC, it’s been officially confirmed that this will be Jay Z’s next album. The album will be released, unsurprisingly exclusively via Tidal, on June 30th.

Trailer above teases a song off the new album called “Adnis”, which is a reference to Jay’s estranged Father. Contrary to most people I actually didn’t hate Magna Carta Holy Grail, but I’m hoping we get an improvement from that project with 4:44. 

P.S. If you sign up for a Tidal free 30 day subscription, don’t forget to cancel before you get billed.

Action Bronson Releases New Single, “Let Me Breathe”

The two-year wait for a new Action Bronson project is nearly over. Bronson just dropped the first single, “Let Me Breathe” off the long-awaited Blue Chips 7000 project. Harry Fraud leaves his fingerprints all over this one, leaving us with that signature fun, borderline ridiculous, Action Bronson sound.

Release date is next Friday, June 23rd. Bronson has not been shy about publicly sharing his displeasure with how long it’s taken to get this project out, so it’s awesome as a fan to see him finally getting Blue Chips 7000 out.