I don’t know why, but for some reason the most talented and highly gifted artists out there in the underground, never get the spotlight and appreciation that they deserve. Nowadays people value more about how marketable you are rather than how good your music is. People don’t care about creativity or innovation in music anymore, it’s all about what’s easier to digest– which is truly sad. It’s been about 4 years since I first found ATL Smook and Nolanberollin and they still don’t get the recognition they deserve for reasons that are beyond me. It doesn’t cost a thing to show love to artists who need it, yet so many publications and people consistently choose to turn the other way and overlook artists solely cause of their name and act proud of being ignorant, which is a shame; because if you look, and really dive deep, there’s so much great music that people actually put their heart and soul into, instead of reciting some manufactured bars written by about 30 people that an A&R hit up. It’s overdue that the true, genuine talent in the underground gets the credit and respect they work so hard for, so here’s our list of some of the most underappreciated rappers out right now:
I can’t think of anyone who’s even close to the level nappy’s at right now. Compare him to where he was a year ago, and it’s almost like their completely different artists. His melodies are constantly changing and evolving, he’s experimenting with different flows and vocal inflections, his production selections have gotten 10x better; everything he’s been doing for the past two years has gotten better than anything I imagined when I first heard him, and he’s yet to even reach close to his peak. I find myself playing his music constantly, helping me get through my classes in the past few weeks, especially with his latest song “citgo.” It’s his best song yet, even topping any of his collabs with musical mastermind Mixed Matches. He comes on the track with a different sound, experimenting with his vocal range and going into the higher register and executes it perfectly, crafting a wonderful hook and some terrific bars delivered in a blissful melodic package. The beat by cashbently on the song is fire as expected as well, suiting nappy’s rapid-fire flow and high-pitch delivery perfectly like bread and butter. In the past 10 months, he hasn’t delivered a single dud, and has only released better quality singles in that time-span, but somehow, nappy still goes unnoticed and doesn’t get even half the credit he deserves. Nappy’s is constantly aware of his sound and is always wanting to improve on it, something most artists never find the desire to because they get to reclused in their style, never attempting to branch out; but Nappy does, and whenever he tries something new, he always does it wonderfully. He is, by far the most hardest working artist in the underground in recent times, and all his hard work is certainly starting to pay off; all the proof is in the pudding.
To me, Casper has the musical abilities of John Lennon, his vocals are nothing sort of great, with him probably being the most vocally gifted artist in the underground. His melodies are absolutely breathtaking, and at times can be oddly soothing, on one of his recent tracks “MALL RATS,” I feel like a little kid and Casper’s reading a short fable to me before I go to sleep. Casper’s potential is off the charts, and based off of songs like “surfgangbitch,” and “function,” he’s gonna be huge. He’s got everything that mainstream artists and industry plants desire, an actual unique style, a keen ear for beats, a beautiful voice that could make any man cry, and true passion. Every verse, every melody and every line he delivers hit’s right in my heart, with punchlines like: “laying on my bed, looking at the shadows on the wall/trying to go to sleep but I’m waiting for a call/I keep on losing my breath/I can’t keep dragging my step” that make me shed a tear on every listen. Casper’s music is nothing but breathtaking and I can’t wait to see him progress and ascend to higher levels in the next coming years.
Smook is one of, if not the most consistent artists out there, and has been for years. In the past 3 and a half years since I found him, the man hasn’t dropped a single bad single or tape for the matter. He recently released his album “Rudeboy Rockout,” and for the most part, it was sadly overlooked and under publicized. From start to finish, it’s a great project and each time I go back to it, the thought dawns upon me that ATL Smook is truly ahead of his time. Songs like Room, Sick Pockets, and Scotty Too Hotty are just hints of Smook’s greatness, from the blissful melodies to the spacey atmosphere he creates with his vocals and the peaceful production, Smook knows exactly how to create a perfect track; but he never gets much praise. He’s truly the most underrated rapper I’ve ever come across upon and I hope more people stop sleeping and decide to give Smook a chance, because if you do, you’ll find some of the finest underground songs your ears will ever lay on.
There’s no other person in the underground who has been so constantly overlooked other than the beanman. Ever since 2015, he’s been putting out some of the most unique music, always staying consistent with his releases, never releasing any misses. Ever since Lego I thought Nolan would get the recognition he rightfully deserves, but 3 years later and he’s still underappreciated. It’s a shame to the underground to be honest, we always have the best and most talented artists out there yet never give the mass support to those who need and deserve it. He released easily a top five project last year in the form of “SUPERBEANMAN,” coming out with a flawless 12 track tape. It was the beanman at his best so far in his past 7 or so years of rapping, with him crafting some incredible production blended with some of the hardest and most ridiculous rhymes and flows you’ll hear in recent memory. Nolan is a underappreciated goat in the underground and with the year anniversary of “SUPERBEANMAN” coming in the next two months, we hope to hear more music and eventually his upcoming project “ULTRABEANMAN,” soon.
Honestly, making this list has made me a bit infuriated, especially when it comes to artists like Jai Daytona. His catalog is filled with nothing but absolute hits, from Five Star, BaldHeadBitch, No Face, Different, and Commas to late-night, thought-provoking songs like “nights” and “occasions.” Jai is immensely talented and deserves much more than just a couple thousand plays on most of his singles. His production skills as “crackhead” are pretty amazing too, with him crafting the sounds on a majority of his tracks, making trippy, mosh-pit inducing beats like on “Strip Club.” Jai may be severly underrated right now, but he’s destined for greatness no doubt about it, he’s a musical genius with a creative mind and a innovative team behind him with the likes of yunglunchbox and his videographer/photographer foodeatschris. Together, they’re creating some truly fantastic stuff, I just hope the world is ready for it.
Ever since I heard Ky’s renegade feature on “senses” with underground king Sol Jay, I was blown away, and instantly captivated by her astonishing vocal delivery and her impressive flow, so I went to look for more music from her; and I wasn’t disappointed. I stumbled upon “prettier in pink,” and “chanel purse” and was even more impressed with her solo works. I was excited for her forthcoming material and since senses, she’s released a wonderful 11 track tape, “CULT.” Her music is ravishing to say the least, she can pull off a sonic-fast flow as seen on “GO,” or craft an emotional, theraputic song like “alive,” or even a track reminiscent of the late 2000s as seen on “Devil On My Shoulder.” Ky’s a diamond in the rough, and is one of the most consistent rappers I’ve heard of late. As the days have gone by, I always find myself pulling up a song of hers to cheer me up whenever I’m near the end of my rope.
Not many artists have the ability to fully connect and sound like a helping hand for their audience, very few in fact are able to have that much of an emotional impact on people. The only times I’ve ever actually shed a tear or really felt like someones music was getting me through the day was lucki, lerado, bby kodie, bladee, mixed matches and nappy 01′. But lately, more and more people have been adding onto that list for me, specifically hatesonny. His music is otherwordly, from his beat selections, to his one of a kind vocal delivery and his increasing rapping skill, this man is the first one to look at if you need a new artist to listen to. His last project “BAD LUCK,” is a wonderful 13 track project that is nothing but bliss, and was so good that I had amounted over 400 listens in the first weekend it had dropped. The only other rapper to attain that amount of replay-ability from me is probably when Carti dropped his iconic Self Titled project. Sonny can craft a powerful banger (Don’t Be Him, Thirteen, Fuck America), do powerful, theraputic like tracks (What U Need, Gone, Channel 9) or even go and make a cute, romantic indie-style track as seen on “Street Lights.” The fact that he’s sitting at only a mere 1500 followers on soundcloud and his album “Bad Luck,” still hasn’t gotten over 10,000 plays is an absolute disgrace, and I hope more people start to check for Sonny, because I can’t name many artists who have been able to produce such fantastic sounds at such an early stage in their career.